Executive team

The executive team manage the everyday operation of the Trust. They develop policy and strategy for approval by the trustees and are responsible for ensuring the continuing success of the waterways through the management of an expert and committed team of 1,600 employees and thousands of volunteers.

Richard Parry, Chief Executive

Richard Parry

Richard joined the Canal & River Trust as Chief Executive in July 2013, and has led the new charity through a series of changes as it has developed its new identity and explored the many new opportunities available in the third sector. Prior to joining the Trust, Richard spent 19 years at London Underground - where he was acting Managing Director for a year - followed by a brief spell at FirstGroup.



Julie Sharman, Chief Operating Officer

Julie Sharman

Julie is responsible for the operational management and performance of the Trust’s rivers and canals, including all aspects of customer services, volunteering and engagement. Julie joined the Trust in 1996 following an early career in construction with Taylor Woodrow and Aoki-Soletanche. A chartered civil engineer, she has gained a broad experience in waterway management, asset management, engineering, partnerships and funding with the Trust.   


Stuart Mills, Chief Investment Officer

Stuart Mills

Stuart is responsible for the Trust’s main income streams including the Trust’s investment portfolio, property and property development, joint ventures and diversified assets. Stuart also looks after the utilities, commercial water and direct managed moorings businesses as well as fundraising and our Museums. A chartered surveyor, Stuart joined Canal & River Trust in 1990 after working in private sector property consultancy. He has worked extensively across the country in various commercial roles, before becoming a Director in 2008.


Simon Bamford, Asset Improvement Director

Simon Bamford

Simon has overall responsibility for asset inspection, strategy, planning and delivering the Trust’s long-term asset programmes – through our Asset Strategy, Engineering Support, Direct Services teams and contractors. Simon’s responsibilities include asset inspection and strategy, the planning and delivery of maintenance and repair works carried out on our waterways. Simon is a chartered engineer and joined the Trust in 2006 after working with Land and Water where he was operations director of their remediation contracting business. Simon previously worked in senior environmental, project delivery, construction and consultancy roles for Southern Water, ADAS and overseas.

Heather Clarke, Strategy, Engagement & Impact  Director

Heather ClarkeHeather oversees the Trust’s brand, marketing, and public affairs. She is responsible for strategy, public policy, research and measurement, strategic performance and reporting, spatial and statutory planning functions, and planning and urban design consultancy functions. Heather joined the Trust in 1997, after working for an urban development corporation which was charged with delivering large scale area-based regeneration. A chartered planner, she has gained extensive experience in strategic and statutory planning, property-based regeneration, place-making and partnership working with the Trust.

Mike Gooddie, People Director

Mike joined the Canal & River Trust in October 2016. He began his career with Shell as a graduate trainee working in both the UK and Australia, before progressing onto senior HR positions with British Airways, GNER, BBC and ASDA. Mike has held non-executive positions for Manchester Airport Group (MAG), Community Integrated Care (CIC) and York Archaeological Trust (YAT). He is a graduate of Leicester University, a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA) and also a member of the patrons network for the National Centre for Diversity. Mike is currently a member of the ACAS governing council where he also chairs the Audit Committee.

Sandra Kelly, Finance Director

Sandra is responsible for finance including all matters relating to taxation and pensions. She also looks after audit & risk, IT, Procurement and the Trust’s marina subsidiary. Sandra spent eight years as finance director at NHBC (National House-Building Council), the UK’s leading independent standard-setting body and provider of warranty and insurance for new homes in the UK. She previously held senior finance positions in the commercial sector, most notably for BMW GB.

Tom Deards, Head of Legal & Governance Services and Company Secretary

Tom has responsibility for the legal and governance functions of the Trust. He is a qualified solicitor who joined the Trust’s legal team in 2007, having trained and qualified into the asset finance team at City law firm Clifford Chance, before going on to complete a Legal Masters at UCL in Environmental Law, whilst gaining experience working as an environment and planning lawyer in local government. Tom is the Trust’s Company Secretary and Data Protection Officer and also sits on the Waterway Ombudsman Committee.

Last date edited: 19 June 2018