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COMPANY BOARD AND MANAGEMENT TEAM
Colin Basnett CBEJane ButlerStephen Oldfield
Paul Atherton OBE (Chief Executive)Caroline Rogers (Commercial Director)Kate McKinley (People and Sustainability Director)Paul Sayer (Operations Director)Gavin Gager (Finance Director)
Simon joined the company as Chairman in July 2023. Full biography to follow.
Colin Basnett served in the RAF from 1979 to 2012 and is currently the Group Director of Strategic Engagement for QinetiQ. Colin enjoyed three tours as an airman, including one in Hong Kong, before being selected for commissioned aircrew service. During his flying career Colin undertook front-line duties on the Tornado GR1 and GR4, including operations over Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a Qualified Weapons Instructor at the Tornado Weapons Conversion Unit. He was also lucky enough to conduct a US exchange tour on the F111F. Colin went on to command No 14 Sqn and RAF Marham before, as an Air Commodore, he undertook his eighth operational tour as Director of the Combined Air and Space Operations Centre, Al Udeid, Qatar. His ground appointments include the Military Assistant to the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments); Personal Staff Officer to the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff; Head of Air Resources and Plans; and Head of the Capability Equipment Plan. Upon leaving the RAF, Colin joined MBDA as the Military Adviser (Air) and, latterly, the Head of Typhoon and Future Combat Air System before joining QinetiQ in 2018.
Jane Butler joined as a Non-Executive Director in January 2023.Full biography to follow.
Stephen joined the RAF Charitable Trust as a Trustee and also the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises Company as a Director in 2021, bringing experience of supporting businesses through significant financial and operational change. He was asked to join the two Boards to assist the Trust and the Company manage the impact of Covid 19. Stephen was until 2020 a practicing advisory partner with an international accounting and consulting firm, focused on mid market companies and SMEs. His career has included working in Houston, USA and more latterly in Central and Eastern Europe based out of Warsaw when he was Chair of the Latvian Foreign Investors Council for a three year term. He now acts as a Board advisor to a number of organisations across various sectors including European agribusiness, global online retailand public sector consultancy work in Latvia. Stephen has a strong interest in supporting education, particularly STE(A)M, and is a long-serving Governor at Greshams School in Norfolk and a director of the Agri-educational ClanTrust.
Paul Atherton served for 34 years with the Royal Air Force retiring as an Air Vice-Marshal. He amassed over 5000 hours as a pilot on VC10, TriStar and C-130 K and J model aircraft. He commanded No 216 Squadron, Basrah Air Station in Iraq, and RAF Lyneham. He has undertaken staff and policy appointments in Headquarters 2 Group, MOD, The Defence Procurement Agency (as was) and Air Command. Notable roles included implementation of wide-ranging joint initiatives resulting from the 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the senior military member of the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme. Paul has completed both Advanced and Higher Command and Staff Courses and attended the Royal College of Defence Studies. As an Air Officer he held the positions of Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategy, Policy and Plans and then Air Officer Operations at HQ Air. On promotion to 2-star he was the Director of the UK Military Aviation Authority before completing his final tour as Chief of Staff Operations, again at HQ Air. Paul was appointed OBE for his service in Iraq. On retiring from the regular RAF, he spent 2 years as the RAF Commander of the USAF installation at Croughton. An ex Combined Services and RAF cricketer he also has a passionate interest in all sports and was President of the RAF and Adastrian Cricket Clubs, and also Chairman of Combined Services cricket during his time in the Service. He still retains the role of President of the 216 Sqn Association.
Caroline Rogers joined the company in 1990 following five years in management in the catering industry. She joined as Special Events Manager, was subsequently promoted to Deputy Director Business Development and joined the Board as Commercial Director in 2005. She's responsible for revenue generation including sponsorship, hospitality, corporate business development, commercial and consumer activity, and all events and guest management.
Kate joined the Company in 2017 following a 16-year career in the Royal Air Force. Since October 2019 she has been a director of the Company, with responsibility for HR, Volunteer Engagement and Sustainability. Her small team deliver the core HR functions throughout the year, including the recruitment of fixed-term contract staff to support the Royal International Air Tattoo annually, employee relations, engagement and well-being and learning and development. They plan and deliver the support to circa 1,400 volunteers that support the delivery of the Air Tattoo, including the recruitment, catering, communications, accommodation and administration requirements. She leads the company's sustainability priorities, centred on the commitment to introducing ISO 20121 Sustainability Event Management System.
Since joining RAFCTE in 2013, Paul has worked as the Head of Ground Operations. RIAT13 was his first Air Tattoo and he's been involved delivery of the Ground Component of every Air Tattoo since. To do all that Ground Ops does he's drawn upon the amazing support afforded to him by not only his colleagues in Douglas Bader House but volunteers from the Admissions Team, the Park & View Team, RAF Air Cadets, the Site Team, Showground Reception (incl the RBL Bikers), and the Transport Team. RIAT23 will be Paul's first show as Operations Director. This broader portfolio encompasses not only Ground Ops but all aspects of Safety, Emergency Services and Air Operations.
Gavin joined the company as Finance Director in June 2021.Full biography to follow.
Simon joined the company as Finance Director in August 2023. Full biography to follow.
Peter joined RAFCTE in January 2020 and in his role as Head of Air Operations is responsible for the safe and effective delivery of all air elements of the Royal International Air Tattoo and other Air Tattoo Events Services activities. Before joining the company he worked at Royal Air Force Cosford as their Air Show Operations Manager, and previous to that worked at Air Atlantique looking after their fleet of vintage aircraft. He has a First Class Honours Degree in Aviation Management, with the subject of his award-winning dissertation being the UK Air Show industry. Outside of work Peter is a keen aviation photographer and is also on the executive committee of the British Air Display Association.
Full biography to follow.
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