Printed Date: 26/06/2022

Meet Our Senior Leadership Team

To read about a particular member of our Senior Leadership Team team, just click on their name and title below:

Mark Sesnan, OBE - Chief Executive

Peter Bundey - Chief Executive (Designate)

Philip Donnay­ - Deputy Chief Executive

Andy Bindon - Chief Change & Values Officer

Diana Edmonds, MBE - National Libraries Director

Joseph Rham - Customer Experience Director

Lorraine Patrinos - Learning & Organisation Development Director

Justin Jardine - Business Strategy & Development Director

Sarahlise Evans - Accounting Director

Steve Ward - Digital & Technology Director

Chris Hebblewhite - National Standards and Compliance Director

Gareth Kirk - Senior Regional Director, North

Simon Sen - Senior Regional Director, South (Lead) 

Mark Sesnan, OBE - Chief Executive

Mark was instrumental in the pioneering move back in 1993 to move the Leisure service from Greenwich Council to a staff-led, not-for-profit Social Enterprise Leisure Trust – the first of Leisure trust of this type.

Mark has extensive experience in leisure management having worked for many years at a senior level in local government and latterly in the ‘not-for-profit’ sector.

He is currently Honorary Secretary of Community Leisure UK, a Board member of Ukactive and is Co-Chair of the London Social Enterprise Leaders Group. 

Mark has been a Cabinet office advisor on local authority mutual ‘spin outs’ and   speaks regularly at conferences on Social Enterprise, Business leadership, Trusts and Partnerships issues.  He has co-authored papers for Sport England and others. 

Mark was awarded an OBE in 2022 for services to the UK Leisure Industry, in particular during Covid-19

Back to top »

Peter Bundey - Chief Executive (Designate)

Peter has worked in the sport, leisure and culture sector for over 35 years; including over 25 years with GLL.

During that time Peter has been involved with a wide range of high-profile national and international projects such as; new company formation, policy review, organisational development, performance planning, international sport projects, conferences and facility management.

Peter has presented industry evidence to UK Parliamentary Select Committees at the House of Commons on two occasions, during sessions on the Olympic & Paralympic Games and Social Enterprise within the Public Sector.

He has supported the British Olympic Association with training camp preparations in Brasil and gave expert advice on Olympic & Paralympic legacy in Tokyo to the National Diet of Japan Session on Olympic Legacy, as well as presenting to the Japan National Sport Council and Tokyo City Government.

As well as being Chief Executive Designate for GLL, Peter is Chair of the GLL Sport Foundation which is the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme.

Previously, Peter has been Chair of the Pro-Active East London Sports Board (CSP), Honorary Industrial Advisor to the London Metropolitan University, National Council Member of Social Enterprise UK , a national assessor for the Sport England’s National Management Awards and has contributed to Leisure Management publications.

Back to top »

Philip Donnay - Deputy Chief Executive

Philip is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with over 25 years experience in the service industry (leisure and culture) with over a decade as Director of Finance / Chief Finance Officer and now Deputy Chief Executive and CFRO for GLL, a worker owned charitable social enterprise with an annual income turnover in excess of £300m.

In addition to his role as a Chief Officer, he has served on the Board of Trustees for 20+ years (including 4 years as Chair and 20 years as Company Secretary).

Philip is responsible to the Board for the provision of a sound and effective framework of financial, people and trading policies, practices, procedures and controls such that the organisation is able to maximise its cash flow and revenue streams, minimise costs, deliver GLL's charitable social objectives and meet all statutory and fiduciary obligations.

As Deputy Chief Exec, Philip contributes to the development of GLL by bringing strategic understanding and experience of the finance and leisure market as well as a good understanding of legal issues, strong analytical sills and sound business sense.

Philip is also a Member of the Chartered Managers Institute and a Chartered Manager.

Back to top »

Andy Bindon - Chief Change and Values Officer

Andy rejoined GLL at the end of 2019 as Chief Change & Values Officer, having previously been our HR Director between 2002-2008. During the 11 years Andy was away from GLL he was still involved with us as an independent trustee.

Prior to 2002, Andy held senior HR roles in the NHS, printing industry, and London Underground.  From 2008 -19 he held HR Director roles in the rail industry for Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink.  During his time in rail, Andy was involved in big change programmes, including introducing new rolling stock and automation and making sure that people strategies were at the heart of driving the changes.

Andy's focus now is to make GLL the best staff owned business in the UK, with the focus on change that reflects and accentuates our values - and makes us different from other organisations as we emerge from the challenges of the last two years and dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

Outside of work, Andy's main interests are music and football - he is a keen Plymouth Argyle fan. He lives in North Kent with his family, who are also a foster family that have particularly cared for children with learning disabilities and autism. Andy has Masters Degree in Employment Strategy from the University of Greenwich and is a visiting lecturer at London South Bank University.

Back to top »

Justin Jardine - Business Strategy and  Development Director

A masters graduate from Loughborough University, Justin has over 22 years leisure and business management experience and sits on GLL’s Senior Leadership Team. Leading a team of 10, he has extensive experience of developing partnerships across a number of local authorities, community organisations and leisure trust partners.  Justin also deals with complex matters around legal and tax issues relating to leisure trusts and the wider industry.

Justin’s main responsibility is for the strategic growth and development of GLL, which has seen the organisation grow from a turnover of £4m to nearly £300m. He was also GLL’s Lead Officer for the successful tender of the London 2012 Legacy Venues.

Justin has served on GLL’s Management Board and has undertaken the voluntary roles of Vice Chair and Company Treasurer. He is also a Fellow of CIMSPA and recently completed the Global Leaders Programme at the IESE Business School in Madrid.

Outside of work he is a keen sports fan, in particular Rugby, Squash and Cricket. He captains his local squash team, which some comment is the only way he gets selected!

Back to top »

Steve Ward - Digital & Technology Director

With over 25 years’ experience in the leisure industry, Steve originally began working with GLL as a Recreation Assistant before promotion through a variety of roles including Centre and Regional Management. This operational experience coupled with business acumen provides Steve with a rounded understanding of many areas of the business.

Steve holds various management and marketing qualifications including a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as a registered Chartered Marketer. Having served on the GLL Board in various positions for over 20 years he also served as GLL Chair for 11 years until 2017.  Outside of GLL, Steve is Chair of Governors for a secondary academy school and has supported the governance agenda in education for around 10 years.

Steve now has overall responsibility for company-wide digital and technology.  This new and exciting role will see Steve developing a short, medium and long term strategy that improves the customer and staff experience through the use technology platforms to provide a first class experience ensuring we are leaders in the digital space.

Back to top »

Lorraine Patrinos - Learning & Organisational Development Director

Lorraine is a sociologist, holding a post-graduate Leisure Degree and is MCIPD qualified. With over 27 years of experience within the Leisure Industry, she is a founder member of GLL, and its first Chair.  She worked her way up through the organisation, from lifeguard to receptionist to general manager, before deciding to retrain and specialise in HR in 2000.

Lorraine and her team have responsibility for the learning and development of all 13,000 staff including those passing through the award-winning Management Academy and Trainee Management Development schemes – and via the GLL College.

Responsible for delivering Investors in People and a qualified coach and mentor, Lorraine is continuing her studies for a Masters in People and Organisational Development.

In her spare time she enjoys fitness, weight training, art and travel.

Back to top »

Joseph Rham - Customer Experience Director

Joe is responsible for customer experience at GLL and works with his team across membership, products, customer service, marketing and communications to put customers at the heart of everything we do.

Before picking up his current remit Joe spent 15 years in various operational roles for GLL. Working in various locations throughout the UK, from General Manager through to Regional Director Joe has extensive experience of our centres, services and relationships. Joe also spent 9 years as a GLL Board Member until 2017.

Coming from a professional health background before leisure Joe is passionate about integrating health and leisure to improve social impact.

Email: joseph.rham@gll.org

Back to top »

Chris Hebblewhite - National Standards and Compliance Director

Chris has been with GLL since 1998.  Over his career he has worked at various levels from General Manager to Head of Operations.

Prior to GLL, Chris worked in various leisure roles with the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Huntingdonshire District Council and Lincoln City Council, and has worked in the industry for nearly 35 years.

As a Chartered Manager and a Fellow of Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, Chris plays an active part in the industry. He represents CLUK on a number of BSI working groups for swimming pool and aquatics equipment, including contributions to British and European Standards and work on Automated Drowning Detection Systems.

Chris is a joint author of CIMSPA publications, and contributed to the editorial panel for the rewrite of Managing Safety in Swimming Pools and to the PWTAG publication "Swimming Pool Water".

In 2016 Chris assisted the British Olympic Association on pool safety assessments for the Rio 2016 training camps.  

In his current role Chris works across all divisions of GLL including Leisure, Libraries and Children’s Services and is a member of UK Actives Standards and Legislation Committee.

Chris has also been active on the GLL Board, having worked as both Treasurer and Vice Chair.

Back to top »

Diana Edmonds, MBE - National Libraries Director

As a librarian, Diana has worked in a variety of roles; in academic libraries (London University and the London School of Economics), in public libraries in Aberdeen and in specialist libraries such as the Tate Gallery.

Prior to her employment with GLL, Diana established an information company called ‘Instant Library’, and worked in the business both as a consultant and as the Managing Director, working internationally in the oil industry and the rail industry. She sold Instant Library to the Tribal Group in 2001 and stayed with the business until 2004, going on to join Haringey Council in the role as Assistant Director, Culture, Libraries and Learning.

In Haringey, she worked initially as a consultant: the library service had failed an Audit Commission Inspection, scoring "no stars" with "no hope of improvement". Visits to the libraries increased by over 300% in subsequent years and issues increased by 150%. By 2011, the service had become one of the most popular in the country, used by over 60% of residents. Diana was awarded an MBE for her work.

Originally a history graduate, a Fellow of CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Information Professionals) and of the Royal Society of the Arts, Diana is a keen gym member - and, of course, loves reading!

Back to top »

Sarahlise Evans - Accounting Director

Sarahlise started her career working in Local Government and, after qualifying as an Accountant, her first role was as the Leisure department Accountant at Chiltern District Council.

Sarahlise was part of the team, that set up Chiltern Leisure Trust in 2000 to run the Council’s Leisure Services and has remained in the Leisure Social Enterprise sector since then.

Sarahlise is responsible for managing the GLL Finance Department, and with her excellent team, aims to provide a strong finance function, supporting GLL to be efficient, effective and sustainable.

Back to top »

Gareth Kirk - Senior Regional Director, North

Gareth is actively involved with social enterprise networks across the UK and holds the position of society Chair for GLL, representing our workerboard and 1800 society members.  Representing SENI in Northern Ireland he has sat as a judge on the annual social enterprise awards panel,  and supports the sector with speaking publicly on the benefits of social enterprises in the business world.  Holding observer roles on the Active Belfast Limited board and GMactive board he has a keen interest in embracing a strong social model in key cities across the UK.   Gareth is an alumni of the first UKactive Future leaders cohort and works with colleagues across the health and fitness industry to consider new ways to improve the service for our customers within GLL and the industry as a whole.  A masters graduate from the University of Ulster in Executive Leadership, Gareth has studied with the Irish Times in Dublin and Boston College in the US, developing key skills in coaching and mentoring, governance and strategic planning. Working with national and international partners on community and sporting events and sharing the benefits of the social enterprise movement, he worked with SOPAC Sydney Olympic Authority Company prior to the London Games. Spending 3 months working directly on the Olympic park in Sydney and also connecting with Melbourne sports complex and other key venues across Australia, he has experience of event delivery home and abroad.

In Gareth’s day job he works with our teams across Manchester, York, Newcastle, Cumbria, Preston and Belfast including over 70 venues.  The role includes close interaction with our local authority partners on both a officer and elected representative level on a day to day basis. There is also a large scale investment programme across the region with 5 new build leisure centres due to be completed in the next couple of years,  and over £100m of major refurbishments planned within the estate.   With 20 years experience at GLL and starting as a trainee manager he fully believes in our meritocratic approach to development and applies daily coaching to support the development of members of his team. He enjoys to travel and connect with his teams across the UK on a regular basis and is enthused by the variety of product offer and the diversity of our workforce which makes GLL such a great place to work.

Outside of work Gareth focuses on family life with his wife, daughter and dogs in his home in Northern Ireland; and sporting activities as a good way to create that all important balance with work.  Over the years he has taken part in long distance running events with Marathons in Istanbul, Paris and New York, triathlons across the UK and has enjoys wakeboarding and water sports at his nearby beaches.

Back to top »