Meet the people at Gradvert who help deliver on our promise to improve business performance through the improvement of your people. Our friendly and professional team are on hand to help.

Michaela Reaney

Michaela Reaney

Managing Director

The founder of Gradvert, Michaela provides strategic direction and commercial focus while maintaining a strong relationship with our clients and universities. Michaela has a decade of experience in global talent management and recruitment with FTSE 100 organisations and is an authoritative figure in the news on education, employability and policies affecting young people.

kate temple-brown

Kate Temple-Brown

Client Director

Kate is an early careers recruitment and development professional. She has worked with large 50,000-person global multi-divisional investment banks, exciting 8-person start-ups and everything in-between. Kate’s Apprenticeship Levy Strategic Consultancy Aequalis supports employers in this exciting time of Apprenticeship reform to help them maximise place talent at the heart of their organisational strategy.

Liam Rafferty

Director of Operations

Liam will assume full responsibility for the day-to-day operational running of Gradvert, bringing with him a wealth of experience in team leadership, project management, initiative and change management, performance management and optimisation.

Alison Freer

Client Success Manager

Alison is on a mission to unlock leadership potential for everyone, at all career stages, and Gradvert is the perfect place to make this happen. With a background in HR and leadership development, Alison specialises in ensuring that L&D makes a positive business impact in a rapidly changing Digital Age. As Client Success Manager, Alison ensures our partnerships deliver clear benefits today, and strengthen teams' capability for future innovation.

Niamh Finlay

Learning Solutions Manager

Niamh is a specialist in designing high quality and effective learning and development programmes for complex businesses with multiple divisions and service lines. She has a degree in Education and training and has previously worked for over four years in a fast paced FTSE100 company.

Wendy Dawe

Operations Manager

Wendy joins the Gradvert team with 4 years operational and multi-site management experience within the Hospitality Industry and BSc in Construction Management. She has a keen eye for detail and is responsible for all aspects of internal project planning, ensuring our bespoke programmes are delivered on time, in budget and to the highest level of quality in line with our Client expectations.

Briony Laidler

Operations Coordinator

Briony is joining the Gradvert team with an extensive background in the hospitality industry, with a 6 year long career as a fine dining pastry chef in some of the North East's top restaurants. From this, she brings with her a high level of organisation and crucial attention to detail that will be key in delivering programmes to clients with the highest level of professionalism.

Hannah Lennox

Marketing and Communications Executive

Hannah has extensive industry related experience, having previously managed marketing functions within a range of business to business roles. With an eye for creativity and marketing strategy, Hannah is keen to take creative forms of communication and put them into practice. Boasting a clever way with words, Hannah loves to create exciting content that can engage with a multi-platform strategy.

Hannah McAvoy

Creative Content Designer

Hannah graduated last year from Newcastle University with a bachelors degree in Architecture. She is responsible for working on the creative design element of learning content. This includes: booklets, leaflets and animations for Gradvert and our clients. Hannah has experience with Adobe and has many skills in this area,!

Gavin Blagden

Learning Technology Specialist

As an advocate of learning, Gavin has joined us as our Learning Technology Specialist. With having worked over 20 years in the L&D industry, he brings his learning technology skills to assist with creating content and managing MyLearning, and all things digital.

Jakub Jonczyk

E-Learning and Tech Support Intern

Jakub is a recent Newcastle University graduate with a Masters in E-Business. He has previous experience of running his own platform that enabled aspiring entrepreneurs to connect with each other and seek advice. Jakub has past experience in marketing, content creation and online platform management, and will be responsible for the daily administration of MyLearning, as well as the creation of new and engaging content.

Jasmine Cain

Admin Coordinator

Jasmine has joined the Gradvert team as our Admin Coordinator. She brings excellent customer service and administration skills, and she has an exceptional ability to bring everything together while smiling all the way to the end!

Laura Brown

Laura Brown

Administrative Co-ordinator

Responsible for project support, maintaining and updating project timelines and organising and monitoring project budgets, Laura also distributes project communications to delegates, ensuring facilities are available for delivery dates. Laura is currently enjoying her maternity leave.

Alan Shaw

Facilitator & Coach

Alan has over 25 years experience in change management, leadership development and high-performance coaching across all levels. He has extensive strategic experience and a proven track record in successfully delivering culture change and organisational development programmes that focuses on leadership behaviours and performance. Alan has delivered successful programmes in the UK and internationally in retail, manufacturing, financial services, housing associations and sport.


Alison Burgess

Facilitator & Coach

Since starting her career in Learning and Development almost 20 years ago, Alison has been a passionate advocate for the impact that training can have on business success. She has designed and delivered training for a wide range of blue chip companies within the Financial, Technology, FMCG, Professional Services and Charity sectors.


Jos Burton

Facilitator & Coach

Jos is one of Gradvert's Leadership and Management Tutors. With experience of working both nationally and internationally with public sector and commercial organisations, Jos has designed and delivered training for a diverse range of clients including Hays Recruitment, Waitrose, Peugeot, John Lewis and Siemens, to name but a few.

Mark Cooper

Facilitator & Coach

A leadership, coaching and management development expert, Mark holds a huge amount of international experience, especially for companies specialising in construction, engineering and property management. A qualified NLP practitioner and registered psychometric provider, Mark’s background in psychometric assessment means he is exceptionally well placed to introduce behavioural frameworks in performance management to make a difference within your teams.

Cathy Lawson

Facilitator & Coach

Cathy has a strong portfolio career with over 25 years Corporate experience leading Commercial, Sales and Business operations, Business Development, Sales Enablement, Talent and Learning units. A qualified Management Accountant and Coach, Cathy has intensive skills in leading large Business Improvement, Transformation and Change programmes.

Georgina Kvassay

Facilitator & Coach

Georgina is a talent development professional with over 20 years’ experience in Professional Services. She has led student recruitment teams and is passionate about developing people early in their careers. Georgina has supported a number of clients from banks, charities to regulators on their Apprenticeship Levy journey.

Jacqui Flavell

Facilitator & Coach

Jacqui has over 25 years of experience in training design, facilitation and coaching. She is passionate about both personal and leadership development, and specialises in designing experiential, interactive, engaging learning. She has delivered programmes in the UK and internationally for global organisations and also with small and medium enterprises.


James Curry

Financial Director

James has held Finance Director or Managing Director positions within SMEs in the North East for the last 15 years and has proven experience of growing businesses through both organic and acquisitional growth. He works with Michaela on Gradvert’s strategic direction, helping to achieve our organisational objectives and ongoing expansion.