Meet Our Team

Clive Spencer

Director (North East, Yorkshire and The Humber) 
0191 3728619

Clive Spencer - Close Up

Clive has over 20 years of management experience. He initially trained and qualified as an Industrial Engineer in the private sector and utilised these skills in the NHS in the north east and London holding posts in finance, HR/OD, training & development and senior operational management. These roles were punctuated with posts in regeneration for a local authority and as a self-employed management consultant.

Clive has extensive experience as a service improvement and organisational development practitioner and while working in a regional OD team (Learning Alliance) he trained over 1,000 NHS employees and assisted teams in over 80 organisations.

A qualified executive coach and trained in psychometric techniques he continues to practice in his current role as Director of the North East Leadership Academy.

Clive enjoys coaching a local youth football team and playing golf. Any spare time is spent being a financial advisor and chauffeur for his three children.



Mandi Sherlock-Storey

Head of Leadership – Transformation
0191 3728621

Mandi - Close

Mandi is a BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered Occupational Psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in the field of leadership and organisational development (OD) and coaching. She has worked with a diverse range of clients both public and private sector including, The House of Commons, various Housing Organisations and Local Authorities and Imperial College London.

Before joining NELA Mandi combined an academic career with business psychology consultancy. She has published work in the area of resilience in the context of organisational change and is a sought after speaker on the subject. Mandi is enthused by working collaboratively with clients to develop pragmatic and engaging interventions that make a real difference.




Debby Whalen

Head of Leadership - Talent
0191 3728652

Debby Whalen

Debby joined the team in August 2018. Her background lies in nursing and she has worked in diverse areas including acute care, primary care and public health over the years. 

Most recently she worked for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust in Organisational Development and Service Improvement roles, where she shifted to support teams to work together and deliver excellent services. She is accredited to work with the Healthcare Leadership Models, Insights Discovery and other 360° feedback tools.

Debby is excited about the opportunities to support staff and services across the NHS North East and National Leadership Academies.




Sarah Knowles

Joint Business Manager (North East, Yorkshire and The Humber)
0191 3728616

Sarah Knowles - Close Up

After joining the NHS in 2006, Sarah worked first in project management at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and then at the North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) within the leadership and talent management team.

Part of the Academy team since its establishment in 2010, Sarah leads on business management across the North East and Yorkshire and Humber Leadership Academies including planning and performance, communications, governance and finance. She is a Healthcare Leadership Model 360 trainer and facilitator, coach, and MBTI Step 1 practitioner.

Outside of work Sarah is undertaking a Level 4 Certificate in Person Centred Counselling and enjoys going on adventures with her husband and two border collies.




Claire Carrick

Programme Lead
0191 3728617


Claire joined the NELA team in March 2017 having previously worked in Health Improvement in the NHS for five years. Claire is responsible for the Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS), supporting talented graduate trainees to become future leaders in the NHS. She is also responsible for the Academy’s Coaching and Mentoring Programme and supports the development of talent management across the region. Claire is a trained HLM Facilitator and is trained in using the MBTI Step I instrument.

Outside of work, Claire loves to be outdoors with her family, walking and cycling in the Lake District admiring the views. Claire is currently on maternity leave, returning in May 2019.




Kitty Haylock

Programme Lead
0191 3728617

Kitty - Close Up

Whilst Claire is away on maternity leave, her work will be looked after by Kitty Haylock, who joins us on secondment after travelling through Europe for an extended period.

Before travelling, Kitty was a module lead on the postgraduate clinical leadership programme at Newcastle University and delivered leadership and coaching programmes through Cath Brown Consultancy.

She is excited to join the team and looks forward to working with colleagues across the region.




Jackie Kerr

Programme Co-ordinator
0191 3728618

Jackie - Close Up

Jackie joined the NELA team in 2010 having previously worked in the financial sector as a senior customer service advisor.    She is a trained Healthcare Leadership Model 360 feedback facilitator and staff support officer and is passionate about developing those around her. She has an NVQ Level 4 diploma in Business and Administration.

Jackie  is responsible for the coordination, recruitment and marketing of regional programmes and also continues to be the North East contact for national leadership development programmes.





Stephanie Wilton

Business Support Officer
0191 3728615


After working as a Nursery Practitioner for seven years, Stephanie joined the academy as an apprentice in 2011 studying business and administration. Steph is now working towards a Degree in Management after successfully completing her foundation degree in Business. Steph has also won the student of the Year award whilst studying her BA (Hons) in Management.

Steph leads on office management, diary management and events planning for the Academy, as well as supporting communications and marketing. She is also a trained Healthcare Leadership Model 360 feedback facilitator. 




Martin Heard

Business Support Officer
0191 3728615


After working in both acute and secondary care within the NHS for the last 10 years, Martin joined the Academy in 2018 as a Business Support Officer. Martin has recently completed the Mary Seacole Local programme.

Martin leads on office management, finance, reporting, social media, communications, engagement and marketing.

Outside of work, Martin enjoys spending time walking his dog and entertaining his six nieces and nephews, as well as his two God-Daughters.