Tara joined the College in June 2002 working in the Human Resources department until her appointment as Clerk to the Governing Body in 2014. The role combines her 12 years of experience within FE and operating within the legislation of employment law, a good grounding for Governance. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her young family, amateur dramatics, DJ-ing and is a semi-professional singer.
Charles Buchanan is an independent management consultant and business mentor, having previously been Chief Executive Officer of London Ashford Airport and CEO of Manston Airport in Kent over five years. Prior to this he spent more than 10 years at London City Airport, ultimately as Strategy and Communications Director. Throughout his career in airport management, he has been responsible for commercial development and infrastructure investment programmes, combined with governmental and public relations.
Charles trained originally as a civil engineer at Oxford University and joined the developing Channel Tunnel Group in 1985. He was part of the team that submitted the successful bid to build and operate Eurotunnel and latterly was responsible for sales and marketing, both in the UK and on the Continent, through the opening in 1994 and the first years of operation, leaving as Group Sales Manager.
Group Principal and Chief Executive
As Group Principal and Chief Executive, Graham leads the EKC Group at a strategic level. Acting as the senior leader in the organisation, Graham is accountable for all elements of the Group’s performance and services across East Kent.
Tom joined Woolworths PLC in 1973 as a Management Trainee and stayed with the Company for twenty-nine years enjoying a successful and rewarding career, flourishing in the competitive Retail environment and appreciating the opportunity to work in a variety of interesting locations across the UK.
After a number of roles including managing his own company and Operations Director for the Compass Group he relocated back to Thanet and joined Land Securities as the General Manager of Westwood Cross Shopping and Leisure Centre. He enjoyed six very successful years at the Centre, managing the expansion of the site and being very active within the local community, a part of the job that he particularly enjoyed and he joined the Governing Body last year. Tom lives with his partner, Joanne, in Broadstairs and his hobbies include golf, football, travelling, skiing and reading. He also enjoys walking his dog, Stan.
Gail has lived in Sandwich since 1992, moving there from Scotland, South Africa, and various other places in England, and it's where she and her family feel at home. A management accountant working at Pfizer, Gail is a Fellow of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University.
Gail joined the Governing Body of East Kent College in 2014, bringing with her 10 years of experience as a Governor for Sandwich Junior School. “I am really excited about having a role to play on the Governing Body at EKC Group and being part of ensuring that East Kent has the very best Further Education Provision possible!”.
Miranda has enjoyed a vibrant career in the Marketing industry, having worked at a senior management level for News International and Kent Messenger Group, and is the Managing Director of Pillory Barn creative agency.
Miranda specialises in business strategy and gained a distinction with the Open University in Developing Entrepreneurial Opportunities. Over the past 10 years, she has been responsible for projects for companies and organisations such as Skanska, Ashford Ring Road, Channel Corridor Partnership, Golding Homes, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and Discovery Park. Her work with Discovery Park has enabled her to establish strong links with UKTI, Locate in Kent, and DCLG.
Jessica was born in Canterbury and after finishing Canterbury Steiner School at the age of 17 she progressed to do an extended BTEC in Drama and continued her education with a Level Three extended Musical Theatre leaving with grades Distinction, Distinction Star, Distinction. Alongside her main programme of study she retook and passed her English GCSE and her Level Two functional skills Maths.
Jessica has previously been a Governor when she was voted in as Student President in her last year at Canterbury College, also being voted onto the National Union of Student Zone Committee and winning the Chairman’s award. Jessica is the current sabbatical student President for Canterbury and East Kent Colleges Students Union whilst sitting on the NUS NEC and will be progressing to University next autumn to further extend her Dramatic Arts Training.
Having spent her whole career in the creative industries, Penny’s knowledge and experience in marketing, media and event management is extensive.
With previous positions as Managing Director of Invicta Radio Group (now Heart Kent) and more recently as Associate Director, Head of Marketing at the KM Group, Penny has wealth of experience of the county’s media scene to draw upon.
Penny currently runs her own marketing and PR agency, Big Plan Group, as well as striving to promote Kent with her voluntary roles as a Kent Ambassador and Kent Foundation mentor.
Jeremy started his career as a commercial lawyer in private practice in 1998 having previously been a lawyer in the criminal justice system for over 10 years.
Over the past 20 years, Jeremy has grown his career and now works as the Managing Partner and Head of Real Estate for one of the leading law firms in Kent and the South East of England.
Jeremy’s knowledge and wealth of experience in procurement, distribution, real estate, commercial contracts and educational property will add significant value to the Group’s Governing Body.
Elected by staff from across the Group, Nicola Kelly works at Broadstairs College as its Student Assessment and Support Manager. She brings a wealth of experience to the role of Staff Governor, representing her peers’ interests on the Governing Body.
Nicola began her career working with young people as a Residential Social Worker, before making the move into further education at the former Thanet College. Since then she has gained significant knowledge in the area, working as a Lecturer, Tutor and Assessor, and Trainer. Her current role sees her managing the operational running of Broadstairs’ large support department and acting as a safeguarding officer while supporting the pastoral needs of students.
Tony’s career as a senior leader within the education sector has seen him working in high level management positions at a range of organisations including the former Skills Funding Agency, Hospitality Action, and the Learning and Skills Council.
He now owns his own consultancy company, Allen Apprenticeships and Skills, which provides advice and support to employers, training providers, FE Colleges and others with an interest in vocational skills.
He and his partner own three horses and Tony rides competitively in Eventing and Show Jumping. A keen musician, Tony plays the piano and organ, and has, in the past, directed church choirs and local choral groups.
Peter’s extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry reflects a career which spanned more than four decades, and led to him to senior management positions in some of the greatest hotels in the world.
Most recently, Peter took on the role of Managing Director at the Grayshott Spa in Surrey. He oversaw a three-year refurbishment programme, returning the spa hotel to the forefront of the industry.
A Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality and with The Freedom Of The City of London, Peter’s extensive knowledge of hospitality is sure to benefit the Group’s hospitality provision, as well as its hotel, The Yarrow.
He enjoys all sports and is a keen golfer. He is married with three grown up children.
Vice Chair of the Governing Body
Tim has lived in Broadstairs for 25 years since coming to work in Sandwich 'for a few years'.
He is currently Vice President of Worldwide Strategic Projects for a Global Pharmaceutical company. Previously to that he held a number of operational, technical and business roles in the company. With children in School, Further and Higher education he is committed to developing the role of the College to meet the needs of both the community and business in East Kent.
Tim has a Chemistry degree from the University of Nottingham and an MBA from the Open University. Tim is also a qualified executive coach.
Jonathan was born and educated in Thanet and has lived in East Kent since 1966. Jonathan is currently the Managing Director of Morgan Jones Recruitment Consultants that he started with his wife over 15 years ago delivering recruitment and HR services to businesses throughout the UK. Jonathan has the first-hand experience of understanding the challenges that businesses face in recruiting both skilled and qualified people. He is, therefore, passionate about having a first rate college that delivers both opportunity for college students and one that exceeds business expectations.
In addition, to supporting the college, Jonathan also plays an active role with the Thanet Business Forum and Thanet Business Network. He also dedicates some of his time assisting disadvantaged young people in identifying their talents and making the most of their abilities through the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.
A keen sportsman he enjoys running, playing golf, rugby and spending time with his family.
Connect with Jonathan Clarke via his LinkedIn profile.
Contact the Chairman of the Governing Body
Address for Charles Buchanan:
C/O Tara Ashman
East Kent College, Ramsgate Road