Richard comes from a marketing and sales background in commercial aviation, has worked at a senior level in both Travel and Tourism in both the private and public sectors and now specialises in business consultancy, sector strategy and delivering SME engagement projects in the Food and Drink sector, currently at the University of Nottingham and through the Food Innovation Centre, which he set up in 2016. Having led marketing and brand teams for over 20 years for some of the leading travel brands such as Virgin Atlantic and Eurostar, Richard brings together a wealth of knowledge of Product Innovation, Marketing and Sales techniques and Business Strategy to help businesses develop and implement effective, integrated and innovative strategies. He has also worked broadly in the Sport and Tourism sectors, at national and regional level, advising on business development and digital applications. Over the last ten years, he has successfully managed several publicly funded Innovation projects for both Trade Associations and Universities. In 2010, Richard was the Director of the Food and Drink Innovation Network (iNet) and worked closely with businesses and Universities in the East Midlands to initiate, fund and deliver collaborative Innovation/Research/Growth projects. This focussed on key issues in the Food & Drink sector - sustainable production & environment, healthy eating & wellbeing, business management and strategic planning. Also in 2010, he followed a lifelong ambition to launch a specialist, ethically-based online Tour Operation offering unique worldwide cultural experiences. It was the first operator of this kind to focus in on the people of a destination and offers genuine cultural understanding experiences within tours that are delivered by and feature local people.
Richard currently delivers a number of projects through his consultancy Black Olive Marketing Limited, within the food and drink sector. In April 2016, he launched and currently manages the Food Innovation Centre at the University of Nottingham School of BioSciences, which delivers SME business engagement projects and is also involved in the development of the Food and Drink Manufacturing sector strategy at local, regional and national level. The Centre is the gateway for businesses to a wealth of knowledge and expertise across not only Biosciences (farm to fork), but also the Business School, Engineering/Advanced Manufacturing, Energy Technologies, AI/Data and is the two-way knowledge transfer route between the University and sector businesses.