Staff Profiles

Managing Director

Martha Dalton is the Managing Director of Lodestone, and works closely with senior leaders across a range of sectors to create successful communications strategies. She provides advice at Board level and is currently working with clients undertaking major infrastructure and built-environment projects and is also a specialist in strategic communications for public-private partnerships. A former Director of a City communications consultancy, Martha has worked on issues at the centre of national debate and advised clients in the UK, Ireland and USA. She has advised a number of political campaigns and co-founded the grassroots organisation RegistHERtoVote. Martha started her career advising charities and community organisations. She blogs for the HuffingtonPost, and is a member of the IoD’s 99 Club for young entrepreneurs and the PRCA's PR Council.

Chairman

David Wild is the Chairman of Lodestone and he has advised on business and organisational strategy in the UK, USA and across Europe. With over 30 years’ experience in business and politics, David has worked with clients in the Energy, Finance, Defence, Education, Food, Hi-Tech, Planning, Pharma, Chemicals, Health and Nuclear sectors. As part of this work, he advises Horizon Nuclear Power, one of the nuclear new build businesses in the UK. He also works in the nuclear waste and decommissioning area with EnergySolutions, the US based group who were dismantling the Magnox reactors in the UK, and is now subsumed into WS Atkins the global engineering group. Outside of energy we work with a range of clients including QinetiQ, MBDA and KPMG. Prior to consultancy, David was a Board Member of Nirex, the organisation in charge of radioactive waste strategy. Whilst in post he led delegations of UK politicians and nuclear experts to Japan, the USA, Russia, China, France, Germany, Finland and Sweden to share experiences and learn from other programmes. He also worked with leading global thinkers and academics in long term resilience, as well as academics, senior government officials, the IAEA in Vienna - this work was very successful and the principles developed now underpin key IAEA guidance for countries developing their own nuclear programmes. With an extensive network in the media, industry and politics, David is now also on the Advisory board of the Demos Quarterly journal.

Director of Strategy and Innovation

Fran O’Leary is Director of Strategy and Innovation. Her experience is founded on a career in broadcast, print and online media and she has advises clients across a broad range of sectors including energy. She has written for The Times, The Cambridge Evening News and websites, as well as making Bafta nominated programmes for ITV, Channel 4, five and other broadcasters. Fran is a member of the network of experts advising the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, part of the think tank Demos. Prior to becoming a Director at a communications consultancy, she worked in a policy and research related role within Government.

Director

Mike Parker has over 30 years of experience as a senior manager in industry. He has held Chairman and Managing Director positions in a number of companies, which were some of the largest in their sectors in Europe. A business graduate from the University of Bath, he is a former deputy CEO of the Findus Group, and has considerable experience in mergers & acquisitions, strategic planning, and public affairs. He has been a leader in the development of good environmental practice in the Seafood sector. In addition to his work with Lodestone, Mike currently has interests in publishing and is Chair of Governors at the Grimsby Institute further education college.

Associate

Stuart Warriner advises Lodestone’s Political Risk unit, which provides investors with insight for their due diligence processes. A Corporate Finance specialist and former Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, he has led transactions with an aggregate value of over £2billion. Stuart has extensive M&A experience including transactions involving Private Equity. His international experience has involved working on cross border transactions encompassing North America, the Far East and Europe. Stuart is also a Senior Advisor to GCA Altium, the European business of GCA, a global investment bank. He is an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and has an MA in Economics from Queens College, Cambridge.

Associate

Andrew Gimson is an author, political journalist and an Associate at Lodestone. He writes for a wide range of newspapers and magazines, and as Contributing Editor to Conservative Home, specialises in interviewing Cabinet ministers and other leading politicians. His biography of the Foreign Secretary - Boris: the Adventures of Boris Johnson - was described by reviewers as "brilliant" and "an effervescent delight", and was reissued in September 2016 in a new and fully updated edition. He is also the author of Gimson's Kings and Queens: Brief Lives of the Monarchs since 1066. He started his career in the Conservative Research Department and has served as Deputy Editor of the Spectator, political columnist at the Independent on Sunday, and Berlin correspondent for the Daily Telegraph.

Associate

Fiona Melville is an Associate at Lodestone where she advises organisations in a wide range of sectors including the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum (Pictfor) APPG. Fiona started her career in advertising, working at Lowe in Paris and in London. She moved to the Parliamentary Resources Unit in the House of Commons, before joining the Political Unit of the Conservative Research Department in 2004. After the 2005 election, she worked on David Cameron’s successful campaign for the leadership of the Conservative Party, and returned to Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ). She left in 2007 to work for a small public affairs company, co-founded platform10, a blog run by and for liberal Conservatives, and is on the boards of the Tory Reform Group, Conservative Friends of International Development, Radix the think-tank for the radical centre, and Bite the Ballot the campaign for young people's empowerment in politics.

Since leaving CCHQ, she has freelanced in the UK, specialising in the Conservative Party, digital/tech and change campaigns; and in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on national identity, private sector development, pro-democracy, demilitarisation and reintegration, and anti-corruption campaigns.

Associate

Neil Stockley is a communications and policy strategist with more than thirty years’ experience in public affairs and politics, in the UK and New Zealand. He ensures that organisations achieve their business objectives by developing robust policy positions and turning complex research into compelling stories and accessible materials for external audiences. Over nearly two decades, Neil has built up significant expertise in energy, climate change and environment policy. He has provided public affairs and communications counsel to National Grid, offshore wind and waste-to-energy generators, solar operators, one of the “big six” energy companies, a challenger energy brand, a renewable energy merchant bank, distribution network operators and trade associations across the energy sector.

In 2011-12, he worked for Arqiva, developing and implementing a political communications strategy to support the company’s smart meter activity. Neil has also worked with companies in the water and technology sectors and advised a public transport campaign on policy and strategy. He is an experienced speechwriter and editor of policy papers, submissions and publications. Neil is a former Policy Director for the Liberal Democrats and has twice chaired the party’s policy working groups on climate change. He was executive assistant to former New Zealand Prime Minister, David Lange.

Associate

Max is currently on secondment at the National Infrastructure Commission.
Before his secondment, Max Wind-Cowie provided senior counsel and strategic advice to executives and board members. A policy, research and public affairs specialist, Max advised organisations in a wide range of sectors. Alongside his role at Lodestone, Max worked at the independent think tank Respublica, where he was Deputy Director. He previously led the Progressive Conservative programme at the think-tank Demos where he authored research on a range of policy areas. Max is a regular contributor to the Telegraph, ConservativeHome, and the Huffington Post. He regularly appears on radio and TV programmes and speaks, on politics and policy, at conferences around the UK.

Account Director

Harry Padfield joined Lodestone in 2013. He is an experienced public affairs and government relations consultant working across a number of policy areas, with significant expertise managing clients in the defence, energy, agriculture and education sectors. Prior to joining Lodestone he worked for an agency that specialised in creative branding. He has also worked for an international mergers and acquisitions firm that focus on the aerospace and industrials sector. He has a first class honours degree in History.

Account Manager – Head of Tech & Digital

Casey manages the provision of secretariat services for the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum APPG, alongside bringing her digital expertise to a range of clients and supporting the growth of Lodestone’s tech practice. Before joining Lodestone in October 2016, Casey managed a digital start-up which brought together some of the UK’s most well-read political blogs. She helped grow the sites in multiple ways including raising readership, social media presence, influence, widening the fundraising base and business development. A US citizen, Casey has a background in political fundraising and campaigning in the US and UK including a roll in the 2012 Obama re-election campaign.

Associate (Education, Health and Third Sector)

Sonia Sodha is Chief Leader Writer at the Observer and a freelance consultant for the voluntary sector. Sonia provides strategic advice to Lodestone’s education, health and third sector clients. She also makes documentaries on economic and social issues for Radio 4. She is a former head of public services and consumer rights policy at Which?, the Consumers’ Association, where she led their work on public services. Prior to this, she was a Senior Policy Adviser to Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, the Leader of the Opposition. She has also worked as Head of Policy and Strategy at the Dartington Social Research Unit and led programmes of work on public services, education, children and families at the think tanks Demos and the Institute for Public Policy Research. Sonia is a trustee of the Trust for London, City Year UK and Ambition School Leadership.”

Senior Account Executive

Orla joined Lodestone in August 2016. She works across press, PR, social and internal communications in a range of sectors including HE and food, alongside supporting clients on major infrastructure and built-environment planning projects. Prior to this, she was a Press Officer at Ireland’s largest motoring organisation in which she managed a series of high-profile issues and created innovative ways of capturing both public and governmental support. As a consultant, Orla worked alongside charities and international brands within the motoring, technology, and telecommunications industries. She holds an MA in Journalism and a BA in English Literature, and Spanish & Latin American Language and Literature.

Account Executive

An English and American Literature graduate, Harry Waters joined Lodestone in February of 2016. Prior to this he was an Account Executive at a travel PR firm, and a content creator and copywriter at one of the country’s leading media companies. As a freelancer, Harry worked alongside charities and start-ups as well as national consumer brands. He has written for various local titles including the Bristol Post, Plymouth Herald and Stoke Sentinel. At Lodestone, Harry has gained extensive experience within the Higher Education and FMCG sectors, as well as supporting on stakeholder engagement for major infrastructure projects.

Senior Account Executive

Philippa has experience of organising high profile events and supports the provision of secretariat services for the Parliamentary Internet Communications and Technology Forum APPG. She also works across HE and energy clients, as well as built environment planning projects. Prior to joining Lodestone she worked on the Communications and Events team at the cross-party think tank Demos and gained experience in the housing, energy and education sectors at a Westminster based communications consultancy. She holds an MA in Political Communications from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a first class honours degree in Politics from Oxford Brookes University, where she worked on the students’ union communications team.

Associate

Carl Packman is a researcher and author with expertise in personal and alternative finance, and welfare policy. He has written two books on the rise of payday lending, both in the UK and globally, and has published a number of reports looking at poverty, the welfare state, and debt resilience.

Director of International Business Development

David has spent over twenty years in the Middle East, working in the fields of leadership, education and development. In recent years David has worked closely with a number of Arabian Gulf families, with an emphasis on business development. This has involved establishing and maintaining network development, liaising with government and industry leaders globally. David’s role has a strong focus on strategic alliances and commercial frameworks within the MENA region.

David has also led numerous business delegations to countries in Asia and Africa. Within the UAE, he has consulted on a number of projects for governmental departments and he was also consultant for CIES, a university based in Switzerland.

He has worked closely with the FCO on international leadership development programmes for UAE Women that focused on empowerment and leadership.