The Smart Training Company
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Our Vision

To take your teams on an interactive & motivational learning journey that will develop knowledge, enhance skills and help them grow in confidence.

Our Team

  • Jo Woods

    Jo Woods

    Hospitality Training Associate

    An experienced consultant who has worked in all aspects of Front of House, and Meetings and Events Sales and Revenue Management for over 30 years.

    “Until recently my passion has always been for Meetings & Events Revenue Management, but over the last few years I have seen demand shift for longer term projects involving company & team culture, defining vision & values, facilitating change, creating team engagement and a desire to go back to basics and deliver genuine, authentic hospitality for our guests.

    This change of direction inspired me to become a Business Partner with Clarity 4D (a simple personality profiling system using the language of colour) which gives me a greater understanding of individuals and teams, helping them to adapt their behaviours and communication styles to meet the needs of one another, different guest types and situations.

    Then most recently, due to lockdown, I have seen a further shift in demand with the need for virtual interaction with my clients, engagement with their teams whilst on furlough and the desire to re-create interactive workshops online for their ongoing development.

    So now I have a new passion … I love the challenge of designing and delivering fun, engaging webinars that completely motivate and inspire their audience, re-creating the same experience of an interactive workshop in the virtual space that has become our new normal”.

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  • Sarah Brickwood

    Sarah Brickwood

    Hospitality Training Consultant

    An award-winning Learning and Development professional with 25 years in the Hospitality and Leisure Industry and experience within Reception, Reservations and Sales.

    Sarah is a Fellow of The Institute of Hospitality, and also Branch Membership Officer for the Midlands Branch of The Institute of Hospitality, which is the professional body for managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry.

    Sarah is also a Clarity4D Business Partner, which enables personality profiling to be built into any bespoke development programme to support individuals and teams to achieve positive results in their personal and professional relationships.

    Starting in the industry as a management trainee, and subsequently experiencing a variety of front and back of house roles I soon found a love for coaching others. This led me into training and support management roles for two large UK hotel chains where I managed my own training teams.

    In 2008, I set up my own training business to work with independent hotels and small groups to provide them with effective, affordable and tailored learning and development support. I love supporting businesses to develop a learning culture so that they can achieve their goals. Training cannot be seen as a quick-fix to a problem; having a clear learning strategy must be part of a company’s vision to ensure investment in the team so that everyone understands the bigger picture.

    My 100% belief in this approach was the driving force behind creating the SmartHub, which gives all our clients an affordable, fully hosted Learning Management System that enables their team to access bespoke training units as well as live online learning sessions to support their personal Learning Journey”

    T: 07833246000

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  • Rose McDonald MNCPS (Acc.)

    Rose McDonald MNCPS (Acc.)

    Counsellor, Training Associate & Coach

    An experienced hospitality ‘all-rounder’ who has worked in all aspects of Operations, Meetings and Events, Sales and Marketing, and Revenue Management for over 35 years.

    Rose is also an accredited Mental Health First Aider, and a qualified counsellor.


    “I have a genuine passion for people and the Hospitality Industry and have an extensive background in restaurants, events, chain hotels, large and small independent venues and venue-finding agencies.”

    I relish motivating and working with individuals and teams where I adopt a person-centred approach. Sensitive to the needs of individuals through my Mental Health First Aider and counselling training allows me to get the best out of people working with their strengths and creative abilities and anticipate their individual needs. None more so is this needed in the current climate we find ourselves in.

    With a core understanding in operations, I work with a ‘hands-on’ approach so that I utterly understand how best to help. Ensuring my commercial awareness is up to the minute is very key for me. Over the past few months, I have been translating and adapting what I do in a more virtual environment to provide creative and engaging ways to be able to do this and be just as effective. Working with the Business Owner/Manager and their team, we ensure the learning journey, desired outcomes and return on expectations are always achieved “

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  • Kerry Lockyer

    Kerry Lockyer

    Sales, Leadership and Team Development Associate

    A TEDx Speaker, L7 CIPD qualified Learning and Development professional, Insights Licensed Practitioner, and accredited Clarity4D Business Partner with over 25 years’ experience across Hospitality, Retail and Merchant sectors.

    Kerry is passionate about creating inspirational learning solutions that deliver significant performance results, add value to the bottom line, and help individuals and teams to improve performance, relationships, and team effectiveness. Kerry’s business is an Endorsed Training Partner for The Institute of Sales Management Education, which means the Sales programmes she runs ensure the highest quality of provision is in place and meets the National Occupational Standards for Sales.

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  • Vanessa Crispin MCIPD

    Vanessa Crispin MCIPD

    HR and People Associate

    Vanessa is a qualified HR Professional, with significant experience in large complex organisations within both the private and public sectors. Her knowledge and experience in HR has been gained within Policing and Logistics/Supply Chain, allowing her to work on a number of diverse and complex HR issues.

    With a solution-focused approach, she has worked on various projects within change management and organisational design/OD. Vanessa’s creative approach and experience helps to ensure organisations achieve their goals. Her genuine interest in people and teams has led her to work on a number of large-scale, fast-paced change programmes.

    Vanessa is a Clarity4D Business Partner and with her experience is L&D and colour profiling/psychometrics, Vanessa has also run a number of workshops bringing people and teams together.

    With an ability to influence those around her and quickly build relationships, she creates a positive environment that’s ready to embrace change.

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  • Alison Thorogood

    Alison Thorogood

    Training Associate & Coach

    30+ years experience in Hospitality in both operational management and learning & development roles.  Alison is a qualified member of the CIPD and an accredited coach with the International Coaching Federation.

    Specialising in leadership development with an emphasis on authenticity and wellbeing, Alison is in her element designing and facilitating learning for newly promoted managers who care about their team, guests and business success.  “Often managers are so passionate about what they do, they end up working longer hours, struggling to switch off and giving their all to their team and business leaving no time and energy for themselves.  It doesn’t have to be like that, you can thrive in a successful career, in an industry you love AND have a fulfilling life outside of work.  It’s all about finding your individual boundaries balance”.

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  • Jo Kenny

    Jo Kenny

    Sales Training Associate

    Starting in catering and hotel operations 35 years ago; Jo moved on to front-line selling and is now a senior sales leader, coach and trainer within the MICE sales environment. These experiences allow her to promote a holistic approach to sales excellence within both proactive and reactive environments. Jo has been recognised by the MIA and C&IT Magazine for her work.

    As a firm believer in personal growth, I take steps to improve my own knowledge and stay in tune with new developments. As well as recently becoming a Chartered Manager, I have been working with a Google mentor to better understand marketing trends and data analysis as well as looking to other sectors for transferable best practices.

    I have a passion for enabling sales teams to combine the right balance of processes and procedures with vital skills and in-depth knowledge, all designed to drive the sales process forward.

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  • Róisín Jordan

    Róisín Jordan

    Content Creator (Social Media)

    Róisín has worked within the hospitality industry for 10+ years including in a range of front of house management and operations roles, and is a certified British Psychological Society Occupational Test User: Ability and Personality Assessment (Formerly BPS Level A & B).

    Róisín is a passionate management professional and recently obtained an MSc in Business Psychology focusing on learning and talent development, change management and leadership.

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  • Julia Livesley

    Julia Livesley

    Compliance Training Associate

    An enthusiastic and experienced Health & Safety compliance trainer within the hospitality industry.

    “After a successful start within the learning and development team for restaurant multi-site operations this led to my career within health and safety, fire and food safety. As a Health and Safety Manager I was responsible for several teams, coaching and developing accredited and bespoke learning solutions for all levels of employees within medium sized hotel chains.

    10 years ago I set up my own health and safety consultancy providing a broad range of services such as fire risk assessments, policy development, audits, inspections, Highfield accredited and bespoke learning delivery and materials for levels 1-4.

    I have always loved working in the hospitality industry and I enjoy coaching all levels of employees. I enjoy developing solutions within a practical and logical process that is easy to follow for clients”

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  • Jo Ankers

    Jo Ankers

    Marketing & Social Media Associate

    Jo has worked within the hotel and hospitality industry for over 20 years in variety of marketing and business development capacities.

    Her experience is varied across all elements of the marketing mix, from website development, social media planning, e-commerce, direct marketing, brochure production and individual business area campaigns and local initiatives.

    “Having come from a UK hotel group background where I worked in both the leisure and corporate marketing departments, I have enjoyed working in all areas of hotel marketing from single site campaigns, local restaurant openings, leisure centre launches to group-wide promotional work . As I then went on to work in a EMEA position for American Express Cards working with multiple large hotel groups developing marketing initiatives, this has therefore given me a varied overview working with a hugely diverse customer base. I am passionate about offering a tailored approach for every one of my clients from large European hotel chains to individual privately owned businesses. I believe in offering tangible value for money advice where return on investment is critical”

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  • Paula Young

    Paula Young

    Videography Associate

    Paula is a trained videographer and PR professional with more than 20 years’ experience in communications.

    She re-trained in broadcasting to bring some life to her storytelling and set up her own business in 2017 to focus on video production for businesses and charities.

    She started her career in newspaper journalism after gaining the industry standard NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) certificate. In 2015 she was awarded an MA in broadcast journalism from Staffordshire University. Her videos have since appeared on the regional news as well as on the websites and social media channels of several UK charities and organisations

    “Re-training in video meant I had to learn a lot in a short space of time, but one thing never changes and that’s the power of genuine storytelling. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in; nothing gets attention like a good story, told well. Video is one of the most powerful ways to illustrate what we have to say and now that we all have the technology in our own pockets, it’s no longer just a tool for presenters.

    I love experimenting with new and interesting ways to communicate, from using people’s own video clips to climbing up water slides with a 360 camera and, more recently, using TikTok videos to successfully get a message across.

    I’m passionate about training too as I believe it’s never too late to learn. That’s why part of my business involves teaching others how to harness the power of smartphone video. By utilising all of these skills, I aim to give a fresh perspective to each story we tell.”

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  • Laura Capell-Abra

    Laura Capell-Abra

    Well being Associate

    Founder of creative-industry coaching company, No More Ifs Or Buts and workplace wellbeing company, Stress Matters. Laura Capell-Abra had previously worked in the marketing industry for 17 years, having run businesses for the last 7 years. Laura is a business and career coach, NLP Practitioner, Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Visiting Lecturer.

    Previously running marketing events agency, Sledge Ltd, Laura is well-versed in the pressures senior management teams deal with and runs  a variety of stress management, mental health in the workplace and workplace wellbeing workshops. 

    My work has taken me around the world, with a large amount of time spent in Dubai so I am familiar with delivering presentations to mixed cultures.  I am passionate about helping team members and colleagues overcome and manage increasing stress often found in the workplace, and help managers understand the cost of poor mental health to their business. I thrive in helping hospitality businesses build a more positive culture around mental health and building motivation in an increasingly more remote world of work”.  

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Our Values

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We are devoted to delivering a blended learning journey that is fun and engaging


We love creating innovative, bespoke learning that ‘sticks’

Team Spirit

We collaborate with enthusiastic camaraderie to achieve shared goals


We place great importance on being accountable for achieving your aims and objectives


We aim to exceed your expectations – we love to ‘surprise & delight’

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