Chris was born in Johannesburg, South Africa but grew up in Pershore, Worcestershire. He started his aviation career at 13 when he was bought a trial flying lesson from Coventry Airport. This gave Chris the 'aviation bug' and on finishing his A-levels he enrolled onto an Aviation Management degree course at University, Whilst studying he gained his private pilots licence and obtained his first aviation job at London City Airport working on the ramp. Once graduated he moved into a management graduate scheme at Coventry Airport. He was at Coventry until it ceased operations and was forced into a short spell in consultancy. Missing the everyday airport life he then moved to Doncaster and Humberside Airports respectively where he undertook senior operational management roles. In 2015 he joined Manchester Airport and now holds the position of Head of Airfield Operations. Chris lives in Cheshire with his wife and 2 children (aged 7 and 1).
Christopher Meeking is a founder and CEO at Avtura Limited, an established and innovative provider of software management solutions and consultancy for ground handling operations. He began his career in the aviation/airline sector in 1986 where he undertook roles in Passenger Services, Aircraft Dispatch and Operations Control for both ground handling companies and an international airline. He subsequently served as an Officer in the Royal Navy where he had various roles including as an Officer-of-the-Watch, Fighter Controller and Principal Warfare Officer, before leaving the service in the year 2000 to focus on a commercial career back in the defence and aviation/airline sector. After a few years as a Senior Consultant and Programme/Project Manager in both the Military and Air Traffic/Airline management sectors he co-founded Avtura in 2005. Since then he has overseen the development and growth of the company’s product portfolio and customer base within the airline, airport and ground handling sectors, which has seen Avtura successfully deploy their software across 75 airports in 5 continents over the last 15 years.
Guy grew up in Surrey, England, and after leaving school spent nearly 8 years in the Royal Navy as a Warfare Officer, culminating in an appointment as the Navigating Officer of HMS NORTHUMBERLAND. Guy joined NATS in 2002 as a Trainee Air Traffic Controller and subsequently worked at Heathrow Airport as a Tower Controller. Following a period as Head of ATC Training and having spent time on Prospect ATCOs’ Branch Executive, Guy took on responsibilities as Manager ATC for NATS at Heathrow. In 2015 an opportunity arose to be seconded to Etihad Airways which resulted in a move to the United Arab Emirates; as the NATS Middle East team has developed Guy has taken on additional responsibilities while continuing to directly support local stakeholders. Guy now holds the position of Group Account Director for the NATS Middle East and Asia Pacific portfolio. Guy currently lives in Abu Dhabi with his wife and daughter (aged 6).
Gemma joined the aviation sector at 18 and has never looked back, working within Commercial, General Aviation and Military Flight Operations areas. While her love for the industry continues to shine, it also brought with it a second passion, developing our teams. Gemma recognised that many aviation teams had the potential to achieve more, so has spent the last ten years developing herself as a training, mentor and coach, to guide those through continuous professional development. In June 2017, Gemma established Crosby Aviation Training Ltd with the support of Paul Cadman, an apprenticeship expert, to help develop and support their next generations of aviation professionals, combining her two professional passions. Gemma is a proud member of the Aviation Action’s Leadership Board and looks forward to supporting our industry’s fantastic people.
Sophie is a Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapist & Psychotherapist, working with many clients via online sessions, and one-to-one appointments at her two private practices, one is at a doctor-led clinic registered with the CQC, and the other is in Clifton, Bristol.
Prior to this Sophie had a successful 25 year career as Accounts Director for the family Telecoms business which was recently sold to a private equity company.
Her interest in working within the aviation industry is due to being the mum of a pilot.
Sophie is an experienced and accredited practitioner, holding the nationally recognised Diploma in Solution Focused Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy (DSFH). She also holds the Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma (HPD)- the gold standard sector qualification awarded from the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH).
William Finden’s search career has been devoted to the international aviation and aerospace markets. After successfully spearheading the aviation division for a UK based boutique search consultancy, William’s passion for aviation led him to establish Oaklands Global in 2013. The business has grown to service clients in over 30 countries including legacy airlines, business jet manufacturers, rotary operators and consultancy firms including aircraft leasing and charter brokerages. William is a proud member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Institute of Recruitment Professionals and The Aviation Club of the UK. As a member of Aviation Action’s Leadership Board William hopes to utilise his industry experience and business knowledge to help drive the charity forward in supporting as many industry professionals as possible.
Sarah is a Senior HR Professional with over 20 years’ experience in industry. One of the highlights of her career to date, was working at Bristol Airport in the role of Head of HR. Something about the Aviation industry and the people in it, made Sarah feel at home.
Sarah is passionate about ensuring employees are engaged in their work and that their employment experience is meaningful. She has been instrumental in several culture change projects and recognising that change starts at the top, Sarah trained as a coach and mentor to better support and develop leadership and management teams, which in turn, increased employee engagement.
Sarah now works in HR Consultancy as well as running her own health and wellbeing business. She is a qualified Kinesiologist and regularly support clients with mental, emotional and physical health challenges.
Sarah is delighted to be a member of the Aviation Action Leadership Board and looks forward to integrating her skills and experience to support the charity and the people of the Aviation industry.
Myriam has started her career in the Civil Aviation at the age of 17. What started off as a student job just to get through her law degree later translated into a real passion for the industry. Starting off in cargo, Myriam then went on to try different departments in Ground Handling. Myriam now heads up the safety department for a major Ground Handler in London Heathrow and London Gatwick Airports. Meanwhile, she carried on studying throughout her career. She went on to acquire a Masters in International Relations and finally an executive MBA. Myriam is happy and proud to be joining the leadership team of Aviation Action: “Joining Aviation Action as a trustee was not a difficult choice. I really hope that my knowledge, skills and expertise can be put to good use and benefit as many colleagues within the industry as possible”.
Martin joined the Royal Air Force as an Airman in 1999. In 2004 he was Commissioned as a Pilot and has been flying Helicopters ever since. After a career in Search and Rescue Sea Kings, Martin spent 4 years attached to the Royal Brunei Air Force as the Commanding Officer of the RBAirF Blackhawk S70i training Squadron. Since returning to the UK he has joined No 1 Flying Training School and will Command 202 Squadron at RAF Valley, flying the Airbus Helicopters H135 Juno and H145 Jupiter in a maritime role. Martins motivation for joining the Aviation Action Leadership Board is to help harness the exceptional skills and resources that the Charity has to offer and promote them to a wider audience, particularly those within the Military Aviation community in need of support.
Vicky has always had a passion for leisure and travel and started her career in hospitality over twenty years ago before going to university in Birmingham to study Business, Marketing and PR. After working for a hotel company for a number of years Vicky joined Southampton Airport in 2012 and managed the marketing of the airport and its routes. Working closely with the partner airlines she created many campaigns and events to support the airport reach 2 million passengers in 2017. Vicky found a passion for aviation and enjoyed working at a small airport as she could get more hands on within the business. In 2017 Vicky worked on creating the airports Masterplan to support the future extension of the runway.
Vicky also managed the airport charity programme raising over £50k in 2018 towards a local charity by running several events including a team sky dive – a very big challenge for her as she is scared of flying!
Vicky was made redundant from the airport at the end of 2019 and now works for PCM, a data driven marketing and creative agency, heading up the travel team. Vicky is an ideas person and has a passion for creating innovative solutions to support clients and has an eye for creative design.
Based on the South Coast, when Vicky is not at work you will find her walking along the beach, taking her daughter pony riding or researching her next holiday - mainly fuelled by looking at clients amazing destination images all day!
Luke was born in Cheltenham. His aviation career started with being selected for the prestigious RAF Flying Scholarship Programme, followed closely by the Gliding Scholarship Programme whist being in the Air Cadets. What then started was a long-term link to the Military involving the Air Cadets, Army Cadets as an Instructor. This then led to service in the Army Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, whilst studying at University. Luke then undertook training as Cabin Crew for easyJet in the early 2003, then returned to the Army Reserve in the Military Police and finally leaving uniformed service in 2009.
Since 2009, Luke has set up and run boutique consultancy firms specialising in supporting Aviation, Healthcare, Public and Private sector clients to prepare them for disruptive incidents, and the subsequent recovery implications. He has also spent time working with counter terrorism teams from the UK and abroad responding to specific threats affecting the industry, and national security.
Luke’s motivation for joining Aviation Action is to give something back and support a community that he holds close to his heart: “this is an industry that has borne the brunt of the impacts from COVID-19, and now more than ever the fantastic people who work in this industry need all of the support they can get, we have the skills, the expertise and the drive to help our wider family through these difficult times and into the future”
He is a member of the Business Continuity Institute, the Institute of Leadership Management and the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. He has also worked within the NHS, designing, and developing specific post incident mental health support guidance for responders and members of the public, following the Manchester Arena attack, and more recently during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Luke currently lives in Wiltshire with his Daughter (aged 10). When not at work, they are both often found flying off to foreign destinations, or locally out walking and riding in the Wiltshire countryside.
George studied BSc Air Transport Management at Loughborough University and graduated with First Class Hons in 2015. During this time, he spent a year in the Economic Affairs team of ACI-NA in Washington, D.C. working on issues including federal appropriation and passenger charges. George joined MAG on their graduate scheme and in 2017 became the youngest Airfield Duty Manager in their history.
George moved to MAG's digital division and led the launch of the first remote bag check-in product outside London. He now leads a large team at Manchester Airport and is accountable for all aspects of the airfield operation. He brings experience across multiple disciplines including policy, corporate strategy and capital investment following a secondment with the Manchester China Forum, projects with the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and as a member of acquisition teams within MAG.
He believes age is no limit and that empathy should be the guiding light for anyone wishing to add value to an organisation or industry. He adds, “Aviation Action presents an opportunity to challenge long-held beliefs on mental health and well-being which stifle the progress of individuals and organisations alike.”