Board Members

Board Members

Professor Andy Adcroft

andy adcroft

Andy is Deputy Dean of Surrey Business School and has been at the University of Surrey since 2002. Prior to this, he worked at the University of East London and the London School of Economics.

Andy is the founder and director of the Surrey Innovation and Digital Enterprise Academy – SurreyIDEA and has raised over £400k to support the work of SurreyIDEA in transforming enterprise education and widening access to the University to a range of hard to reach student groups. Andy is also the coeditor of Management Decision and is a governor of two secondary schools.

Andy is passionate about opening up universities and the work of academics to the wider world and as part of this performs stand up comedy, making his Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2013. Andy’s research interest is focussed around excellence and how people develop expertise, covering a range of activities including Excellence in Learning and Excellence in Sports Teams.

Visiting Professor, Gavin Whichello

gavin whichello

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the Chairman of the SurreyIDEA Advisory Board, Gavin Whichello, has passed away after a long illness.

Gavin was instrumental in the creation of SurreyIDEA where he was able to combine his passions for entrepreneurship and bringing young people from similar backgrounds to his into university. Through SurreyIDEA, Gavin regularly contributed to workshops and Young Persons University events and was hugely influential in the development of innovative undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. In recognition of his work Gavin was made a Visiting Professor in 2017 and, in 2019, was the recipient of the Vice Chancellors Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University.

Gavin had a varied business career in the UK and USA in the technology and training sectors. He was the founder of the UK’s largest PC training company, Training International, which was floated on the stock exchange in 1987 and the co-founder of Winmail, at the time Europe’s leading messaging service. In 2005, he joined logistics company Isotrak as Chief Executive and Investor and in less than a decade increased the value of the company more than 20 fold. In 2006, Gavin acquired Qube Learning and has turned it into one of the top 20 training providers in the UK and a company that provides learning opportunities to literally thousands of people a year, many of them from similar backgrounds to his own.

Gavin was a loving family man with a wife, Claire, and four children Anna, Mollie, Lucy and Stanley.

Professor Andy Adcroft, Director of SurreyIDEA said “Gavin will be hugely missed. In SurreyIDEA, and with the many students he has mentored and supported, he leaves a lasting legacy that many people will benefit from. He has a champion of SurreyIDEA both inside and outside the University but, most of all, he has been a dear friend

There aren’t many people who know as much as Gavin about living the life of an entrepreneur; sharing that kind of knowledge and expertise is core to all we do at SurreyIDEA.

Samantha Farrow

sam farrow

Sam has over 30 years’ experience in the graphic design industry and has spent most of her career at the coalface, working as senior graphic designer for Meridian Television and design consultant for Surrey County Council, where she masterminded a major re-branding project that saved the authority over £2 million.

In 2003 she returned to the private sector as a creative director, before launching her own graphic design and marketing agency with a specialist team which shares her passion for design and dedication to producing top quality creative work.

Her work includes creating a powerful and influential brand identity for the newly formed Southdowns National Park and she has branded and built websites for the Vice Chairman of West Ham United, Baroness Karren Brady.

With a Masters in Graphic Communication from Kingston University, where she went on to teach she continues to inspire students and business people as a visiting Lecturer at the University of Surrey and as a regular TEDx speaker.

David Gosen

David Gosen

David is Chief Revenue Officer at Piano, a global leader in AI powered digital and data solutions. Prior to this he was Managing Director International at Rocket Fuel Inc. He has held senior and executive level roles across media, technology, gaming and entertainment sectors with a number of high profile global companies such as Nielsen, Microsoft, Nintendo, BSkyB and Coca Cola. In addition he was CEO of Venture Capital backed I-Play, a mobile entertainment business.

During his career David has been involved with the launch of Digital Satellite TV in the UK, across Europe the Nintendo Wii, and the Pokémon phenomenon. David is also a member of the SBS Advisory Board , an avid skier and scuba diver and a graduate of Surrey.

Margaret Sherer

Margaret Sherer

Margaret Sherer is the founder of Cittadina Marketing, the one stop shop for B2B digital marketing. After a first career with Microsoft and Google (wrapped around an MBA from Cranfield School of Management), Margaret founded Cittadina to be able to work with marketers at fast growth companies and small business owners to create beautiful digital marketing campaigns under a strategic data-driven approach both through the agency and as a consultant.

When not working with clients, Margaret is a guest lecturer at Cranfield, University of Greenwich and Westminster Business School. She sits on the Employers Advisory board at University of Westminster and is a member of the f:entrepreneur #ialso100 2020 list. In her spare time, she enjoys travel (when allowed), good food, good laughs and championing women to achieve their goals.

Donna Shanks

donna shanks

Donna is the Academy Manager for SurreyIDEA, providing overall management of the SurreyIDEA Into Enterprise programmes to ensure that an excellent student experience is delivered for all participants and that internal and external relationships are developed, nurtured and enhanced. Organising and managing events which include residential workshops, one day workshops and off site roadshows, managing the SurreyIDEA space, developing branding and marketing materials for the Into Enterprise programmes and co-ordinating relationships and activities between a range of SurreyIDEA, university and external stakeholders including businesses and schools/colleges.

Planning and having oversight of the academic and administrative support required to deliver the SurreyIDEA Into Enterprise programmes. Supporting the development of long term strategic plans and having responsibility for the planning and delivery of medium and short term plans and projects.

Donna is the Secretary for the recently formed (2020) SurreyIDEA Advisory Board.