HRD Thought Leaders

Gary Cookson


Gary runs his own business called EPIC, helping people and places to evolve, perform, improve and compete and is a portfolio HR, OD and L&D professional doing a mix of self employed, associate and freelance work.

Gary is a CIPD Chartered Fellow, a qualified coach, personal trainer, teacher, workplace mediator, H&S professional, mediator, distance learning tutor, and more besides.

Career-wise, before starting EPIC, he was Associate HR Director at the DBS, and HRD at Trafford College. Prior to that he did HR/OD integration work at a new housing group, and before that was Head of HR & OD at Golden Gates Housing Trust for 11 years. He also has experience of working in a call centre, a national charity and an international pharmaceuticals company.  Prior to working in HR he qualified as a secondary school teacher (he taught History).  He has also managed and delivered CIPD programmes for many years and has delivered face to face and distance learning qualifications for a range of providers and awarding bodies.

Outside work, he’s a keen sportsman – competing in triathlons regularly but also having led and managed some representative sports teams – a father to three (almost four) lovely children, and husband of a long-suffering wife. He says it’s for them that he does everything he does.

Jon Ingham

Author and Consultant

Jon is a people and organisation strategy consultant and helps companies innovate their management approaches responding to changes in the world of work and also to tie more closely to their own strategic needs. Much of his work is informed by a strong belief in the potential offered from a smarter investment in people and the consequent opportunity to create new value for a business. He also writes about the future of work, including in his new book, ‘The Social Organization’ which suggests we need to focus on the relationships between people as well as the individuals themselves. Jon has previously worked as a chemical engineer, an IT consultant, and an international HR director. He has BA in Psychology, a Masters in Engineering and an MBA. He has frequently been recognised a leading influencer in HR.

Katrina Collier

Author, Speaker & Facilitator

Katrina Collier shows companies how to solve the problem of candidate engagement. HR, talent acquisition and hiring leaders don’t have an issue finding people, they have an issue evoking a response, engaging people and stopping candidates from ghosting. She is the author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter and uses her extensive industry experience to deliver keynotes and facilitate offsites globally, which inspire all those involved in the recruitment lifecycle to improve candidate engagement with a human-first mindset.

She is also the founder of 5 DisruptHR UK events inspiring people to express their ideas and be heard in a new community, an Ambassador for Hope for Justice aiming to end modern day slavery, and co-host of The #SocialRecruiting Show podcast. You’ll find her championing the #BeHuman cause on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KatrinaMCollier.

Perry Timms

Author and Chief Energy Officer

Perry Timms has a mission: To design a better future of work for us all to lead more fulfilling lives.

He is Founder and Chief Energy Officer of PTHR, with over 25 years experience in people, technology and organisational change and transformation and in October 2017, Perry’s first book project – Transformational HR – is published by Kogan Page.

Perry is an international and TEDx Speaker and Adviser on the Future of Work and HR, and is a WorldBlu® Certified Freedom at Work Consultant + Coach – helping people and their companies become part of the next stage in human and organisational evolution. Perry has partners across the UK, and in the USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Kuwait, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Denmark to help achieve this.

A Chartered Member of the CIPD, Perry advises the CIPD on HR’s use of Digital and Social Media, and was a Guide for the 2013 CIPD HR Hackathon (with Professor Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation Exchange).

Perry is a Visiting Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University, a Fellow of the RSA, is an associate consultant at the Work Foundation, and is part of the adjunct faculty at Ashridge Executive Education (Hult International Business School).

You will find Perry on Twitter @PerryTimms, on YouTube, LinkedIn and you can read his Medium blog at

Mervyn Dinnen

HR & Talent Analyst, Author

Mervyn Dinnen is author of the book Exceptional Talent and an HR & talent analyst who advises recruitment and HR technology businesses on the emerging trends impacting hiring, retention and engagement. He is an International speaker and writer on HR and recruitment trends. He previously spent 20 years working with UK companies on recruitment and retention strategies.

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