Chair of Trading Board
Debbie is a professional in Retail Management with 15 years’ experience in retail buying, retail strategy, store management and marketing in Marks and Spencer. She managed a large team and a large budget as the Head of Buying in the Home department as well as acting as an internal consultant when the company went through a radical buying restructure.
She has spent the last 10 years working for the University of Kent in the Kent Business School as a Senior Lecturer teaching in Retail Management and Enterprise. She has a strategic leadership role as part of the Executive Management group for the Business School which deals with the governance, finance, education, research, external engagement, staff and student experience strategies. Alongside this she is also the Head of Employability and Placements supporting students to gain experience and skills to be ‘work ready’. Debbie particularly enjoys working with students who as the next generation of business leaders who are motivated and entrepreneurial. Working and supporting local Kent companies and charities is part of the civic mission for the University, who are very supportive of Debbie taking on this trustee role for Demelza.
She is a keen supporter of UK High Streets regeneration and runs a programme of workshops for independent retailers to support their growth and survival. Most recently she completed an MBA with a level 7 CMI qualification and looks forward to applying her experience to support the growth and sustainability of Demelza.