Where's your home town?
My home town is Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom. This is where my family is from and where I grew up although I was actually born in Stoke-on-Trent.
Wolverhampton. It's a city about 15 miles north of Birmingham and 70 miles south of Manchester in the centre of England. If you are interested in football, Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) were in the premiership for a couple of seasons.
Did you study at a University in the U.K.?
Yes, I went to the University of Liverpool and spent the 3rd year of my 4 year course studying abroad in Nuremberg in Germany and Caen in France.
So, how did you come to Germany?
It's a long story but suffice to say, I worked in export sales after finishing at Liverpool, then did full-time post-graduate management training and certification (special subject: sales & marketing) and worked in Central and Eastern Europe after that. I came to Germany and was going to spend a year here before going back home. That's the short version. As I said, it's a long story.
What did you do before coming to the HSD?
I ran my own training, coaching and consultancy business for over ten years. In addition, I lectured for the Business Department at the Hochschule in Moenchengladbach and more recently at the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. I also spent the summer of 2008 working on a pre-sessional Masters' programme at the Business School at the University of Birmingham in Great Britain.
Have you done any further qualifications?
Yes, I spent a year doing a post-graduate Diploma in Teaching English for Business (TEB) at London Guildhall University in the 90s and completed accreditation in coaching (practitioner coach) with the Open College Network in London from 2004 to 2005.
What are your areas of special interest when it comes to using English in business?
I've spent years researching the use of presentations as a communication tool in business and wrote a book and DVD, "Presentations in English", published in 2008. Moreover, I have done extensive training and coaching for presentations. My philosophy is that everyone can become an authentic effective presenter.
Otherwise, much of my corporate work has been in marketing communications in recent years. Working in this field has been fascinating, absorbing and even frustrating because little (and/or useless) ELT / ESP material existed for this particular business area which has very specialised language needs and uses. My materials' development has led to my latest book, "Marketing Communications in English" being published in 2016.