'I attended both The Allertonshire and Grammar Schools between 1983 and 1990, leaving with GCSEs (was a GCSE guinea pig) and A Levels in History, Geography and Sociology. I then went onto Leicester University where I graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Political Government and Public Order.
I wanted at that time to stay in North Yorkshire and gained a place with the police on their graduate course. At the last minute I switched to retail management and stayed in that sector until the late 90s when I joined Manchester Airport Group. I became Commercial Director there before heading to Devon to become Managing Director of Exeter Airport.
Five years in beautiful Dartmoor was ahead of me and my partner and our two dogs. Post the banking crisis in 2007, I moved out of airports and into ferry transportation until settling in Chester, where ironically I had started my career some twenty years earlier.
I took on a role as Chief Operating officer at Chester Zoo. The largest zoo in the UK, with over 2 million visitors, 30,000 animals and employing 1,000 people. We work in over 40 countries around the world and I know we have hosted students from Northallerton School on a number of occasions. In March 2021 I was made Chief Executive.
My mum still lives in Northallerton and I try and visit a few times a year where possible. My sister, Alison emigrated to Switzerland where she now lives with her husband and children.'