Tuesday Closing Keynote

Enjoy powerful keynote speakers. Hear about working with diversity from Jodie Williams, Diversity Consultant, Yorkshire Water, Nicola Callan shares learning from the conference and our innovation awards judges share their key learnings from this years awards.


Jodie Williams is Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Yorkshire Water. She is an experienced Diversity and Inclusion professional with a demonstrated history of working across various sectors, most notably around the Creative Sector. Skilled in Stakeholder Management, Talent Managent and managing Diversity and Inclusion across Broadcast Television.


Neil Arrowsmith is Head of Operational Excellence at Tesco Underwriting, responsible for a range of support functions including Planning, Risk & Quality Assurance, Continuous Improvement and Business Intelligence functions. Neil lead his team to Planning Team of the year 2015 and was one of the first planning functions to achieve Accredited status through the initial pilot. He’s passionate about putting people first and been an advocate of development programmes within The Forum.


Nicola Callan is a Director at The Forum having previously been our Head of Learning & Engagement from 2014 – 2017. She is responsible for the operational and people elements of our team, and for the individual engagement of our members with our programmes. Nicola is passionate about identifying, building and developing strengths and in creating the right conditions that release our potential and that of those around us. Nicola started her career in the travel industry working in customer facing and management roles in Spain and in the UK. A move to a consultancy firm in Financial Services generated experience in process definition and improvement methodologies before moving into customer journey mapping and quality assurance. Prior to leaving Financial Services, Nicola specialised in organisational redesign and colleague engagement. Additionally, she has significant experience in people leadership principles and is an active coach and mentor.

Paul Smedley is Founder and Chair of The Forum, responsible for the strategic development of our best practice programmes, the popular annual conference and the prestigious Innovation Awards. He is also currently champion for our work with the Public Sector, on Customer Strategy and on Customer Quality Management. Paul established the training, best practice, membership and awards programmes of the Forum and is rated highly for creating enjoyable, interactive training events and seminars. He has presented at conferences and seminars nationally and internationally and has tutored with Lancaster University Management School. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Direct Marketing and the OR Society. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards, following nomination by his industry peers. Paul was previously operations manager for British Airways’ five UK call centres at a time when sales conversion rose by 15%-25% annually and costs per call reduced in real terms and a project to re-engineer back-office functions resulted in annual savings of 30%. He also has consultancy and training experience with a wide range of clients in most industry sectors.