The Team

The Team

John Grinnell – Dolphin Shopping CentreChair

John is the Centre Manager of the Dolphin Shopping Centre and is passionate about maintaining the centre’s position as a leading attraction on the south coast.  

“It’s an exciting year for the Dolphin – we’re undergoing a £26 million programme of investment with Legal & General over 18 months.”

As BID chairman, John leads a team of local people who share his ambition to see Poole prosper and develop into a strong, sustainable town with a focus on its heritage. Never one to miss a commercial opportunity, John is keen to ensure that Poole’s voice is heard on all matters of pertinence.

Gabi Naish – The Lookout Cafe / The Project Climbing Centre – Vice Chair

Following a varied career including auditing, interior design, and being a cow hand in North America, Gabi now runs The Lookout Cafe. The cafe is above The Project Climbing Centre, run by her son, in the Dolphin Shopping Centre. She is all about helping the environment and would love to see Poole regenerated to its full potential.

Ailsa Wilson – Poole BID Manager

With a background in Managing Projects Ailsa feels that she is well suited for the role. She is very interested in local issues as a Poole resident and now regularly engages with local bodies fighting for investment in Poole. Although we have some success with the Future High Street Fund and the Historic Action Zone. She believes this is the tip of the Iceberg and that there is a lot more to be done.

Mark Howell – Councillor, BCP Council

Mark was voted to be Poole Town Councillor in May 2019, With the Pooles People Party. He has a passion for local interests and is keen to work differently to previous administrations to get the Poole of Poole the best results. Within BCP he has being assigned the prestigious position of Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Culture and Deputy Leader.

Jeanette Walsh –Truly Scrumptious (Dorset) Ltd

Leaving school at 16, Jeanette worked in the banking industry for five years, moved into the public sector, working for a large Housing Group in London. She then moved to Poole and worked for the hospital in Procurement. She purchased Truly Scrumptious in 2013 and loves being a small independent business owner, and part of the community in Historic Poole.

She is passionate about Poole, and wants to encourage visitors and residents to have a pleasant experience which will lead to growth within all businesses to ensure a better economic future.

Helen Challis – Quay Holidays / Quay Living

Helen has been a Poole resident since 2003, and started her local business, Quay Holidays, in 2006. It is now the biggest self-catering holiday provider in Poole. In 2010, she expanded the business into residential sales and lettings, creating Quay Living, and the two businesses have since grown to become a significant player in the local property market. Helen enjoys her local roles as a director of the Poole BID, a marketing team member of Poole Tourism, and a member of Poole Old Town Conservation Group.

Ian Gurling- Dorset Chamber of commerce

I come from a small family business background and then spent some time in the accounting profession. This, along with my more recent experience, gives me a solid understanding of business and the real issues they face. I have strong leadership skills as well as a proven track record in management. I am a highly motivated person who likes to enjoy life, both in and outside of work.

I am a Board member of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, representing business, a member of the Growing Places Committee and a Board Member of the Poole BID.

David Heckles- General Manager for More bus

David holds a strong sense of responsibility and passion for bus and coach travel, the travelling public and people who work in the profession. Originally from Dorset, David is enormously proud of the local area and is keen to promote it as a place to work and visit.

 Prior to joining Go South Coast, David previously worked for two other major bus groups in a variety of roles spanning across the UK including Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield and Bristol. Now relishing being part of Go South Coasts senior team, he is applying the skills gained from his previous experiences to make further improvements to the services on offer from Morebus, Damory and Excelsior.

Have your say

We value your feedback, if you’ve got anything you’d like to say about the BID then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Perhaps you’ve got an idea about an event? An offer you’d like to promote? Feedback on anything we’ve been doing? Your thought counts so we’d love to chat.

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