Profiles of Corporation Members

Nigel Moss, Chair

Following an early career in local authority administration, Nigel moved to Birmingham in 1975 as part of the launch team for the new National Exhibition Centre.  There he specialised in health and safety as well as supervising management skills and staff development.  Later in his career, Nigel managed the activities of the Student Unions at two Universities.  For ten years prior to his retirement, Nigel taught and supported young adults with specific learning needs at the Glasshouse project in Stourbridge.

Nigel is immensely proud that both he and members of his own family have been students at UCB.  

Lorraine Teague, Deputy Chair

A solicitor by vocation, Lorraine was, for many years, UCB’s employment law advisor in her role as a partner with one of Birmingham’s leading law firms.  A few years ago, Lorraine decided to step back from a commercial legal practice and instead, focus on those areas of her professional life from which she derived most satisfaction.  She now works part-time for a national legal practice, working directly with clients and is the Vice-Chair of her local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Dr Andreas Antona

Having initially trained at Ealing Technical College, Andreas worked in kitchens in Switzerland and Germany before returning to the UK to work with Anton Mosimann at the Dorchester and Michael Quinn at the Ritz. He spent time as chef de cuisine at the Elms in Abberley before moving to the then renowned Plough and Harrow in Birmingham.  Under Andreas’s guidance, the restaurant’s fortunes were revived. 

Andreas opened Simpsons, in Kenilworth, in 1993. Endless hours of dedicated hard work led to Simpsons receiving top accolades including a Bib Gourmande in 1995 and a Michelin star in 1999. In October 2004, he opened the new Simpsons, a 70 cover luxury restaurant in a grade ll listed building in Edgbaston. 

In Summer 2013, Andreas also took over The Cross, Kenilworth and installed Adam Bennett there as head chef. The Cross was awarded a Michelin star in 2014, within 12 months of its reopening. Weeks later, Andreas was himself awarded the International Chef of the Year award at La Gastronomie et Vins in Lyon.

Despite almost 40 years in the industry, Andreas’ enthusiasm for training students to become great chefs and hospitality professionals is as strong as ever. 

Jenny Belza

Jenny has extensive experience in the NHS as a senior manager in nursing, quality, safeguarding and commissioning. She qualified as a nurse in 1980 and worked in a variety of management roles for the NHS for over 30 years before becoming Chief Nurse and Quality Officer in 2013, where she was responsible for quality and patient safety, safeguarding, equality and diversity in a Clinical Commissioning Group until her retirement in 2018. She currently serves as a Non-Executive Director of an NHS Trust. She has also held senior roles within PCTs, Strategic Health Authority and acute hospitals. She remains passionate about ensuring patient care is of the highest quality and supporting the development of a competent, compassionate and diverse workforce.

Sharon Morris

Following an earlier administrative career, Sharon took up a role with UK Athletics, the national Governing Body for athletics. She initially worked as a Coaching and Teaching Co-ordinator, later moving into anti-doping roles and then progressing to support the Strategic Head of Coaching and Development. In 2012, she took up her current role as Senior Performance Pathway Co-ordinator, with responsibility for the Olympic Performance Pathway Programmes and the Youth Talent Programme. She is a Birmingham native and passionate about enhancing opportunities for young people and particularly for identifying young athletes who have the potential to develop further. She works as a volunteer coach for Birchfield Harriers and, in 2018, she won the British Athletics Unsung Hero award.

Sir Geoff Hall

A nationally recognised figure in further education, Geoff Hall has served in a variety of roles across the sector. Although a Birmingham boy who his proud of his roots in the city, he began his career at Telford College, moving to roles at Northants County Council and later back to Birmingham as further education officer for the local authority. Later moves would take him to the former FE Funding Council as National Director and then to New College Nottingham, initially as Deputy Chief Executive, before becoming Principal in 2004. Geoff retired in 2011 and was knighted for services to FE in 2012. He continues to play an active role in the sector, chairing conferences and leading FE seminars across the country.

Professor Michael Harkin (Vice-Chancellor and Principal)

Michael became Vice-Chancellor and Principal from 1 August 2019, having previously served for eleven years at the University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Michael holds an ex-officio post on the Corporation and serves as the University’s Chief Executive Officer, with specific responsibilities for making proposals to the Corporation on the educational character and mission of the University and for the management of budget and resources. In his previous role, Michael was responsible for Corporate Services and the development of the University’s estate. This followed an earlier career in both the FE and HE sectors and a commercial stint in the aviation industry.

Dr Zainab Khan

Prior to her academic career, Zainab trained as a barrister and holds a PhD in legal philosophy.

Zainab was a Faculty Director at the University of the West of England, Bristol supporting three large departments to achieve outstanding TEF and academic results for over 4,000 students. She has held a number of strategic and operational management roles and has extensive experience of supporting overseas partnerships. She is a multi-award-winning advocate for inclusion and race equity in education and her work has received national recognition at the prestigious Guardian University Award in 2019.

She joined London Metropolitan University in 2019 and was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Outcomes and Inclusion) in February 2020. She is the Corporation’s Co-opted Member.

Vera Lee

Vera is an independent technical and vocational education and training consultant with over 35 years’ experience - specialising in Tourism and Hospitality - in the public and private sectors in UK and overseas. She is a graduate of the Scottish Hotel School, University of Strathclyde, and qualified as a teacher at Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow.

She has 25 years’ experience in the Scottish education sector as a lecturer from pre-vocational to first degree level, and as an examiner/moderator for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). She has provided technical assistance and consultancy services contributing to the reform and modernisation of TVET in developing and transitional economies in Eastern Europe, Asia, East Africa, North Africa and West Africa on European Commission (EC), World Bank (WB) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects, initiating institutional development within the framework of overall capacity building. 

Alpha Jallow – President of Guild of Students

Alpha was elected President of the Guild of Students in 2020 and formally took up his post from 1 August. He serves as the Student Member until July 2021. He is a Business Enterprise graduate who previously served as Vice-President of the Guild. Other work includes catering and customer service roles.

Elaine Penn

Elaine is the Staff Member of the Corporation. She joined the University in 2000, following a career in marketing for an international bank and subsequent re-training in the fields of Sports Therapy, Beauty and Fitness. She became an Assistant Dean in 2005 and Dean of the School of Sport and Creative Services in 2010. Her academic interests include succession planning and curriculum innovation and is currently acting as an Executive Dean with responsibilities for exploring wider curriculum development opportunities across the institution.

Phil Romain

Phil started his career as a qualified engineer with British Aerospace, later becoming their Training Manager. He moved to the Training Standards Council in 2000 as an inspector, eventually joining Ofsted in 2007. During his time with the inspectorate, he lead nationally on both engineering issues and apprenticeships. He retired as a Senior HMI in 2017 and continues to provide much sought after advice and consultancy to education leaders across the Further Education sector. 

Michael Wiseman

Michael is qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has worked for leading companies such as Touche Ross & Co and the Burroughs Corporation in Europe & Africa.  He is the Managing Director of Haunch Lane Developments Ltd (Property Development & Investment Business). In 2005 he set up Metal Packaging International Ltd (Stockholder of Imported Tins & Aerosols) where he is also the Managing Director and majority shareholder.

He was appointed to the board of directors of Birmingham City Football Club (BCFC PLC) in 1997 and then to the holding company board Birmingham City PLC in 2006. He resigned from both positions in 2011 and then became the Honorary Vice President of the club, a position he holds to this day.

Neil Wright

After graduating from Hull University in History, Neil trained as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Following long careers as Role Directors with accountancy firms Grant Thornton and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, he became an Executive Director of UBS AG the Swiss Bank in 2008, retiring 2019. He has a wealth of experience in economics, taxation, investment strategy and portfolio construction. Prior to his retirement, he had served as the University’s primary investment advisor for over 25 years. 

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a Chartered MCSI member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and, among others, his interests are aviation, literature and cricket.

Bob Kennett

Following an earlier career in construction, Bob Kennett joined the Engineering Department of Birmingham Airport in 1988. He worked in a variety of roles, ultimately taking up the role of Head of Terminal Services in 2000. He was responsible for Asset Management, Terminal Management, Terminal Safety, Customer Service, Baggage Infrastructure and Terminal Engineering and was the lead point of contact for airlines, handling agents and control authorities until his early retirement in 2015.