Greater Manchester Leaders Plus Mentors

Each Leaders Plus candidate is paired with a senior mentor from our cross-sector network. These mentors provide a ‘safe space’ sounding board for candidates, as well as invaluable experience and insights from their own careers. See here for more about mentoring.

Stephen O’Malley
Chief Executive, Civic Engineers

Stephen is Co-founding Director of Civic Engineers. He is passionate about urban infrastructure and sets about his work aiming to engineer less, reaching first for nature-based solutions and applying these principles with a high degree of emotional intelligence. The skills Stephen has developed to engineer healthy, active and attractive urban neighbourhoods are broad. Stephen’s fusion and practice of these engineering skills enables the creation of inspirational public spaces that have a positive impact on the environment and enable people to lead healthier and happier lives. This creative and inclusive approach has seen Stephen recognised as an industry expert in his field with roles as an Architecture & Design Scotland Panellist, Membership of the Academy of Urbanism, a Design Council Associate and a New London Architecture Expert Panel Member for Wellbeing. He was recently NW Chair of Institute of Civil Engineers. 

Jessica Bowles
Director – Strategic Partnerships & Impact, Bruntwood

Jessica joined Bruntwood in 2016 helping to support the company’s ambitions for long term growth. As a member of the Group Board her focus is particularly on the businesses external relationships with city partners and Bruntwood’s ESG and social value agenda. Previously Jessica spent 15 years in Whitehall before moving to Manchester City Council as head of City Policy supporting work on devolution, the Northern Powerhouse and the ‘Our Manchester partnership Strategy. Amongst other external roles Jessica is a member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership ExCo, NWBLT, GM’s Cycling and Walking Board and is a Trustee for a start-up orchestra Manchester Baroque.

Eamonn Boylan
Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Eamonn was appointed Chief Executive in January 2017. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of Stockport MBC from 2011. While at Stockport, Eamonn led the Council’s £1bn programme of investment in infrastructure and town centre regeneration. Previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive of both the Homes & Communities Agency and Manchester City Council, where he led the Regeneration Division and helped shape Strategic Regeneration programmes across the City. As Chief Executive of GMCA, Eamonn chairs the Greater Manchester Wider Leadership Team and has responsibility for Policy & Strategy and a wide range of Greater Manchester services including Fire & Rescue, Waste, Transport, Economic Development and Planning. He also is jointly accountable for the Greater Manchester Strategic Plan for the transformation of Health and Social Care.

Danny Crump
Director of Urbanism, Layer Studio

Danny is a Chartered Landscape Architect with 20+ years experience. A passionate placeshaper, he joined in 2023, heading its UK Urbanism team and establishing a Place Team to promote value-driven advocacy in the built environment for multi-sectoral clients. Danny’s broad experience includes several award-winning projects and his expertise includes city core regeneration, urban realm masterplanning, city street and space design, public squares and parks and university campus projects. He is usually lead designer on commisions, is experienced in site diagnosis and uses urban data analytics to inform the design process. Danny is also APMP-certified, recognising his knowledge of all aspects of project management. Danny also sits on DLUHC’S High Street Task Force Expert/Mentor and Facilitator Panel. 

Jacqueline Esimaje-Heath
Director of Growth, L&Q

Jacqueline is part of L&Q’s Development & Sales leadership team. She oversees New Business, Development & Regeneration, Development Partnerships and Communities teams, operating nationally. Architecturally trained, Jacqui has held senior roles in the public and private sectors and has a passion for creating exciting new places to live. In previous roles at East Thames, Moat, Capita, Tribal Group and Guinness Trust, she led residential property development, housing & management consultancy, regeneration, private sector renewal and residential sales & marketing. Jacqui is also a skilled mentor and non-executive director, with 20+ years providing strategic leadership in the not-for-profit sector. She is currently a NED of Yorkshire Housing Ltd and Chair of its Growth & Investment Committee.

Angela Harrington
Director – Inclusive Growth, Manchester City Council

Angela is Director of Inclusive Economy for Manchester City Council and her responsibilities include Manchester Adult Education Service, the Work & Skills Team and the development and delivery of the council’s Digital Strategy. Angela chairs Manchester’s Family Poverty group and is working with other anchor institutions in the city to promote Manchester as a Living Wage place and use their positions as civic institutions to provide employment opportunities for more disadvantaged Mancunians.

Jane Healey Brown
Director of Town Planning, Arup

Jane leads Planning in Arup’s North West and Yorkshire offices and oversees town planning, environment and transport planning in Manchester. She is a GM Commissioner for Planning & Housing and lectures at the Universities of Liverpool and Manchester. She also helps the North West Business Leadership Team respond to the UK2070 Commission. Jane has worked on a range of projects, including the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, major regeneration-led masterplans, new nuclear power stations and rail-related projects. Jane has considerable experience helping local authorities prepare Local Plans. She is passionate about city governance, devolution, inclusive growth and social value. Jane is a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute and was one of the 2018 Northern Power Women.

John Herring
Director of Organisational Development & Culture, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care

John has 20+ years experience as a leader across Public Services. Initially trained as a psychological therapist, John went on to set up a drop-in and therapy centre for homeless people in Liverpool in 2000 before moving on to roles across public services and landing in the NHS as a senior manager overseeing provision of mental health services. John has worked as part of the devolution of Health and Care across GM since its inception in 2016 working on several areas addressing the leadership, cultural and system design challenges of implementing an integrated approach to public service provision. John is also the Chair of the arts charity, Abandon Normal Devices.

Claire Norman
Director of Communications & Engagement, NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care

Claire has been Director of Communications and Engagement for Greater Manchester Health and Care Partnership, Combined Authority and the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham for more than five years. The role leading multi-award winning teams looking after multiple clients including GM Fire and Rescue Services and the NHS, puts her in a unique position working across a wide part of the public sector and at the heart of the city region’s public services. Greater Manchester has a long history of partnership working, with collective and collaborative policy responses to some of the big challenges of our time, whether that be the pandemic, emergency situations or tackling deep rooted inequalities.

Chris Cheap
Principal and Managing Director – Transactions, Avison Young

Chris is a highly experienced and renowned real estate professional who has an outstanding operational track record in the development and leasing workspace across the UK for multi disciplinary global property advisors Avison Young but has also held a number of leadership positions within the business having been a member of it’s UK Executive for some 7 years and most recently devising and delivering a Transformation & Growth programme.

Caroline Baker
Managing Partner – North West, Cushman & Wakefield

Caroline specialises in advising public sector clients to understand their development markets, how to reposition areas and unlock development through working with the private sector. She has headed up Cushman & Wakefield’s North West office for over 5 years and as such has oversight of all aspects of the development industry and as well as working with urban designers, engineers and other specialists. She is approaching 30 years in the industry and continues to be excited about getting involved in the next regeneration project. She is a proud resident of Manchester.

Neil Walmsley
Managing Directo UK – Urban Solutions, Hatch

Neil is a Chartered Engineer and Planner, and was recently appointed Regional Director (UK/Europe) for Urban Solutions at Hatch. Over a 25+ year career in the built environment sector, Neil has played a pivotal role in building diverse, large and influential consultancy teams in a number of regional markets. His project portfolio includes urban development and transport projects across UK, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia including Bradford’s Airedale Master Plan, Dubai’s 2020 Transport Master Plan, Abu Dhabi’s Plan Capital 2030 and Indonesia’s New Capital Master Plan. He has also served on the Singapore Government’s Design Advisory Council since 2021. Outside of work Neil enjoys live sport and music as well as coaching junior rugby and captaining his local cricket club development side. He is married with three school aged children.


Follow this link to see the mentors from Leaders Plus Round 10, running in parallel in London.