After completing a degree in fashion textiles at Brighton University, I worked as a women’s fashion & lingerie buyer for Marks and Spencer. Fast forward a few years, I left to pursue a role as creative director at Galio Jewellers on George Street.
For the last 28 years I’ve worked with my husband to build the business. Together we own Galio and Jago jewellers. Now the work is full time and full on, especially with my involvement in the St Albans BID.
I’m passionate about the vibrancy of the city centre. We need to keep it as busy possible and attractive for people that live here, work here and visit us. Involvement in the BID seemed the only way to have a voice in the wider business community and to help shape the future. The businesses voted for it so we all own it!
To supplement an already full diary I have worked with successive charities as a fundraiser, organising an annual fashion show at Lords Cricket Ground for Breast Cancer Research and a Gala dinner in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. I also have fund raised for Cherry Lodge in Barnet and I volunteer at a homeless shelter and an Assylum Seekers Drop in centre.
Alison started her career in Hotel Management, initially working at St. Michaels Manor during her college days. She swiftly moved in to Shopping Centre Management attending the same meetings as Phil Corrigan some 25 years ago! Latterly she ran her own Events Management Company with Shopping Centres, Farm Parks and Garden Centres as clients. Due to the success of her business, she retired in January 2020 after 22 years. Alison then took on voluntary roles as a Trustee for St Albans Citizens Advice and as a Mentor for the Princes Trust, supporting young people wanting to start their own business. Having Chaired the St Albans Visitor Partnership for 4 years Alison was invited to become the Independent Chair of the BID Board and subsequently the interim Executive BID Manager. Alison lives in the City Centre and has two adult daughters who also live in St. Albans
Harry is Head of Facilities and Property Management at Debenhams Ottaway LLP, a leading local multi-service law firm, known for delivering clients outstanding service and award-winning legal advice. He joined the board of directors in March 2021 as he recognised the important role the BID plays in supporting the local business community. Meeting like-minded professionals in the levy area has enabled Harry to get even more involved in the work the BID does and in the city that he is proud to call home. Harry lives in Bernard’s Heath and has a keen interest in sustainability and the environment being a keen gardener and allotment holder.
Masters in Applied Finance and Treasury Risk Management, Certified Treasury Professional.
Mandy is CEO of MMI, an international insurance and risk management advisory firm and is a consultant to governments, private equity firms, banks and companies in the infrastructure project space, with a focus on renewable power and energy. MMI has executed +£80 billion in transactions. Prior to this she owned a consulting firm in the United States with 80% market share in the lender due diligence space and sold it to a private equity-backed leading US insurance broker.
Before this, she was the global infrastructure leader and SVP at Marsh and has also held executive Treasury and risk management positions in international banking and finance.
Mandy has also owned restaurants and pubs in the United States and the UK and has been an advocate and campaigner for reform of the UK business rates system, presenting expert witness testimony to the UK government Treasury Select Committee, and the All Party Beer Committee. She the current Chair of St Albans Action for Homeless and a Board Director of Save St Albans Pubs.
Marilyn Bell of St Albans based SA Law joins the BID team as a Board Director this April bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Interim Executive BID Manager, Alison Berneye, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Marilyn to the board, she brings a new set of skills as a Solicitor. It’s great news because Marilyn can help us look at different ways to support the many professional services firms in our levy area.”
“The BID board has a variety of 10 Directors – which means we have a fantastic balance of skill sets and experience as we head into our second term.”
Marilyn, who is a partner at SA Law said: I live and work in St Albans and have done for many years. I am really pleased to become a Director and to work more closely with BID. It does so much for St Albans and I am looking forward to being part of that work.
St Albans BID Board meets regularly to ensure best practices and best value in all that we do. Levy payers are welcome to request information on Board decisions and relevant Board meeting minutes upon request.
We are always looking for new dynamic board members to shape our story. Join our current board members and make a difference to your City. Our main aim is to strengthen the Board with senior levy payers from a broad background to represent a wide range of sectors such as digital, marketing, leisure, hospitality or finance; keeping a balance on age, gender and the different areas within the district. During the BID’s term, £2.5 million will be invested into the BID’s priorities: making St Albans a cleaner and safer City, driving business support and networking and promoting an active and attractive district where businesses can start-up, stay-up and thrive.
We want to hear from senior decision makers from large organisations or SMEs that are currently BID levy payers who want to give back to the community and help improve the City by delivering the core areas within the BID business plan. Board members are expected to take a leading role alongside the BID team to help develop initiatives within the main priorities for the City.