Speaker profiles


Paula Nickolds

Paula Nickolds

Managing Director - John Lewis Partnership

Paula joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1994 as a Graduate Trainee in the haberdashery department of John Lewis, Oxford Street. Paula held various roles in the John Lewis buying teams before joining the John Lewis Management Board in 2013 as Buying and Brand Director and latterly Commercial Director, responsible for John Lewis's product offer and for delivering and driving the business’s ambition in new shops and services, as well as its international partnerships. She joined the Partnership Board as Managing Director of John Lewis in January 2017.

Mark Axon

Mark Axon

Retail Director - New Look

Mark joins us at the Foundation as Retail Director for New Look. He is an experienced retailer who has held a number of senior roles at companies such as M&S, B&Q, Asda and GAME. Throughout his career Mark has led teams both within in the UK and overseas. This includes 18 months spent working for Australian discount chain Big W as GM of Operations. However in 2018 he was invited to re-join the New Look management team (having held a Director role between 2012-2014) by Executive Chairman Alistair McGeorge.

Andrew Marrins

Andrew Marrins

Head Of Learning & Development - BrewDog

Andrew’s career began with the Scottish Co-operative Group where he trained in Accountancy before seeking an opportunity with Boots in 2006 as a Regional Finance Manager. Whilst at Boots, Andrew embarked on a Leadership Development Programme which brought him to the Oxford Summer School Academy as a delegate in 2009.

From there, Andrew decided to take a different career path and ventured into the world of Learning & Development, where he has held various roles across Boots, Specsavers, Boots Opticians and is now Head Of Learning & Development for BrewDog.

Andrew joined the Foundation School as a Group Leader from 2012 to 2015 and then moved into the role of Programme Manager in 2016-2018. Andrew continues to support the Foundation by hosting day 2 of the programme which is entitled Inspiring & Influencing.

Nick Booth

Nick Booth

Managing Director - Waypoint

Nick has a passion for people and their development, his greatest pleasure is the satisfaction gained from enabling an individual or team to realise their potential, clarifying their vision and being part of their journey. As a Success and Leadership coach, trainer and facilitator, Nick is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do what he enjoys every day.

As part of his journey, Nick has worked in large site retail management which has allowed him the privilege of managing thousands of people in challenging environments within several blue chip companies. His key skills are coaching senior leaders, directors and senior managers to higher levels of performance. Nick also specialises in programme research and development, to produce interventions that marry precisely with the client’s needs and deliver the required outcomes. He brings to life management models and theories which create real learning and application generating strong, trusting relationships with key stakeholders.

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