Colin Gilligan (Chair)
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.
Jay Davies (Vice Chair)
Jay is currently working as Strategic Performance Advisor for Flintshire County Council, where he is accountable for providing and facilitating performance and business data, risk management, business continuity and corporate governance, intelligence, analysis and advice to the Chief Officer Team, elected members and partners to enable them to undertake strategic decision making.
Jay previously worked within Aura as an Exercise Professional and Exercise Referral Coordinator within the Referral team. He was 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 role.
Jay also has experience of running a successful Personal Training business, which grew from just one hour per week to several hours and a number of exercise classes. He managed a client base of over 65 clients.
Jay is keen to be successful in this role and believes that the company already has fantastic employees to take it forward.
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.
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.
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.
I have worked in leisure centres in Flintshire since 2008 working in a number of different roles such as lifeguard, swimming instructor and sports coach. Not long after I started volunteering with the Sports Development and become a member of staff in 2012 and become a full time member of staff in 2017. In 2014 I graduated from university with a degree in sports coaching.
I have over 20 years experience working across all sectors, but with the majority of my working life supporting public sector and charitable organisations, both as an employee and as a consultant. My main role has been to find ways to improve, which I always approach in a pragmatic common sense way.
I have previously worked in a number of roles across Flintshire County Council including working with Leisure Services. I initially started my working career helping out in the post room way back in the 1980s, before leaving to achieve a degree in Accountancy in London. From there I have worked my way back up the country before settling back down again in my home county of Flintshire.
I currently work at the Disclosure and Barring Service, within the Finance & Corporate Services Directorate as Head of Directorate Development, where I have a reputation of “getting things done” whilst ensuring that all staff are fully engaged along the way.
Achievements that I am proud of include; my family and home life, having finally found our dream property 2 years ago, my husband and I are now tackling the never ending task of making it our dream home, and receiving an Award for Outstanding Contribution on completion of my MBA at the University of Liverpool. I’m particularly proud of this award as I was chosen from across the entire management school cohort, which included all undergraduates, masters and PhD students.
John started his working life in the Royal Navy followed by over 30 years as a police officer serving in the Metropolitan, Cheshire and North Wales Forces. Following his retirement from the police he worked for a utility company in North East Wales specialising in business continuity, incident management, training, security and corporate risk before fully retiring in 2018. He spends much of his time now on the golf course but can also be found on his road bike. John works as a volunteer for the Witness Service at Chester Crown Court supporting victims and witnesses when they attend court to give evidence. He is also an Aura volunteer working alongside Sports Development Co-ordinators at the Saltney and Hope sports hubs. John is also an Aura customer. He is hoping to contribute to the business of the board utilising some of the skills he has obtained during his working career.
With more than 10 years’ worth of experience in the media, event organising, television and radio presenting and PR, Rachel has garnered national acclaim in sports and news journalism, as well as writing innovative human interest features in The Leader newspaper titles headed up in North Wales. She has a BA (Hons) degree in French, Spanish and Drama from the University of the West of England in Bristol, and moved onto postgraduate study at Wrexham Glyndwr University, where she achieved her professional NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, whilst also serving as a board member for the Student Union. In addition, Rachel has worked as a reporter for thriving digital media company Wrexham.com, and continues to lend her voiceover talents to film, television, and radio.
In her spare time, Rachel has volunteered for charities including The Trussell Trust and The Red Cross and loves to unwind by baking or cooking something ‘extremely tasty’ for her family and friends. She enjoys a fit and healthy lifestyle and loves nothing more than a long beach walk in the sunshine or a challenging session of Aerial Pilates!