Conference 2017 Speakers

Howard Davies
National Association for AONBs – Chief Executive
Howard Davies was appointed Chief Executive of the National Association for AONBs in 2010. Prior to this he was Director of Wildlife Trusts Wales, coming into this role with experience gained in the Countryside Council for Wales, local authorities and the charitable and private sectors.
Howard worked as Senior Warden for the Clwydian Range AONB from 1991 to 2002 and during this period was involved in the early development of the National Association for AONBs. He has been an active supporter of the AONB designation since then.
Howard has a degree in Biology and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Ros Kerslake
Heritage Lottery Fund – Chief Executive
Ros Kerslake is Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Ros trained as a solicitor before taking on leadership positions in the private sector (Gulf Oil and Booker Group). Later, as Property Director of Railtrack, she developed an interest in place and urban regeneration, going on to lead RegenCo in the West Midlands.
In 2006 Ros became CEO of The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, establishing it as a leading heritage-led regeneration charity. A key achievement was saving Middleport Pottery.
In 2016 Ros received an OBE for services to British heritage.
Ros holds two honorary doctorates, from Staffordshire and Keele Universities for her work in heritage and regeneration, and has a degree in Law and Psychology and an MBA.

Andy Middleton
The TYF Group – Chief Exploration Officer
Andy Middleton is a Non-Exec Director of Natural Resources Wales and a Member of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales, advising Welsh Government on innovation strategy. In commercial roles, Andy was Founder Director of TYF, helping around 200,000 people fall in love with nature through adventure and education, and is a passionate advocate for the B Corp movement, changing capitalism from the inside. In a consulting role, he spent 20 years advising many of the UK’s top companies, helping them improve performance through leadership, care and innovation.
He is a Founding Partner of the Do Lectures, one of the world’s top ten ’non conferences’ that brings together leading thinkers from different disciplines to share and spark ideas. Andy is a prominent blogger and social media commentator and spends the majority of his time connecting the most ambitious, capable change makers that he can find to make epic projects go faster.
Andy studied Physical Geography at Sheffield University and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Arts.

Kate Russell
The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers – Technical and Policy Adviser
Kate is a fourth generation agricultural valuer. After graduating from the Royal Agricultural College, she spent more than a decade practising in Cumbria, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire dealing with rural estate and property management and associated professional work. She also spent several years back at the RAC as a lecturer in rural estate management.
In 2008, Kate joined Jeremy Moody, Secretary and Adviser to the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers, as a technical and policy adviser. Her current areas of work include residential lettings, compulsory purchase and compensation, planning, taxation and a wide range of other matters from renewable energy to flooding. She has contributed to a number of CAAV publications on residential and commercial tenancies, property taxation, compulsory purchase and telecommunication masts.

Paul Bristow
Arts Council England – Director, Strategic Partnerships
Paul Bristow has been Director, Strategic Partnerships at Arts Council England since 2012. He leads the Arts Council’s policy on place and local government, local economic growth, and both rural and urban agendas. He has led the delivery of key Arts Council programmes including the recent Great Place Scheme. Prior to joining the Arts Council, he was Head of Policy at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). His early career was spent in local government at the London boroughs of Bexley and Wandsworth. He has a masters degree in Public Policy and is a Fellow of the RSA.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Defra – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Lord Gardiner was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity in June 2017. Previously he served as Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary of State from 17 July 2016 to June 2017. He is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.
He was educated at Uppingham School and Royal Holloway, University of London, where he read modern history and politics.
He served as Private Secretary to 5 successive Chairmen of the Conservative Party between 1989 and 1995.
Between 1995 and 2004, he was Director of Political Affairs at the Countryside Alliance and then became Deputy Chief Executive until 2010.
Lord Gardiner was raised to the Peerage in 2010 and served as a party whip until being appointed to government. He served as Lord in Waiting from September 2012 to May 2015, and as Government Deputy Chief Whip and Captain of the Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard from May 2015 until July 2016.

Conference 2017 at a glance

Chichester Isle of Wight North Wessex Sea View