Board Directors and Trustees
Stuart became Experience Oxfordshire’s Chair in autumn 2023.
Originally from Oxford, Stuart is a partner in the Oxfordshire and London based accountancy firm, Wellers and an alumnus of Oxford Brookes University. He has been part of the wider Oxfordshire business community for over 20 years with extensive experience of working with owners, directors and stakeholders in various types of businesses in the region including hospitality, technology, professional services, and international trades.
He has been an active member of the organisation’s Finance and Resources Committee during his tenure.
Stuart took up his new role when Joanna Davidson CBE, the previous Chair, stepped down this autumn after six years of service.
Stuart was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in September 2016.
Councillor Liz Leffman has been Leader of Oxfordshire County Council since May 2021. She was elected to West Oxfordshire District Council in 2012 and to the County Council in 2017, where she represents Charlbury and Wychwood.
In addition to her service to local government for over 30 years, Cllr Leffman has operated an international business advising and assisting companies in the global textile and garment industry. She has been a trustee of her local Citizens’ Advice, a director of a local community owned solar farm and director of a charity building supported living accommodation for people with early onset dementia. She is also Chair of England’s Economic Heartland sub-national transport body.
Cllr Leffman was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in November 2023.
A degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College was followed by qualification as a Chartered Accountant in London with what is now KPMG. Auditing the American University and Hospital in Beirut in 1977 was a particular highlight. Moving into industry Chris joined the head office of EMI in 1978 in the heydey of the CT scanner and Kate Bush.
Leaving EMI after it was taken over by Thorn led to a 25-year career as a Finance Director in the construction services, construction and facilities management sectors. Hire, sale and contract supply of equipment internationally with SGB; Group Finance Director of Eve Group plc, a specialist contractor in telecoms and power networks, listed on the London Stock Exchange; facilities management with Balfour Beatty plc involving public and private sector clients, and including the operation of PFI contracts.
In 2006 Chris joined St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford as Treasurer and Finance Director and steered the College through significant change leading to improved financial performance and successful building projects. He retired in 2016 and is now an Emeritus Fellow.
He was born in Lincoln and includes wood and wine in his interests.
Chris has been Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee for Experience Oxfordshire since March 2017.
Dominic Hare was born in Liverpool and studied Law at Oxford. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG, he spent the next ten years in corporate finance and investment banking (with Paribas and Barclays Capital), specialising in the media and telecoms sector. He is proud to have helped DJ Chris Evans buy Virgin Radio but also to have helped Bob the Builder buy both Thomas the Tank Engine and Barney the Purple Dinosaur.
For 13 years, he served as Finance Director at Blenheim and is now the Chief Executive Officer at Blenheim.
At Blenheim, he and the team are delivering an energetic vision of the evolved role of a landed estate today, not an historic anachronism but the powerhouse of the local economy, custodians and innovators in carbon management and the heartbeat of local life.
Dominic is a member of the Experience Oxfordshire’s Finance and Resources Committee. Dominic was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in March 2017.
Miranda joined the Operations team at SBM, an oil company in Monaco in 1980. She took up the role of Operations Manager at Ingram Tampimex Oil brokers in Monaco in 1983. On her return to the UK, she ran the French property desk for Prudential International in London from 1986 to 1989, before setting up her own business selling property in France to UK residents. She joined French retail company Everstyl in 1992 as their UK Manager and established their operations in the UK.
Miranda joined Value Retail in 1995 as Deputy Centre Manager at the inception of Bicester Village. For the last decade, Miranda’s primary focus has been as Community Relations Director for Bicester Village, developing a CSR programme, handling regional PR and assisting with planning and development projects, including the most recent expansion of Bicester Village.
She represents Bicester Village on a number of committees and steering groups as well as being a member of the Executive Board of Bicester Vision and Bicester Chamber of Commerce. She has been a Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire since 2008. More recently, she has become a Director of the boards of two Destination Management Offices, Experience Oxfordshire and Shakespeare’s England as well as a Trustee of Oxford Brookes Student Union.
Miranda lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children. In her spare time, Miranda is an oil and watercolour artist.
Miranda was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in November 2013.
Nicola Poole’s background is in family law, but after 25 years delivering legal services she moved to a solely management role, holding the Managing Director title at Hedges Law for over ten years. She currently holds the position of Director of Innovation and Culture at the 233 year old law firm, based in Oxfordshire, responsible for driving the values-led culture both internally and externally, and ensuring the business adopts the very best technology to improve the service delivery to clients.
In the 20 years since joining Hedges, Nicola has developed, grown and elevated the firm ‘from high street to high end’ tripling its revenue and expanding it from its original historic roots in Wallingford, to Oxford city centre and now into the Cotswolds. Hedges Law is one of only a handful of law firms in the country that are employee owned and has recently announced its newly-appointed all female board.
Nicola serves as an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust ‘Women Supporting Women’ initiative and is passionate about the outdoors; she cycled from Delhi to Jaipur in 2019 and loves nothing more than taking on new challenges and adventures, and where possible, raising charitable funds whilst doing so.
Nicola Poole was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in July 2022.
Professor Tim Vorley is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School, and leads on Entrepreneurship and Enterprise at Oxford Brookes University. He was recognised in the 2023 New Years Honours list and awarded an OBE for services to Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Tim has led a wide range of projects and initiatives in the UK and internationally focusing on entrepreneurship, enterprise and innovation funded by UKRI as well as projects on Community Business with Power to Change. Tim works extensively across government departments, and is also Vice Chair of the Small Business Charter, created by Lord Young to recognise business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses and student entrepreneurship.
Tim was appointed to the Experience Oxfordshire Board in October 2023.