AHDB Senior Team

AHDB has reorganised into five new functional teams to streamline its delivery to levy payers.  The new structure, headed up by the AHDB Leadership Team, means staff will operate across sectors to share best practice, avoid duplication and focus on delivering maximum value across activities.

The AHDB Leadership Team is supported by a number of directors responsible for delivering specific areas of work in each function.

The new functional teams are Strategy, Technical, Communications and Market Development, Finance and Human Resources.

All staff can be contacted using the email format: firstname.surname@ahdb.org.uk or by calling the main switchboard number 024 7669 2051.

AHDB Leadership Team

AHDB CEO Jane King

Chief Finance and Operations Officer Ken Boyns

Chief HR Officer – Rebecca Geraghty

Chief Strategy OfficerTom Hind

Chief Technical Officer – Richard Laverick

Chief Communications and Market Development Officer Christine Watts

 

AHDB Directors (Strategy)

Strategy Director Dairy – Amanda Ball

Strategy Director Potatoes Rob Clayton

Strategy Director Cereals & Oilseeds – Martin Grantley-Smith

Strategy Director Beef & Lamb Laura Ryan

Strategy Director Pork Mick Sloyan

Strategy Director Horticulture – Steve Tones

Market Intelligence Director Phil Bicknell

 

AHDB Directors (Technical)

Knowledge Exchange Director Susannah Bolton

Research Director Bill Parker

 

AHDB Directors (Communications and Market Development)

International Market Development Director – Phil Hadley

Corporate Affairs Director Guy Attenborough

UK Marketing & Communications Director – Anna Farrell

Digital Services Director Matthew Catlin

 

Biographies


Jane KingJane King, CEO

Prior to joining AHDB as Chief Executive in February 2015, Jane was Editor and Editorial Director of the Farmers Weekly Group. During her time at Farmers Weekly, she oversaw a complete repositioning of the title, revitalising its products, developing new services and overseeing organisational change.

As a senior executive at Reed Business Information (RBI) for over 30 years, Jane has significant experience providing information and services to a range of industries as diverse as retail, health, social care, employment law and hospitality.

 


Ken BoynsKen Boyns, Chief Finance and Operations Officer

Ken has spent his entire career in agriculture, with experience of practical farming and agricultural banking giving him a good grounding in the practicalities and business side of farming.

He joined the Milk Development Council (MDC) in 2001 to set up a market information service and, in February 2007, became the Chief Executive of MDC. He managed the organisation through to it becoming DairyCo, now known as AHDB Dairy. Ken became AHDB Market Intelligence Director in November 2010 managing the economics, insight, benchmarking and data services across AHDB in a matrix structure. In September 2015 he was appointed Acting Chief Change Officer, helping to implement AHDB's change programme. In September 2016 he was appointed Chief Finance and Operations Officer.

Ken lives in Warwickshire with his family and was educated at Cambridge University.

 


Rebecca GeraghtyRebecca Geraghty, Chief HR Officer

Before taking up the role of Chief HR Officer for AHDB, Rebecca was Sector Director of AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds, providing strategic leadership for AHDB in the cereals sector. Rebecca’s previous roles within AHDB also include Assistant Director for Market Development, where she held responsibility for helping UK cereal processors to develop new markets, and she also managed a number of consumer marketing activities.

Rebecca has been with AHDB for over 16 years, prior to which she worked for Sainsbury’s and Asda after graduating from Reading University with a degree in Agricultural Economics. She lives in Warwickshire with her partner Phil on the family farm and enjoys the outdoor life.

 



Tom HindTom Hind, Chief Strategy Officer

Tom Hind is an experienced and respected figure in British agriculture with a strong track record of leadership and strategy development and interaction with senior decision makers in Government, EU institutions and major UK food companies.

Most recently Tom was the Agriculture Director for Tesco where he was responsible for the development and delivery of Tesco’s agricultural strategy and building stronger relationships with farmers and growers. Prior to that Tom had more than 15 years of experience working for the National Farmers Union in roles including Director of Corporate Affairs and Head of Economic and International Affairs.

Tom was brought up working on his uncle’s cattle farm in Sheffield and later spent a year working on a dairy farm in France, before joining the NFU in 1998. He is fluent in French and is a Trustee of Forage Aid, a charity that supports farmers through natural disasters.

 


Richard LaverickRichard Laverick, Chief Technical Officer

Richard Laverick is an experienced senior manager and leader with a strong technical agricultural background.

He joined AHDB in 2013 to establish a regional team and implement a network of monitor farms and arable business groups across the country. Previously he was with ADAS for more than 20 years where he held senior management and leadership positions in both the research and consultancy elements of the business. These have included management of crop science and environmental research and line management of dairy consultancy and livestock research teams.

Richard holds a first degree in Biological Sciences, an MSc in Organisational Change and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.

 


Christine WattsChristine Watts, Chief Communications and Market Development Officer

Christine Watts is an energetic and experienced strategic marketing and communications professional who also has a strong track record of team building and leadership within complex organisation structures.

After graduating from Cranfield University with an MSc in Marketing, Christine has built a career in marketing and communications for global IT organisations and more recently with the NHS at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and then Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.

Christine grew up on a Warwickshire livestock farm, was chair of her local Young Farmer’s Club, and is now married to an arable farmer growing more than 2000 acres of cereals and potatoes in Northamptonshire.

 


Amanda Amanda Ball, Strategy Director Dairy

Amanda has been with AHDB Dairy (formerly DairyCo) and, prior to that the Milk Development Council, since 2006 in senior marketing and communications roles. Most recently as Head of Marketing and Communications for AHDB Dairy she was responsible for promoting a positive perception of dairy farming among the general public and activity to promote AHDB Dairy tools and services to dairy levy payers.

Previously, Amanda worked in the Agricultural Supply Trade for 15 years. Her last post in the supply trade was as Business Development and Training Manager for Cargill PLC. It was during this time that she was elected the first female president of Bristol Corn and Feed Trade Association.

Amanda is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and holds Chartered status; an Associate Member of the Market Research Society and is also involved with the CIM Food Drink and Agriculture interest group.

 


Rob ClaytonRob Clayton, Strategy Director Potatoes

Having studied plant pathology at the University College of North Wales, Bangor, Rob started out as a researcher at Sutton Bridge in 1991 and moved to the potato team at SAC in Aberdeen in 1995.

Rob joined what is now AHDB Potatoes in 2000 as an agronomist with a particular interest in bringing a commercial and practical perspective to R&D. In 2010 Rob moved from Head of Knowledge Transfer to Sector Director, and was appointed Strategy Director for AHDB Potatoes in August 2015.

 


Phil BicknellPhil Bicknell, Market Intelligence Director

Phil joined AHDB in January 2017 to head up our 60 strong team of market and data specialists providing high quality, independent analysis and insight..

Phil joins AHDB from the National Farmers’ Union where he was Head of Food and Farming. Phil is an agricultural economics graduate from Reading University and has worked in agri-economic/food roles for the British Potato Council, the USDA and Bidwell’s.

He was also Chief Economist for the NFU before his appointment to Head of Food and Farming.


MartinDr Martin Grantley-Smith, Strategy Director Cereals & Oilseeds

Martin has headed up the Business Development team for AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds (formerly HGCA) for the last six years, working with the Sector Board to shape the priorities and the business plan. Before it was merged into the AHDB, he worked for the Meat and Livestock Commission. He has significant agricultural and post-farmgate experience in number of different areas; marketing and exports, strategic planning and development, project management and managing industry and Government relations across the UK.

He is an Animal Physiology graduate from the University of London and has a PhD in Ruminant Nutrition from Reading University. A keen tennis player and cyclist, Martin lives with his family in sight of Woburn Abbey.


LauraLaura Ryan, Strategy Director Beef & Lamb

Laura joined AHDB Beef & Lamb (formerly EBLEX) in 2007 after successfully launching premium beef and lamb brands within a large butchery business in the North East of England. Working her way through the ranks, she started as Marketing Executive, then was promoted to Marketing Manager (Quality Schemes) and, prior to her current appointment, was Head of Strategic Marketing.

During her time with AHDB Beef & Lamb, Laura has been responsible for the development and delivery of AHDB’s Quality Standard Mark scheme for beef and lamb, including the strategic definition and review of the scheme standards, its auditing regime and marketing communications to both UK and European members. 

Laura is founder of the professional networking group Meat Business Women. She has a First Class Honours in Marketing and a Masters in Management. She has won the national prize of Business Leader of Tomorrow and has also achieved Chartered Marketer status via the Chartered Institute of Marketing.


Mick SloyanMick Sloyan, Strategy Director Pork

Mick has been Strategy Director of AHDB Pork since April 2008. Before that, he was Chief Executive of BPEX at Milton Keynes (since 2001), having originally joined what was the MLC in Bletchley as a junior economist in 1977. Mick trained as an agricultural economist and policy analyst and is proud to say he has enjoyed 38 years working with livestock farmers and meat processors.

Mick and his wife relocated from Milton Keynes to Stretton-on-Dunsmore, and have three grown up daughters. To relax, he enjoys woodwork, gardening, walking and supporting Aston Villa (although he admits that is generally not very relaxing!).


Steve TonesSteve Tones, Strategy Director Horticulture

Steve has been Head of Business Development of AHDB Horticulture (formerly HDC) for six years, leading the strategic planning of AHDB’s work in the sector and helping to shape the long-term direction of levy-funded programmes for the horticulture industry. Previously he spent more than 20 years at ADAS as an Entomologist and set up ran his own specialised consultancy and investment companies.

He is an Agricultural Zoology graduate from Newcastle University and studied for a PhD at Glasgow University. In his spare time he rocks, rolls, writes, rides bikes and walks up hill and down dale.

 

susannahDr Susannah Bolton, Knowledge Exchange Director

Susannah is a highly experienced research manager and communicator of science. Most recently she has been Head of Crop Production Systems at AHDB responsible for managing a large portfolio of R&D projects and associated knowledge exchange activities. Previously Susannah worked at Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire, where she was responsible for the development of international research projects, science communication and knowledge transfer activities.

She has a doctorate in Tropical Agronomy and her career has included three years of working at an agricultural research institute in Brazil. Susannah is the independent Chair of the FACTS Management Committee and a member of the BASIS Registration Ltd. Board.


Dr Bill ParkerDr Bill Parker, Research Director

Bill’s career in agriculture and horticulture spans over 30 years: between 1984 and 2009 he worked for ADAS in various roles ranging from advisory entomologist to crop protection research manager, and was the ADAS Horticulture Research and Consultancy Manager between 2006 and 2009. In September 2009, he was appointed Director of AHDB Horticulture where he provided strategic leadership for AHDB in the horticulture sector, and has now been appointed as Director of Research.

Bill is married, has two sons and two step-daughters, and lives in south Shropshire. He loves being outdoors and has been an active mountaineer and rock-climber for over 40 years, but can also be found dinghy sailing, canoeing, mountain biking and even just walking whenever the opportunity arises.

 


 

Phil HadleyPhil Hadley, International Market Development Director

Phil, from Taunton in Somerset, originally joined the organisation in 2004 as Regional Development Manager for the South West. He has an MSc in Meat Science from the University of Bristol and published work on the impact of dirty animals on carcase microbiology. This became the base for the UK Clean Livestock policy and was subsequently used in other parts of the world. He also has a PhD in Animal Production from the University of Nottingham and was recently made a Fellow of the Industry of Meat.

In his most recent role as Head of Global Supply Chain Development, he played a key role in seeking export access to global markets, linking with our exporters, UK Government Departments and their overseas equivalents to deliver technical solutions and negotiate export approval.

In the new role of International Market Development Director, Phil will be working to lead the vision and delivery of our export access and market development programmes to support the growth of exports for our farmers, growers and processors. With the changes Brexit will inevitably bring, this is a key role for AHDB.


Guy AttenboroughGuy Attenborough, Corporate Affairs Director

Guy has operated in public and private sector PR/communications and marketing for more than 30 years. He has worked at a senior management level within UK levy boards since 2000, spending eight years as Head of Communications at the Meat and Livestock Commission in Milton Keynes before leading the corporate communications at AHDB from its creation in 2008. In September 2015 he was appointed to the new post of Director of Corporate Affairs.

Guy is married with two children and lives in North Yorkshire. When away from the office he enjoys outdoor country pursuits, cooking and motorbikes.

 

Anna FarrellAnna Farrell, UK Marketing & Communications Director

Anna has been with AHDB since 2005, working in knowledge transfer, PR and communications for its cereals and beef and lamb sectors.

With a career spanning 25 years, Anna started working as a junior reporter on her local newspaper shortly after graduating with an English degree. This was followed by a spell in the NFU’s HQ press office, where she was the NFU’s Chief Press Officer during the 1997 BSE crisis. From the NFU she joined The Chamberlain Partnership agency, leading on a number of high profile retail, not for profit and levy board client accounts.

Anna lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children.

 


Matthew Matthew Catlin, Digital Services Director

With almost two decades’ experience, Matthew has delivered complex digital services across diverse sectors and teams.

Previously the European Head of Digital for TUI Travel, Matthew developed and implemented e-commerce strategy for brands such as Thomson and First Choice.He has overseen the delivery of digital services for a number of other UK and international companies including Taylor Wimpey, Bayer Crop Science, VW Financial Services and Jaguar Land Rover, among many others.He also established and subsequently managed a stand-alone digital business from scratch.

A graduate of City University London in Management and Systems Science, Matthew also enjoys football and skiing, and holds a BASI Level One qualification in ski instruction.