Our Workshop facilitators

Stuart Whant:  Workshop Facilitator

Stuart has a specialist focus on Customer Service Engagements
He has a close relationship with the Institute of Customer Service 

Stuart has over 20 years experience within the world of business – in operations, business management and HR.
Four years as MD and Development Director of one of the UK’s most ambitious and fastest growing charitable organisations with personal responsibility for organisational and strategic change. This included the successful construction of a ground breaking £5m capital project, formation of strategic and operational plans and external political and high profile relationships, target led management, implementing large scale change policies.

He now has over 10 years experience as a senior facilitator, facilitating senior and board level teams with both national and international experience.
He operates with a wide has range of clients including, blue chip corporate clients, public bodies, owner managed SME’s and charitable sector clients in the UK – supporting operational and senior managers and business owners. Facilitation clients include middle and senior managers at BAE Systems, Selex Galileo, Research Councils UK, Swindon Borough Council, Avon and Somerset Police, Nationwide Building Society, BuildStore, Hall and Woodhouse, Princes Trust, BBC and Children in Need plus a range of owner managed SME’s

Example Client Engagements: Financial services: Facilitating and group coaching many individuals, teams of managers and front line staff. Defence sector: Facilitating groups of high potential individuals in preparation for wider and more strategic roles plus experienced project /  functional heads Third or Charity Sector – working at Trustee, CEO and senior management level Academia: Exeter University and a number of research institutions delivering a range of group coaching interventions SME’s in the £10m to £100m sector: Coaching and Facilitating owners, business and operational leaders and leadership teams across a vast array of sectors Stuart brings a personable approach to dealing with tough issues and is able to support fundamental personal, career and business change. He believes passionately in developing people’s personal confidence and enabling them to stretching their comfort zones and performance way beyond current levels. He has astute intuition and the ability to ask the right questions to get to the nub of the issue and explore solutions.

Key skills:

  • Accurately capturing the essence of client needs and business priorities
  • Translating client expectations  into practical Workshop solutions
  • Designing and delivering Specific Workshop solutions including:
    Strategic Planning Sessions for Leadership teams
    Team Building
    Conflict Management Focused Workshops


Kevin Howes MCIPD : Workshop Facilitator



Kevin has more than 25 years working with Leadership teams in blue-chip companies.
His clients tell us they like his informal, practical, straight-talking approach.
He’ll build enduring relationships at all levels based on mutual trust, personal credibility and a passion for achieving agreed results.
He operates equally comfortably at Senior Manager, CEO and Leadership team levels in any organisation.

He’s facilitated workshops including CEOs, Directors,Managers, and Employees in companies like Accident Exchange, Britax, DaimlerChrysler, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Sankyo, BT Cellnet (now 02), and Zurich Financial Services to name but a few.

He’s added Trade Unions into the mix in companies like Getrag-FordGriffon-Hoverwork, and Sumitomo Electric.
Kevin has run joint workshops containing both clients and suppliers to enable them to reach one vision and develop a plan to get to their vision.



A few Example Client Engagements:
A multi-£m, fast growing Home-Care company experiencing growing pains:
Facilitating the CEO and Leadership team through strategic planning and Process Improvement as well as implementation of a KPI system

A VC-backed recruitment advertising agency with offices in the UK and Ireland:
Facilitating High level plans with the CEO and Leadership Team and running cascade workshops with the GMs and their teams in the regional offices
An ambitious multi-site Estate Agency in the West of England: Facilitating workshops with the 3 Owner / Directors to agree Vision for the business
Then  generate high level business plans and Cascade workshops into implementation in the various offices

 Graham Hodge : Workshop Facilitator

Graham’s 36 year business career started in supply chain where he grew considerable experience as a supply chain manager for a paint division of Hoescht. He joined Hewlett Packard as lead consultant on manufacturing and supply chain systems for Unilever operating entities in Europe and the Americas. After setting up the first pan-European consulting team in HP, he moved into global sales management and drove HP’s global business with Nestle. As HP grew its consulting business, Graham moved into roles as European Marketing Manager, Strategic planning manager and change manager for the European consulting business. His last role in HP was general manager of their 800 people consulting business in Northern Europe. In this role returned the business to profitability, growth, and increased confidence and belief across the region. On leaving HP Graham became General Manager and Head of Global Sales for an internet business owned by the world’s largest grocery manufacturers.

Since 2003 Graham has been a consultant, facilitator and executive coach .

As a facilitator Graham has facilitated:

  • The strategic planning of a global grocery industry standards body (GS1)
  • The UK grocery industry, in the creation of a solution to improve supply chain performance between retailers and manufacturers
  • A global initiative between grocery manufacturers and their major suppliers to identify and drive collaborative supply chain improvement projects
  • The Non-Executive Board of Directors for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Chris Stott: Workshop Facilitator Cheshire / Manchester based

Chris is a highly successful and experienced workshop facilitator.
He’s worked with a number of blue chip companies, local authorities and other public sector organisations including BAE Systems, BVT Surface Fleet, AgustaWestland and Network Rail and Costain.

He specialises in leading individuals and project teams through change using a holistic approach that recognises the critical balance between project process and human behaviours. Particular areas of interest include; The skills and values of a successful project manager Creating project objectives from an unbounded vision/scope and the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to produce decision based project reviews.


Charles Ward : Workshop Facilitator

As a business graduate, Charles started his career in classic product management roles initially in healthcare, with roles at 3M and Johnson & Johnson. Later, with De La Rue Payment Systems, his experience extended to low volume, high value capital goods with complex worldwide distribution, service and support networks.

Entering the technology industry in 1989 with Digital (later Compaq), Charles was recruited specifically to apply his marketing skills to the emerging IT services industry to build competence in service portfolio development and marketing in the UK and EMEA.

In 2000, Charles became director of techUK, the industry body for the UK’s ICT sector and was instrumental in doubling its size.  During his tenure at techUK he developed a detailed understanding of the dynamics of the UK market and has built high level relationships with member companies of all sizes as well as end-user customers in both the private and public sectors.

Charles’ business coaching credentials are directly derived from his time at techUK through working with a variety of businesses, their customers, professional advisors and funders. During this period he led a number of business growth initiatives that provided him with a unique insight into the performance drivers and metrics of tech SMEs as well as an appreciation of the typical growth issues they faced.

Speciality mentoring areas

Go-to-market strategy, commercial process improvement consultancy and coaching to SMEs seeking to accelerate growth and/or prepare for due diligence by funders or acquirers.

Sector areas : B2B propositions, public and private sector verticals.


Chris Cottam



Chris has over thirty years experience as a senior manager with “blue chip” companies. Posts he has held include Senior Director of Global Education at VMware, Strategy & Marketing Director of EMEA Consulting Services at Hewlett-Packard, and Director of his own Consultancy.

Chris is a natural communicator and is comfortable facilitating groups or mixed teams from any level of an organisation. He believes strongly that the facilitation journey should be as engaging as the final destination.

Above all Chris has a passion for absolute clarity of outcome.

These attributes made Chris a much valued internal facilitator at both Hewlett-Packard and VMware, helping peers develop and achieve their goals;

Skills that we are very pleased to now have working as part of the Rainmaker team.



Chris’s main portfolio areas cover:-

      • Scenario Planning
      • Vision and Strategy development.
      • Organisational conflict resolution.
      • Improving process and execution effectiveness.

Key skills

  • Extensive practical application of engagement and communication tools
  •      eg. Hoshin-Kanri, T.Q.M.  and Process of Management (POM)
  • Client collaboration to develop a unique facilitation experience appropriate to the issue at hand.
  • Empathy and engagement to ensure that every voice is heard and considered leading to outcomes that are truly shared and embraced.
  • Extensive knowledge of a wide variety of facilitation methodologies and tools including World Café and Open Space Technology.
  • Challenging the clarity of outcomes for on-going communication and execution.

Recent clients:  Carlson Wagonlit, Hertfordshire Business Services, Redwood Consulting, Monty’s Bakehouse and Transport for London.
Rainmaker’s feedback from Chris’s facilitation assignments testify that events he facilitates are successful, challenging, enjoyable and rewarding for the participants.

“The workshop was really great, thank you so much. Chris was a fantastic facilitator and kept things moving along really nicely.” – TFL.


Miranda Salmon

Miranda is a natural facilitator – providing effective frameworks within which we can explore current reality and future possibilities.
Whether with a group or an individual she prefers to start with the issues that concern people and enable them to find their own solutions.
She is prepared to challenge groups to stretch their thinking and explore creative options.

Miranda enjoys enabling individuals to develop their skills and confidence in their role and to make the most of their abilities.

She has particular experience of working with those who are exploring the requirements of leading or managing others.

She has worked for over 25 years with a diverse range of people from public and private sector, industry, further and higher education, the prison service and community groups.

She also develops content based workshops around a wide range of topic areas including leadership, personal effectiveness, assertiveness-at-work and developing training skills.
Whilst the sessions might be content based Miranda’s approach is to create the learning by drawing on the experience of the group and introducing new material where appropriate.


Key Skills:-

  • Open and approachable with an ability to communicate at all levels
  • Building rapport quickly with new groups and individuals
  • Ability to question and draw out client needs and concerns
  • Designing interesting and interactive sessions to meet clients requirements
  • Responding to the specific needs of participants within a session
  • Facilitating individual and group learning
  • Drawing out individual concerns and exploring options and possibilities
  • Good knowledge of management theory and ability to make it easy to understand.

 What people say about working with Miranda:

“I like your sessions. You really make us think. I go away, not necessarily knowing what to do in a situation, but rather knowing what I should be considering in order to decide what to do.”

“Well-structured and professionally presented in an enjoyable way.”

“Very approachable, confident, clearly well experienced: set a great pace and objectives to suit our individual needs.”

“ Excellent facilitation, allowing the group to reach its own conclusions, judged the energy of the room just right.
What was particularly important for me as the lead on this was the opportunity to discuss beforehand what we were trying to achieve from the session which helped me to clarify my own thinking about it.”


Simon Derry

Simon’s commercial background is in operations, project and programme management and innovation management.  Simon spent 5 years in The British Army in various operational roles around the world.
On leaving the Army he joined the UK National Health Service (NHS) and was involved in the project management of hospital trust mergers and the introduction of Trust Status.
On leaving the public sector he was Customer Services Manager for Psion UK Plc., at the time the world’s biggest palmtop computer manufacturer. He was later headhunted to join a US based consulting firm specialising in project management.


As part of his portfolio he specialises in the facilitation of senior teams to:-

      • Create and agree a common and shared purpose, vision, values and strategy.
      • Strengthen and improve working relationships
      • Resolve conflict
      •  Share knowledge & understanding improving collaboration between interest groups

Simon has worked with Senior Teams in such companies as HJ Heinz, Coca-Cola, Miele, SKY, R&R Ice Cream, GSK and NHS amongst others

Key skills
Enabling team members to understand the real issues, to recognise that their view of the world is not the same as others and there is no one right way.

Various Team Building Exercises are part of his repertoire

Designing events that enable everyone to contribute and have a voice using techniques such as Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge/Vision Cafes

Using a wide range of appropriate  inputs and tools (including pre-event strategic thinking questionnaires and team feedback surveys)

Structuring the environment and approach to optimise the sharing of views, innovation and creativity within the group.

Extensive experience of facilitating and delivering agreed Purpose, Vision, Values and Strategy with senior teams.

What people have said about working with Simon 

“A brilliant facilitator, I learnt a great deal from him. He certainly holds the characteristics I would want from a facilitator”    Senior Manager – Selex Galileo

 “Thanks very much for facilitating the workshop and time spent in organising it, we all learnt a lot.  The team are very enthused to follow it through and wish to pass on their gratitude to you for your efforts and the excellent time had by all.  A very satisfied set of customers.”  Finance Director – BAE

 “Thank you for all your hard work yesterday in helping to make the day such a productive and successful event” Senior Policy Manager – Regional Public Health