Governor Biographies

Elaine Oddie OBE - Chair

Elaine Oddie OBE, Chair of the Corporation Board, is a Chartered Accountant who has been a partner in Essex accountancy firms since 1984. She is currently a partner in NSO Associates LLP, a firm in Springfield Road, Chelmsford. She is the Honorary Treasurer of several local and national organisations, and a Trustee of a Chelmsford-based Charity. She received the OBE in 2003 for services to the East of England Development Board.

Andrew Sparks - Principal

Andy joined the College in September 2014 with 19 years’ experience working in Further and Higher Education across a number of vocational sectors. After starting as a new blood lecturer at Suffolk College in 1995 he progressed through the ranks, becoming a Senior Teaching Practitioner. Andy’s managerial career began at Otley College where he took up the post of Curriculum Manager of Technology and latterly Director of Business Services before joining Writtle College as Head of Further Education. Following the success of the Ofsted Inspection to Good during December 2017, Andy was invited to join the East of England Ofsted Appeals Panel. In July 2018 he was also invited to become a Director of the ACER Board. Andy originally trained as an Auto Electrician in Ipswich and is still active within the sector through his ongoing involvement with the Institute of the Motor Industry. Andy's wider interests include walking, canoeing and surfing.

Rob Millea - Clerk to the Board of the Corporation

Robert Millea is the Clerk to the Corporation and also the clerk to South Essex College. He has twice been President of the East Anglian Society of Chartered Accountants. He is a Member of the Audit Committee of the University of Suffolk and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk. He was a Governor of West Suffolk College for eighteen years until 2014 and a Member of the General Teaching Council from 2005 to 2009. He is an experienced Tribunal disciplinary Member. He practised in Sudbury, Suffolk from 1983 until 2000. He is an examination marker for the ICAEW, BPP University and FT Kaplan and carries out practice reviews for the UK200 Group of accounting firms. He is a National Subject Specialist for the Association of Colleges.

Jenny Beaumont

Jenny moved from Devon to Essex and worked for 4 years at Chelmsford College. She subsequently worked for Essex County Council as a Training Manager and led a team of Learning & Development consultants working across the County. For the last 12 years Jenny has run her own business delivering Learning & Development solutions to a wide range of clients. Jenny has been an Essex school governor for 12 years and volunteers to support Sixth Form students in local secondary schools with interview skills development. Jenny is an experienced and accredited coach and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. Jenny is a member of the Audit Committee.

Trevor Bolton

Trevor started his career in the merchant shipping industry before moving into education, working mainly in universities. He ‘retired’ in 2019 as a University Pro Vice Chancellor. Since then he has developed a portfolio career, running his own growing consultancy company and serving on several boards, including the Architectural Association. Trevor holds degrees from three universities including a PhD from Lancaster.Trevor joined the board in March 2019 and serves on the Audit Committee.

Stuart Hodges

Stuart is the College's Support Staff Governor. Stuart joined the College in February 2012, first as a volunteer and then as a paid staff member. In his previous career, he served 32 years in the Armed Services which culminated in him leading a team charged with providing social and welfare support, as a quasi local authority, to Service personnel and their families based throughout Europe. He is currently employed as the Information Services Project Officer and, amongst other things, supports the analysis of employee related data and contributes to the development of online management and information processes. Stuart's spare time interests include the art of campanology.

Susan Hughes

Susan started her career in Personnel Management, initially in local government and then for two multinational companies. She then entered the world of academia, teaching in higher education and ultimately becoming Head of Department of Human Resource Management and Marketing in the Lord Ashcroft International Business School within Anglia Ruskin University. Latterly she has had a portfolio of work activities including management and education consultancy, professional development and assessment activities with a range of professional organisations and some part time teaching. Now semi-retired she still works closely with one professional body. Her experience of voluntary activities includes seven years as a school governor and five years as an independent member of the Essex Police Authority.

Amanda Montague

Amanda is a freelance consultant using her skills and experience to support organisations developing and implementing apprenticeships, employment and skills programmes. Amanda previously worked for the Skills Funding Agency and its' predecessor bodies for 20 plus years. She has a good working knowledge of skills policy and having worked in Essex for the last 10 years has developed a good understanding of the local skills issues and challenges. Amanda lives locally and her interests include the family pets, DIY and cars!

Sarah Noble

Sarah has worked for many years in colleges of Further and Higher Education in London and the South East. She has taught in a variety of areas in the field of Art and Design and held a number of management roles, including Heads of Department and Head of Faculty. She has also worked extensively for Pearson Education on BTEC qualifications as a Standards Verifier and Centre Quality Reviewer. She is now employed part time by Pearson as a Quality Management Reviewer for schools and colleges in the South East and Kent. She has lived on Chelmsford for over twenty years and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a National Trust Volunteer.

Christian Norman

Christian is a highly experienced leader and manager in the education sector having had a long career with Colchester Institute and previously with North Lindsey College. He has held a range of senior cross-college and departmental positions, including Curriculum Manager, Head of Centre and Director of Faculty where he focused on strategic and operational curriculum management. He has a broad knowledge of the post 16 education sector, quality improvement and general project management. He is a qualified teacher and has developed a large range of business courses from pre GCSE to postgraduate level. Christian formerly chaired the Colchester Aimhigher Partnership and is particularly keen that all students are inspired and have the opportunity to progress to achieve their goals. In addition, having established the Career Ready Business programme at Colchester Institute, he remains on their ‘Business and IT Local Advisory Board’ and also volunteers as a Speaker for Guide Dogs.

Jaya Patten

Jaya comes from a Corporate and Investment Banking background. He held senior leadership and transactor roles in Fixed Income Capital markets at leading American and European financial institutions in Europe and Asia for over twenty five years. He set up his own financial markets consultancy in 2011, advising financial institutions in Europe and emerging markets in areas around capacity building and technical assistance. He is also a member of the subject matter expert panel of a couple of global consultancies in US (Gerson Lehrman Group) and Singapore (Asean Advisory). More recently Jaya has been involved in Expert Witness assignments in financial litigation and regulatory investigations in Europe. These carry important lessons learnt applications to improve Governance, Risk and Compliance frameworks. He is a founding member of the International RegTech association (Zurich, Switzerland).

Seena Shah

Seena graduated with a BSc in International Relations with Spanish from the University of Plymouth where she served on the student parliament and was elected as Student Union President, taking office upon graduation. Seena started her career in IT recruitment before transitioning into a marketing and communications role in a social enterprise which connected young people with the world of work. She has since worked in digital marketing and communications. Seena was listed as one of the top 50 women under 30 in digital by The Drum, and founded Splash Creative London and co-founded Project Legacy. In 2019, Seena stood in the Chelmsford City Council and General election.

Barbara Vohmann

Currently a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, Barbara has undertaken a number of university roles, including department senior pastoral tutor, assessment officer, and admissions tutor. Barbara's current research interests are around undergraduate assessment, enhancing support for the undergraduate learning experience, the learning environment, the provision of feedback to enhance learning, and the professional practice dimension of the built environment undergraduate learning experience. Previously, her research explored relationships between pedagogic practice and primary school buildings. She has also been examiner at other institutions. Barbara enjoys gardening in her spare time.

Doug Zeeman

Doug is a highly experienced contracts officer with a long career with BAE Systems (formerly GEC Marconi), focusing on defence engineering and electronics. He has a wide knowledge of commercial contracts and general project management. He is a professionally qualified manager and had a vast technical exposure to negotiating techniques, contract law, exporting, research & development, as well as employment law and practice. In his work, he has had to deal on complex and commercially sensitive contracts with various Governments, European Space Agency and the European Union. Doug is a member of the Audit Committee.

Thomas Pipe - Student Governor

Thomas is currently completing his second year BTEC Level 3 Public Services course. Thomas has worked as a Fire and Rescue Cadet with Essex Fire Service for 3 years where he completed his Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards and other related qualifications. Thomas chose Chelmsford College for the opportunities it offers and this has enabled him to gain new skills and career choices. Thomas is excited to be given the opportunity to join the Governing Body and is looking forward to being the Student Voice to help promote the College to be the very best it can be.

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