CfLP Board

Sarah Glass

Sarah Glass
Executive Director

Originally from London, Sarah has made Cumbria her home for the last ten years. Initially the move to the area was to run her own successful hotel and restaurant business whilst latterly raising two young boys. This change in lifestyle followed several years in sales and marketing, predominantly in the travel and property sectors.

"I am very excited about supporting the team at the Centre for Leadership Performance and I'm looking forward to reaching out to local businesses with the great opportunities we have to offer. This effort will be based around our service offerings of Masterclasses, our Short courses and developing tailored leadership solutions. I believe passionately in building and developing local leadership skills which will be key to the continued success of businesses in the area and vital for growing new ones."

You can contact Sarah on:


Catherine Eve

Catherine Eve
Executive Director

After a number of years supporting the Centre for Leadership Performance as an associate trainer, Catherine Eve has now joined the team on a permanent basis. Catherine has worked in learning and development for 15 years and brings a wealth of training experience including leadership development and coaching.

Originally from West Cumbria, Catherine has worked in Reading, London and Newcastle. Living and working back in Cumbria she is delighted to be able to support the work of the Centre in developing Cumbria's leaders, "Effective leadership is key to the success of every organisation. A great leader engages others, harnesses their enthusiasm and talent and helps them do their best work. It is a real privilege to do more of the work I love in Cumbria, the place I grew up, where my friends and family work and my own children are starting out on their own careers."

Catherine will focus on growing bespoke leadership work, designing and delivering tailored leadership programmes to meet the needs of local businesses. She will also be involved in the short course programmes and acclaimed Leader2Leader programme. Catherine has recently completed her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, one of the first people in the country to hold the qualification. Her research into leaders and their impact on the optimism and resilience of their employees will help her to bring the latest knowledge and ideas to the leaders of Cumbria.

You can contact Catherine on:


Chris Theobold

Chris Theobald
Chair of the Board

Chris Theobald has held senior positions with Thales and BAE Systems, working on the Apache helicopter programme and becoming leader of a business unit within a joint venture between BAE Systems and Finmeccanica. He moved to the nuclear sector, with an appointment as a managing director within Serco, and also served as vice president UK and Europe for Babcock & Wilcox, a US nuclear company with a UK heritage.

For the last three years he has also been a director on the board of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the publicly-owned nuclear fusion energy research laboratory in Oxfordshire.

Now Chris brings his experience and knowledge - and his clear passion for seeing people reach their full potential whatever their background or start in life - to Cumbria as the new chair of the board for the Centre for Leadership Performance (CfLP). His first link to Cumbria dates back to 2007 when, through Serco, he served as a Board Director on the Parent Body Organisation for the Low Level Waste Repository (LLWR) at Drigg. He gained a deeper understanding of Cumbria, not just of the present, but also of its past. "There’s a resilience and a resourcefulness to the people here, influenced by geography, climate and a remoteness from metropolitan Britain," he said.

"Companies and managers come and go but Cumbrian families, their traditions and those Cumbrian hills will outlast us all."

Chris strongly believes developing local talent will lead to local and regional prosperity. Attracting 'returners' who have a connection with Cumbria, back to the county, is also seen by Chris as key to "cross-fertilising the Cumbria talent pool".

"With world-class problems to solve in places like Sellafield, Cumbria will always need world-class talent," he said.

"Sellafield is a massive engine for economic activity in the county and beyond. The challenge is to focus the benefit more locally and more sustainably."

"CfLP is a small, but significant, signpost to one way of meeting that challenge.
"Driven by its passionate employees, associates and supporters CfLP was able to steadily grow over seven years to a break-even position, underpinned by enduring support from companies, public and private sector leaders, and of course its many alumni."

Chris brings a respect for, and commitment to, Cumbria, an enduring interest in people being the best that they can be and a seasoned view, honed mainly outside of the county.
He said: "It’s vital that the Board is able to steer the CfLP business, based on an ability to see the business as others do and might.

"I really hope our legacy would be a stable and growing CfLP with the students of yesterday becoming leaders of the day with the potential to be the mentors of tomorrow. "Then we would have been true to our Mission: 'Developing Cumbria's Leaders for Today and Tomorrow'."


Adrian Davis-Johnson

Adrian Davis-Johnson
Board Member

Adrian is head of research, development and innovation at Nuvia UK, an international nuclear engineering, project management and services contractor which has developed a reputation for high-quality delivery.

As the previous programme director of the Innovus initiative, Adrian unlocked almost £3.2m of investment in developing 59 innovations by Cumbria SMEs in a three-year-period. Many of those businesses are still having success and growing, thanks to that initial investment, with all the knock-on benefits that brings for employment and the Cumbria economy.

Now as a board member at the Centre For Leadership Performance, Adrian is excited at how the centre and its associates can achieve lasting positive impacts which will benefit individuals, businesses and the whole of Cumbria, not just now, but for generations to come.

"What I like about the Centre For Leadership Performance is that it takes that cradle to grave approach to leadership and life skills and makes Cumbria an even better place to be," said Adrian. “By improving people's life skills across all stages - whether through the different stages of education or throughout people's careers in business - it has a big impact on Cumbria's eco-system.

"There’s a significant business benefit, social benefit, and cultural benefit from the work that the Centre for Leadership Performance does. We may have only 500,000 people in Cumbria, but we have some phenomenal businesses who are achieving amazing things, and we have resilient, passionate, proud people. The Centre for Leadership Performance builds on these attributes by instilling skills and capabilities across all stages of life, starting with children who are our future."

Adrian's day job is all about bringing about impactful, positive change, and he feels that the Centre for Leadership Performance is all about that too. It's about changing people's outputs and destinies.


Joanna Petrie Rout

Joanna Petrie Rout
Board Member

Good leaders never stop learning. That’s why head of leadership development at Sellafield, Joanna Petrie-Rout, is so excited about what can be achieved by the Centre for Leadership Performance.

"I think the work of the Centre for Leadership Performance is critical, because no matter where you are in your career you can always be a better leader, we can always improve and develop our thinking and our skills,” said Joanna. “You see the positive impact that great leadership has. And as a leader there is always something more that you can do. Everyone remembers the leaders that have inspired them and helped them be their best," she said.

As a board member of the Centre for Leadership Performance, one area of focus for Joanna is the impact that offering leadership learning can have on young people leaving secondary school, or coming out of university.

"If we can support people in Cumbria in this way, when people are at a turning point in their lives, we can ensure they are masters of their own destiny, able to have confidence, make their own decisions and improve their own outcomes.”
Leadership - whether working with school students or those in business - is one way Joanna believes Cumbria can gain that all-important competitive edge

Joanna, originally from London, made the move to Cumbria. And she wants others to follow, drawn here by excellence. "We want Cumbria to be a place which people really want to come to because of the quality of our leadership, our people and our talent. There is incredible talent in Cumbria. The Centre for Leadership Performance is so aligned with my own personal values, it is really focused on creating the opportunity for people to fulfil their potential and I am delighted to be able to support them."


Rebecca Weston

Dr Rebecca Weston CPhys, CEng, FInstP, MBA (Oxon)
Board Member

Rebecca has been a member of the CfLP board since 2012, and brings the benefit of huge experience gained in senior positions at Sellafield in Operations, Technical and Commercial, across a range of nuclear operations and waste management activities. She recently added an Executive MBA to her professional and technical qualifications.

Rebecca has particular expertise in Special Nuclear Material and the back end of the fuel cycle and is currently a senior manager within the Decommissioning Division. She had also been involved in the integrated change programme at Sellafield, with a specific remit on "improving leadership" with a focus on behaviours.

A Chartered Physicist and Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Rebecca is PhD qualified and a Learned Member of the Nuclear Institute. She has volunteered for some 10 years at branch level, having chaired the Cumbria branch for 3 years until the end of 2013 and also served on the Education and Training Committee for the Institute, again demonstrating her commitment to skills, training and development.

CfLP Management

Sharon Nixon

Sharon Nixon
Finance Manager

Sharon was brought up in Dorset and has spent most of her working life in the education sector. She initially worked as a marine geochemist at Southampton University but moved in to academic administration in 2000. She came to Cumbria in 2002 to work at the University of Cumbria (formerly St Martin's College) where her career developed into Enterprise and Outreach work primarily with European-funded projects aimed at supporting local small-to-medium sized enterprises.

She joined CfLP in 2012 initially working on the operational and programme management of supplied in services to the CfLP. Her work then developed into finances and general project management and, most recently, she has focussed in on the finance and office management needs of the business.

"I am a strong believer in opportunity through education and training and during the years that I have worked at CfLP I have seen many examples of this. I am thrilled to be continuing my work at CfLP by focussing in the financial and operational areas of the business, which I love. It is great to be part of a high quality service being delivered in Cumbria to Cumbrians, offering unique facilitative, inspirational and empowering events and programmes that make a real difference."

You can contact Sharon on:


Sarah Pearce

Sarah Pearce
Office Manager

Brought up in Birmingham, Sarah move to Cumbria to study Outdoor Studies at the University of Cumbria, Ambleside.

Sarah has worked in both the third sector and public sector in a variety of roles from administration, project management to managing volunteers.

Sarah joined CFLP office in Autumn 2019 to help support the growth of the company.

"I am really excited to be part of this growing organisation who are offering such valuable learning opportunities and experiences to the leaders of today and tomorrow."

You can contact Sarah on:


Kate Wilson

Kate Wilson
Marketing Manager

Kate has 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, from the roots of sales representation to director level in various industries including publishing and hospitality. In 2006 she moved to Cumbria with her family, and in 2013 established her own marketing and web design business with the aim of balancing home and work life.

Kate is passionate about helping young people to dream big, to explore and make the most of all opportunities available to them through the inspirational programmes on offer in Cumbria through Centre for Leadership Performance and partners. Kate now supports CfLP as Marketing Manager. and also continues to volunteer when time allows with CfLP, Inspira and other partner organisations to provide skills training and career advice in school to help inspire the next generation of Cumbrian leaders.

"To work with this passionate, professional and expert team to develop Cumbria’s leaders for today and tomorrow is the job I would have aspired to when young. I just didn’t know it then! Now I hope we help to open up minds in all ages and at all stages to raise aspirations, improve leadership skills and develop even more talent in Cumbria."

You can contact Kate on:


Melanie Wheatley

Melanie Wheatley
PBP Brokerage Manager

Melanie, a television producer, director, filmmaker and marketeer by profession, brokers relationships between businesses and primary schools for the Primary Business Partnership

Through developing relationships with business and schools, Melanie is able to play matchmaker - matching the commitment a business can give to help young people in its community, to what a particular school in that community wants and needs. The schools have really embraced the partnership. "The teachers have looked closely at where they need support and help us to make sure what we offer is supportive and worthwhile for the children."

The scheme relies on volunteer business people going into schools and sharing their experiences with the young students. "The children hear these stories and they realise what opportunities are out there. It is teaching them they can be whoever they want to be," said Melanie. "We encourage children to find out what they enjoy doing, and we show them that there can be careers based around things they love. We help the children to think and discuss ideas about future careers and developing their skills in areas that they enjoy. As well as softer skills, we also share practical skills which will help them such as working with them on mock interviews and building up their resilience."

You can contact Melanie on:

To visit the Primary Business Partnership website click here


Claire Johnson

Claire Johnson
PBP Project Manager

Children who initially struggle at school should not for a second doubt their ability to achieve success and happiness in their lives. That’s the view of Claire Johnson who helps run the Primary Business Partnership for the Centre for Leadership Performance.

Claire says she struggled at school herself. And it wasn’t until she was inspired by her biology teacher - Mrs Patefield - that she found her path. So when the opportunity arose to help the Centre For Leadership Performance on its work to help inspire primary schoolchildren to achieve their potential through the Primary Business Partnership, Claire jumped at the opportunity.

Centre for Leadership Performance is the delivery partner for the Primary Business Partnership, a four-year programme funded and established by OneAIM, a joint venture between Wood and Interserve.

Claire, who works alongside Melanie Wheatley, organises the logistics of the Primary Business Partnership programme, communicating with the volunteers who have agreed to support the initiative which brings businesses and primary schools together to promote career based learning. She is in her element working on Primary Business Partnership.

"The best part of the job is going into the primary schools, meeting up with the volunteers, and seeing the interaction with the children," said Claire. "A lot of my job is liaising with the volunteers and making sure everything goes smoothly. But the best thing is when you are in the classroom with the children and volunteers and the children are engaging with you, and asking you questions, and are interested in things you have done in your career."

"One of the sessions that the PBP runs is the Aspiration session. It is all about inspiring the children that they can be who they want to be and that if they work hard they have a great chance of achieving their dreams."

"We get volunteers from all different backgrounds to talk to the children, and all the volunteers are great. We get really good feedback from the teachers about the children being inspired. I am a firm believer that we need to tell primary school children about all of the opportunities available to them so that they can aspire to be something great."

"It reminds me of my varied career path and all of the different skills and knowledge that I've gained from all of my different experiences. I can get some pretty left field questions, that’s what makes the sessions so great, the unpredictability of it and the enthusiasm of the children."

You can contact Claire at:


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