Ambition Broxbourne Economic Board

Representatives from across the Borough, come together to drive the delivery of Ambition Broxbourne, the Council’s plan for economic growth and prosperity in the Borough. Together the members form the Ambition Broxbourne Economic Board.

The Economic Board consists of:


Mark Mills-Bishop, Leader - Broxbourne Borough Council

Mark has lived in Broxbourne for over 30 years and champions the Heritage and Culture of the Borough. Following a successful career in public service Mark was elected to Broxbourne Borough Council in 2006. He was Vice Chairman of Community Services from 2007-2010 and deputy mayor from 2009-2010; becoming Mayor of the Borough in 2010.

He was Cabinet Member for Finance in 2012-2014 and elected Leader of the Council in 2014. He is also a County Councillor for Hertfordshire elected in 2013 for Hatfield Rural. He represents the county on the Local Access Forum on rural matters and a member of the Children’s and Finance County cabinet panels.

He is Chairman of the Ambition Broxbourne Economic Board and a Director of Badger BC. He supports various charities and has a keen interest in the arts. 

Jeff Stack, Chief Executive - Broxbourne Borough Council

Jeff has been Head of Paid Service/Chief Executive since May 2013.  Prior to this he was Director of Community Services having joined the Council in January 2008. Before coming to Broxbourne Borough Council he was Director of Environmental Services at Shepway District Council in Kent.  He is a town planner by profession and became a Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute in 1985.

John Giesen, Chief Executive - B3Living

John Giesen has been Chief Executive at B3Living for 9 years, since the housing association was created in 2006.  He is also a board member of the Placeshapers Group. John has over 40 years’ experience across a wide range of disciplines in both the Local Authority and Housing Association Sectors.

B3Living is the largest independent social housing provider in the Broxbourne Borough, and has been ranked in the Top 10 Sunday Times’ “100 best not-for-profit organisations to work for” list for three consecutive years. They own and manage around 4,500 properties in Hertfordshire and Essex and were set up in January 2006 after a tenant-supported stock transfer from Broxbourne Council. They now employ over 180 staff, which has risen from 100 in 2006. Their turnover is now £22 million and since 2006 they have spent over £100 million in the local economy.

Mary Sykes, Business Development Manager - Herts Chamber of Commerce

Mary's role is to support the local business community in the Borough of Broxbourne and East Herts by providing advice, guidance and introductions to a variety of opportunities. She helps to enhance business performance by building alliances and strategic partnerships across the business community; and encourages companies to share their successes and great examples of best practice. 

Mary has worked in various senior Marketing/PR & Business Development roles for Hertfordshire based businesses which delivered services for corporations such as BAA Stansted, Sony UK, Maronda Homes of Florida, Speedo International and Orange Telecommunications. Previous to that, she regularly worked with national publications running front page "Travel Reader Offers" for the likes of The Sunday Times.

Mary is the Chairperson for the Broxbourne and East Herts monthly networking meetings.

Naomi Connell, Chief Finance Officer - VolkerWessels UK

Naomi is Chief Finance Officer and Director of Shared Services for VolkerWessels UK.  VolkerWessels UK ranks as a top ten civil engineering contractor based in the United Kingdom bringing together six separate operating companies (VolkerFitzpatrick, VolkerRail, VolkerHighways, VolkerStevin, VolkerLaser and VolkerInfra) in collaboration across multi-disciplinary projects. VolkerWessels UK’s head office is located on Hertford Road, in Hoddesdon.

Naomi joined VolkerWessels UK in January 2010, bringing over 20 years’ experience in focused financial management and shared services leadership.  Her early experience as a chartered accountant has gained accountancy practices with Deloitte and Ernst & Young in both the UK and France.  In 1999 she moved to industry to set up and provide back office support to the regional offices of an energy company across Europe and Asia. In 2004, Naomi was appointed Director of Finance and Support Offices at London Underground where she directed Finance, Risk Management, HR, IT and Commercial Procurement. 


David Kennedy, Headteacher - The John Warner School 

David Kennedy was educated in Bristol and at the Universities of Lancaster and Birmingham. He taught history and politics at grammar schools in Kent, the London Borough of Bexley and Buckinghamshire.  He became Deputy Headteacher of a large comprehensive school in Hertfordshire in 1992 and in 1999 took up the headship of The John Warner School.

The school is described as ‘a rare example of a transformation that has been sustained over time’ and has increased its 5A*-C grade from 13% in 1999 to 98% in 2012 and at the same time has more than doubled the number of pupils on roll, from 565 to around 1250.   Rated as outstanding by Ofsted in January 2011 the school also holds Investors in People Gold Standard and Champion Status, and Customer Service Excellence with complete compliance in all areas. Central to this success has been working in partnership with local and national businesses raising many millions of pounds in order to build new science, modern foreign languages and sports centres. David is an Executive Headteacher, a National Leader of Education, and serves on the board of a major national charity promoting financial education in schools (PFEG). 

Ian Richardson, Chief Officer - CVS Broxbourne & East Herts

Ian is the Chief Officer of CVS (Community Voluntary Services) for Broxbourne and East Herts, an infrastructure organisation that represents, supports and promotes the activities of approximately 300 ‘not-for-profit’ community groups and charities in the local area. The CVS also delivers several projects of a trading nature and is responsible locally for the Dragon’s Apprentice Challenge.

Ian has a background and training in professional informal education and worked for the Youth Service for 8 years before spending 20 years working in the charity sector. The past 18 years have been spent working in the Borough of Broxbourne. 

John McGill, Director - London Stanstead Cambridge Consortium (LSCC)

John McGill is the director of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium which is a partnership of over 30 local government, private sector, further and higher educational institutions which work together to promote economic growth in the corridor between London and Cambridge.

He has worked in local government for over 30 years mainly in London but also in Manchester. Prior to his current role John led the North London Strategic Alliance, working with London boroughs and the Greater London Authority to support delivery of housing in north London and other important infrastructure for transport, health, leisure and employment.

Other previous projects include work to support the London bid for the 2012 Olympic Games and a bid to stage the 2005 World Athletics Championships in north London.

He is also a board member of a social enterprise which helps disadvantaged people into work and another non profit distributing company which ran some of the major facilities of the 2012 London Olympics.

Tony Medhurst, Principle - Hertford Regional College

Tony Medhurst took up the position of Principal & Chief Executive at Hertford Regional College in August 2015 having previously held the same post at Harrow College for over 7 years. Previous to that he held a number of leadership roles in education, government agency and the private sector.

The College provides professional education and skills training, including apprenticeships and degree level programmes, for 2400+ young people and many more adults from Broxbourne and the surrounding areas across the full range of occupational areas equipping them with the employability skills and qualifications necessary to progress onto university, employment and enhanced careers.