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Our success depends on the quality and diversity of our people.

Our UK Team

Andrew Thacker

Managing Director UK

Andrew supports a team of UK-based consultants and is involved in designing and delivering a range of courses and events. He is leading the work People Positive is doing in the field of Collaborative Working and continues to actively engage with organisations in the areas of cultural and behavioural change. He has a great deal of experience in conducting cultural surveys and analysing the results, which has led to him being able to advise on winning strategies for organisations in the rail, oil and gas and utility sectors.
Andrew has extensive international experience and recently spent a year based in Brisbane directing People Positive operations in Australia.
He is now 
UK-based and concentrating his energies on ensuring that clients with operations in the UK, Europe and Africa continue to receive the high quality of service that is expected of People Positive. 

Barney Mackie

Principal Consultant UK

Barney has been involved with People Positive™ since 1995. He has considerable training and development experience and a creative flair which adds colour and richness to any programme. He moved from a career in teaching to outdoor education in 1985, where he began to develop a lifelong interest in teams and leadership development. Barney has an inspiring and very hands-on approach that works at all levels within organisations. He is a qualified ski instructor, mountain leader and accomplished musician.

Peter Cable

Consultant UK

Peter is an accomplished leadership and business performance coach and consultant, enriched by 30 years experience at senior level leading people, managing change and resources. Following a successful military career specialising in leadership and personal development at all levels, Peter has worked for the last 14 years driving business performance improvement and developing leadership in individuals and teams with a broad range of FTSE100 and international clients across the commercial and public sector. A respected and trusted coach, motivating course director and skilled facilitator, he has also been involved for many years delivering youth development and leadership programmes in the UK and through community projects in developing countries. A passionate traveller, Peter has lived and worked in Europe, North America and Africa. He enjoys keeping fit, trekking and rough camping, is a qualified pilot and a 'born again' motorcyclist.

Rod Pashley

Founder and Principal Consultant UK

Rod Pashley founder of People Positive™ officially stepped down as MD following his retirement in 2012. Rod continues to maintain an involvement with People Positive™ taking on a part-time role, bringing his passion and humour alongside his significant 30 years experience into the business in areas such as business development, coaching and mentoring consultants and supporting the delivery of some assignments.

Steve Howe

Principal Consultant UK

Steve has developed a highly practical and no-nonsense approach to coaching commercial team behaviour and communication in a number of sectors. For the last four years he has specialised in construction and utilities working at senior levels achieving significant results with bid teams during client/contractor engagement workshops. Formerly a journalist, Steve's ambition to work with people was fulfilled with The Outward Bound Trust, where his management skills led naturally to his appointment as Director of Sales and Marketing and then Director of Communications. During this period The Trust enjoyed spectacular growth in sales. He was awarded membership of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty the Queen for his contribution to the development of The Outward Bound Trust.

John Robertson

Principal Consultant UK

John has significant experience as a manager, leader and training development specialist.  He has worked for 30 years with one of the UK’s largest manufacturing organisations, where he was responsible for running large production departments, and leading key projects.

For the last 15 years John’s work as a Management Development Consultant has included; Employee Engagement Surveys, 1:1 Coaching at all levels, designing and delivering core development programmes including, Leadership, Coaching, Team Development and Change Management. In addition he has designed and delivered programmes that helped organisations to develop internal capability in the areas of coaching and change.

John uses his line experience effectively when working on all aspects of training and development.

He has a Diploma in Management, Coaching and Leadership, and is an accredited Facilitator and Assessor.

 John enjoys the outdoors and has recently trekked to Everest Base Camp and completed the Tour du Mont with his wife Lorraine

Lou Webb

Consultant UK

Lou has been delivering and designing courses in a variety of areas for the past ten years. These include behavioural safety, sales and customer service, team building, challenging conversations, conflict management and performance management. Having gained a Master's Degree in Culture, Place, and Identity, Lou went on to train at drama school graduating in 2001.   Impressed by the powerful role drama plays in the training room Lou moved into an actor/facilitator role with People Positive™ in 2008. As a trained actor she has extensive experience working with forum theatre and drama based training methods. Lou works world-wide and offshore for the oil and gas industry.

David Napthine

Consultant UK

David lives in County Durham and has worked for a number of years as an actor, actor/facilitator, devisor of training programmes and writer of scenarios for drama-based training. In all of these capacities, he has worked in the oil, rail, construction and engineering industries and also for local authorities, charities and health trusts. As a professional actor he has played God, Prospero, Bottom, murderers, dodgy photographers, army officers and a deranged lighthouse keeper. He has written extensively of BBC Radio Drama, theatre (including librettos and song cycles) and for site-specific productions (e.g. swimming pools, cathedrals, housing estates).David also works as a theatre director and many years ago he was the Ribena Picture of Health!


Sam Weir

Consultant UK

Sam, has worked closely with People Positive™ for twelve years and runs his own outdoor activity business Kayak Scotland which provides sea kayak guiding throughout Scotland.  He has lived in Scotland since 1990 and during that period has worked coaching and guiding outdoor activities to a wide variety of user groups.  When not working he enjoys spending time with his partner Melanie, getting out mountain biking and enjoying the Scottish coastline in his sea kayak.

Fiona Begbie

Consultant UK

Fiona has been involved in occupational health and safety education and practice for over 25 years. She has experience in developing and delivering graduate level education, working with groups in the classroom and with practitioners in industry. Most recently Fiona has been leading a national work-health educational project. She has been providing coaching and undertaking Post Graduate training in coaching. She has a specialist interest in positive psychology and mental health promotion (MHP) and experience of case management in occupational health, leadership, stress management and person based behavioural safety training, policy development, inter-disciplinary training, policy implementation audit, learning needs assessment and commissioning education. To top off his impressive list of achievements, she has also completed a Master's Degree in Education undertaking research into critical thinking. 

Paul McGowran

Consultant UK

Paul has a background in general management with experience across a number of sectors including transport & logistics, health and housing.  Paul is a certified trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and is an accredited distributor and licensed practitioner for the Insights Discovery Personality Profile.  Paul likes to work with teams and individuals to facilitate behavioural change leading to greater collaboration and high performance.  Paul has worked with People Positive on a number of projects related to bid support and collaborative behaviour.

Sam Brooke

Principal Consultant UK

Sam has a background of research and operational experience in the diving industry which has formed the foundation for twenty years of organisational development work across the oil industry. Sam gained a PhD in 1989 and is also an accredited sport psychologist and has worked with national athletes and teams. Sam has also had a brief military career in the Royal Marines primarily in Arctic Norway and has more recently been owner/skipper of a wooden pilot cutter running chartered sailing and mountaineering voyages throughout the Western Isles.  Sam lives on the Isle of Skye with his wife and daughter and enjoys mountaineering, sailing, setting creels for lobster and crab and the wilderness of the Highlands. 

Lisa Esslemont

Consultant UK

Lisa is passionate about inspiring change through coaching development and business management support.  Having worked for nine years as a Business Support Manager with a leading coaching and development business located in the north east of Scotland, Lisa never aspired to become a coach.  However, since setting up her own consultancy business in 2007, Lisa recognised that many clients could benefit from coaching support to help them gain clarity on how they wish to authentically live and work.  Now offering a portfolio of specialist wellness coaching along with lifestyle and business coaching, this continues to strengthen Lisa's business offering. 

As a trained facilitator and with a background in business management, Lisa has a keen eye for detail and organisation, and enjoys supporting clients through project management or exploring that the best working methods and solutions are in place to support their operational needs.


Dan Higdon

Consultant UK


Dan was almost a pop star in the '80s playing guitar in the now legendary, Toxic Kangaroo Babies. With a performing arts background he was more than qualified to step into the corporate training world just as drama starting to be used. He now has over 25 years of experience working in this field, specialising in Behavioural Safety, predominantly for the Oil and Gas industry. 




Dave Latham

Principal Consultant UK

Dave has been part of the People Positive™ team since the late 90's and acts as a principal consultant developing and facilitating safety, culture and leadership and team development programmes. His experience in development training and facilitation goes back to the mid 80's and he has worked with people on expedition, in the classroom and in the workplace. Before that, he worked for a major oil company as well as site drilling supervisor. Dave's management and technical experience allows him to understand and connect with all his clients. Whilst he is happiest operating with people in the outdoors where he can help the experience make the difference, Dave is just as comfortable engaging with people in their own working environments. As well as a wide range of outdoor activity coaching and guiding qualifications Dave holds a First Class Honours Degree (BSc) in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen and a Master's Degree (MSc) in Logic and Methodology of Science from Sussex University.

Richard Opie

Consultant UK

Originally from Somerset, Richard worked an apprenticeship as an antique furniture restorer before training as an actor.  He spent some years getting greased up and wearing tights before entering the burgeoning corporate presenter and professional role-play market. Since then Richard has gained an I.L.M. qualification in Business Coaching and regularly facilitates coaching, training and drama based learning sessions around the world. He has worked across a wide range of industries including banking, oil & gas, construction and aerospace as well as many public sector arenas.  Richard has extensive experience of behavioural safety that is complimented by him being bosiet qualified and a regular offshore visitor. Finally he is an established presenter/host on the UK corporate video and conference/seminar circuit. When not delivering Richard’s time is taken up with his young family and trying to fit in the odd game of cricket.

Karen Darke

Consultant UK

Karen has the philosophy that to have the most impact in life we should challenge our constraints, adopt a positive mind-set and support each other to be the best we can be. As an athlete with the British Cycling Team and Silver Medallist in the 2012 Paralympics, Karen finds much of her inspiration through sport and outdoor adventure, and uses her own experience of overcoming challenges and optimising performance to help others through coaching, facilitation work and speaking in a variety of organisations. Karen developed her skills in coaching, organisational and leadership development roles with Royal Dutch Shell (8 years) and subsequently in her own business, Inspire and Impact, where she works most frequently with entrepreneurs in the third and public sectors. Karen has a PhD in Geology, an MA in Development Training and is a qualified coach. Examples of consultancy work Karen has been involved with include design and delivery of a leadership coaching programme for NHS Education Scotland, development and delivery of leadership development programmes for the Scottish Social Enterprise Academy and a graduate placement and development programme for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.   Karen continues to train as an athlete with British Cycling towards the 2016 Paralympics in Rio alongside her coaching, learning and inspirational speaking work. She is author of two books, If You Fall and Boundless.  

 'What is life if it isn't an adventure? I'm constantly amazed by what can be achieved if we set our heart and mind to it. It's all about finding belief, confidence, motivation and commitment. And of course, the love and support of friends and colleagues. Then there are no limits.'

Neil Millward

Consultant UK

In addition to running his own consultancy business, Neil has worked with us as a Consultant since 2002. He comes from a background in outdoor education/voluntary sector where he has spent many years in young people's training and development. When not working, he is often helping with young people's projects or working his croft by the Moray Firth. He is a power boating and VHF instructor and holds a BSc in Chemistry and an MBA from the Open University.

Our USA Team

Kim Carswell

Consultant USA

Kim has been associated with People Positive™ since his retirement in 2010.  Kim spent his entire professional career (over 32 years) in the oil and gas industry with Royal Dutch Shell in both the Upstream Business (Exploration and Production) and the **Downstream Business** (Manufacturing, Chemicals and Refining).   He is a Professional Engineer with a significant background in Operations, Engineering, and Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Management.  

Over the last 20 years Kim held Senior Leadership positions in HSE Case (Safety Case) Development, HSE Auditing, HSE Management Systems, Risk and Reliability, and both Operational Safety and Process Safety.  Kim also has developed and helped deliver Senior Leadership Sessions. 

Kim is very passionate about effective leadership, behaviours and HSE. His Management and Technical / Engineering experience allows him to easily relate to his clients and understands the challenges facing organisations today. Kim lives by the principle … “your Beliefs don’t make you a better person, your Behaviours do”.

Socorro Jones

Consultant USA

Socorro “Coco” Paz Jones has been associated with People Positive™ since 2011.  Coco is an energetic and highly effective leadership development consultant with over twenty-five years of international and domestic experience in human resource development focusing on organisation development, learning and change management.   As a former Senior Learning Consultant at Royal Dutch Shell, Coco designed, delivered and managed large-scale global leadership development interventions to staff and leaders on a variety of leadership and business competencies including coaching, motivating and developing people.  She is comfortable in cross-cultural environments and specialises in helping her clients maximize their full potential.  Coco has a proven track record in managing multiple stakeholders with separate agendas, and in facilitating interventions that effectively support strategic business objectives using a variety of learning methodologies including workplace learning, blended learning and accelerated learning.

Gillian Helwig

Consultant USA

A native Scot, Gillian has lived in many parts of the world, following her husband's career in the oil and gas industry.  She joined People Positive™ 7 years ago and has been part of the US team ever since, as an Xplore actor and assistant facilitator. A self-claimed "Jack of all Trades" she has worked in theatre, the aviation industry and in consular affairs.  As an experienced actor, she enjoys the interaction that drama brings to a workshop. Outside or PP work, she lives out in the country and takes care of four horses, three cats, two dogs, one husband and has zero spare time!

Peggy Boyd-Long

Consultant USA

Peggy has lived in Houston Texas for 26 years and has worked part time for the HSE Department of a major Oil company for 7 years, specialising in coordinating and assisting in safety programs.  She also works with People Positive™ in a similar capacity.  Through these experiences she has gained insight in Safety Culture Development, but also Team Building, Leadership Development and Problem Solving among the People Positive™ clients.  As a facilitator she likes to be a part of a team producing great outcomes for their clients, where they genuinely know that value has been added.  She says “it is amazing how the PP team works together to find personalised solutions to each client's issues - enabling them to witness the positive results.  People Positive™ always does what it says it will do - it is a privilege to be a part of the team”.

Our Australia Team

Cheryl Walmsley

Consultant AUS

For over 25 years, Cheryl has specialised in designing and delivering leadership programs, and managing large scale and bespoke OD and training initiatives. Cheryl’s expertise was acquired internationally and across multiple sectors  Cheryl’s industry experience includes agribusiness, retail/clothing, transport, consulting, engineering & construction and the not for profit sector. As a consultant, Cheryl has worked with both large and small organisations, delivering a wide variety of facilitated programs addressing challenges with change, conflict, problem solving, project delivery and business improvement. Facilitating teams, particularly management and project based teams ,coaching and counselling of individual managers and staff

As an HR generalist and advisor, Cheryl has been responsible for recruitment, selection and a wide range of performance management issues.

Our East Africa Team

Dr Anthony “Tony” Mitchell

Managing Director EAST AFRICA

Tony is the Managing Director of People Positive East Africa, as well as the President of Operations in the USA, and based in our Houston office. He joined the business after 21 years with BP, where he started his career as a Research Chemist, having graduated with a Doctoral Degree in Chemistry from Oxford University. Tony’s interest in business led him to various roles in BP’s oil and gas production arm, particularly in strategy and business development, where he began to engage People Positive™ in various BP projects. He enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to join the company!

Brian Haworth

Technical Director EAST AFRICA

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: I was born and raised here in Kenya, went to College in Scotland, and then came back. I have spent most of my professional life in the Construction Industry, before “semi-retiring” in 2015.
Q: Why welding?
A: Well, over the years, I've seen artisan skills slowly deteriorate and this has had a very negative impact in the workplace. For instance, I interview a lot of people for a lot of jobs, and sometimes I ask the welder interviewees some of the most basic questions – and they simply cannot answer them. Yet they have "Certificates" and "Papers". Qualifications on paper mean nothing, if you lack the practical knowledge and skills required. In the “days of old”, learning was through apprenticeship. You learned from the master of the craft until you could do a job just as good. The current theoretical approach, with minimal practical learning, desperately needs to change. I'm passionate about re-teaching, up-scaling, and up-grading the artisans we currently have into world-class technicians. I'm tired of seeing skills and expertise slowly diluting in the workplace, and then seeing local technicians locked out of local jobs as a result.
Q: What brought you out of “semi-retirement”? What do you want to achieve with PPEA?
A: I want to be a part of bringing real experts from around the world to Kenya, to train and produce highly qualified welders and other technicians. I want to give back to my country, Kenya. I want to be a part of making our local artisans Quality Technicians who are in demand, not only in Kenya, but around the world as well. 


Malcolm Marega

Business Development Manager East Africa EAST AFRICA

Malcolm is the Business Development Manager for People Positive East Africa (PPEA) and based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has over 15 years’ experience managing and growing businesses from SMEs in the UK to a renewable energy start-up in East Africa targeting off-grid low income families. His philosophy is investing in people, who are the key drivers of any business, to bring out their full potential. Malcolm has a pivotal responsibility in the establishment of PPEA Welding Institute, a PPEA initiative. Malcolm also manages our key partner relations in the region.

Charles Njendu

Operations Director EAST AFRICA

Charles is the Operations Director for People Positive East Africa and based in Nairobi, Kenya. Charles is the Founder and CEO of Broch International Limited, a leading supplier of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) equipment and associated services to the energy industry in East Africa, and also of Aviation Ground Support equipment. In order to satisfy the demands of the regional market, Broch has secured contracts with key international suppliers. Charles previously worked as a Kenyan diplomat based in Moscow.