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Who We Are

The MENTA team understand business from running their own successful enterprises. We offer you coaching, advice, training, space and deliver events to help business as well as business ideas flourish.

The MENTA name has been at the heart of our communities for nearly forty years. At MENTA we call Norfolk and Suffolk home and we enjoy supporting and helping to create growth in our communities. 

You are never too far from a member of the team as we have business hubs in Haverhill, Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe and Southwold. The team are here to help you and are ready to chat or meet to explore your business needs.

The MENTA management team are supported by non-executive board members, selected for their proven business record.    

Alex Till

Chief Executive
As MENTA's CEO, Alex is a dynamic leader with an unwavering passion for the world of business. His insatiable curiosity fuels his drive to connect with entrepreneurial visionaries and creative minds, constantly seeking inspiration to elevate Suffolk and Norfolk to new heights of success and nationwide acclaim as vibrant hubs for living and working. Alex's visionary leadership extends beyond MENTA as he assumes the pivotal role of chair for the National Enterprise Network. Collaborating with both government and industry, he spearheads initiatives that foster the growth and nurturing of enterprises, fortifying their foundations and empowering them to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape.

Mark Smyth

Chief Financial Officer

Mark is a commercially minded accountant with a wealth of experience and knowledge gained in a variety of businesses over the last 37 years. Mark's skill set and personality are well suited to working with ambitious high growth start-up businesses, with him also having strong understanding of the needs and dynamics of sole traders and micro business.

Mark has made a high positive impact when managing the accounts departments of venture capital and angel investor backed companies as well as owner managed businesses.

He is particularly strong on corporate governance and internal controls, budgeting, financial modelling and contract negotiation.

Emma O'Connor

Programme Manager

Emma is an accomplished Programme Manager, boasting a remarkable 32-year track record in Learning & Development and the Financial Services Sector. Her wealth of experience enables her to effectively leverage her exceptional leadership abilities, adept stakeholder management skills, and proficiency in Agile working techniques. With her unwavering commitment, she excels at creating and implementing outstanding learning solutions that empower our clients to initiate, cultivate, and expand their enterprises. Emma's illustrious career has been punctuated by numerous accolades, including a prestigious national award from the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (IOEE). The award recognizes her exceptional contributions to the design and delivery of a transformative Business Growth Enabler programme.      


Peter Wood

Business Adviser & Trainer 

Leveraging his extensive three-decade experience in Financial Services, Pete is a seasoned expert in Mortgage Advice, leadership, talent development, and facilitating seamless card and online payment systems for businesses. His true passion lies in empowering individuals to turn their aspirations into reality. With a holistic approach to training and coaching, Pete equips entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and knowledge to not only launch and manage their businesses, but also foster sustainable growth. His unwavering commitment to nurturing a path to success ensures that entrepreneurs are well-prepared to overcome challenges and thrive in their endeavors.


Suzanne Banks

Community Manger @Inc.
Heading up our community connectivity activities and business support for co-workers, Suzanne joins us from running her own businesses and brings customer focused delivery. Based @Inc Bury St Edmunds or in Felixstowe. Suzanne supports a team of staff that ensure our co-working and business hub clients receive all the support they need. Suzanne is also found producing business events that are designed to reach differing communities. In 2022 Suzanne was a finalist for her community driven work in the Bury Free Press Awards. Our Southwold business hub will open in early 2024 and Suzanne is project lead for this project.

Rachael Lawrance

Programme Co-ordinator
Rachael excels in delivering exceptional support to clients and team members alike. With her keen eye for detail, she plays a vital role in providing top-notch administrative and project support across our service areas. Additionally, she efficiently oversees MENTA's supplier contracts, ensuring smooth operations. Rachael's dedication and expertise contribute to the overall success of our team, enhancing productivity and fostering strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.

Tim Cooke

Learning Development Manager – Programmes

Tim brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in business management, leadership, sales and service gained from many leadership roles across a variety of business areas in the last 37 years plus. Tim is developing and delivering current and topical learning programmes to help you lead and run your business more effectively and make the difference to you, your business, your employees and your customers.

Kimberly Hurd

Business Adviser and Trainer Kimberly has lived and worked in the UK, Asia, and the USA. She has international management consultancy experience and believes that experiencing alternative business cultures is priceless. She is passionate about helping individuals from all walks of life build their confidence, see their potential, and realise the possibility of monetising their passions.

Will Herschel-Shorland

Business Adviser and Trainer

Will offers the experience of a career woven through marketing, research, consultancy and business management, in organisations from start-ups to multinationals, and on scales from local to global. Having established one of the Eastern region’s leading marketing research consultancies, Will has developed an intuitive enthusiasm for assisting and guiding individuals along the journey to realising their business ambitions in Norfolk, Suffolk and further afield. You can count on Will’s attentive support from imagining a business, through planning, to starting-up and achieving growth beyond, and all with a keen eye on environmental, as well as commercial, sustainability.

Yvonne Martin

Bury St Edmunds Vision Centre Reception

With more than two decades of invaluable front-line customer service expertise, Yvonne seamlessly integrates into our team at the Vision Centre on Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds. As the face of our business center, she efficiently manages day-to-day operations, warmly welcoming clients and their guests at the front desk. Yvonne's exceptional skills ensure a smooth and professional experience at our Bury St Edmunds location.

Mary Spurling

Bury St Edmunds Vision Centre Reception

Mary, a valued member of our team, welcomes you and your clients to our Bury St Edmunds vision centre on Eastern Way. With her vital role in daily operations, she ensures smooth functioning of the center. Mary is dedicated to assisting you, our business clients, and tenants who operate from the hub. Renowned for her exceptional customer service, she promises a warm and friendly welcome that is second to none..

Stuart Bushnell-Wye

Business Trainer

Stuart, a seasoned professional in the UK Banking industry with over 30 years of expertise, possesses a diverse background spanning branch-based banking, relationship management, human resources, and learning and development. His true passion lies in crafting transformative learning experiences that empower individuals to accomplish their personal and professional aspirations, enhancing both their work life and personal goals.

Maggie Kinnear-King

Business Programme Co-ordinator

Maggie excels at providing invaluable administrative support for a wide range of MENTA projects and business activities. Her true passion lies in assisting colleagues with meticulous research, ensuring they have the necessary information to make informed decisions. Moreover, she finds great satisfaction in guiding and supporting clients throughout their entrepreneurial journey, offering valuable expertise as they embark on the exciting path of starting and developing their businesses.

John Clarke

Business Trainer 

John is an exceptional professional and highly-experienced trainer, boasting an impressive 25-year tenure in the commercial banking sector. With a calm and engaging presentation style, he effortlessly captivates delegates, who consistently praise his extensive expertise. His broad knowledge base ensures he covers a diverse range of topics, making him a sought-after instructor in the industry

Celia Mason

Celia brings over thirteen years of experience in London office environments, where she excelled as a personal assistant and in various secretarial roles. While taking a break for family, she spent seven years at a local primary school, five of which she dedicated to being a skilled teaching assistant. Her exceptional customer-facing abilities, combined with her strong administrative talents, make her a valuable asset in her current role at MENTA, contributing significantly to customer satisfaction and success.    


Wendy Richards

Business Adviser and Trainer

Wendy has more than twenty years business experience, having started and sold three businesses of her own. She brings a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about working with business owners, helping them get started and fulfil their business goals.

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