People: Persimmon Homes; Black Country Chamber of Commerce Women; The University of Warwick Science Park; Kids Village

Persimmon Homes South Midlands has strengthened its sales team, with the appointment of Beth Lodge to head of sales and Graydon Worthing as sales director.

As part of the Studley-based team, Lodge and Worthing will work to market and sell Persimmon Homes new builds across the South Midlands area which includes South Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Banbury.

Promoted from senior area sales manager, Lodge has worked for the Central business since 2018, having previously worked for Claremont Property Group.

Russell Griffin, managing director at Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to be strengthening our sales team with the promotion of Beth and the appointment of Graydon. Their skills and experience will be a real asset to the South Midlands team and the business more generally.

 “Providing homes of outstanding quality is integral to what we do at Persimmon, and having Beth and Graydon on board will help to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest standards of service for our customers.”



BlackRock Academy managing director Lucy Rook has been announced as the new chair of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Women in Leadership Steering Group.

Established by the Chamber in 2019, the Women in Leadership network aims to support and celebrate women in senior leadership roles and to help inspire the next generation.

The first steering group meeting is due to take place on May 2nd and brings together members from across sections of sectors and membership tiers.

In her role as chair, Rook will oversee the group to ensure that the network acts by its aims and objectives
and will direct the activities of the network.

During her career as an editorial manager, journalist and trainer, she has worked as a producer for some of Britain’s most significant broadcast brands including the ITV Central breakfast show, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain.

She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience which will help to promote and champion the region’s success stories.

Rook said: “I am truly honoured and excited to be invited to chair this group. The membership offers such a breadth of experience. I think my job as chair is to make sure we capture the potential, that combination of talent, and help focus that on delivering something meaningful from the time we spend together.”

CEO Sarah Moorhouse added: “We are thrilled to welcome Lucy Rook as our Black Country Women in Leadership Steering Group Chair. Lucy brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the group and we look forward to working with her as we launch our exciting calendar of events for the network.

“As we launch our 2024 network this is a great opportunity for member businesses to step forward and sponsor the group for their chance to be part of an inspirational network, raising the profile of women across the Black Country.”



A Midlands Science Park has revealed two key promotions as it focuses on an ambitious growth strategy over the next five to ten years.

The University of Warwick Science Park (UWSP) has announced Victoria Lynch as its new head of commercial and John Roberts as its new head of property.

Both roles are new and were created as Science Park embarks on a major plan to grow and enhance its sites short and the long term.

Lynch was previously centre manager at the Science Park’s Business Innovation Centre in Binley, where occupancy doubled during her tenure.

Before that, she had more than seven years of experience as a manager at Aldi.

She will lead on commercial letting of its existing and new buildings, while also hosting viewings for potential new tenants, boosting relationships with current tenants, and connecting more businesses with the talent available at the University of Warwick through hiring students or working on research projects.

Lynch said: “I’m delighted to take on this important new role at a key juncture for the Science Park. We will enhance the external environment of our sites and the interiors of our many buildings to make the Science Park more attractive than ever to cutting-edge companies, improve our business support offering even further, and ensure we are doing everything we can to make tenants’ occupancies at the Science Park as good as they can be.

“Another key element of my role will be to increase the connections between the Science Park at the University of Warwick. Many of our tenants have already benefitted from a highly-skilled intern coming in and making a difference, but there are many more opportunities for our tenants to take advantage of that connection, as well as potentially being partners in future research
coming out of the University of Warwick.”

Roberts who has been involved in property management for 29 years, joined the Science Park on secondment from WMG at the University of Warwick in January 2023 before stepping up into the new role.

He now manages the Science Park’s current property portfolio, identifying and delivering on redevelopment and improvement options along with new sites for expansion.

Roberts said: “After my secondment from the University, I felt being part of the senior management team for the Science Park was an excellent opportunity to fully use my experience from both the public and private sectors to deliver on the future strategy of the business.

“Finding new sites for the Science Park to construct new buildings in attractive locations will be crucial to attracting new tenants, and ensuring its current buildings are still providing the best working environment for both new and existing companies will also be very important. I’m excited to get stuck into this role and to enable the Science Park to continue its upward

Further appointments made by the Science Park include Emma Turner, who is now centre manager at the Business Innovation Centre after Victoria vacated the role, Joseph Dadson, who became property surveyor, and Kerry Ward, who is now administration coordinator across all its sites.

Mark Tock, chief operating officer at the University of Warwick Science Park, said: “These are key appointments for the Science Park, which having delivered incredible success in its first 40 years is now focussed on achieving greater things in the coming decade. Creating the two new roles of Head of Commercial and Head of Property and hiring Victoria and John will play a vital part of those ambitious growth plans.

“We’re equally delighted to have hired Emma to manage our Binley Business Innovation Centre, Joseph to assist John in his role, and Kerry to oversee the sites’ administration. This is a deliberate development talent in the team which I’m confident will drive the Science Park’s ambition to grow and continually improve the experience of our innovation community.”




Inez Brown, a prominent lawyer and advocate for equality and diversity in the legal profession has joined the Board of Kids Village.

Previously a partner and former head of clinical negligence at Medical Accident Group, Brown now leads McKenzie Brown Consultancy as managing director, leveraging her 20+ years of experience as a lawyer to advise businesses on corporate governance, leadership and change management.

Doug Wright, Inez Brown, Sam Fletcher-Goodwin

She is currently the Regional Chair of the Institute of Directors and was the first black president of the Birmingham Law Society in 2020, having previously been named  Law Society Partner of the Year in 2016.

Kids Village is seeking to raise £5m to build the UK’s first holiday village offering respite breaks for critically ill children and their families on a 30-acre site in the West Midlands.

Inez Brown said: “I am delighted to be a Trustee for Kids Village.  In my role as a lawyer, I represent vulnerable sick children aligns with the work that Kids Village’s purpose to help  sick children and their families by giving them a restful break away from the trauma of being in and out of hospitals &  I look forward to & rolling up my sleeves& to help to support such a worth charity.”

Doug Wright, chairman of Kids’ Village, added: “We are delighted to appoint Inez to our Board of Trustees. She is someone I have always admired for many different reasons. Her legal background will give us expertise in governance and compliance as we look to scale up Kids’s Village. Inez is a highly respected regional leader and her appointment further demonstrates my
desire to appoint outstanding Trustees who are subject matter experts in their respective professions to help deliver this much-needed facility here in the Midlands”.

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