Find Out About the MBM Team

Who Are We & Our Experience?

Who are we? This is about sharing our background, experience and skills so you can determine whether you feel that our people are people you can work with.

Enabling suppliers to the big four supermarkets to secure more profitable wins. We are from your industry delivering People Development. Using our unique ‘Sticky Learning ®’ you too can have the best people for the long term.


Headshot of Darren A. Smith from Making Business Matter MBM
Darren A. Smith

Darren Smith

Founder and World Class Tutor with over 25 years experience of the UK Grocery Industry

Darren has worked in the world of supermarkets and suppliers for over 24 years. His story is one of a game of two halves. For the first 12 years, he worked as a Buyer & Category Manager in one of the big four UK supermarkets buying mainly fresh foods, from cheese to fruit to ready meals.

Seeing the opportunity to enable supermarkets and suppliers to work better together, he founded MBM and has spent the last 14 years working with suppliers on People Development to enable them to get the best from their people with their retail accounts through Sticky Learning ®. His main specialities are Category Management Training, Negotiation Skills and Time Management. The latter particularly because he was once an ‘email inbox junkie’!

He has had articles published by The Grocer, FPJ, Supply Management, Forbes & many more, and written the GSCOP book, plus a testimonial for his work on the Free Guides from Charles Jennings (Founder of 70:20:10). His favourite film will send him into a tailspin as he has so many, yet with his arm up his back, he chose ‘Gladiator’.

When he’s not working you’ll find him living in Thame with his wife, Gayle, and children, Gabby and Jack, creating memorable experiences because he believes ‘life is for the taking’.

One-minute video.


Close up headshot of Andy Palmer from MBM Making Business Matter
Andy Palmer

Andy Palmer

World Class Tutor with over 23 years experience of the UK Grocery Industry

Andy started at the coal face with eight years in food retailing. During this time he spent many years in management understanding the fundamentals of grocery retailing. Prior to joining MBM he then spent five years in the supply base in positions of category analysis, category management and account management.

He works as part of the team enabling suppliers to UK supermarkets to secure more profitable wins through people development. He specialises in Category Management Training and has created the Category Management Scorecard which is used by many suppliers across the globe. He is also a qualified HBDI ® practitioner, which means that he understands how people prefer to think, communicate, make decisions and learn. He understands the psychology of learning retention, which, coupled with MBM’s unique training method Sticky Learning ®, is used to ensure all that work with him achieve great things, and that those things stay with them for the long term.

He has published many articles including, ‘What is Category Management’ and ‘How to Bake a Better Pie‘ and the ‘Benefits of Team Building and The Art of War‘. He used to have passion for rock climbing and mountain biking and will tell you he still does. The reality is time is taken up with family and kids, which is equally as fun and about as painful. His films of choice are anything with a light sabre in it or The Shawshank Redemption.


Sally Booth MBM Tutor from MBM Making Business Matter
Sally Booth

Sally Booth

World Class Tutor with over 28 years experience of the UK Grocery Industry

Sally remains a retailer at heart, having worked for 14 years with one of the big four UK supermarkets, both as a Line Manager and within the Training function, she has practised what she preaches regarding People Development! Sally is passionate about bringing learning to life and enables participants to really experience a new skill and work on it live in the room so that they can see it, hear it, think it and feel it. Her particular expertise lies in the areas of Personal Coaching; Influencing Skills Training and Leadership Training.

Clients describe Sally as having an energetic, yet sensitive style of working and bringing fun and laughter into sessions, as well as empathy and being really ‘bothered’ about a person’s individual needs.

When not working, Sally enjoys spending time with her teenagers, Amie and Zach, both of whom she finds are a rich source of examples in her work. Sally loves swimming and walking– it’s here that she does her best thinking (as well as being damage limitation due to a love of food and wine!).

Sally enjoys writing articles linking the films we all know and love to key skills that Managers need. One of her favourite films is The Kings Speech aka Presentation Skills Training – not only because of Colin Firth, but because of the film’s fantastic portrayal of how people got it so wrong for the King – and how we can get it so right for our own people who might benefit less from ‘Telling’ and more from ‘Coaching’. Sally has a degree in French, is MBTI and FIRO-B qualified, holds a Coaching Diploma and has additional qualifications in Counselling, Body Language and Voice Development.


Andrew Grant from MBM Making Business Matter
Andrew Grant

Andrew Grant

World Class Tutor with over 30 years experience of the UK Grocery Industry

Andrew has extensive Commercial Buying and Marketing experience gained at a senior level with a number of the UK’s largest and most respected retailers. A graduate trainee at Sainsbury’s, 13 years at Tesco UK and Internationally -responsible for numerous product categories including Fresh Foods, Impulse and Non-Foods.

Experience of Entertainment categories at WH Smith and Beers, Wines, Spirits and Tobacco experience with both Thresher Group and Somerfield Stores. He combines this comprehensive category knowledge with highly developed negotiation skills and an in-depth experience of category management and business development planning gained trading with major blue chip FMCG suppliers. Andrew has a BA(Hons) Degree in Human Geography from University of Reading. His favourite film is Die Hard.


Sue Raeside from MBM Making Business Matter
Sue Raeside

Sue Raeside – MCIPD

World Class Tutor with over 27 years experience of the UK Grocery Industry

After 15 years of store management and people development roles within one of the big four UK supermarkets, Sue has spent the last 12 years in learning and development which has improved individual and team performance in many business sectors from Retail to Professional Services. As a highly experienced facilitator, Sue specialises in personal effectiveness and management skills development, through experiential learning and feedback that builds confidence.

Sue’s energetic, insightful delivery style ensures that learners are engaged and motivated to improve‎ their performance back at work. In the classroom. Sue is less about theory and more about practise and application. Often found cycling, playing tennis or dragging friends and family round charity fun runs, she doesn’t sit still for long.

Sue’s favourite film is ‘Love Actually’ and she often uses film clips within her workshop sessions to motivate and bring key skills to life.

Sue has a degree in Economics and Politics, is MBTI qualified and is a corporate member of the CIPD.


Alison Cassidy from MBM Making Business Matter
Alison Cassidy

Alison Cassidy

Senior Consultant

Alison is pragmatic and results-driven, specialising in design, delivery and facilitation of personal, team and leadership development, behavioural training and change management via facilitation and coaching. She has project managed SME led programmes, capability frameworks/assessments and designed her own programmes. Alison has worked across fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), financial services, oil, gas and energy, public sector, retail and third sector.

Alison is passionate about development and is a Master Practitioner and Coach in NLP, a mBIT Coach and a MBTI Practitioner. She is currently focussing on developing herself around Susan Jeffer’s material from ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. Alison is an energetic individual, with excellent people and relationship building skills who welcomes the opportunity to make a difference. Outside of work Alison can be found in the Girl Guiding community, running both Rainbow and Ranger units.

She is also a trustee of a charity and uses this to support others with the same condition as herself. Alison often claims to work to pay a Disney addiction and for visits to Walt Disney World. Her favourite films range from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original) to Inside Out. She also loves to grab an opportunity to attend Disney Institute workshops when she can.


Nathan Simmonds from MBM Making Business Matter
Nathan Simmonds

Nathan Simmonds

Senior Consultant

Nathan has over 20 years of leadership experience from multiple sectors across multiple continents. Starting in hospitality, moving through retail, into manufacturing and into call centres environments. From construction to insurance, banking to magazines, including Santander, Time & Fortune and Harvard Business Review. This eclectic mix of experiences working inside the FTSE 250 provides a superb melting pot of practical, hands on stories that help people instantly relate, comprehend concepts and grow inside the inclusive spaces Nathan creates and fosters when he trains and coaches.

Having delivered leadership development content for over 8 years in a mixture of roles and whilst working 1-2-1 with an array of leaders, executives and entrepreneurs Nathan has carved out his niche for helping people transform what they do, from where they are and actualise what their teams and businesses are truly capable of. “Your impact has been nothing short of sensational…what you have done so well is to ignite that spark of self-development in our leadership team” His expertise is truly capitalised when focused on Leadership Mindset, enhancing coaching skills and helping others maximise their own potential in the pursuit of maximising others.

Nathan brings healthy challenge to his spaces, a new lens to look at the world through and the ability to transform thinking at every level of leadership. It’s these penny dropping moments combined with the future successes where Nathan seeks his greatest pleasure,A qualified coach – with the ILM, holding a Lvl 5 Diploma, further combined with various certificates in coaching, NLP and PermaCulture. Nathan is also, accredited coach for ICQ – GlobalDISC

Nathan holds his Mental health first Aid Certificate, and celebrates this with multiple opportunities to volunteer and coach others where possible including the Hospice sector, ex-veterans and coaching young adults Nathan is futurist, an out of the box thinker, martial artist and has a hobbyist enthusiasm for epigenetics and the science of purpose. Spending much of his spare time devouring seemingly unrelated ideas and constructing new concepts and possibilities for the leadership of tomorrow to ponder upon and be excited about.


Headshot of Mackaina Wright
Mackaina Wright

Mackaina Wright

Web Editor

Mackaina contributed to the private sector for over three years before deciding that was not for her. Her entrepreneurship side prevailed and she is now a full-time freelancer working with awesome clients all over the world. Her past failures with Freelancing and a painting business have taught her many lessons. One of which is to never give up on your passions.

Her specialisations include website SEO, Transcription and Graphic design. She adores cats and usually has one at her feet while she works.


Headshot of Peter Waggott
Peter Waggott

Peter Waggott

Senior Trainer

Peter is an experienced international trainer, facilitator, and coach, for over 25 years he has worked for complex global organisations. Peter has worked across many channels, gaining experience working in the UK, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. 

He regularly works with organisations to support them in their growth plans. This work has covered several areas including Sales Strategy & Planning, Leadership, Management, Bids/Tenders, Coaching and Mentoring.

As an accredited coach with the Academy of Executive Coaches, Peter offers Executive Coaching and 1-2-1 coaching, within his coaching practice he works with a leading UK organisation supporting people with neuro-diversities.

Peter is an Executive Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, Business School. In this role, he works with under-graduate, post-graduate, and MBA students, where he delivers Sales, Entrepreneurship & Management courses, at both the University’s Aberdeen and Qatar campuses

Peter lives with his wife, Paula in Carnoustie and they have 2 grandchildren. Peter loves golfing, and has been a member at the Caledonia Golf Club since the age of 14.

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