Career background

I am an award winning public affairs, communications, stakeholder relations and policy specialist with nearly two decades' experience, including in the following:

Head of Government Affairs & Communications for Vivergo Fuels (UK's largest bioethanol plant) 

- Winner of 2017 Public Affairs Award for Corporate Campaign of the Year, Renewable Energy Association 2016 Award for promoting renewables, Vivergo 'Position for Growth' award & nominated for British Sugar 'Position for Growth Award'

- Successfully campaigned for amendment to Government's renewable transport policy

- Gave oral evidence to Parliamentary inquiries & submitted consultation responses on Government policy

Founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Bioethanol & the national campaign for E10 

- Authored in-depth reports published by Parliamentary Committees

- Managed national public information campaign including videos, guerrilla marketing & social media

- Wrote, designed & managed www.britishbioethanol.co.uk 

Energy Strategy Lead for the Humber LEP (covering four local authorities in the Humber region)

- Organiser of the first ever Northern Powerhouse Energy & Clean Growth Conference, with a 1,000+ attendees, 50+ exhibitors, 130+ speakers over 40+ specialised sessions 

-  Oversaw research, writing and publication of 120-page Humber Energy Strategy 

Senior Corporate Affairs Manager for Britvic plc (the UK's largest soft drinks company)

- Managed stakeholder relations & communications for £26m factory expansion

- Organised live televised factory visit for Chancellor George Osborne & local MPs

- Managed public affairs & communications for new product launches eg. Robinson's No Added Sugar

 

Public Affairs Manager for Ladbrokes plc (the World's largest retail bookmaker)

- Managed over 200 local meetings & 'shop visits' with MPs

- Chaired Community Fund supporting local good causes 

- Managed crisis communications including 2011 Riots, shop burglaries & other security issues

- Managed political betting markets for elections and key events

Senior Account Manager at Green Issues Communications (stakeholder relations agency specialising in local engagement for planning applications) 

- 100% success rate of managing projects through to achieving planning/licensing permissions

- Clients included house builders; airports & ports; hotels; logistics hubs; supermarkets & on-shore wind farms

- Organised public exhibitions, focus groups & workshops for major developments

- Organised major events with speakers including David Cameron & David Blunkett 

Managing Director of Lionheart Public Affairs (freelance public affairs work)

- Worked across various sectors including healthcare, medical devices, property development, and recycling

- Authored report on Sepsis, launched by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt at House of Commons reception

- Authored Parliamentary report on Oesophageal Cancer 

- Managed media relations for new medical devices in areas such as atrial fibrillation  

Senior Public Affairs Manager for Food & Drink Federation (the UK's food & drink trade body) 

- Organised major events with speakers including BIS Secretary Sajid Javid

- Acted as APPG Secretariat; managed public affairs for Sugar Awareness Week

- Worked with devolved assemblies in Scotland & Wales on key issues

Public Affairs Manager for Association of British Bookmakers (trade body representing the UK's betting & gaming companies)

- Ran public affairs around launch of Responsible Gambling Code

- Chaired industry meetings and built cross-sector coalitions

Public Affairs Manager at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (the UK's trade body for pharmacists)

- Ran public affairs campaigns on key issues including car homes, abuse of painkillers & technological innovation

Campaign Manager for Trade Minister Greg Hands MP, at the 2005 General Election

- Won seat from opposition, securing a 3k majority and laying groundwork for winning control of council

Press & Communications Officer for Andrew Rosindell MP

- Managed local media & campaigns; attended constituency surgeries; managed volunteers

Export Licensing Officer for the Department of Trade & Industry 

- Sat on Advisory Panel with Foreign Office & Ministry of Defence overseeing proper legal export of items

What those who have worked with me say ...

“Richard’s RTFO campaign completely overshadowed any others I’ve seen in the last 15 years. He built a coalition of supportive stakeholders and left the Government in no doubt as to the consequences of a poor decision. As the campaign intensified, it completely changed Government thinking and and resulted in the sector getting a much better result, which ensured its commercial survival. I can only put the change in result down to Richard's campaign."

 - Dr Jeremy Tomkinson, CEO, National Non-Food Crop Centre 

 

“The essence of a good campaign is to understand who you are trying to influence and the messages you need to motivate them. Richard’s campaign recognised this, connected them in a methodical way, enthused stakeholders and influenced decision makers. The campaign undoubtedly made an important difference to the result which had real-life commercial benefit and helped to secure livelihoods.”

- Clare Wenner, Head of Renewable Transport, Renewable Energy Association

"One of Richard’s main strengths is his ability to get to grips with complex policy areas and turn them into impactful and creative campaigns. He has good judgement on the best tactics to deploy when engaging with political, consumer and business audiences. He works well both autonomously or as part of a team and can always be relied on to deliver excellent results. He would be an asset to any advocacy and communications team."

- Katharine Teague, Head of Advocacy, AB Sugar 

"Richard has a deep knowledge of public affairs and demonstrated sound judgement when it came to strategic and tactical responses to the myriad policy challenges that food and drink manufacturers face. He quickly became a trusted source of expert advice and worked diligently to further our public affairs objectives."

- Tim Rycroft, Chief Operating Officer, Food & Drink Federation

"Richard is a force for driving change in the Government’s agenda. Well connected and relentless in his pursuit of a goal, Richard made things happen and created a large and positive impact quickly and effectively. Passionate, dedicated and committed, he makes sure that his team shares the same approach and high standards."

- Alison Puente, former Account Director, Finn PR

 

"I have witnessed Richard drive significant improvements through his campaigning and skills. His ability to network at a senior level, paired with his great understanding of government policy, made Richard a valuable member of the team. Richard also used his skills to lead an internal communications team and opened the door to a greater world of external communications, than we had seen before. Richard is a great colleague and always willing to support the team."

- Sharleen Lawless, Director of E&D Talent Ltd

"Richard and I have worked together on a number of projects and I have always appreciated his sound judgement and consistently good advice. He has a thorough knoweldge of policy and public affairs and a real eye for strategic detail. He's someone who knows how to make things happen and inspires others through his enthusiasm and leadership."

- Carl Thomson, Senior Director, Interel 

"Richard has first-rate political knowledge at both the local and national level, and is well connected with senior politicians. He repeatedly wins new business in new sectors, and cultivates lasting relationships with clients."

- James Cox, Head of Public Affairs, Pennon Group Plc

"I've worked with Richard on several projects and events, which have raised funds and the profile of our charity. He is extremely well organised, good at managing people, and calm in a crisis. Our charity has greatly benefited from working alongside him."

- Richard Peers, UK Director of iOrphan

 
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