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Wolverhampton | Sandwell | Dudley | Walsall 

4 - 15 October 2021

Sector Leads

The Black Country Business Festival covers a total of 9 sectors, each one carefully selected to showcase the region's broad but strong 

economy. Leading each sector is an industry-specific professional who is well-known within their sectorial field.

A Sector Lead is responsible for ensuring BCBF is as successful as possible. Using their extensive networks and industry links, Sector Leads encourage participants, businesses and investors to discover what the Black Country has to offer.

The 9 key sectors are:


Advanced Manufacturing

Paul Nichol


With over 20 years’ experience working within the Construction Industry, Paul has managed and driven large-scale multi-million pound projects.

Paul joined Simco (a Walsall based business) in 2011 and he managed to drive a change in the business increasing turnover from £2.9m; to £23m in 2015/16. Paul was also instrumental in further expansions, increasing revenue, job creation and R&D and generating growth to over £29m.

Simco is now on the Black Country Top 50 Barometer provided by BDO, achieving 4th position in the league table.  In 2017 Simco was recognised in the Fourth Edition of the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report, showcasing the UK’s most inspiring and fastest growing companies. 

Paul is also a Competitiveness Advisory Board Member for the Black Country LEP.

The Business Festival is essential to help businesses to connect to increase the GVA, employment and drive innovation.


Our region has seen colossal transformation with world-renowned businesses setting up camp, and it is now seen as a world-class stage to demonstrate its capabilities in High Value Manufacturing.  


Trevor Leeks

Operations Director

Jaguar Land Rover

Over four years ago, Trevor took on the role of Operations Director for the £1 billion Engine Manufacturing Centre at Wolverhampton – a site which now has more than 1,400 employees.

Trevor first joined Jaguar Land Rover in July 2012, as Director of Powertrain Lean Manufacturing, with responsibility for leading the ‘Operational Excellent’ strategy for Jaguar Land Rover Powertrain. Prior to this he spent two and a half years as Head of Manufacturing Operations at BAE Systems in Lancashire.

Prior to this, Trevor worked for Ford Motor Company for 22 years, holding various senior manufacturing roles. He is an Alumni of the University of East London with a 2:1 (Hons) in Manufacturing Systems Engineering. 

Jaguar Land Rover is UK’s largest automotive manufacturer. Our £1bn, state-of-the-art Engine Manufacturing Centre near Wolverhampton is at the forefront of innovation in the industry and directly employs over 1,400 people.


Jaguar Land Rover is committed to playing an active part in the business community within our local area and look forward to being part of the Black Country Business Festival.

Trevor is committed to building strong business and community partnerships. He is a Patron of Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton and facilitated the EMC’s support of The Way – Youth Zone in city. In 2016, he picked up the Manufacturing Champion Award at the Express & Star Business Awards. He was also part of a team who were named as finalist in the RaENG MacRobert Award for Innovation. In 2016, Trevor was honoured by the University of Wolverhampton with a fellowship for his contribution to economic regeneration.

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Creative Industries

Kelly Jeffs


Light House

As the fastest growing economic sector in the UK it is absolutely crucial that this sector is recognised and celebrated within the Black Country Business Festival. I am so very, very proud to be a part of it.

After a range of rewarding and challenging roles during her time at Light House, Kelly became CEO 5 years ago.

Moving away from the realm of public funding and driving the organisation forward into its next critical phase, Kelly successfully continues to safeguard a crucial part of Wolverhampton’s cultural and civic life. 

With a formidable passion for cinema, Kelly delivers an exciting and diverse film programme as well as an eclectic range of cultural events, exhibitions and music plus quality live theatre, ballet and opera.


Jatinder Sharma

Principal & Chief Executive

Walsall College

Born in the Black Country, Jatinder attended the local comprehensive school before going on to study Financial Management and was awarded his Masters Degree at the University of Dundee.  Before entering into Further Education, Jatinder worked and qualified as an Accountant in Public Practice before joining the logistics sector.

In 1996 Jatinder joined City of Wolverhampton College as the Head of Finance, then moved to Walsall College as Director of Finance in 2004.  He then progressed to the post of Vice Principal - Planning & Resources and was appointed as Principal & Chief Executive in December 2011. 

“The Business Festival is an opportunity to bring the Skills agenda to the forefront, and for the education sector to continue to work with Black Country employers of all sizes to ensure their business needs are met.”

Jatinder is also a board member of the Association of Colleges, the Walsall Housing Group, the Walsall Economic Board and the Walsall Borough Management Team. Jatinder also represents the Black Country Colleges on the wider West Midlands Public Service Board.

Professional Services, Business Support & Communications

Ian Bond

Head of Trusts & Estates

Talbots Law

With its proud Black Country heritage and commitment to the exciting future of the region, I am pleased to be championing the thriving professional services sector in the inaugural Black Country Business Festival.

Ian specialises in private client work including: wills and wealth planning; the creation and administration of trusts and estates; and the preparation of lasting powers of attorney and other Court of Protection work.

Ian is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners “STEP” since 2006 and is currently the External Examiner for the “Administration of Trusts” paper on the STEP Diploma for England & Wales. He is also chair of the Law Society 'Wills and Equity Committee' from July 2017, and a member of the technical committee advising the Law Society’s Wills Inheritance Quality Scheme (WIQS).

Shaun Carvill

Managing Director


Shaun is an acknowledged expert in digital communication, technology in business and all things Internet and IT related.

As MD of Clickingmad - a respected digital agency formed in 2000 he helps businesses to make better use of technology both in terms of cost saving but also in boosting sales and profits.

Shaun works closely with various private providers and Government agencies in the Export, Funding and Business Support sectors. An accomplished speaker in his own right he has presented to many business groups through the country and also often consults for larger organisations in assessing their digital footprint and suggests ways to improve their digital ROI.

The Black Country is one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of the UK to do business. The Festival will help put the Black Country back where it belongs - at the top of the list for business investment, opportunities and job creation.

Property, Construction

& Infrastructure

Stephen was born, raised and educated in the black country and for over 20 years he has been working on improving the housing, building fabric and infrastructure of the region.

Stephen has vast and varied experience in the Construction industry in both the public and private sectors. He is currently employed as Construction Manager for the Wates Group within the central planned maintenance business (Living Space), working with large social landlords to improve both high and low rise housing stock.

Construction Manager


Stephen Tracey

The Black Country Business Festival provides a fantastic opportunity for different sectors to forge new relationships and develop cross business improvement to resolving similar problems.


Dan Murphy

Regional Centre Director

intu Merry Hill

With over a decade of shopping centre expertise, Dan has held senior management roles at some of the country’s most iconic retailer and leisure destination including Manchester’s Trafford Centre and the development of MediaCity Uk in Salford. 

Since 2013, Dan has held influential roles several estates at intu Properties plc. and is now Regional Centre Director at intu Merry Hill. In this capacity, Dan oversees the day-to-day running of the centre which boasts over 200 retailers. He will be leading the exciting redevelopment of the centre, which will benefit from over £100m investment to enhance the food and leisure offering and update the internal and external aesthetics. 

The Black Country is proud, with thriving businesses, innovative attractions and most importantly inspiring communities. The Business Festival has created a platform for the area to showcase all of this nationally and internationally, making it truly an exciting time to be part of the region.

Tourism & Hospitality

Andrew Lovett


Black Country Living Museum

Andrew has 20 years’ senior-level experience; working in the museums, leisure, arts, heritage and protected landscape sectors.

After 11 years in visitor services for the Lake District National Park, in 1996, Andrew moved into museums as Head of Visitor Services for York Museums.  In 2000, he became the Founding General Manager of STEAM: Museum of the Great Western Railway, before moving into the arts in 2003, to become Deputy Director at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, including three spells as Acting Director & Chief Executive.  After 6 years at BALTIC, Andrew joined Black Country Living Museum, an independent charity, as only its second Director & Chief Executive.

“I’m delighted that the tourism and hospitality industries are recognised as an important part of the Black Country economy. They have a big role in drawing out the region’s outstanding and distinctive qualities.”

Andrew is a member of the National Museums Directors Council and the Association of Independent Museums Council.  He is also the co-founder of the Museums and Resilient Leadership Programme, led by Black Country Living Museum and designed to help those working in the cultural sector build resilient organisations for the 21st Century.

Transport & Logistics

Stuart Everton

The Black Country Business festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what we have to offer. Businesses will get the chance to make new connections and understand how the local economy supports the wider Midlands Engine in attracting investment to help drive our economy forward.   

Black Country Director for Transport

City of Wolverhampton Council

Stuart has 20 years’ experience in Civil Engineering, Transport and Local Government industries and during that time have been at the heart of developing and delivering some of the largest transportation schemes across the West Midlands. He has secured and delivered over £500m worth of infrastructure improvements across the Black Country over the last 10 years.

Stuart has extensive experience of working collaboratively with public and private sector partners regionally and nationally to drive agendas forward.

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