Christine Edwards (Chair)
Christine has a wide range of experience including Management Audit, Interim Management, Collections & Litigation Leadership, Executive Training & Development, Communication, Strategy and Change Leadership. She has developed and executed successful team growth strategies in complex and changing environments. Roles have included leading a team of over 70, prioritising and managing an investment portfolio of £280m and supporting a team of 650 with associated governance and cost management of £20m for the function.
Starting as a Management Accountant Trainee with a small finance company, roles developed in the banking sector from an early career in audit followed by operational management, Head of Development, into leading a Strategy function to build a new business operation. Christine was invited to lead a variety of roles through four integrations, including the Lloyds Banking Group/HBOS Commercial integration of 80 migration events, and savings of £300m. Christine specialised in this area, expanded her technical change knowledge, and focused on the development and growth of teams.
Christine lives in North Wales, has two daughters, is an Aura customer and volunteers – UKCC Level 4 Trampolining Coach.
Bob Tarry (Vice Chair)
Bob had a 33-year career (nationally) with the Littlewoods Organisation, working in both Group but, primarily, in the Retail division. 15 years of this was in front line store management operations followed by 18 years in the Liverpool Head Office which enabled him to settle in Chester. Bob’s final role with Littlewoods, up until the sale of the Stores division and redundancy, was as Associate Director responsible for all Retail Property Services. He then undertook two further roles over a four-year period as a Site Services Director followed by an interim Project role with a local college before taking early retirement.
Having retired, Bob decided to utilise his past experience in a positive way and undertook a role as a Board Member for Wulvern Housing (a 6000 home housing provider in Crewe). During his five years there, Bob gained valuable Committee experience in Audit and Governance matters, was appointed Vice Chair of the Board, and was heavily involved in the merger with the Guinness Partnership completed in January 2017.
Bob is currently a Non-Executive Director on two subsidiary boards: Guinness Property and iFM Bolton (NHS Trust) and, in addition, volunteers weekly with Chester Citizens Advice.
Bob also enjoys indulging his hobbies which include Scuba diving and Octopush.
Jay Davies (Aura Workforce Representative)
Jay is currently an Exercise Professional and Exercise Referral Coordinator within the Referral team. He has been one of the Coordinators for over two years and an Exercise Professional for nine years. He started his career as a Fitness Instructor at Mold Leisure Centre and has subsequently progressed to his current roles.
Jay has successfully run his own Personal Training Business for the last four years and has grown the business from just one hour per week to several (plus a couple of successful classes too).
Jay is keen to be successful in this role and provide his colleagues in Aura Leisure & Libraries with a true voice. He believes that the company already has fantastic employees to take it forward and is keen to be part of its future success.
Liz is currently Head of Customers, Communications & Marketing at Denbighshire County Council where she is responsible for corporate communications, tourism, customer contact centres and libraries. Her professional background includes experience in publishing, freelance public relations, voluntary sector development, project management, strategic public sector partnerships and business planning & performance.
Liz has been a trustee of a mental health charity, a primary school governor and a committee member of various small community organisations. She lives in Nannerch, Flintshire with her husband and two children (both of whom currently attend school in Mold). She has enjoyed a variety of activities and events in libraries and leisure centres across Flintshire over the last seventeen years and looks forward to helping secure a sustainable future for Aura to ensure others can continue to enjoy the same opportunities.
John’s background is in the management of sport, leisure and community organisations in both the public and voluntary sectors and he will bring this experience, together with project management and partnership working, to Aura.
John is a Trustee of Flintshire Local Voluntary Council and a member of the North Wales & Borders Partnership Board for the Canal & Rivers Trust.
Tracey is a Director for Jamie Carragher’s 23 Foundation and North Wales Dragons. She is currently based at Llandudno Football in the Community where she is a strategic consultant advising organisations about key strategic issues and professions, primarily within football clubs, as well as how to improve profitability within community hubs. Tracey has funding awareness within the Third Sector and experience in identifying problems, seeking solutions and reviewing strategy. Her other key strengths include undertaking industry sector research, analysing data and statistics, outlining objectives, and presenting and implementing agreed solutions. Tracey also has experience of sourcing and applying for funding that fits the needs of business.
Tracey has been married for 36 years and has two children and two young granddaughters.
Kris is passionate about how technology can contribute to the business and is driven by how business can benefit from the ‘digital revolution’. He has a proven track record in operating within complex environments and has been successful leading several turnaround initiatives in the past. Kris is experienced in setting up and managing international teams including complex, federated organisations in different regions. Daily duties include close collaboration with internal and external customers on different chief officer and director levels.
The years of experience include operations in emerging markets like Russia, Uzbekistan and Brazil as well as with well-established economies like the US, Canada and countries in the European Union.
Kris holds a Master degree in Electronics & Telecommunications with speciality in Industrial Automation; is passionate about data protection and its practical application to the business; and is a Member of the Institute of Directors and its Welsh Management Committee.
During his career in technology, Kris has worked from engineer, through to project/programme manager, to various business development and customer-related positions in several countries. He was previously a Managing Director for the third largest producer of juices and drinks in Poland.
Simon has nearly 40 years’ experience within the Logistics industry, at both retail and wholesale level, specialising within the food sector. This has involved building businesses from initial ‘start up’ as well as working for a FTSE 250 company. His areas of responsibility over the years include storage, warehousing, distribution, transport, purchasing, contracts, tenders, annualised hours and seminars to name but a few.
From 2003, Simon has worked for Flintshire County Council, and now Aura, as a relief library assistant as well as concentrating on growing a career as an Equestrian Commentator throughout the UK. This has been a way of building a second career following his full time retirement in 2003. Simon has commentated at the Horse of the Year Show, the Royal International Horse Show and the Royal Cheshire Show.
Simon has enjoyed success throughout his business career and considers himself a good ‘all- rounder’. He is keen to share these attributes with Aura colleagues.
Bill has extensive experience at director level within the financial services industry with an outstanding track record of developing existing businesses and bringing new ones to the market.
He started his working life as a trainee accountant with Pannel Kerr Foster and then held several Company Accountant positions within The Littlewoods Organisation before joining Bank of Scotland in 1988, and The Mortgage Business plc (TMB) in 1994, subsequently becoming Managing Director in 2000.
In the next five years Assets were increased from £2B to £10B, and Profits were managed up from £23m £130m. This represented more than double the overall UK market growth during the same period and established TMB as a Top Twenty UK Lender and the third largest Buy to Let Lender.
In 2005 he was approached by Deutsche Bank AG to set up their first retail operation in the UK, db mortgages (DBM).
He lives in North Wales and enjoys hillwalking, golf and motorcycling.
Originally from Liverpool my career began in store management with the Littlewoods Organisation straight after leaving school following my A level exams. I have lived and worked throughout the UK, ultimately managing 6 stores. I was Store Manager of the Year in 1988. In September 1989 I was appointed store manager of Littlewoods Chester and thus my family settled in Flintshire thereafter – the best move ever!
I was made redundant in April 1999 and 2 weeks later became Centre Manager of Broughton Shopping Park which opened shortly afterwards. My role grew over the years to include 9 other retail parks throughout the North West and North Wales. I was made redundant once again in May 2017 after 18 years with British Land, Savills, and Broadgate Estates.
I have been a community governor at St David’s High School since 2001.
I am a keen sportsman and play squash and 5 aside football twice each week at Deeside Leisure Centre. I am a keen cook and always trying to improve my culinary skills.