Meet the Board

Tony Edwards, Chair

Tony was appointed to the Board in April 1997.  He is the current Chairman of the Board and he has in the past been the Chair of all the Committees of the Corporation.

Tony presents the Derwentside College Achievement Awards, and has been active in a range of external committees to do with the strategic development of Further Education.

Tony was the Managing Director of ALTO Television Productions Limited and was involved in the making of programmes for broadcast, corporate, education and training for over thirty years.

For a number of years Tony was the Festival Director of the Royal Television Society Young People’s Media Festival.

Tony is a Member of the Institute of Learning and a holder of a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning.

Tony is married and lives in Ebchester.  He enjoys travelling, cinema, television and reading.

Geoff Marshall, Vice Chair

Geoff was appointed to the Board in April 2001. He is Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Audit Committee and a Member of the Search Committee.

Geoff is a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation. He was employed as a Highways Engineer with Northumberland County Council for forty years and was also employed in the Planning Department of Tynedale District Council.

Geoff is a Holding Trustee and Secretary of the Ebchester Community Association, Treasurer of the Ebchester Village Trust, and Treasurer of the Ebchester Boathouse Development Partnership.

Geoff is married and lives in Ebchester. He has two children and four grandchildren.

Joe Devanney, Independent Governor

Joe was appointed to the Board in October 2017.  Joe is currently Operations Director at Con Mech Engineers.

Joe has worked in a number of northeast manufacturing companies throughout his career including, Myson Heating Ltd, Rite Vent Ltd and PC Henderson Ltd.

Joe has qualifications in Operations Management, Mechanical and Production Engineering and Welding and Fabrication.

Joe is married and has 2 daughters and 1 grandson.  He enjoys keeping fit and playing acoustic guitar.

Geraldine Granath, Community Governor

Geraldine was appointed to the Board in March 2012. Geraldine is a Managing Partner at Whitfield Associates, a people and organisational development consultancy.

Geraldine was employed for over twenty years in the health service. During her career Geraldine held a number of positions including Chief Executive Officer at Community Health Council North Tees and Newcastle, Tyne and Wear Health Partnership and Action Zone Coordinator, Teaching Trust Project Manager, Assistant Director Organisational Development and Teaching and Head of People Development and Teaching.

Geraldine is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and has lectured at both Sunderland and Newcastle Universities.

Geraldine lives in Esh Village. In her spare time Geraldine enjoys choral singing and walking.

Geoff Gibson, Community Governor

Geoff was appointed to the Board in March 2008. He is a retired bank manager and lives near Ebchester. For the last twenty years he has been the Chair of Governors at Ebchester School and was a Governor at Blackfyne School for a number of years.

Geoff is a member of Ebchester Community Association and is a committee member for the EDF energy boundary lane wind farm community benefits fund.

Geoff is married with three grown up children and enjoys motor rallying, gardening, farming and holidays.

Cathryn Richards, Staff Governor

Cathryn was appointed to the Board in June 2014. Cathryn has worked at the College since 1997 as a course leader and lecturer in Accounting. She is qualified accountant and posses qualifications in assessing, verifying and teaching.

Prior to working at the College, Cathryn was a student where she achieved her accounting and teaching qualifications. Cathryn had also been employed in a number of different jobs including, an accounts assistant for a print agency, a house manager at a tennis club and a copy taker for a newspaper.

Cathryn is married with two grown up children and enjoys travelling and spending time with her Golden Retriever.

Phil Murray, Community Governor

Phil was appointed to the Board in July 2016.

Phil is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Phil has held a number of high profile finance positions including, Finance Director at NCFE, Deputy Chief Executive at Romag Ltd, Group Finance Director at Gentoo, Group Finance Director at Blacks Leisure Group and UK Group Financial Controller at Formica (UK) Ltd.

Phil was a school Governor at Red Rose Primary School in Chester Le Street.

Phil is married and has two children.

Mark Short, Community Governor

Mark was appointed to the Board in January 2015. Mark is Managing Director of Dysart Developments Ltd an estate management company based in Consett and operating throughout the northeast of England. The company actively manages the regeneration of the former Consett Steelworks site.

Mark is a qualified civil engineer and has been involved with civil engineering and building development in the northeast for over thirty years.

Mark is married with 2 children and enjoys reading, cycling, rugby and golf. Mark actively supports local sport through Shotley Bridge Cricket Club and Consett Rugby Club. 

Amanda Form, Community Governor

Amanda was appointed to the Board in December 2014. Amanda is a member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Amanda was for a number of years Head of Learning and Development at Durham Constabulary and now the Learning and Organisation Development Manager for County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust which has over 8500 medical, nursing, management and support staff.

When Amanda is not working she enjoys being with her family, shopping and holidays.

Malcolm Sowerby, Clerk to the Corporation

Malcolm was appointed Clerk to the Corporation in May 2008. He is a qualified Housing Manager and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

He has thirty years social housing experience which includes property management and development, staff development and training, Housing Corporation regulation and organisation governance.

Malcolm is married with a grown up daughter and lives in Chester Le Street. He enjoys cycling, walking and gardening.

Chris Todd, Principal & Chief Executive

As Principal and Chief Executive, Chris is responsible for the overall performance of the College in all aspects of its operations.  As a member of the Board of Governors, Chris leads on the development of the College's strategic priorities and ensures that these are achieved.

Chris, a qualified accountant, has a wealth of experience within the Education sector having held a number of senior management roles during his career.