Board of Directors
Barney Holbeche - President
Appointed February 2010
The President is the honorary head of Concordia, supporting and promoting it's mission and associated activities.
Barney Holbeche ran the NFU's Parliamentary lobby for over 30 years from the 1979 general election through to July 2009. His wealth of experience of working at Westminster is invaluable as Concordia promotes its activities and particularly in lobbying the Government for a long term solution to seasonal labour.
Barney's interests include current affairs, travel, history and heritage, cycling and wine.
John Rodley - Chairman
Appointed November 2008
His first career was spent in the Royal Navy where he undertook a wide variety of appointments, including sea command, service overseas and in the Ministry of Defence. On leaving, he became Chief Executive of the Magistrates' Courts Service in Suffolk and was later selected as the Director for all the courts in the county. He is now undertaking an appointment with the Judicial Appointments Commission.
He brings to Concordia a background in higher level management, along with a keen interest in strategic finance, governance and international relationships. His interests include current affairs, cultural issues, heritage and sport.
Jeremy Ogden - Vice Chairman
Appointed May 2010
A senior executive with a legal professional background, experienced in banking and financial services. For 12 years, Jeremy worked in the legal function of Barclays Bank most latterly as General Counsel for Global Retail and Commercial Banking. He has experience in setting and directing strategy to manage legal and operational risk. Jeremy is currently involved in consultancy work.
As Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee Concordia benefits from Jeremy's considerable legal financial experience particularly in risk management and governance as well as his commitment to mentoring and developing people. He enjoys sport, especially cycling, and the Arts.
Dr Leonard Norman
Appointed May 2004
From a farming family in East Anglia, he has a BSc in Agriculture, and went on to gain a PhD in farm business management. From 1970 until 1998 he was Principal of Sparsholt College, which has developed into one of the largest, most diversified land-based colleges in the UK.
Over the years, he has undertaken part-time consultancy work overseas, and since retirement has continued with consultancy in rural development, education and training. On the Concordia Board he has made major contributions in developing strategic plans and the expanding educational/training activities. He is chair of the Education & Training Committee and a member of the Human Resources Committee. He was the first Chairman of the newly established Winchester Cathedral Council for seven years up to 2007.
Appointed November 2006
With a lifetime in farming, he is now Executive Chairman of the 1000 ha family business in Lincolnshire, where the enterprise focuses on salad crops.
His other business activities include involvement as a director of the Processed Vegetable Growers Association, and Chairman of the NFU East Midlands Regional Horticultural Group, the Holbeach Marsh Cooperative and the British Leafy Salad Association. He brings extensive commercial and executive experience to the Board. He is also a governor at the local school and enjoys shooting, walking and supporting rugby.
Appointed May 2006
After working as a primary school teacher, she spent two years with VSO as an English language teacher in Tanzania before spending three years in Namibia training primary school teachers.
In 1997, she returned to the UK to study for an MA in International Education, and in 2000 joined UK Youth where she manages the Youth Achievement Awards and education & training programmes. She takes a special interest in the volunteer activities of Concordia and is Chair of the Volunteering Committee.
Appointed May 2010
Having started his career at the United Nations and then the Commonwealth Secretariat, he has twice served as an MP in constituencies with strong agricultural sectors. He has experience working at a political level in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, particularly in international development.
He is Chair of the Governance Committee having been associated with a number of charities for many years. He is Chair (UK) of the Commonwealth Consortium for Education and Hon. Treasurer of the Roundtable, the Journal of Commonwealth International Affairs. He is a trustee of a number of related Commonwealth organisations. As a Council Member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust he has been a selection panel chair sending people overseas, often in agriculture and rural affairs.
In commercial life, he has been a director of Leopold Joseph (Merchant Bankers) PLC and a member of the Board of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).
Christine Snell (JP)
Appointed November 2006
Following a degree in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, she joined Allied Lyons before moving to SmithKline Beecham, where she worked in project management and marketing and later as a consultant on a key agronomic project. Further consultancies for other food companies focused on modified atmospheric packaging of soft fruit.
Currently she is an active partner with her husband in Herefordshire, growing and packing soft fruit for major supermarkets. She manages Concordia students for most of the year, and brings her considerable experience of both the food processing industry and as an employer to the Concordia Board. She is also a magistrate and enjoys tennis, horse riding and gardening.
Appointed May 2012
A previous Concordia participant on the SAWS programme, Ventseslav has worked in a variety of roles in soft fruit and salad crops and completed Concordia’s one year management training programme delivered by Plumpton College. After 5 years at Technical College studying mechanical engineering, he went on to complete a degree in Agricultural Economics. He is currently Coldstore and Logistics Manager for a large salad grower in Kent.
The Board benefits from his own personal experience and insight of Concordia’s work and education programmes. He speaks Bulgarian, English, Spanish and Russian and his hobbies include fishing and football.
Appointed May 2009
With a background in Human Resources, she previously worked for high street retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Bally in HR management and director positions. She spent her last 5 years with Bally based at the Head Office in Switzerland which involved international travel and work in Asia, Middle East and Europe and USA.
She now owns a management consultancy specialising in executive coaching, facilitation, and training and development. As Chair of the Human Resources Committee she takes a special interest in HR at Concordia. Bilingual, with fluency in French, her interests include skiing, horse riding, walking and playing the piano.