Anthony Annakin-Smith – Chair
Anthony has extensive experience of strategic management, with particular expertise in marketing. He worked for twenty years in a variety of roles, firstly in sales and then in marketing, becoming Communications Manager for the largest division of a major public limited company. Since 2000 he has been lecturing in marketing and strategic management up to MBA level at a variety of academic institutions in the UK and abroad. He also undertakes training and consultancy and has co-written two marketing textbooks.
Anthony is a strong advocate of sporting activities, enjoying badminton, swimming and cycling. He is also a keen walker and has written the popular ‘Wirral Walks’.
Professor Emeritus Sarah Andrew – Vice Chair
Sarah was the Dean of Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of Chester. Her faculty had a proactive approach to community engagement, particularly in the area of encouraging sustained participation in sport from primary school to adulthood.
Sarah came to Chester in 1998 from Lancaster University. Following her PhD from Nottingham University, Sarah worked overseas in the USA and Australia.
Sarah has excellent experience having served as a trustee on the boards of three charitable foundations. She also has a personal interest in sport having taken part in a half marathon and playing for the Chester Croquet team.
David Woods has over twenty years experience as an executive and non-executive director in the public and not-for-profit sector.
He has a background in healthcare provision and healthcare education having been an Executive Director of an NHS Trust, and most recently as Associate Dean for External Relations in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at The University of Manchester.
David chairs Chester Music Society which provides over 24 live classical events a year as well as the Cheshire West and Chester Voluntary Arts Network – a network organisation that brings together over 70 cultural and arts organisations across West Cheshire. He brings to Brio a wide network of contacts within the sector.
In his spare time he is a keen road cyclist, traveller and photographer.
Cllr Stuart Parker
Stuart Parker was elected a Councillor in 2007 for Chester City Council and appointed to position of Executive Member for Development in 2008. When Cheshire West and Chester Council was formed in 2009, he was appointed to the post of Chair of the Culture and Leisure Development Board.
Post 2011 elections he was then appointed Executive Member for Culture and Leisure and was instrumental in creating Brio as a CIC delivery provider for CWaC. Stuart also played a vital role in the delivery of the two new leisure centres in Northwich and Ellesmere Port.
Stuart is now Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing and has now returned to Brio Leisure as a Non-Executive Director, to which he brings vast experience and knowledge of this sector.
Stuart has managed his own wastewater treatment company for 20 years, and in his spare time has interests in politics, gardening, reading, walking, classical music and opera.
Professor Lynne Kennedy
Lynne is Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine and Clinical Sciences and Head of Department of Clinical Sciences and Nutrition at the University of Chester. She has worked in public health for 25 years, fifteen of these years at the University of Liverpool, and five in Wales. She is also a registered Public Health Nutritionist with considerable experience of developing and implementing public health policy, strategy and community programmes in nutrition and health, at national and local levels, with a particular focus on challenging food poverty, and inequalities in health and poverty.
Lynne brings experience of developing, evaluating and commissioning all kinds of work aimed at increasing access to affordable healthy food and creating opportunities for physical activity in deprived areas. Additionally she has skills in participatory approaches to community involvement and has extensive networks across the region and links in Europe on healthy and active neighbourhoods.
In her youth, Lynne was a successful long distance runner, representing Cheshire and Merseyside many times. She now prefers walking and is regularly enjoying the outdoors in Cheshire and North Wales.
Cllr Richard Beacham
Cllr Richard Beacham was invited to join the Brio board as a Non-Executive Director after being elected to serve on the Borough council for Newton ward in Chester in May 2015. He is the Vice Chair of the Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing policy and performance panel.
Richard currently runs his own web design business but has worked for the National Health Service in wellbeing, and in higher education in the field of equality research and practice.
In his spare time, Richard enjoys swimming and hiking.
Tony Allen FCMA
Tony has held senior positions in industry, public sector and social benefit organisations.
A qualified accountant, Tony has delivered finance and I.T strategies and has raised significant funds for Private Equity business and social housing.
Managing partner for his consultancy business and independent advisor to a national membership organisation, Tony brings a breadth of expertise to Brio including risk management, audit and governance.
Tony has lived in Tarporley for six years and is a keen squash and 5-a-side football player.
Elly McFahn – Managing Director
Elly joined Brio Leisure as the Managing Director in May 2011. Her previous experience was in managing leisure sites, operations management and contract management.
After graduating from university, Elly worked for a leisure trust before moving to Brentwood Borough Council for 8 years, starting as a Duty Manager and progressing to Programming Manager and then Quality Manager. She then moved to Cheshire and took on a Centre Manager role before going to Vale Royal Borough Council in a wider capacity as Operations Manager for the leisure unit.
In her spare time, Elly enjoys walking her dog, skiing and travelling.
Mike Hobday – Finance Director
Mike has had over 15 years experience within the not-for-profit sector, and has been with Brio Leisure since its formation. Before this, he worked for the Chester and District Sports and Recreation Trust (CADSART).
He’s a qualified accountant with a public sector background and years of experience in the hospitality industry working for large multi-sited organisations, including hotels and sporting venues.
Mike lives in North Wales and enjoys running, walking and cycling.