meet the team
Cilla McKay (Managing Director)
Cilla McKay is a highly experienced consultant with specialist skills in transformational leadership, engagement and communication. Her philosophy is that continuing development of the effectiveness of all sales, service and leadership teams is a key factor in delivering success.
Working in partnership with a range of high profile clients from organisational development, Cilla leads a team of approximately 23 staff who provide the bespoke leadership and business development consultancy across a range of markets and corporate clients. Client’s experience has been gained from the areas of financial services, commerce, local government, technology, service and utilities. Cilla sees her skill as being able to gain a clear understanding of the Client’s current position and then working in conjunction with internal targets and strategies to develop ongoing first class performance and measurable results. She provides consulting support to enhance business processes. Her particular role is to ensure all projects deliver a tangible Return on Investment.
John joined Rocket in December 2011, and has particular responsibility for the development of strategic and commercial relationships, bid management and vocational qualifications, including apprenticeships. He is a graduate in both education and business management, with over 15 years’ experience in senior executive positions within the education and training sector.
In his previous roles, John headed Public Sector development at the skills charity, LSN, and was director of sales and marketing with Premier Training International. Prior to this, he spent over five years working in sales director roles in learning technologies and online learning solutions – a far removal from his first full time role as a PE teacher!
John works with leading corporate and public sector clients, skills agencies and funding providers to optimise learning solutions for leaders and managers at all levels, across a range of business disciplines and organisational needs.
Shirley is an inspiring and passionate trainer who has considerable experience in Managing teams together with Coaching and Training in any number of different corporate and public sector environments. Shirley has worked with Rocket since its inception and delivered exceptional results for clients across Finance, Healthcare, Housing, Local Authorities and Manufacturing and Industrial Chemicals.
Shirley uses her experience, to ensure that even the most challenging issues are resolved quickly and efficiently. Her interest lies in seeing possibilities beyond what is already present and known, by using her insight, ingenuity, and intellect. Shirley is also an accredited Insights Profiling Practitioner.
Shirley had the privilege of attending – as VIP guest – at the World Premier of Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film.
After majoring in Communication Studies at Advanced and Degree level, Jez furthered his professional development with a PostGrad Certificate in Education.
Jez began his career in Retail Customer Services, quickly excelling in Customer Care. He moved on to Call Centre Management for a global corporation, before moving into a new Sales and Marketing, to develop his skills in Client Management. Jez now manages marketing and product development across the business.
Jez plays drums and piano and is an avid film buff. He is currently writing his first novel, an epic multi-strand fantasy that will give JK Rowling a run for her money!
Emma studied BSc (Hons) Tourism and Hospitality Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University, with a one year placement working in Oxford. After taking a module in International Tourism (creating a passion for marketing), she joined the team at Rocket Consultancy as Marketing Executive.
Emma strengths lie in thinking outside of ‘the box’ in creating new ideas and overcoming problems.
Emma is always looking for new challenges, from creating new business plans, to running the 2013 London Marathon and in the future diving with Great White Sharks.
Emma’s motto is ‘you can achieve anything, if you have the determination to succeed!’
Jacqui has worked with Rocket since 2008. Having worked in Banking for 15 years, she then re-trained as an Accountant from 2000, studying IAB Payroll, AAT, ACCA, and a BSc (Hons) at Oxford Brookes. She currently works part-time at Rocket, whilst also doing the accounts for her husband’s plastering company in Standlake and balancing a busy home too – Jacqui has 3 children, 2 step children and 2 grandchildren!
Jacqui has also gained a City and Guilds Certificate in Gardening and Design, winning a Silver Gilt medal at Blenheim Palace. She’s also a brown belt in Okinawan karate. When she’s not weeding or breaking blocks of wood in half, Jacqui most enjoys weekend breaks or going on cruises!
Simon’s career has encompassed operational practice, quality improvement and learning and development in a range of public sector organisations (Benefits Agency, Government Office for the East Midlands) and more recently in Skills for Justice, the Sector Skills Council for the Justice sector.
Simon joined the Learning and Skills Network in July 2009 to take up the position of Development Consultant in the Leadership and Management Unit. He is now a Development Consultant for Rocket Consultancy. Simon is a trained Inspirational Leadership Coach and Action Learning Set Facilitator Trainer.
Simon is an avid motorbike fan and enjoys a good apocalyptic survivor drama!
Tina has been with Rocket since June 2010, having worked previously for a large Telecoms organisation for a number of years as a Business Account Manager. Tina has spent most of her working life in Sales or Account Manager roles working in advertising sales and also for a well known premium Dutch lager company!
Tina is currently Client Manager at Rocket, focusing on supporting existing clients.
Outside of work Tina has a passion for impractical shoes, and is planning to take up Salsa dancing.
Paul Clifford (Operations Manager)
Caoimhe came to Rocket from LSDA (Learning & Skills Development Agency) NI where she worked for 7 years in several different roles from an office Administrator to Senior Relations Officer across a range of Leadership and Management Projects. Prior to working for LSDA NI, she worked for a number of years after University as an actor and also in stage management. Originally from Manchester, Caoimhe moved to Belfast 13 years ago to attend Queen’s University and has stayed there ever since.
Caoimhe has achieved a BA (Hons) in English Literature, ILM Level 3 in Effective Management and PRINCE 2.
Caoimhe lives in Belfast with her dog, Judy and is planning to get married next year (to her fiance, not the dog!). Caoimhe enjoys evening classes and has picked up some skills with varying degrees of success; guitar – not too bad and Italian – not too great. She once performed in a scene alongside Julie Walters; unfortunately, the scene was later cut from the film, but she insists it still happened!
Alice Biddiscombe (Project Co-ordinator)
Alice joined the team at Rocket Consultancy in July 2012 as a Project Coordinator. Prior to this Alice had returned to work, after raising her family to school age, as the Sales Support Manager for a company specialising in the distribution of Dutch and Danish designer housewares to the UK market including customers such as John Lewis and Paperchase as well as smaller independent design stores.
Alice has also worked as a Civil Servant with the Directorate of Land Service Ammunition and as Office Manager for Social Services.
Jo has been with the Rocket Team since 2010 and is responsible for the successful coordination of client projects. Jo ensures our workshops and programmes are fully prepared, and provides that vital link with the client.
Working closely with the Rocket team, Jo ensures that all aspects of the project are in places, including facilitators, venues and training materials.
Before joining Rocket, Jo brought significant experience from the retail industry, including five years with high-end fashion giant Aurora.