TRUSTECH Board of Directors

Executive Board



Don Hammond – Chairman

Don Hammond is an experienced businessman and has worked within both the private and public sector. He worked in industry before studying at Manchester Business School. After completing  his studies, he joined Citibank and then a small London merchant bank.

After 14 years in the City, he set up a small regional bank in the mid 1980’s raising venture capital from various institutions. This merged with a Regional firm of stockbrokers in 1988. After a period as Director of the Corporate Finance team, he became a business angel and now has investments in a number of emerging companies. Don was also the Chairman of Halton Hospital and then Cheshire Community Trusts.



Keith Chantler – Executive Director

Keith is a founder and Executive Director of TRUSTECH, the North West NHS Innovation Service, which provides innovation management services to North West NHS Trusts and the region’s Universities to discover and exploit bio/health intellectual property; working in partnership with the healthcare industry sector to develop new collaborations that accelerate the development of products and services to improve healthcare delivery. He is a member of the NHS Secretary of State’s Advisory Panel for NHS Challenge Prizes, is a Director of Smart Healthcare Ventures – the commercial arm of TRUSTECH –  and is a member of the Bionow Steering Committee and the Science and Technology Facilities Council Futures Advisory Panel.

Keith is also the Director of Innovation at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has regional and national experience in NHS research and innovation management, and manages the Trust’s extensive commercial and innovation portfolio.



John Leach – Non-Executive Director

John Leach Jul13John founded the Winning Pitch consultancy in 2006, with a mission to help start-ups, SMEs and larger companies to create value from innovation. He specialises in developing high growth businesses and unlocking the potential of new ideas.

A chemistry graduate from the University of Manchester, John began his career in technology research before moving into the consultancy sector and developing a series of tools and techniques to boost business growth. Winning Pitch operates from five offices across the UK, and has also identified new international markets for its enterprise advisory services.

John is the author of two successful books – ‘Pitch Perfect’, a guide to strategic and ethical selling and ‘Success Factor’ which focuses on the psychology of entrepreneurship.

A visiting lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Enterprise and Lancaster University, John is also a regular blogger and speaker on business growth and innovation: johnleachwp.wordpress.com



Paul WillanPaul Willan – Non-Executive Director

Paul gained his law degree at Liverpool University and qualified as a solicitor in 1980. He worked for a number of North West firms before founding his own practice in 1989. He joined Linder Myers in 2004 following the merger of his firm, Willan Bootland. Paul has also been managing agent of Greg’s Properties Limited since 2004 and Roveglio Limited since 2003.

A partner in the Corporate Commercial Department, his expertise includes company takeovers and mergers, joint ventures, corporate finance, patent licensing and intellectual property, contract negotiation, tax and commercial conveyancing.

His previous commercial appointments include being a member of the Residential Investor’s Committee of the British Property Federation (BPF) and a Director of Tysons (Contractors) Plc, Spath Holme Limited and Globe Equities Limited. He is the former chairman of the BPF Working Party and was Secretary to Powerbeam Technologies Ltd (a joint venture with the Atomic Energy Authority).

Born in Italy, Paul is a Cavaliere al ordine del merito della Republica Italiana (the equivalent of a Knighthood).



Nigel Rawlings FCA – Non-Executive Director

Nigel has served as CFO and CEO of several UK listed companies including Assura Group (medical property and healthcare group), The Westbury Property Fund and Pochin’s PLC (construction and property group). He has also assisted several early stage businesses with financial and general management and is currently a non-executive director of Supportive Care UK (a palliative and supportive care provider), plus Aquanovis (hydro electric provider) and Mobilizer Limited (electronic fuel control supplier).

Nigel has significant experience of challenging businesses undergoing high growth and high change along with considerable city and financial exposure. He has served on Boards of five fully listed companies (three CFO roles, one CEO role and one NED role) and several smaller early stage businesses too, including Clinphone Limited and S Cubed Limited; both of which provide support to Clinical Research Organisations.

Nigel was also Company Secretary for TRUSTECH early on in its life in 2006.

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