The Growth Hub team are all successful professionals, covering the whole of Norfolk and Suffolk.










Mags Oakley

Business Growth Support Adviser

Introducing Mags

Mags joined the TSB Bank straight from school and then spent 20 plus years in the insurance and financial services sector. Most of that time she worked for Cunningham Lindsey, the leading loss adjusting, claims management and risk solutions company ending up managing the marketing team. Mags gained her Lloyds insurance qualifications and Chartered Institute of Marketing Professional Qualifications whilst working in the financial services sector.

In 2011, Mags became self-employed and worked on a number of projects including managing courses for overseas teachers of English to attend educational courses in the UK.

Mags joined the Growth Hub at its inception in 2014 and has moved from the administration and financial support role to one of the Business Support Adviser roles mainly based in the office location.
Mags brings a vast experience of best practice, standards and compliance, which port across to other roles to drive up quality and impact and she has achieved her SFEDI Level 6 Award in Understanding Business and Enterprise Support whilst working with the Growth Hub.

Jo Ferriss

Business Growth Support Adviser

Introducing Jo

Jo spent many years working for her family’s outside catering business ‘Diana Barnard catering’.

During her mid-twenties, she took a break in hospitality and joined the Government department Oversea Development Administration as a logistics consultant; who seconded her to UNHCR in former Yugoslavia and then UNICEF in Rwanda during the Genocide.

Upon Jo’s return to the UK, she had a short spell in logistics before returning to the family business in 2001. The business was rebranded to Barnard Catering Ltd and Jo continued to work for the company during busy spells whilst also working for local marketing guru’s Helen Oldfield and Gina Long.

From here, Jo moved to Woodhall Manor as events manager and then joined the management team at The Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe. Having spent two years as the Growth Hub’s events coordinator, Jo felt it was time for a new challenge and in September 2020 started her new role as Business Growth Support Adviser, working alongside Mags.

Chris Sharman

Business Growth Adviser

Introducing Chris

Chris has a sales and marketing background and has worked for a number of large international businesses. In 2001, he set up a spin out company with two academies from University College London, offering a range of contract research services to the biotech and pharma sector. This company quickly grew, was relocated to Cambridge and eventually merged with another business.

Chris worked as an independent consultant for several years offering business and marketing advice to local businesses before joining the Growth Hub in 2014.

Robert Turnbull

Business Growth Adviser

Introducing Robert

Robert has a long career history of business development, sales and marketing, business advice and staff training and development.

Since 2011 he has worked as a business improvement specialist/mentor and joined the Growth Hub at its inception in 2014.

Robert is also the Growth Hub’s Small Firms Development Initiative (SFEDI) Programme Leader. All of our staff are qualified (or working toward) SFEDI accreditation. Robert manages this training process and supports and assess all students.

Kate Colchester

Business Growth Adviser

Introducing Kate

After 20 years in the international banking and fund management industry Kate joined the Growth Hub in 2016. Kate has multi-industry and multi-disciplinary experience having acted as Regional Head of Marketing, Regional Head of Business Development and Chief Operating Officer for various sizes of firm. However, Kate is happiest in an entrepreneurial environment and acts as Business Advisor for the Hub.

Introducing Wendy

In 2003, Wendy moved to South Africa from the UK where she successfully started and sold three companies. In 2019, her sixteen year African adventure came to an end and she returned to the UK.  With over 15 years of business experience, She has a versatile skillset developed through valuable industry related practise.  Wendy is a diligent and experienced business growth specialist who is passionate about working with businesses  to help them achieve their goals.   Through her own life experience Wendy has learned that success in business is not only about how to make money: It is about personal development, commitment to a dream, and the drive to make a difference for yourself and all the people in your life.  

Fiona Johnson

Business Growth Adviser

Introducing Fiona

Educated to degree level and with a CIM Marketing diploma, Fiona’s career began in the private sector, with a strong grounding in public relations, marketing and corporate communications.

She has a wide ranging skill set, encompassing career success in an innovative travel technology business, through to the corporate world of a FTSE 100 listed company. Fiona has also worked in the public sector, as an Economic Development Officer at District Council level, aiding and encouraging businesses to bring economic success to their own organisations and the local economy.

Fiona was a key player in the development of the Suffolk Coast Ltd Destination Management Organisation, working with the team of local businesses and the public sector, to establish this key sector organisation.

Fiona has previously held the position of Vice Chair of the Heritage Coast Local Action Group, in Suffolk.

Fiona Little

Business Growth Adviser

Introducing Fiona

Fiona has spent more than 15 years leading teams in sales, gaining a wealth of knowledge within the fashion, insurance, energy, manufacturing and distribution sectors.

Through working in diverse environments, she has developed the skills to build solid client relationships and cultivate strategic alliances with partners, vendors and colleagues, helping to develop and support key business initiatives.

Fiona is happiest when she is helping others and thinking outside of the box. She believes sharing best practice is, and always will be, the best way to learn and grow both professionally and personally.


Lindsay Long

Senior Skills Adviser for Suffolk

Introducing Lindsay

After studying Hospitality Business Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and an early career in Professional Services, Lindsay gained extensive experience as a recruitment consultant. Her experience took her from London to Sydney via Melbourne – before settling back in her native Suffolk.

Her recruitment experience encompassed many disciplines and career levels and exposed her to a wide variety of skills requirements. Since returning to Suffolk in 2016, Lindsay has worked as Corporate Fundraising Officer for Age UK Suffolk, where she worked with a number of businesses to develop supportive and mutually beneficial partnerships.

Lindsay is passionate about enabling and supporting local businesses to develop the skills that they need to thrive in a changing market. If you would like advice or support on how to ensure your business has the skills that you need now or in the future, please do get in touch.



Dr. Morgan Potter

High Growth Manager

Introducing Morgan

In 2000, Morgan joined BT and spent 11 years working as Principal Business and Strategic Analyst, before starting his own consultancy in 2011.

His technology background and knowledge made Morgan the ideal choice to be the second innovation specialist within the team of business advisers and he joined the Growth Hub in 2014. Morgan holds a BSc in ELectronic Engineering from University of Wales, Technology Management MBA from the Open University and DBA in Strategic Management from Aston University.

Stephen Hart

High Growth Manager
for Scale Up New Anglia

Introducing Stephen

I joined the Scale Up New Anglia team in September 2020 having previously worked in the financial services industry with a global bank. What attracted me to the role was that it gave me the ability to use my skills and experiences from throughout my career in a number of industries.

During my 14 years with Santander, I held a number of positions including Branch Manager, Financial Planner, and most recently 6 years as a Business Relationship Manager, supporting SMEs within Norfolk and Suffolk.

Qualified to FPC level in Financial Planning, I also hold an HNC in Leisure and Tourism Management, and I have also worked in a number of positions within the hospitality sector.

I spend a large part of my spare time volunteering as an Assistant Scout Leader for a local Scout Group. The key aspect of my role within the group is organising and facilitating educational programmes for young people. I also take the lead in fundraising for the group, seeking out grants and sponsorship to support our activities.

Hannah Peak

Events Coordinator

Introducing Hannah

After completing an internship at Reed recruitment, Hannah joined the Motor Trade working in administration and sales support, soon becoming Sales Coordinator for the Mercedes-Benz truck dealerships in East Anglia.

In 2019 she decided to look for a new challenge and saw an opportunity to become the Events Manager at Suffolk Food Hall, handling both private and corporate functions. During this time Hannah completed an Events Management course with distinction, learning key skills such as events management, project management, LinkedIn for business and social media strategy for business.

Hannah joined the New Anglia Growth Hub as Events Coordinator in October 2020 and is looking forward to supporting SMEs across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Andrew Gilbert

Events and Marketing Coordinator
for Scale Up New Anglia

Introducing Andrew

I joined the Growth Hub team as an Events and Marketing Co-Ordinator for the Scale Up programme in April 2021 after working in the hospitality industry for 18 years. 

With a background in both sales and operations inside large hotels and sports venues, I gained experience in selling, planning, delivering and managing events in both the corporate and public sectors.  During this time I have worked with high-profile clients to put on large-scale events which have attracted 1000’s of visitors.

In my spare time, I volunteer as the manager of my Sunday League football team which has its similarities to organising an event by ensuring everyone is in the right place at the right time!



Sky Craig

Peer Networks Marketing & Events Programme Coordinator

Introducing Sky

After graduating in Psychology, Sky went on to work within the events industry, starting in hospitality and learning the ropes of running functions, weddings and parties.

Following this, Sky moved on to work as an International Event Coordinator, using the skills she had acquired in her previous role to organise large corporate meetings across the globe.

Sky joined the Growth Hub in October 2020 as a Peer Network Programme Coordinator. With a genuine passion for bringing projects to life, learning new skills and meeting new people, she looks forward to developing her expertise further within the role and help our business community thrive during these challenging times.


Hayley Dawson

Senior Peer Networks Programme Coordinator

Introducing Hayley

Hayley has a strong background in administration and business support services, having held an administrative supervisor role at a specialist automotive relocation company, dealing with the administration of taking cars to large automotive events and auctions all over Europe.

Her positive and personable attitude supports her attention to detail and organisation, as well as building relationships with key customers and contacts. Her work in the events industry has provided her with experience in multi-tasking and hitting multiple deadlines.

Hayley joined the Growth Hub in October 2020 and is looking forward to applying these skills to her new role as Peer Network Programme Coordinator.

Hannah Osborne

Peer Networks Programme Coordinator

Introducing Hannah


Hannah was until recently hosting large scale events at one of Suffolk’s most prestigious Golf Clubs. She brings with her sales, planning and customer service skills from the responsibility of coordinating corporate events and weddings, and former venue management experience.

 Her positive and approachable attitude coincides with her desire to help others and ensure she is doing all she can to provide the best service possible.

 Hannah joined the Growth Hub in June 2021 and is looking forward to applying these skills to her new role as Peer Networks Programme Coordinator.



Jamie Bird


Introducing Jamie

In 2015 Jamie graduated from university with a degree in Graphic Design. To gain some work experience, he secured a job as an Online Shopper at Sainsbury’s.  He progressed to become a self-employed Graphic Designer and worked part time for a design agency based in Ipswich for two years.  Jamie joined the New Anglia Growth Hub in 2018 and is aiming to work towards his SFEDI qualification in the near future.

Ariane Andrews

CRM, Evidence &
Customer Service Coordinator

Introducing Ariane

Ariane has a varied background, predominantly within quality assurance management; but starting out as a pharmacy technician for the NHS, progressing to customer services in the printing and electronics industries, and a stint as quality control tester for snack flavours.

She also spent 12 years as an operations manager in a food ingredients manufacturer contributing to expanding the company from a start-up operation into a respected position in the industry.

Throughout her career, Ariane has focussed on maintaining and improving quality by implementing and managing quality systems, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and providing customer services and administration support.

Bringing her flexible skills and experience to this new role of CRM, Evidence and Customer Service Coordinator, she looks forward to achieving her goal of providing the best possible service to the business advisers and clients.

                                OUR MANAGEMENT TEAM

Sam Vinyard-Jones

Growth Hub Manager

Introducing Sam

Sam has a varied professional background – she taught art and IT at a secondary school in Leeds, has led a team of palliative carers, travelled the world installing industrial digital imaging systems, started a small business with some colleagues and continues to be a practising artist, specialising in oil portraits and landscapes.

Sam says that she feels very privileged to be in a position to help businesses in our region, whether that is by assisting them to apply for grant funding,  investigating appropriate support or simply acting as a sounding board so someone can rationalise their ideas.

Mohammed Alkordi

Senior Business Adviser

Introducing Mohammed

Mohammed is an experienced business consultant with an MBA and an MSc from the University of East Anglia. He is also qualified as a Management Consultant from the Institute of Consulting and has over 10 years of diverse working experience in both private and public sectors.

Mohammed has held management positions in the banking sector, focusing on financial reporting and compliance, as well as holding senior positions in tenders and contracts auditing in the public sector since 2008.

Mohammed started his consulting career focusing on business growth, working with clients locally and internationally. He is an entrepreneur at heart and enjoys working with businesses in their initial stages, having helped launch dozens of start-ups in various sectors, taking them from concept and research stage to commercialisation.

Helen Barker

Central Operations Manager

Introducing Helen

Helen brings experience from financial services, marketing, operations, hospitality and the charity sector. She holds several marketing qualifications, trained as a Salesforce Administrator and stays current with regular online courses. Helen’s responsibilities within the Growth Hub started with managing the monthly financial processes for the ERDF and HM Government funding streams, the administrative activities and providing IT, HR and provisions support. She now leads the Central Operations Team, encompassing Business Growth Support, Peer Networks, Marketing and Events, Administration and Finance.



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