Meet the Board members

The LLEP Board

Kevin Harris
Karen Smart
Andy Reed, OBE
Emma Anderson
Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE
Chas Bishop
Neil McGhee
Jaspal Singh Minhas
Anil K Majithia
Professor Robert J. Allison
Nick Rushton CC
Sir Peter Soulsby
Cllr Mike Hall
Cllr Terry Richardson

Kevin Harris

Chair of the LLEP, Partner, RSM UK

I have worked closely with local business for more than three decades. A Chartered Accountant by training, I advise SME’s on a range of areas helping businesses to grow alongside providing essential statutory audit support. As a strong advocate of Leicestershire, I am a prominent member of the local business community being a Board Member of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and former Chairman of the Leicestershire Chamber. Throughout the majority of my career, I was myself a business owner of a successful regional accountancy practice, before joining RSM in Leicester in 2017 as a Partner.

Karen Smart

Managing Director, East Midlands Airport

I joined East Midlands Airport as Managing Director in April 2018. Previously I held several senior operational roles at London Stansted Airport.

Joining Stansted in June 2014, I was appointed as the Customer Services and Security Director, responsible for over 800 people and one of the busiest airport terminals in the country, helping to ensure that 60,000 passengers a day have the best possible customer experience at the airport. I became the Asset Management Director in 2016, responsible for ensuring that the Airport infrastructure meets the demands of both our B2B and B2C customer; quite a challenge at one of the fastest growing UK airports.

I started my career in the Royal Air Force initially as an aircraft engineer before retraining as an air traffic controller. After over 20 years in the RAF I joined Serco, carrying out numerous roles culminating as Partnership Director of their Defence and aviation business.

I’m keen to immerse myself within the local community and play and key role in helping to shape and drive forward strategies that will lead to greater regional prosperity.

Andy Reed, OBE

Director, SajeImpact

I am the Director of SajeImpact, an organisation which offers a wide variety of bespoke support and advice to Sports Bodies, NGBs, Social Enterprises and Faith Charities, making sure their strategies and communications are effective with the key stakeholders in their sector and bringing social transformation projects to life.

I was formerly the Labour & Co-operative MP for Loughborough between 1997 and 2010.

As well as the work I do through SajeImpact I also serve on a number of Sport Bodies, Christian organisations and local charities as a volunteer. This is part of the reason for SajeImpact to allow a balance of the way I am able to contribute and have impact.

In June 2012, I was awarded an OBE in the Queens Honours List for contribution to sport and the Community and in 2014, I was appointed a Professor of Sport Policy & Development at Liverpool John Moores University.

I am passionate about the Leicester and Leicestershire area, having grown up and lived here for my whole life. I want to add a new dimension to the Board through my varied sporting, political and religious background.

Emma Anderson

Director, Freeths

I was born and brought up in Leicester then studied law at Sheffield University. I trained at Stephenson Harwood in London and moved back to Leicester joining what was Harvey Ingram in 1992, where I stayed until December 2016. I then moved to Freeths LLP as a Director in their Dispute Management team based in the Leicester office. I also worked as a Senior Lecturer on the LPC at De Montfort University in the mid 1990s.

My work area is commercial dispute management and I deal with technical and complex commercial/contract disputes, company disputes, warranty claims and employment support work. I was recently involved in a large insurance dispute and worked for a major energy sector client while at Shakespeares.

I have been, and continue to be, involved in various business development projects with the firms I have worked for. At Freeths I am leading a professional women’s networking group as part of a firm wide initiative. I am also a trustee of Big Difference Company – best known for running the Leicester Comedy Festival – which also works with charities in terms of health and well-being projects. My involvement as a trustee involves giving legal advice to the board.

My strong local connections and contacts coupled with the fact that I have spent the vast majority of my career in Leicester and Leicestershire demonstrate my commitment to the development of our region and have enabled me to gain an understanding of the issues that it faces which I look forward to building on as a board member of the LLEP.

Dr Nik Kotecha, OBE

CEO, Morningside Pharmaceutical Ltd

As CEO at Morningside Pharmaceutical Ltd, I have utilised my passion for drug discovery and International Trade towards our commitment to “Making Quality Healthcare an Affordable and Accessible Reality throughout the World”.

I understand the needs and challenges faced by businesses through the development and growth of Morningside from a garage start-up to a large corporate over 25 years.

I draw on my expertise in R&D and worldwide ethnic and cultural diversities gained through visiting most continents, and experience of exporting Healthcare products worldwide.  I grew up in Leicestershire and I have a strong passion for giving back to the local community, country and International Aid Sectors.

Appointed as a Board Member to the LLEP from July 2017, I want to utilise my knowledge and experiences to assist the board to drive investment, business growth and to create jobs in Leicestershire. I am delighted to represent the Life Sciences sector on the LLEP Board.

Chas Bishop

Chief Executive, The National Space Sector

I have worked for eight visitor attractions including Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers and the National Space Centre where I have been Chief Executive since its launch in 2001.

The National Space Academy and NSC Creative production company were launched in 2008. This role has introduced me to the space industry in which I have done consultancy work on its conference and skills need, and recently helped develop Government’s Innovation and Growth Strategy for Space.

My partnership work with the University of Leicester, several colleges and a number of space companies, together with my creative industries experience and non-executive roles for five organisations including two start-ups, will help me provide an insight into a range of Leicester and Leicestershire’s priority sectors in the coming years.

Neil McGhee

Director, Sempervox

As an owner of a Leicester based SME, using digital technology to help businesses run their companies from anywhere in the world, I am keen to grow an environment that encourages the development of a digital & technology skills in our area.

I have served on the Business Board of the LLEP for several years, I am an Enterprise Advisor at my local college – building stronger understanding and working relationships between business & education and I am now privileged to be a governor.

I want to use these experiences and 40 years in business to help us create a vibrant economy and society.

Jaspal Singh Minhas

SME Representative, Managing Director, Electrical Design & MFG Co Ltd

I began my career at an electrical installation firm in Sileby, before joining a manufacturing company of which I became the MD and eventually purchased in 2006.

I became the first Asian president of the Leicester Electrical Society and president of Leicestershire Asian Business Association (LABA) in 2006, and have led the formation of the National Asian Business Association. LABA hosts the Indo British Trade Council which has for the last twenty years actively supported inward and outward trade missions, inward investment and bilateral trade to India.

I frequently liaise with Government to ensure that British Asian businesses are given an opportunity to play an active part in promoting British exports and attract inward investment from countries which they have historical, religious and trading ties.

I became a LLEP Board member in 2014 and offer sound business, trade and commercial expertise from many years’ experience.

Anil K Majithia

Chair, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire

I am the current Chair of Voluntary Action Leicestershire and alongside this Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) experience, I have over 30 years of global business experience.

I’m also Governor at Coventry University, Trustee of DSU, Governor of North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College and a member of Governance Committee for Science Council. In addition, I sit on the board of Coventry University Colleges and Serious Games International as a Non-Executive Director

I have an extensive board level experience of governance, strategic management, working with senior executives, influencing stakeholders and contributing to overall wellbeing of the organizations and their future sustainability within commercial and VCS sectors.

My global business experience includes significant expertise around global leadership, technology, outsourcing and business transformation through use of technology. I am a highly experienced professional executive with 30 years’ international experience of delivering major transformational change (Technology, Business, Culture and organizational) within numerous different industry sectors and across different countries.

I’m also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management, a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Professor Robert J. Allison

Vice-Chancellor and President, Loughborough University

I became Vice-Chancellor and President of Loughborough University in September 2012 after holding roles as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Sussex University and Dean of Social Sciences of Health and Head of the Department of Geography at Durham University.

I was educated at Northallerton Grammar School, before gaining a B.A. in Geography from Hull University in 1982. I then went on to achieve a Ph.D. in Geography from King’s College, University of London in 1986.

I am involved with the Natural Environment Research Council, Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. I have been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1990 and have also been Chair of the British Society for Geomprohology.

I believe that Universities are fundamental to the success of the local economy on many levels and I am delighted to represent Higher Education on the LLEP Board.

Nick Rushton CC

Leader, Leicestershire County Council

I was first elected to public office in 1986 to represent the Ivanhoe Ward on Ashby Town Council and the Ivanhoe Ward on North West Leicestershire District Council. I was elected to Leicestershire County Council in 1989, serving until 1993, where I was Group Spokesman on the Social Services Committee and Conservative Lead Member on the Scrutiny Commission.

In 2001, I was re-elected to Leicestershire County Council representing the Valley Division and since that time, have been in the ruling Cabinet, Deputy Leader of the County Council and in September 2012, elected as Leader of the County Council.

I also serve on the General Assembly of the Local Government Association nationally, and I am a County Council representative on the County Councils Network.

Sir Peter Soulsby

City Mayor, Leicester City Council

I am the first elected mayor of Leicester and previously, was M.P. for Leicester South. I was also a Labour councillor for Leicester City Council for nearly 30 years; 17 of which as council leader.

I have also served on the Audit Commission and as deputy chair of British Waterways.

I am proud to be leading the delivery of an inspiring economic action plan for the city that draws on and reinforces the key themes of the LLEP’s growth strategy, alongside streamlining council purchasing processes to benefit local businesses.

Cllr Mike Hall

Leader, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council

Bio to follow.

Cllr Terry Richardson

Leader, Blaby District Council

Bio to follow.