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With a growing sense of foreboding, I watched, as one by one, my fellow passengers slipped away into the dark.  I had not expected the journey to take so long.  I thought I would get here by late afternoon, giving me plenty of time to look around. 


I had never been abroad before and did not stop to think about booking a place to stay.  I did not check when I would arrive, just jumped from train to ferry and train again, and here I was wondering where to sleep tonight.    


I only knew that I must get away, escape from my troubles, go somewhere different and that I must leave immediately. 

Beginnings of Journeys
Connected Paths

My career paths changed considerably from being an academic in building science to an international public sector consultant.  I would not have known when I studied Architectural Engineering and later a PhD in energy conservation (at Leeds University) that I would one day become a management consultant. 

What I knew then was, when given the choice of more mathematics or philosophy as optional modules, I chose philosophy.  Later, for the PhD, I chose to study how people heat their homes rather than a technical subject. 


Although the 2 careers are very different, for me, they became one connected pathway. 

Light Touches

As a chair or founder of voluntary groups I have always used the following light touch principles:

  • The main responsibilities of the Chair and Trustees is policy making and practically helping the management team when requested with minimum interference.

  • Encouraging 'distributed leadership' through out the organisation by enabling both Trustees and staff to initiate their ideas and be leaders in their own right.


It is not about ego, status and wanting recognition from peers nor about promoting my business or professional career.

Voluntary Work
  • Chair, Campaign Against Racism Group (2022 to present)

  • Chair, Arts in the Yard (2020 to present)

  • Trustee, Chinese Welfare Trust (2019 - present)

  • President, England China Business Forum (2012 - 2023).  Currently, the Emeritus President

  • Chair, Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham (1994 - 2022).  Currently the Honorary Chair

  • Board Member, West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum (2007 - 2009)

  • Governor, Bournville College, Birmingham (2006 - 2009)

  • Playing computer games, mostly role playing games.  Favourite games include Skyrim, Dragon Age series, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Trek Online, Black Desert Online, Fallout, Guild Wars 1 and 2, Division 1 and 2, Mass Effect series, Elden Ring and Baldur Gates 1 to 3.

  • Listening to music and watching movies

  • Creative writing and thought pieces

  • Photography

  • Used to play badminton and hill walking

  • Semi-retired (2021 to present)

  • Managing Director, People and Organisation Ltd, Birmingham (1997 - 2023)

  • Senior Consultant, FCI, Birmingham City Council (1990 - 1997)

  • Lecturer, School of the Built Environment, John Moore University, Liverpool (1985 - 1990)

  • Research Associate, School of Architecture, De Montford University, Leicester (1981 - 1984}

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