Board Members

Alan Coppin – Chairman

Alan has had an extensive career in private, public and not for profit sectors. He was a senior management consultant with KPMG and went on to be CEO of Wembley plc for 10 years before joining the Executive Board of FTSE 100 Compass plc. He then became CEO of Historic Royal Palaces and Chaired the Prince’s Foundation. Alan was the first Non executive Director on the Royal Air Force Board and served on the Board of Air Command. He is currently Chair of the charity Spirit of 2012 and is a Fellow of Windsor Leadership Trust. He is the co author of ‘Timeless Management’ (2002) and author of ‘The Human Capital Imperative’ (2017), both published by Palgrave Macmillan and edited ‘Great Britons on Success’ (2009).

Susan Johnson OBE
Susan was formerly the Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington Fire & Rescue Service. Her appointment in 2005 meant she was the first woman and non-uniformed chief executive to lead a fire and rescue service in the United Kingdom.

Susan holds a first-class honours degree in Business Studies and an MBA from Durham University and has previously held a senior position in the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber following a career in international marketing in the information technology sector. Susan has held a number of non-executive and trustee roles in the private, public and not for profit sectors including Greggs plc, Legacy Trust UK and Durham University. She is also a Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Non-Exec Director at The Planning Inspectorate.

Philip Kolvin QC
Philip is Head of Cornerstone Barristers specialising in licensing, planning, property and regulatory law and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2009 and a Recorder of the Crown Court in 2018.

He is a Patron and past Chairman of the Institute of Licensing and was Chair of Purple Flag, a national scheme promoting safe and diverse night time economies and of Best Bar None, a national scheme for the accreditation of safe bars. 

Philip acted as a co-opted expert to the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 for the Olympic Games, dealing with licensing issues, and is the past Chair of the Night Time Commission for London. He is the author and editor of a number of textbooks in the field of regulatory law.

David Mackinnon
David is Regional Head of Operations for Jockey Club Racecourses South West Region, incorporating Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton racecourses and has sucessfully delivered a £45m development at Cheltenham racecourse. David has enjoyed success as Managing Director at both Windsor and Sandown Park Racecourses and prior to that worked at the sport's regulatory body (then the Jockey Club) as deputy manager of the Racecourse Department and also spent three years as a trainee chartered accountant with Coopers and Lybrand following the completion of his degree in International Agribusiness Management.


Rimla Akhtar MBE

Dr Rimla Akhtar MBE is a developer, communicator and strategist best known for her work as an Inclusion and Diversity specialist in sport, which led to her being ranked 15th in the 2015 list of The Independent’s Most Influential Women in Sport. Rimla became the first Muslim and Asian woman on the FA Council in 2014, in addition to her role on the Inclusion Advisory Board at the FA, and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for her contribution to equality and diversity in sport. Rimla has over 17 years’ experience in the sports industry across the UK, Middle East and Asia as well as a number of accolades to her name, including most recently the Sky Sports and Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Community Award in 2013, which led to her being ranked 14th in Forbes' Global 2018 Most Influential Women in Sport List and 15th in the 2015 list of The Independent’s Most Influential Women in Sport.

Her strategic and boardroom roles include being Independent Director and Trustee of Kick It Out, and Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson is a chartered town planner by background, having specialised in regeneration and economic development in the North East of England. In a local government career spanning almost 40 years, Janet has enjoyed senior management positions for a number of councils. 

She is an experienced board member, having served on the boards of a number of organisations in the education and development sectors. In addition to being a specialist in regeneration Janet is experienced in modernising local government, managing change and driving service improvement.

Janet was Chief Executive of District of Easington Council from 2004 to 2009 before moving to Sunderland City Council as Deputy Chief Executive where she led the Council’s major regeneration programme.