Our People

Click on the images to learn more about the individual members of our team. 


Chris Melvin

Executive Chairman

Chris founded PublicCo after a decade of leading Reed in Partnership. He has since led strategic projects for a number of clients in including Shaw Trust where he was interim CEO and worked on their merger with CDG. He has delivered organisational reviews for companies such as Interserve Working Futures and CSV and has led strategic development work for a diverse range of businesses, including G4S and Campbell Page in Australia. He is now utilising his significant global experience to build the business from PublicCo’s New York office.

Chris’s key achievements include:

  • Founding PublicCo
  • Developing and running the profitable delivery of a £100m business with operations in the UK, Europe and Australasia. This included strategic diversification into the skills and business support sectors and the leadership of 1500 employees
  • Director of Business Link Yorkshire, responsible for the UK’s largest business support contract
  • Chairman of London Skills Brokerage, a joint venture responsible for the delivery of Train to Gain and other skills brokerage across London
  • Interim CEO of Shaw Trust turning around a loss making business and leading the organisation in a merger with CDG


Joel Featherman

Chief Executive

Joel has been with PublicCo since 2012, taking up his current position as Chief Executive in 2015. He spent 13 years at KPMG, where he trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Joel has significant experience of developing robust, evidence-based business cases for policy, programme and procedural reform. He has worked with a wide range of private, voluntary and public sector organisations. This includes acting as interim CEO for an arm’s-length government body, working as a consultant within the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and as an Assistant Director at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Joel has also been an external Governor of Westminster Kingsway College since 2011 and as Chair of the Audit Committee since 2013.

Joel’s key achievements include:

  • Developing the strategy and operating model for an innovative training agency to help support the delivery of a £16bn infrastructure project to time and budget
  • Leading a review of national insurance and social security arrangements in a UK crown dependency to address significant projected expenditure shortfalls in a £650 million fund
  • Leading an assessment of the cost recovery basis of premises licence fees for local authorities
  • Working with the Ministry of Labor to develop a strategy to create greater employment opportunities for disabled individuals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Leading a review of employment and skills policies across Great Britain to drive improved outcomes from the employment and skills systems

Stephen Martin


Stephen joined PublicCo after 10 years in the senior civil service. Stephen is a senior leader with both public and private sector experience.  He has 14 years of experience working on employment issues and related areas, such as social exclusion and disability. Stephen has a strong track record in developing strategy and policy, and translating policy into effective implementation. He also has extensive experience of leading major projects and programmes, leading large teams, delivering organisational change and advising government ministers and senior management. 

Stephen's key achievements include:

  • Leading the development of policy white papers relating to employment, skills and welfare
  • Establishing the UK Commission for Employment and Skills
  • Developing a new organisation design and senior structure for DWP
  • Leading the development and implementation of long-term government strategies for disability equality and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heat
  • Advising the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Immigration in Madrid

Associate Directors

Fran Parry

Associate Director

Fran is a focussed and socially aware professional with expertise in strategic planning, education, training and business. She formulates innovative, pragmatic solutions and responds positively to challenges to generate effective solutions. Fran is articulate and an empathetic communicator. She is a strong leader who develops cohesion and a sense of identity and purpose through the identification and encouragement of individual and group potential.

Fran’s key achievements include:

  • Chair of ERSA from 2007 – 2009
  • Member of the Merlin Standard Advisory Board formed by DWP to support sector adherence to the DWP Code of Practice
  • Chair of a voluntary consortium of organisations representing employers seeking to work collectively to find solutions and create a labour market that works for the economy
  • Leading on the professionalism of the welfare to work sector, culminating in the design of accreditation frameworks for operational and management staff, and the creation of the Institute of Employability Professionals
  • Working closely with senior DWP, BIS and DCLG civil servants and politicians to assist them in creating synergies across departmental policy and funding streams

Andy Milton

Associate Director

Andy has over 30 years’ experience of working successfully across the public, private and third sectors. He is an influential leader with strong business development skills, who sets out clear strategy and translates this into effective delivery actions. Since 2012, Andy has been leading projects in Saudi Arabia as an employment programmes subject matter expert. He has helped to develop, commission and launch new employment programmes for jobseekers with disabilities. He has also worked to effect improvements in service quality and performance of the growing network of Job Placement Centers across the Kingdom. 

Andy’s key achievements include:

  • Leading and managing a team of over 750 people delivering a range of employment programmes that found work for over 45,000 long term unemployed people across the UK
  • Establishing a small business development team that bid for and won £18 million of new business against fierce competition from substantially bigger organisations
  • Developing, procuring and implementing a new specialist employment programme supporting thousands of disabled first time jobseekers in Saudi Arabia, leading presentations to Ministers and working on wider policy work to support a transformational culture change
  • Transforming the performance of an employment programme for disadvantaged unemployed in Saudi Arabia, increasing performance by over 100% in the first 6 months
  • Providing essential bid support and substantial guidance to win over £12.5m of new health and mental health support contracts.
  • In 2015 conducted a 2 month employment programme strategic and operational review for large provider. Produced interim & final report with a range of recommendations all accepted and implemented by the Board.

Sue Gidman

Associate Director

Sue is a highly skilled, influential director with strong operational experience across the welfare to work and skills sectors. Sue is a Director of the London Work Based Learning Alliance and has comprehensive experience of transforming the performance of failing contracts to yield profit and above target outcomes. By putting the customer at the heart of programme delivery, Sue ensures both quality and outcomes are improved. She also has extensive experience of restructuring job roles to create stronger, more motivated and more productive teams. Sue understands how to transfer strategy into operational delivery, to achieve organisational aims and continuously improve delivery.

Sue’s key achievements include:

  • Introducing a new customer journey and revised organisation structure for a Work Programme Prime, leading to improved job outcomes and improved league table position
  • Developing and implementing a new organisation structure with associated cost savings for a national skills provider
  • Opening five new centres for Aspire Achieve Advance and increasing turnover from £8m to £17m
  • Integrating separate operating units into one organisation following a merger, leading to a ‘one organisation’ feel, a shared vision and shared values
  • Leading the implementation of new contracts under the Young Person’s Guarantee in five regions worth £21m

Allan Jolly

Associate Director

Allan has over 35 years experience of delivery and management in Probation. He is a highly skilled manager, with extensive experience in configuring criminal justice services in community settings. Allan has enhanced reputational standing for Probation Trusts with HM Inspectorate and Ministry of Justice through his assurance process and redesign of practice and operations. He is a keen supporter of partnership working and a passionate advocate for improved public services and has worked in communities and prisons delivering public protection and reduced reoffending. 

Allan’s key achievements include:

  • Supporting a successful Ministry of Justice Transforming Rehabilitation submission
  • Assessing Accredited Programme delivery processes across five Probation Trusts in the North West
  • A long and sustained record of leading operational teams in community and custodial settings to maximum effect.
  • Demonstrable and proven history of targeted commissioning to provide better for less.
  • Investigating high profile cases and inquiries 
  • Key member of Safeguarding, Child and Public Protection Panels

Aaron Henricksen

Associate Director

Aaron is an influential Associate Director with a wealth of international experience and a sustained record of success in the Private, Public and Third sector. He has an extensive background in skills, welfare to work and employment provision organisations, leading tenders and securing government contracts against fierce competition. A pragmatic leader and trusted team player who, through a collaborative approach, creates robust strategies to translate vision into achievements. Strong analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills with a passion for making a difference, together with excellent communication skills.

Some of Aaron's key achievements include:

  •  Hosted Australian training and employment services company to Saudi Arabia to scope and introduce them to the Saudi government and support services
  • Successfully led a major re structure of a charity organisation (CSV) to achieve an effective merger of five stand alone entities into one national organisation. This resulted in significant operational savings of circa £100K and improved regulatory compliance with OFSTED
  • Personally advised and consulted with the Government of Ireland to tender for employment services, previously only delivered by public sector organisations. This resulted in awarding contracts of up to $70 Million over a five year period


Rosalie Wells


Rosalie graduated from Oxford University last year, where she obtained a BA in English Literature. Since then she has worked at an educational non-profit in New York called Project Rousseau and has interned at PublicCo since March. She is delighted to join the team permanently as an analyst.