Executive Director Finance and Commercial
As Executive Director for Finance and Commercial, Chris leads on all elements related to the colleges growing business portfolio, and its funding streams. He heads up all aspects of the Group’s strategic financial planning and ensures that the Group remains financially resilient and sustainable.
Born, bred and educated in Folkestone, from a young age Chris found a love for music and sport. As a result of his talent he was selected for the junior Kent cricket team at the age of 13. Despite planning to go to university, at the age of 17 Chris decided to follow his dreams and signed a recording deal with an international record label. He performed in a duo, ‘The Clique’ and then a Britpop outfit ‘The Prophets of Pop’ for around nine years and, to this day, still finds time to enjoy his passion for music with a studio at home, as well as playing cricket for his local village team.
Alongside his career in the music industry, Chris worked in retail before joining South Kent Community NHS Trust in 1993. He trained as a management accountant before joining the NHS Logistics Authority in 1998. Remaining in the public sector, Chris joined South Kent College in 2000 as a Management Accountant before being quickly promoted to Head of Finance & Payroll.
Chris left South Kent College in 2003 to work with Network Training as a Financial Consultant. This led to numerous opportunities to work across the country with a wide range of colleges, local and central government and private businesses. His consultancy work provided a breadth of experience including financial planning for major college site relocations, financial recovery planning, curriculum re-design and several long-term interim Finance Directorships. In May 2009, Chris decided to set up his own private consultancy business to continue his cross-sector work.
Chris joined East Kent College in April 2012, becoming Strategic Director for Finance and Commercial Development. His remit included overseeing the College’s finances, introducing greater commercial expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to College operations and providing work experience opportunities for students, through College-run businesses. Chris believes one of his greatest achievements during the period was the transformation of The Yarrow building on Broadstairs campus into a four-star hotel with training facilities for students.