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John has been supporting co-ops and community businesses for over 15 years, with his first job in Rochdale of all places! Now focusing on membership, strategy and his passion for worker co-ops, he has been a director of a law centre, a community transport operation and Co-operative and Community Finance.
As part of the management team at Co-operatives UK, he leads our membership and events team. He believes our mission is to unite members, helping them to connect, learn and inspire each other. In his spare time, John was a founder member and still supports the Worker Co-op Solidarity Fund – and you may find him running in the fells above Rochdale, where he still lives.
Leoni has been planning training courses, gala dinners and conferences for nearly 10 years, since graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with an Events Management Degree. Since joining Co-operatives UK in 2016, she's co-ordinated an events programme of 60+ events per year, including flagship events; Co-operative Retail Conference, Worker Co-op Weekend, Congress and Practitioners Forum. When not planning a Co-operatives UK or personal event, Leoni enjoys long walks, online fitness classes and spending time with her cats, Simba and Mylo.
Our Agriculture Manager, Richard Self, boasts more than 30 years of experience within the farming, food and land-based industries. Richard heads up the £2m EDGE Apprenticeships scheme at Anglia Farmers and was formerly Regional Manager and national lead on training development at European Farming and Food Partnerships (EFFP). Rural Business Manager at Business Link Suffolk and a Manager at FMTS, a subsidiary of Fram Farmers.
Gareth has been finding solutions to common business needs for almost 20 years. He’s worked with clients from a range of sectors in the UK and across Europe. Since joining Co-operatives UK in 2012, he’s been working directly with our members to ensure they have access to practical advice and guidance. He also delivers training and hosts local networking events. Gareth is never too far from co-ops, as he’s an active member of his local credit union, a co-op pub and a brewery. In his spare time, you’ll find him walking in the hills or riding one of his bikes.