Managing Consultant & Group Head of Business Development
Joel joined the SUMS Group in February 2019 to lead business development across the Group’s services, balanced with a leadership role in our higher education consultancy.
Joel brings expertise in business engagement and client services, along with an extensive background in marketing and communications, to his role with SUMS Consulting. A passionate strategic marketer, communications expert and senior leader, Joel has a strong understanding of brand and communications planning, and has executed both across myriad media in his time as a consultant and in-house. He looks forward to using his diverse and in-depth skill set for the benefit of members and clients.
Joel brings more than a decade of higher education experience to the role, including nine years at the University of Central Lancashire. This was initially as Director of Marketing and Communications, with a portfolio including brand, PR, communications, B2B marketing and student recruitment. His final role at UCLan was as Pro Vice-Chancellor (External Relations) with responsibility for regional and national political, cultural and business engagement, and the University’s most senior policy, public affairs and PR adviser.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, where he read Economic History, Joel spent the first 14 years of his career working in marketing roles and at advertising agencies across a wide range of clients, including Marks and Spencer, Rolls-Royce and the Royal Bank of Scotland. His transition into the higher education sector followed two years working with the Open University’s marketing agency as their Client Services Director and an adviser on brand and direct marketing.
Joel has been a Non-Executive Director of Marketing Lancashire, Creative Lancashire, the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education and the Preston Cultural Framework Board. He currently serves as a board director and Deputy Chair of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, and as Chair of Governors at Cockerham Parochial C of E Primary School.
Married with two children, in his spare time Joel enjoys watching cricket, rugby and baseball, and sings and plays guitar in a covers band.