Our core associates

We believe an organisation performs at its best when people are at its heart.


Leo Dunne

Leo understands the value of money, how to spend it wisely and make it go as far as possible. Which is probably just as well since he enjoys fine wines, real ales and quality food on a regular basis.

After starting his career in banking he moved into the investment sector as a venture capital fund manager, then became a private investment company executive before becoming a business angel network manager. He has also been responsible for assessing and providing grants as a member of an awarding body and his experience across the full range of funding options is rather unique. As an investor, advisor, coach, mentor and non-executive Leo seeks to help organisations create, sustain, enhance and realise value from their innovations. His approach is to work with management teams to build upon their skills and experience to enable them to achieve their corporate objectives and goals using a collaborative rather than prescriptive methodology.

A specialist strategic advisor on funding and development, Leo is able to pose challenging questions even after a glass of good wine! 


Jim Sims

Jim has a passion for service design – a passion which stems from his early training as an industrial designer and his 25 years’ experience in developing innovation and enterprise support programmes, in complex policy environments.

Over his working life, Jim has been responsible for facilitating and leading numerous international projects, through which he has developed considerable experience of designing international development programmes. Much of this work has lent on his previous academic and practical economic development, design, marketing and project management experience/studies.

Jim possesses considerable experience of developing and delivering a range of innovation and business support; workforce development; employability, community cohesion; social inclusion; property and infrastructure; and low carbon initiatives. He has worked on a range of economic development assignments, from developing business cases for University technology incubators, reviewing a Saudi based bio-technology incubator,developing ERDF proposals and an Industrial Strategy for a UK development agency.

Jim has also recently completed a PGC in Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy and is currently the Lead Expert for the Urbact BLUACT Network (https://www.bluact.eu/), supporting six cities across Europe to implement a Blue Growth Entrepreneurship programme. In his spare time, Jim works as a Young Enterprise Adviser, nurturing future entrepreneurial talent. 


Martin Smith

Martin likes history especially the social and industrial kind. He tries to find out a little about the local history of the places he visits and loves reading those blue plaques; actually any plaque – referred to as "pithy plaques" in the Smith family.

His first career was in marketing and sales management in fast moving consumer goods companies such as Unipart, Express Dairies, Wella Haircare and Spillers Foods, including a spell as Fred Flourgrader. Subsequently he has developed substantial experience in organisational and leadership development, including coaching leadership teams to identify innovative ways to move their organisations forwards. He is a qualified coach and practitioner for Belbin and Myers Briggs.

As a visiting tutor at the Leadership Trust, Martin was able to see the importance of knowing and controlling oneself, so that you can lead and enable others to progress, and this has shaped his subsequent work. Martin is passionate about helping people make sense of it all. 


Hugo Tewson

Hugo enjoys team work, competition, doing things differently and long term vision. His hobbies – long-distance running, rugby (senior, touch!) and fire-eating - perfectly reflect these attributes.

Hugo’s professional life started at Saatchi, where he built up the largest IT portfolio in London. He then founded and co-founded businesses including one of the first virtual ad agencies, a pioneering new media business, an intranet business and a communications business that grew from 4 to 76 people in 2 years. He is a Sloan Fellow of the London Business School and has a passion for fast growth, early stage, businesses.

As an experienced coach, Hugo has supported many clients through a number of programmes. He holds various NED / Chair positions and gets stuck in with projects and interim roles that fall within the remit of the Chronic Foundation, which he co-founded. The Chronic foundation is dedicated to supporting worthy innovation in the areas of chronic and preventative healthcare. An example of current activity is the business development, strategy and fund-raising for a diagnostics company which was recently voted deal-maker of the year for a non-diluting, non-exclusive multi-million pound deal that underpinned the company’s platform and first product development. Another has been as Co-Founder (driving team-creation, strategy, funding, partnership building) of a healthcare IT business poised to disrupt the transcription market for clinical notes. In case you haven’t guessed, Hugo likes keeping busy.  

Wendy Tindsley

Wendy loves all things fast, furious and entrepreneurial. These are reflected in her career path, own business interests and hobbies.

With a PhD in Agricultural Sciences Wendy set up her own small business as a Seed Potato Merchant, which she ran for 10 years.  After a brief excursion into Secondary School Education, she ran her own small businesses in the hospitality industry with her husband for 10 years. During this time she ran a pub and a small hotel with restaurant.  She spent some time with the Training & Enterprise Council where she was responsible for a forum of all the major Formula 1 companies. She was involved in Government funded business support as an advisor with Business Link, where she managed an area team for 7 years.

Wendy has supported lots of ambitious businesses achieve rapid and sustainable growth via Business Link, The Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub, The Innovation and Growth Team and GrowthAccelerator.  Most recently Wendy managed a team of 13 high performing Growth Managers for the GrowthAccelerator Service.

Mad keen on horses, Wendy has her own ‘off the track’ racehorse called Kosmic Lady. 


Treve Willis

Treve is fundamentally curious about life – looking for ways to link things together. He is a keen cyclist, an enthusiastic gardener, and insatiable gatherer of ideas.

His proven signature leadership strengths are Innovation and Strategic Thinking, with considerable experience in successfully recruiting and leading high performance teams. His early career was in materials, where he successfully developed new products and processes for demanding aerospace applications in record times. He has developed important infrastructure for clusters, such as the motorsport cluster in the UK. He was key in growing a consultancy from 3 staff with a turnover of £200k to 160 staff with a turnover of £20m.

He fundamentally believes that people are the core of any enterprise and that we should focus on finding out what people are good at and then getting them to do it, rather than criticising them for what they are not cut out for. 


Rachel Woods

Rachel loves life including all that exists in making up the world around us. Most weekends Rachel can be found walking in the varied countryside which surrounds her Somerset home. Within 15 minutes she can be scrambling up gorges, walking Jurassic coastal cliff tops or meandering around the levels and moors watching out for kingfishers and lapwings.

Rachel has worked for a number of entrepreneurial ventures in the IT and Life Science sectors. She has launched many “new-to-market” products and services both here in the UK and in EMEA and USA. Rachel understands what it takes to build successful organisations that centre their focus on the customer or end-user. She is goal-orientated and leads with infectious enthusiasm that gives confidence to those who are not so comfortable with change and innovation.

Rachel combines her knowledge and experience with coaching to effectively engage and challenge people into embracing a culture that constantly looks to improve.  

"Here at Frugi we have worked with Peter for over 6 years. When we first met we were just going through our first growing pain barriers at around an £800K turnover and we were bursting out of the barns we housed our business in, on a little organic farm in rural Cornwall...

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