Who are we?

Diane Mullen

Diane has been a professional in Further and Higher Education and ELT for more than 20 years. She spent seven years heading the Business Development operation at Lambeth College, five years with City University developing, generating income for and managing external projects and four years as International Advisor to the Association of Colleges (AoC). This experience has given her a comprehensive knowledge of the policy environment and regulatory/eligibility framework of a wide range of UK, EU and international funding programmes, as well as agendas relating to inner city regeneration and innovation.

She previously worked with several third sector organizations and a Training and Enterprise Council and she served as National Education and Employment Advisor to Refugee Action during the 1990s. Her more recent work with the British Council and the Association of Colleges focused on global vocational partnerships and their role in international education systems reform. This includes promoting the UK education sector overseas and engagement in policy dialogue. She has also served on a number of related national committees and has worked closely with senior government officials in the UK and abroad.

Diane is the Director of the St Giles Educational Trust and a trustee of the UK-Bangladesh Educational Trust (UKBET). She has also served on the Board nominations committee of English UK.

Richard Preston

Richard joined Otravista from the Creative and Cultural Industries where he worked for many years as a freelance recording engineer and record producer in the UK, France and Spain. He has also worked in Higher Education, Further Education and the private sector.

Richard has substantial and varied experience of generating income for, managing projects and conducting external evaluation of projects supported by EU and UK funding programmes, particularly those which target disadvantaged and socially excluded people. He formerly worked for The Body Shop International PLC where he helped to set up The Body Shop Foundation as a registered community projects charity, of which he later became Manager. Whilst in this role, Richard worked with John Bird, MBE, on the feasibility study for the concept of The Big Issue and subsequently on the business plan which led to the launch of that publication.

Fabricio Chavarro

Fabricio has over 20 years’ experience of generating income (in excess of £15M) through EU funding programmes for organisations in the private, public and voluntary sectors in the UK and Spain. He has extensive experience in developing and managing a wide range of multi-partner initiatives in the fields of creativity and innovation, enterprise development, creative industries, learning & skills and economic regeneration. He spent 4 years as Principal Development Consultant at Rinova Ltd leading the development and contract compliance of its European funded portfolio (Lifelong Learning, Erasmus Plus and Creative Europe) in the fields of employability and enterprise skills, and working with European partners in 15 Member States.

Fabricio is also a specialist business adviser for digital and technology start-ups and SMEs, having supported more than 50 companies in Spain with product development and to access finance.  In the 2006-2007 period, he assisted the Andalusian Regional Government (Spain) with the development and establishment of Proyecto Lunar the first comprehensive business start-up and support programme for the Creative Industries in the region. He subsequently served as Director of Proyecto Lunar across the province of Malaga. He previously worked as Programme & Contracts Manager for Lambeth College and as Senior Economic Development Officer for Wandsworth Borough Council in London.




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