Meet our Speakers & Panelists

Rupert Batho

Rupert Batho

Commercial Director

Rupert Batho, Frasers Property, has 30 years experience of the South East office market. At Frasers Property, he has responsibility for its southern portfolio that totals around 3.5m sq ft that is occupied by circa 200 companies employing around 15,000 people. The portfolio includes 1.5M sq ft at Winnersh Triangle in Reading. The role combines traditional property skills of asset management and development with a deep understanding of place making’s wider requirements of community and customer engagement and sustainability.

Prior to joining Frasers Property in 2017, Rupert held positions at Patrizia AG; MEPC Ltd and Regus Plc.

Tanya Beckett

Tanya Beckett

BBC World News Correspondent

Tanya has worked in broadcasting and the media for over twenty years. She started out at the FT, then went to work for CNBC, Sky News, CNN and since 1998, the BBC. She has worked on a variety of programmes in both New York and London on BBWorldNews, the Newschannel, Radio 4 and BBC1 and BBC2 including Our World, Working Lunch, Today, World Business report, Newsnight and World Business Report. She also spent 3 years living in and reporting from New York. She also works with the World Bank, Chatham House and the Foreign Office in matters relating to trade and communication.

Tanya has a degree from Oxford University in Metallurgy and Materials Science and spent 5 years as an investment banker in Frankfurt and London. She speaks fluent German and good French.

Fiona Brownfoot

Fiona Brownfoot

Director, Retail and Leisure Disposals and Aquisitions

Hicks Baker is the only practice in Reading to have a partner dedicated to the retail and leisure market; Fiona’s expertise is wide ranging, from disposals and acquisitions, to investment and development advice and rent reviews. In a previous business life Fiona has been a land buyer and worked for Berkshire County Council. Outside the office her interests are golf and retail therapy – lots of it!

Fiona Carleton

Fiona Carleton

Director, Future Heathrow

As Future Heathrow Director, Fiona is charged with developing the Future Strategic Direction that will consolidate Heathrow’s current status- voted Western Europe’s Best Airport. Fiona works within Heathrow’s expansion team and her remit covers airspace change, end to end airport operations, commercial strategy and passenger experience alongside surface access, capacity, masterplanning and innovation. Fiona’s objective is to ensure that passenger insight, alongside optimal operational practices and innovation come together to enable an expanded Heathrow to deliver on its vision to give passengers the best airport service in the world.

 

Rory Carson

Rory Carson

Vice President, Asset Management, Europe

Responsible for the Asset Management of Green Park, the 195 acre business community in Reading, Rory joined Mapletree UK Management Limited in January 2017 from Oxford Properties. He has been directly involved in the Thames Valley office market for 16 years, as well as having been a student in the Thames Valley at both The University of Oxford and The University of Reading. Rory’s role is to ensure that Green Park delivers on its promise of being a destination where businesses will ‘Discover Better’. As such, he takes an overview of all aspects of the running of the 1.4m sq ft park – from strategy and masterplanning, through to customer service and events.

 

Kevin Cook

Kevin Cook

Partner

Kevin, Partner at Vail Williams,  specialises in the acquisition and disposal of commercial property, specifically within the Thames Valley market where he has built a strong corporate client base acting for Jacobs, Airspan Communications, Shoosmiths LLP, Reckitt Benckiser, Technogym UK Ltd, REL Field Marketing, Golder Associates, Segro, Verizon and Hutchison Three. Kevin has built a strong reputation for advising local authority clients, including Surrey County Council, the London Borough of Sutton, Bracknell Forest Council, Slough Borough Council and Wokingham Borough Council to name but a few. Kevin also acts for Surrey County Council where he specialises in providing strategic portfolio advice.

 

Christine Doel

Christine Doel

Director

Christine Doel is a Director of SQW with 20 years’ experience in local economic development.  She is currently working alongside TVB LEP to develop the Berkshire Local Industrial Strategy – a process that is involving evidence review, stakeholder discussions and an in-depth consideration of productivity challenges and opportunities across a very varied geography.  Previously she contributed to both the Strategic Economic Plan and the Spatial Economic Narrative for TVB.  Elsewhere, she has worked extensively in knowledge-based economies from the Cambridge area and Oxfordshire through to Hertfordshire and Bristol/Bath.  Many of these studies have considered processes of clustering and the economic benefits (and challenges) that follow, together with appropriate policy interventions relating to both local innovation processes and land use planning.

Daniel Gierhart

Daniel Gierhart

Customer Experience Manager

Daniel has worked at Transport for London for 3.5 years covering a number of different positions across the business, including both operational and corporate roles. In his current role, Daniel is responsible for the overall Customer Experience of the Elizabeth line, including delivering TfL’s vision of world class service and ensuring the Elizabeth line is fully integrated with the wider TfL network.

Matt Hopkinson

Matt Hopkinson

Director & Co-Founder

Matthew Hopkinson is a Director and Co-Founder of Didobi and has over 20 year’s experience of working within market leading data businesses within the UK. He is a Visiting Professor at University College London and sits on the Research Advisory Board of Nottingham Business School. He is a strategic adviser to Trouva.com, an online portal for independent retailers and a volunteer business mentor for The Prince’s Trust. He is a regular speaker, panellist and chair at industry events.

 

Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis

Regional Director

Paul joined SEGRO in 2000 initially as an Asset Surveyor on the Slough Trading Estate, but then moved onto a variety of roles including Regional Manager of their South West portfolio, Corporate Acquisitions Manager and Business Development Manager. Paul rejoined the Slough Trading Estate team in October 2008 as Regional Manager and is now Regional Director for SEGRO’s Thames Valley Industrial portfolio with responsibility for its 7 million sq ft of accommodation and 400 customers.

 

Kate Orwin

Kate Orwin

Head of Leasing

Responsible for the leasing of over £5bn of prime shopping centres across the UK, Kate has been part of the team at Hammerson for 15 years having previously worked at Schroders and MEPC.  Kate is responsible for identifying and delivering new and exciting brands into the Hammerson portfolio.  Kate’s role in Leasing the 70,700 sq. ft. Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading has seen the introduction of a host of new retailers including new flagship stores for Next and River Island which will open in 2018.  Kate grew up in Reading as well as attending The University of Reading and rowing for Henley Rowing Club.

 

Kathy Pain

Kathy Pain

Chair Real Estate Development, University of Reading Henley Business School

Professor Kathy Pain holds the Chair in Real Estate Development at the University of Reading Henley Business School, where she is Director of Research for Real Estate & Planning. She holds a PhD in Geography and is a Corporate Member of the UK Royal Town Planning Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She has published extensively on the economic growth and sustainable development of global cities and mega-city regions. Her research has informed academic and policy thinking in the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East and the Pacific Asia region. She is the Globalization & World Cities (GaWC) Research Network Global City Planning Director.

 

 

Andrew Reynolds

Andrew Reynolds

Project Director Manydown

Andrew is the Project Director for Manydown leading one of the largest Garden Communities in the south east and is also a Board Representative on the Manydown Garden Communities LLP. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and has led significant growth, infrastructure and regeneration projects. Prior to joining Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Andrew worked with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to set up UK Central and develop the council’s HS2 proposition including establishing the Solihull Urban Growth Company, leading the re-design options for Birmingham International Station and securing £660m funding for infrastructure through the devolution agreement for the West Midlands Combined Authority.

 

 

 

Enrico Sanna

Enrico Sanna

Co-Founder and CEO

Enrico Sanna is the cofounder and CEO of Fora, a premium ‘proworking’ provider that is bringing together the best of hospitality, co-working and members clubs to create workspaces that inspire. The Fora portfolio includes locations in Clerkenwell and Borough with new sites opening in Reading, Fitzrovia, Soho, Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Ladbroke Grove. With a background firmly footed in the corporate environment, Enrico was inspired to start Fora with Katrina, sharing in the vision for an improved customer journey and the future of workspace. Backed by a substantial investment from Brockton Capital, Fora has the ambition to become a category challenger as it leads the way with its revolutionary new concept called ‘pro-working’.

 

Tim Smith MBE

Tim Smith MBE

Chief Executive

Tim is the chief executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP Ltd; one of 38 LEPs in England. His remit is to deliver a £182m investment programme that will generate an uplift of £700m GVA to Berkshire by 2021. This is being done through a range of initiatives, including a dedicated fund for high-growth SMEs, which has so far has made loan and equity investments into 50 SMEs, creating or safeguarding 585 jobs. The LEP’s capital funds – some £142m – are being invested in rail, road, housing, regeneration, skills and other infrastructure schemes. It also has responsibility for an investment strategy of £25m European funds, which has enabled £12.5m worth of skills initiatives and £5m for the new Thames Valley Science Park.

 

Andy Starnes

Andy Starnes

Head of City Development

As Head of City Development at CityFibre, Andy drives awareness and adoption of the full fibre infrastructure investment in Gigabit Cities. Having over 38 years of telecoms experience, with a foundation in communications engineering, Andy’s career progressed through engineering, sales and innovations in fixed and radio communications and both national & international business development. Andy has a strong interest in the benefits that fibre-based technology can bring to all aspects of society and is a regular speaker at the nation’s top industry events.

 

Sally Swift

Sally Swift

Director, TAR (Theatre Arts Reading)

Sally is the former Head of Communications at Reading Borough Council and local resident of Reading. She is passionate about the town and the need to create a cultural quarter within Reading which will generate continued growth in the arts & theatre sector.

 

Neil Usher

Neil Usher

Executive Consultant: Property, Workplace & Change

With over 25 years in the industry as a property, workplace and change leader, Neil has delivered innovative environments for organisations in a variety of sectors, all over the world including Warner Bros., Honeywell, Rio Tinto and Sky. He hasn’t just talked about it – he has been there and done it. Together with this practical experience, his influential blog www.workessence.com regular conference talks and occasional performance poetry have made him a leading thinker in the profession. His first book The Elemental Workplace is published on 1 March 2018.
Scott Witchalls

Scott Witchalls

Partner

Scott leads the management and delivery of area wide transport strategies and major land development projects both in the UK and overseas. Major mixed use projects include the Reading Station area renaissance project (3Msq.ft). Scott has also developed transport strategies and implementation plans for several major employment areas including Green Park and Thames Valley Park in Reading, and Slough Trading Estate. As a former Director of the Thames Valley Economic Partnership, Scott successfully lobbied Government for transport infrastructure investment in the Thames Valley. Scott regularly appears as an expert witness at regional, local planning and CPO inquiries including that for the £65M M4 Junction 11 project.

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