We’re proud to have an amazing team

Senior

Our Senior Team set the overall direction for Vivify. Their commitment to giving back to schools and building thriving communities of healthier and happier people across the UK, runs throughout everything we do.

Russell Teale

Co-founder and CEO

I have 18 years experience working in the leisure industry in schools, gyms and other leisure businesses. Starting from grass-roots, progressing to senior executive positions in a multi-site consumer-facing environment with a purpose.


I’m most passionate about health and wellbeing in the community, as well as being obsessed with delivering a world-class experience to venues, customers and colleagues.

"I’m happiest when I’m in the lakes, up a mountain with the family!"

Carl Cox

Finance Director

ACA qualified chartered accountant with 11 years experience working with private equity backed SMEs, large businesses and start-ups having worked in various industries including fintech, social care and asset hire.

Focused on driving positive change through strong financial management to enable businesses to make key strategic decisions to constantly improve the services provided to their customers.

My primary aim has always been to take a customer first approach and utilise the development of tech solutions to help drive positive customer experience.

Happiest when enjoying good food whilst surrounded by friends and family.

Martin Hainsworth

Director of Operations

With over 20 years’ experience of working in the Leisure sector, the last 4 years as an operations Director and a year of being a Managing Director in scalable/startup businesses.   

I’m passionate about delivering the outcomes customers expect and leading and inspiring my team to achieve ‘out of the park’ results. 

I am happiest when spending time with the family and experiencing the world whether at home or abroad.

Lauren Bennett

Director of People & Culture

I am a senior Human Resources specialist with a lengthy background leading People & Culture initiatives in multiple sectors including FMCG, Manufacturing and Professional Services across global markets. 

 

I am passionate about company vision, values and the employee experience as a driver of organisation, growth and development.

 

Happiest in the middle of a small music venue in Manchester or a crowded festival field.

Richard Millman

Non Exec Chairman

Over 20 years of board level experience, and early career was spent at Guiness, The Coca-Cola.

Currently working on a portfolio of Non-Executive roles, including as the Non Exec Chairman of The Protein Works, having spent the previous ten years focussing on the area of Private Equity backed businesses turnarounds in the Leisure Sector, most notably as the CEO of Leisure Connection (1Life) and the turnaround and subsequent management buyout of Total Fitness Health clubs.

Happiest when being active – cycling, running, boating, kayaking and hill walking – I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!

Leadership

Our leadership team are a group of highly experienced leaders across operations, customer experience, marketing and digital, united with the common goal of providing the best possible experience to the schools and communities we serve.

Debbie Gallagher

Head of School Relationships

18 years experience in the leisure industry working for David Lloyd and Virgin Active in various roles including Sales and Membership Manager and General Manager.

Strong communicator, putting people at the forefront of everything and winning many awards.
Managed and exceeded budgets whilst delivering the highest net growth over a 5 year period.

“Happiest when surrounded by happy people. Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and my favourite film is ELF (I’ve even called my puppy Buddy).”

Jen Shuttleworth

Head of People & Culture

A decade of experience working in Operations and Sales across both Leisure and Food Retail with a passionate focus for People Development.

Thrive in a fast-paced and evolving environment with a proven record of delivering aspirational engagement, service and financial targets.

Developed projects in Human Resources from conception to delivery with a multi-faceted aim to recognise and enhance the employee lifecycle.

Associate CIPD Level 5. Have completed various courses including data analytics, GDPR and training. Currently studying Mental Health awareness.

Happiest when drinking a rhubarb gin after a scenic walk with my husband.

Sohayla Worth

Marketing Manager

CIM qualified marketer with 10 years’ experience working in higher education marketing and events.

I take an empathy-led approach to walking the customer journey and delivering an exceptional experience for all.

Passionate about breaking down barriers to disadvantaged groups, bringing people together from different walks of life, and giving everyone a voice through storytelling.

Unafraid to challenge the status quo and dedicated to finding creative solutions to customer problems.

Happiest when spending time with loved ones or watching a spectacular sunset, preferably from a rooftop, with a rum cocktail in hand. New York springs to mind…

Sales & 
Marketing

Our expert sales and marketing team have a plethora of knowledge and expertise in education marketing and school lettings. They work tirelessly to make sure our schools facilities are booked throughout the year, while helping community groups find a place to get together.

Rob Aitken

Head of School Partnerships

A qualified teacher and academy trustee with a decade of experience supporting schools in the use of innovative technologies and services.

Understands the priorities of schools and how that can place specific challenges on change management or technology implementation.

Passionate about the wellbeing of students and staff and the quality of education: determined to put schools first and help to place them at the centre of their community.

Happiest when with my family in the park or at the beach; or miles away from them on my road-bike

Michael Tadros

Sales Executive

I have over 6 year's experience in Sales and Account Management working across sport, hospitality, tech, and finance. This has given me the experience and understanding of working with different groups of people and delivering the best possible experience.

I'm originally from Australia so when moving to the UK it was important for me to find a role which aligns with my experience and a company that I believe in, which Vivify is doing through its work for schools and the wider community.

Happiest when spending time with my dog Cruiza or enjoying a pint with mates.

Cydney Cryne

Digital Marketing Apprentice

I am a digital marketing apprentice and I am grateful to be able to work for a company that strives to make positive changes in society. I believe exercise and activity are the most essential things for physical and mental wellbeing and I love being a part of encouraging this!

 

I am passionate about content creation and marketing to different audiences, and I love challenging myself and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Happies when taking a long scenic walk and being surrounded by people that strive to be the best version of themselves.

People & Operations

Critical to the successful delivery of our schools’ lettings programmes, our expert People and Operations' teams are dedicated to understanding your school’s unique needs while providing a seamless service each and every day.

James Merlos-Coy

Regional Operations Manager - South

I have 10 year’s management experience in Leisure, across private health clubs, leisure centres, and franchised gyms. I am passionate about developing and bringing the best out of my team, through gaining a holistic understanding of each team member. I have a Master’s Degree in Strength and Conditioning and have published work within the field in addition to coaching elite-level athletes.

Happiest when exploring with my daughter and showing her the world.

Darriel Booth

Regional Operations Manager - North

I've worked in the leisure industry for over 10 years across a range of customer-facing roles.

Before joining Vivify, I was busy managing school sites, so I have a breadth of knowledge when it comes to managing and hiring out school facilities.

I’m passionate about ensuring our schools and hirers have the best experience, and I'm always ready at the end of the phone to help, no matter the question!

Francisca Morgan-Kilner

Regional Operations Manager - South

Hi am Francisca, most call me Fran or Frankie!

 

I’m a West London University graduate, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Event Management. I have over 18 years' experience in Customer Service, Sales, Service Admin and data cleansing, HR, Office Management, Co Ordinator roles and for the past 6 years now in Facilities Management and Operations. I've demonstrated experience in luxury brands, live events, within the prestigious automotive industry, luxury retail, corporate events, finance and most recent leisure and sports sector.

 

I have, always loved being able to deliver a service which people will feel and remember. I love being able provide more than something material, which is why I feel hugely grateful to be in the role I am in and able to lead and provide my wonderful staff in supporting the local communities of my school sites with the facilities to achieve this. 

Happiest when I'm surrounded with my family, eating yummy food, drinking cocktails and ideally on an exotic holiday!

Tanisha Alston

Operations Support

A linguist with experience in teaching French and German. I am passionate about making a difference to someone's life whether that be in terms of improving education or by working for Vivify where we provide school facilities to give local people the opportunity to take part in activities that improve their physical and mental health! 

 

Happiest when drinking a cocktail in the French Riviera

Kieran Mills

Finance Assistant

I’m a CIMA part-qualified accounts assistant having worked in accounting and finance for over two years. My experience ranges across different sectors like E-commerce and construction recruitment. 

I’m a versatile, adaptable worker who enjoys getting out of my comfort zone and exploring new things. 

I am happiest when I’m exploring a new city or having a pint of Guinness in a remote boozer.

Olivia Cahill

HR Recruiter

I am a newly qualified HR practitioner who prides themselves in being an approachable, passionate, and driven individual. Committed to assisting others create a more efficient and effective way of working.

 

My favourite thing to do is get dressed up and go out with my friends, sipping cocktails and eating nice food.

Happiest when I am lay on a sun lounger on a beach, tanning

Rita Henriques

HR Advisor

The fusion of HR expertise with a Psychology background has been a strong asset in my career. I prioritise mental health, nurturing positive relationships and supportive work environments, believing they're pivotal for business success.

I've long been passionate about helping others, actively involved in social projects both professionally and personally. Currently, I'm a committed co-founder and trustee of a charity, dedicated to making a positive impact in the community.
I strive to lead a healthy, active lifestyle both personally and professionally.

I am happiest when exploring the world with my other half, when I meet my family and when the sun is shining.

Robert Johnson

Customer Service Advisor

I have a background of working with several ethics-first organisations and customer facing roles, providing a high level of customer care backed up with empathy and a strong moral compass. With prior experience as an ecologist, tech support agent, and faculty representative for science at university, I have a well-rounded skill set to problem solve and a dedication for social causes.

I am happiest when marking a pub quiz and the opposing team gets a question wrong which my team got right.

Meet our community hosts...

Our Community Hosts are responsible for opening and closing our schools across the UK on evenings, weekends and school holidays. All our hosts are enrolled onto our thorough Training Academy, where they learn everything from operational standards, security, safeguarding and customer service. During the recruitment process we put a particular emphasis on Vivify's values, as it's crucial our hosts understand just how meaningful a lettings programme can be.

Here are some of our hosts describing the impact they see school lettings have on their local community.

Want to join our team?

We have a diverse team with a variety of skills, all united under one vision - decreasing inactivity and loneliness in society whilst generating much-needed revenue for community venues. We’d love to meet you.

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