Bluestone introduces two non executive directors

Earlier this month Nick Barley and Blanche Sainsbury joined the Pembrokeshire business that currently employs 700 staff. 

In its ninth year of business in the tourism industry, Bluestone sought to support and strengthen the existing board of directors to help drive a period of growth. The positions were opened with the hope of attracting specialist experience in key areas as well as guidance on strategy. 

The attractive position saw more than 300 candidates apply for the two positions. After interviews, two leading professionals stood out with exemplary combined knowledge spanning Marketing, Technical Systems, Business, and Employment Law. 

Nick Barley and Blanche Sainsbury will assist in specific areas of the business appropriate to their specialist areas. This week they joined existing Board Directors, CEO William McNamara, Commercial and Operations Director Pamela McNamara, Finance Director Neil Evans, and Director of HR Debbie Rainbow for the first time. 

Nick’s corporate career has spanned thirty-five years in IT organizations, including Microsoft, and brings expertise in sales, marketing, and operations with experience spanning European, Asian and American markets. 

His executive career included CEO, CMO, and COO positions at Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, and Computer Associates. He is also the Founder of a consulting organisation, outcomes, whose current client list includes organisations in the leisure and technology industries. 

Blanche is a former senior executive with Trinity Mirror, who rose through the management ranks at Northcliffe and Local World before being appointed commercial director of Local World in November 2013. She continued to hold the same role for Trinity Mirror, following the takeover of Local Word in 2015. 

Blanche will be replacing Andrew Probert as Chair and Andrew will continue in the position of non-executive director. 

Speaking of the new appointments, CEO William McNamara said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of two non-executive Directors to the Bluestone Board of Directors. Both Blanche and Nick join the business with a depth of experience which we look forward to them applying to Bluestone in order to support our ongoing business development. I would like to thank Andrew for his support and input during the last four years as chairman and look forward to working with both Nick and Blanche in the exciting years ahead.” 

“Bluestone staff will have an opportunity to meet Blanche and Nick over the course of the next few weeks and we are sure they will join us in welcoming them into the business and look forward to working with them both.” 

Andrew Probert said that both new nonexecutive directors had ‘complimentary skills’ to bring to the rapidly growing business. 

"I’m very pleased to welcome Blanche and Nick as the new non-executive directors of the company and to be handing over the chairmanship of the board to Blanche. Both, I am sure, will bring a fresh impetus to the next stage of Bluestone’s development with their complementary skills and their real enthusiasm for the business. My time as chairman has seen the park flourish, with the completion of the lodge building program and visitor numbers rising to 150,000 per year, all through the hard and dedicated work of the executive management and staff. This has been achieved while establishing a stable and profitable financial base, which will enable even greater things to come.” 

Jason Llewellyn, Director of Corporate Banking at Barclays said “We welcome the appointment of Blanche and Nick to the team. By really understanding the business and the industry sector, Barclays is delighted to be able to continue to support Bluestone. Over the past three years, Bluestone has made great progress, investing in additional accommodation in the Park and demonstrating a strong track record of cash generation and profitability. 

“We are delighted to continue to play a role in helping the management team realise their ambitions and look forward to the next phase of Bluestone’s development.”