Meet The Team

Martin Nicholson

Martin Nicholson – Managing Director

Martin has 15 years experience working with the Senior Managements Teams and commercial clients, in the UK and internationally. He has a strong desire to place people at the forefront of a business’s success which enables him to focus on the people agenda and realize opportunities for efficiency and better practice.

A Prince 2 practitioner and qualified performance coach, Martin brings rigour and challenge to any client’s business to enable them to achieve their goals.
Specialities: Values/Vision, Senior objectives and strategic goal alignment, Performance Coach, Change facilitator.

Jo Nicholson – Director

Joanne is an MSc qualified Occupational Psychologist who works with organisations to identify individuals’ key drivers and engage support services to ensure successful delivery of large-scale projects.

She has a sharp commercial focus on the bottom line and a proven ability to deliver customer needs at required costs. After starting her career working in psychology research for University College London and the British Psychology Society, Joanne applied these skills in financial services where she was responsible for managing insurance products at organisations like the AA and ING banking. Since a maternity break, Joanne has developed workshops to address the psychological aspects of returning to work.

Specialities: Identifying individual drivers and change habits, engaging support teams to deliver change programmes, return to work support and workshops.

Martin Nicholson
Martin Nicholson

Andy Cast

Andy began his 30 years’ career with over 15 years of retail management at Marks & Spencer and the John Lewis Partnership. Putting his customer service and commercial experience to good use he moved into Human Resources, partnering with senior leaders in the Private, Public and Not for Profit sectors, helping to create and implementing their People strategies. An accredited mediator, coach and counsellor, Andy has a passion for helping people achieve more, both in their professional and personal lives.

Specialities include: Individual and Team Leadership & Management Development, one to one Executive Coaching, Group Coaching, Employee Engagement, Health & Wellbeing, Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity and Learning strategy creation and implementation.

Dan Szabunia

Dan is a highly experienced coach and facilitator specialising in:

Dan is a highly experienced coach and facilitator working with both individuals and teams. He helps organisations and their leaders across all functions to challenge perceptions of themselves and their situations, and develop flexibility in terms of behaviour and associated results to change and grow.

As well as one-to-one work Dan designs and facilitates bespoke workshops based on the principles of experiential learning (both outdoors and in). He is also qualified in various psychometric tools including Myers Briggs and SDI which help people understand their own and others’ drivers and motivations to take action. Recent work has included a gold standard outplacement project encompassing PAs to Senior Directors and building a modular management development programme for middle managers in a data centre business.

Specialities: Executive Coaching (face to face & virtual), Team Development (refocusing, re-aligning and re-energising teams), Management Development (from management 101 to specific skills-based offerings), Outplacement and Career Development.

Martin Nicholson

James – Senior Business Advisor and HR Professional

James is a senior business advisor and HR Professional who is experienced in developing and delivering programmes of work that address business challenges and support the delivery of corporate strategy. He has worked with clients on Talent Management and Leadership projects. He relishes new challenges and is passionate about empowering and coaching others to build capability and realise their potential.

Specialities: Relationship Management, Objective Setting, Leadership Assessment and Development, Competency Mapping, Talent Management, Succession Planning and Executive Coaching.


Ria has over 20 years’ broad and extensive HR experience. Working with a variety of large and small businesses, start-up and global. Commercially astute with strong business partnering skills and an understanding of what a business needs coupled with a ‘can do’ approach.

Martin Nicholson
Martin Nicholson

Richard Pheasant

Richard is a highly experienced management and leadership trainer. He specialises in working with managers to enable them to develop the knowledge and skills needed to lead their team and achieve effective and sustainable results. He especially enjoys those times when managers realise their purpose, and what they need to do to be effective in their leadership of others.

Richard brings 15 years’ experience of training others in leadership and management, and is the author of a management training website, As well as training groups of managers from a variety of organisations, he also works with individuals one-to-one. He has delivered Institute Of Leadership & Management (ILM) accredited courses, and is currently a member of ILM.

Specialities include: Developing Effective Management Skills, Strategic Planning, Leading and Managing Change and Effective Performance Management. He also delivers employee training, including Communication Skills, Time Management, Problem Solving and Understanding Emotional Intelligence.

Chris Hurley – Associate Leader

Chris is a leadership and management coach. He has over 25 years’ experience working with small teams to multinational organisations throughout Europe.

He has worked with multinational clients in a wide range of industries including Insurance and Financial Services, Car Rental, Disaster Management and Response, Heavy Plant Manufacturing, Postal and Telecommunication Services, Banking, Film and Television, Engineering and Technology Safety Services as well as the Oil and Gas Industry.

This has enabled Chris to develop a unique, bespoke coaching and leadership style, that has proven highly effective and successful working with people at all levels of an organisation.
He has a passion for passing knowledge on to others and seeing their confidence, skills and self-awareness grow. His main motivating factor is what he describes as “the lightbulb moment”, when a client suddenly understands and realises their own potential to make a real difference.

Specialities: Culture Change, Team Building, Operations Management, Facilitation, Leadership Development and Coaching

Martin Nicholson
Martin Nicholson

Jeremy How – Associate Leader

Jeremy is an organisational change leader and talent strategist. He has a broad background in human resources, with over 20 years’ experience working with major brands across multiple sectors. He has helped deliver talent strategies in organisations at varying stages of their lifecycle, from start-ups to global, matrixed environments.

Organisations with which Jeremy has previously worked include Cloudreach, Wargaming, BAE Systems, Post Office, Regus, Hertz Europe, DMG Media and Interserve.

In all these clients he has focused on growing and changing the capabilities required to succeed in rapidly changing or disruptive business environments.

Specialities: Organisational Change and Design, Talent Management.

ProActionHR are an HR Transformation Company. We deliver people strategies that change businesses.

We’re experienced Business Leaders and HR Practitioners who work with companies whose people strategies, structures or processes are now holding them back.

We particularly specialise in helping mid-sized companies (c.100 and 500 employees) who want to get traction with a new product, market, legislation or way of working. And need help to build the people strategies and culture to do that.

We believe that good people and positive cultures enable growth and our values drive our culture.

Ask Provoking Questions

Ask Provoking Questions

Take Action

Take Action

Understand People

Understand People

Business Success

Business Success

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