In addition to being the Firm’s Chairman, David is head of Geldards' Property team in the Midlands. He has experience as both a solicitor and as a client having previously been the managing director of a property development company and estate agency and the general manager of a building society. With a wealth of experience as a solicitor, developer and a financier, he specialises in property development, project finance, planning and environmental law.
Mike Atkinson B.ENG Civil Engineering
Mike has enjoyed a substantial career in the building trades with his early experience being gained with Birse Construction, Taylor Woodrow and Wates Construction, all of which are major companies. His roles included Senior Engineer, Projects Manager and Construction Manager, where he became used to managing multi-million building contracts in many sectors in the UK including retail and sports facilities.
Between 2002 and 2014 Mike was Contracts Manager for Bowmer and Kirkland, a very well-known local building contractor. Amongst the projects he was responsible for were the Joseph Wright Centre and the Grade I listed Roundhouse for Derby College; the latter gave him direct experience of working with English Heritage in building conservation and the regeneration of historic buildings. He also managed the conversion of a Grade II listed Arkwright mill at Rocester into the JCB Academy. Mike has since been Projects Director with the McLaren Group, an Operations Manager for Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd, and is now back working with Bowmer and Kirkland.
Greg Pickup is currently the Senior Fund Manager for Derby City Council’s Derby Enterprise Growth Fund, a recycling £20m grant and loan fund supporting business growth in Derby and Derbyshire. Greg’s career in funding includes nearly six years at the Heritage Lottery Fund and a spell at Nottingham City Council’s Social Services Commissioning Team. In his spare time Greg is also a Trustee of the Derbyshire LGBT charity Derbyshire Friend and works closely with a number of other heritage and community organisations providing funding advice and support.
Particular highlights of his career to date have included supporting the first two LGBT organisations ever to obtain Heritage Lottery Funding in the East Midlands, and more recently funding a Derby artist’s ceramic poppies commission at the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the First World War. His passion for Industrial Heritage stems in part from researching his Pickup family roots in the Lancashire Cotton Industry and he is a keen supporter of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site; providing advice to Derby Silk Mill and Belper North Mill Trust on recent successful funding bids.
After qualifiying as a chartered accountant Geoff worked for Rolls Royce for 26 years, carrying out a range of senior finance, audit and IT roles, specialising in strategy, shared services, systems and process improvement, and culminating in the role of Director of Finance Strategy. This required the design of an integrated programme covering systems, process and organisational change in multiple geographies supported by a global people development and communications strategy.
In 2013 Geoff left Rolls-Royce in order to pursue a consulting career establishing Woodhouse May with former colleagues. Geoff specialises in strategy and systems development, integration and governance.
In 2017 Geoff was appointed as a Non-Executive Director and chair of the Audit Committee for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Richard A Gaunt is Associate Professor in Modern British History at the University of Nottingham, where he specialises in British History from 1700-1850. Richard is keen to develop the educational and research agendas of the Arkwright Society and to contribute towards this through the University of Nottingham's leading role in the Midlands 4 Cities Doctoral Training Consortium.
Wendy Tracey, ACA
Wendy is a highly experienced finance and project management professional with an impressive track record of achievement in dynamic and challenging business environments. After training with PWC in Manchester she worked for over thirteen years in the Textile industry gaining an in-depth knowledge of finance and business strategy in a rapidly changing environment. More recently Wendy has worked at Director level in a number of diverse SME’s and has a proven track record of adding value and embedding robust business processes to ensure sustainability. Wendy now runs a holiday cottage business in the Peak District alongside her ongoing consultancy work. She holds degrees in Food Science & Chemistry from Leeds University and qualified as an ACA with Price Waterhouse
Emma Pope is a PhD student and research assistant at the University of Derby. Her PhD focuses on tourism experiences and nature connectedness, alongside research into the visitor economy and tourism intelligence. She has been involved with various organisations and projects throughout her studies, including the Eden Project, Peak District National Park, and Malta Tourism Society.
Emma is passionate about the meaningful and educational aspects that tourism can provide, and the positive impacts it can have on individuals, communities, and the environment. She is particularly interested in the visitor experience at Cromford and potential avenues for research.
Heather currently holds the senior strategic position of Head of on-site Visitor Experience at English Heritage, leading sites from Stonehenge to Hadrien’s wall in all aspects of visitor experience. She has worked in the heritage sector for the past 10 years in visitor centered roles at Chatsworth House, The National Trust and The Landmark Trust, which included the management of one of the mill workers houses on North Road in Cromford.
Heather specializes in creating exceptional visitor experiences, as well as ensuring commercial operations at heritage sites succeed with her biggest achievement so far being the £1.2 million re-interpretation and visitor improvement at Framlingham Castle in Suffolk whilst she was the Area Manager. Heather is extremely passionate about the history of England being told in a compelling and engaging manner for all visitors. She is a local girl having grown up in Derbyshire and is keen to ensure that local sites are protected for future generations and their layered stories are shared with all. Heather is adept all seeking out new trends and opportunities for businesses within the heritage sector and looks forward to helping support the UNESCO world heritage site at Cromford Mills.
Julian Burgess MA Cantab. Dip. Arch. Registered Architect
Trustee for 10 years.
Julian worked as an architect with the Derbyshire County Council for 35 years during which time he was involved in many projects both of a heritage nature and new build. He retired in 2011 as Design Manager Building Schools for the Future. Julian has been a member and involved with the Arkwright Society for approximately 36 years first with the Ashford Bobbin Mill Project and since 1982 with the Lumsdale Project. He has been Chairman of the Arkwright Society Lumsdale Committee for approximately 15 years. He lives in Lumsdale, Matlock. Julian is the trustee representative on the B17 Steering Group.
Dr Sarah Rawlinson Ed.D. MSc, BSc
Sarah’s current role is Assistant Director and Head of School of Hotel, Resort and Spa Management at the University of Derby with particular responsibility for ensuring that academic programmes are relevant to the business and industry for which students are being educated. Her academic specialisations are in tourism, hospitality and vocational education.
Sarah will build on the already successful partnership working between the Society and the University of Derby. Of particular interest to the Society and the University is working together on the ‘University Learning Lab’ concept which gives students the opportunity of work integrated learning to better understand the practical implications of their chosen profession.