Roundtable Chairpersons



Rodney is the Operational Services Director for General Insurance  at LV= and is responsible for a range of services provided across the insurance contact centre including planning, business performance, operational change, training, business standards, customer relations and insight.  With over 20 years experience in service and operational roles in frontline delivery, operational services and senior management, he’s always been focused on what he loves most and that’s putting the customer and people at the heart of the business.

Martin Hill-Wilson, Founder, Brainfood Consulting

Martin is a customer engagement and post silo business strategist. He is also an author, international keynote speaker and chair.  Working under his own brand, Brainfood Consulting, he delivers a range of master classes and interventions.  Current topics include empowered service cultures, omni-channel design, automation and self service, proactive service models, mobile and social customer service.  All targeted at delivering disruptive service innovation.  Martin is also a founding member of Beyond Silos – a group of specialist practitioners offering design and delivery service for embedding customer hubs – next generation customer engagement.



Roy Holmes, Sales & Marketing Director, Vocalcom

Roy Holmes has worked in the Contact Centre arena for 30 years. He has worked for many of the leading suppliers in the industry including IBM, Aspect, Rockwell, Noble, and currently works for Vocalcom as Head of Sales and Marketing. He has successfully run his own consultancy business for over 10 years.


Darron Burness, Teleworking Operations Manager, The AA

Darron has worked at the Automobile Association for 25 years this year, working with a remote workforce therefore is nothing new.
In July 2015 following a short spell working in India, looking particularly at business improvements on a new joint venture with TVS, Darron was asked to manage the AA’s remote ‘Teleworking’ team.
Next year sees 20 years of The AA’s remote call centre ‘Teleworking’, which was created following the closure of its Leeds call centre. With the average length of service running at 13 and a half years, staff love the flexibility the role brings.
With no previous call centre experience, however a vast knowledge of the business and excellent networking skills, Darron and his team have delivered a reduction in AHT of over 30 seconds and increased customer satisfaction along with a quality score.
25 years of working in a fast paced Emergency breakdown environment, Darron has always been focused on a ‘one team’ ethos, listening to frontline staff and management team to deliver exceptional customer experience time after time.

Darron Burness


Craig McVoy, Managing Director, Consort

Working with the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, JLR, Audi, LV= & Direct Line, Craig has worked with some of the worlds most customer centric brands on their customer and employee strategies. before setting up Consort. Consort thinks differently. Consort believe there is a better way to profit and that businesses can deliver brand value by improving the experience. Craig launches Beyond Brand in June 2016 to cater for the needs of the business who wants the same tools the big corporates use but without the big bills of consultancy. Craig is a leading speaker & author on the topics of customer & employee experience and will release his forthcoming book ‘Beyond Brand’ in the coming months.

Michael Peniket, Specialist Consultant, Ember Services

Michael has 10 years in the telecommunications, retail, financial services and outsourcing industries where he performed a variety of leading customer centric roles delivering operational, tactical and strategic initiatives within the customer operations and customer experience space. Also working in a number of roles in client management during his time with Openreach and Capita. Michael’s core speciality is within contact centre operations, people management, telephony/IVR, multi-channel self-service capability and customer experience design. In Michael’s recent role he was the General Manager for the Public Sector and Utility Operations within Capita Customer Management. He led his teams to deliver upsides in commercial performance, through efficiency saving and process improvement. He was also responsible for  the Operational design for successful bids in both of these sectors. His wealth of experience within the contact centre domain also includes skills in change management, product management,  management and service operations.

Michael piniket


Sharon Field, Managing Director, Fortalis

Sharon is the MD and Founder of Fortalis, a bespoke outsource business service provider and specialist homeworking organisation

James Leech, Head of Digital, Technology and Innovation, Sainsbury’s Argos Customer Management Centres

James has worked for Argos (Home Retail Group) his whole career. After University (he studied Management Science and Computer Science) he worked his way up through the various management positions in store, and then became an area manager. After briefly running a region for Argos, he moved into Head Office and became responsible for the development of customer service within stores. Whilst doing this, he became involved in creating the current strategic road map for Argos, specifically around multi-channel customer service, and this then led to him undertaking his current position where he is responsible for the development and improvement of contact centre services for Argos. He also leads the customer insight and recovery teams.



Andy Hufton, Engagement Strategy, Virgin Media

Andy is involved in evolving, developing, communicating and tracking the delivery of strategic engagement and cultural objectives within the Customer Contact division in Virgin Media.  He contributes to programmes and events to drive Engagement and Cultural at a local and divisional level.  Andy’s career in customer engagement within Virgin Media has also included roles in Quality and Customer Retentions.

Liam Smith, Director of Customer Contact, The Rank Group Plc

Liam is Director of Customer Contact for Rank Group Plc, responsible for Customer Contact & Service across all channels for its Grosvenor Casino and Mecca bingo retail and digital customers.

With 28 years experience in the energy and customer contact industry, Liam has held a number of senior roles at both npower and within outsourced partners.

Passionate about Customer Experience he understands the challenges of serving, acquiring and retaining customers compliantly, whilst maintaining high levels of performance.

Since leaving npower, Liam has led and grown a number of outsourcing businesses in the UK successfully delivering large scale campaigns for many household brands and blue chip clients, in the energy, finance, gaming and publishing sectors.

Before joining Rank Group Liam ran his own company his own consultancy business, focusing on outsource strategy and management, Customer Contact programme development and Managed Services in the Customer Contact industry.

Liam has also been a Non-Executive Director to a number of growing businesses, advising them on their growth and business strategy.