Our Trustees

Five Trustees sit on the independent board of the Teesside Airport Foundation.

The work of the Foundation’s Trustees will also be supported by Airport Foundation Ambassadors and Volunteer Charity Champions.

The board is responsible for developing an ambitious new strategy for the next five years, which sets out how the Foundation’s deep commitment to advancing the achievements of our local people will be met. Find out more about the Trustees below.


David Chefneux

David is a CIPFA qualified Accountant and has 28 years of experience working in the local government finance sector. This includes senior roles at Stockport MBC and Richmondshire District Council, before joining North Yorkshire Police as Head of Finance in 2004.

More recently, David gained 13 years of experience with Link Group as a Director, supporting local authorities finance teams across Scotland and the North of England, including the North East, on a broad range of finance, treasury management and technical accounting issues.
In January 2020 David joined the Board of Richmondshire Leisure Trust in a voluntary capacity as Director/Trustee and is the current Vice-Chairman.

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Andrew Cumiskey

Andrew has more than 15 years’ experience in the training and education sector. Born and educated in Durham, he has worked in various roles supporting corporate training and development, apprenticeships and employability programmes.

Andrew’s career includes extensive work in the aviation industry, with his current role leading ground operations training for Jet2.com, and earlier in his career as Head of Training for airport ground service provider Swissport.

Andrew has a passion for developing people and designing education and training solutions. In his spare time, Andrew’s hobbies include recreational flying as he holds a Private Pilot license and is a regular user of the airport.

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Emma Dixon

A Project Manager by profession, Emma is employed by a global management, engineering and development consultancy and her role involves supporting clients and establishing project teams and governance processes to successfully deliver large multi-million-pound projects.

Most recently Emma has been selected to support her business in establishing a new office in Teesside and her role includes the development of a strategic business plan, targeting and building strategic relationships with key stakeholders

Emma has lived in Teesside all her life and is passionate about the future of the region. She has two young children and is keen to contribute the community development in such a way that they have opportunities to work and grow up in thriving region.

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Brian Robinson

Brian was born and raised and has lived on Teesside all of his life and is a passionate and committed supporter of Teesside International Airport. He is proud to hold the role of Chair of Teesside International Airport Consultative Committee and Friends of Teesside International Airport.

Having recently retired after a career spanning over 45 years in senior leadership, he has a wealth of business experience, both regionally and nationally. This has given him the opportunity to foster and grow many contacts in various industries. His professional career has given him extensive expertise, knowledge and understanding of Human Resources, Equality and Diversity, Inclusion and Safeguarding.

He is passionate about building a successful future for the Tees Valley and its communities.

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Tristan Zipfel

Tristan Zipfel has been Director of Strategy & Analysis for EDF Renewables UK & Ireland since March 2020. In this role, he leads the financial modeling and analysis function, appraising the company’s investments across all technologies. He also heads up M&A, Strategy, Structured Origination, Regulation and leads the company’s development in new technologies, including green hydrogen.

Tristan joined EDF from university in 2008 as a Financial Analyst based in London. In 2010 he took charge of the Financial Planning & Analysis function for New Nuclear, the entity responsible for developing the Hinkley Point C project in the UK. In 2013, he pursued his career at Group-level as Mergers & Acquisitions Manager, based in Paris.

In 2017, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Group Senior EVP, Renewable Energies, and CEO of EDF Renewables. In this role, Tristan served as Secretary to the EDF Renewables Executive and Investment Committees.

Tristan is a graduate of École des hautes études commerciales (HEC) in Paris.

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Kate Willard OBE

Airport Foundation Ambassador

Kate Willard OBE is Chair of the Growth Board and the Government appointed Thames Estuary Envoy. She is the driving force behind their ambitious plans to transform the area.

Kate is an independent consultant working on a diverse portfolio of infrastructure and growth projects. She has lived and worked in Hungary, France and Belgium as an expert with the European Commission. Kate has led a number of major transnational projects in employment, social cohesion and regional development. She established the first UK-Hungarian cultural partnership trust and was CEO of the UK’s first rural regeneration company.

Kate is on Arts Council England National Council and Chairs the Board of Teesside International Airport. She is a Churchill Fellow and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and a Commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission.

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John M Dobbin FloD

Airport Foundation Ambassador

John was born and educated in Darlington and has had an extensive career in marketing and retailing both nationally and internationally and is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Before taking early retirement he was President and CEO of one of the largest retailing groups in Southern Africa .
Since returning to UK and now living again in Darlington he has become passionate about promoting the ongoing development of the North East and also in helping to reduce crime in the region .

He is Chair of North Yorkshire Crimestoppers and also a member of Crimestoppers National Advisory Board .

His other charity work includes being a Trustee of the Darlington Town Mission with specific responsibilities for business development.

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David Soley

Airport Foundation Ambassador

David Soley was Chair of Wilton Group and a senior executive in the offshore sector, including as founder of Davy Offshore, before moving into hospitality in 1998 with the acquisition of Castle Eden Brewery and Cameron’s Brewery in Hartlepool, where he remains a director.

For 11 years he served as a member of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, including a period as Vice Chair, and between 2019 and 2022 he was Chair of the Teesside International Airport Limited Board of Directors and the Goosepool Board of Directors.

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Andy Laundon

Airport Foundation Ambassador

Andy Laundon is the Operations Director at Teesside International Airport.  He has a passion for helping the local community and sees his role in the airport really helping the Foundation in its quest for growth and helping local people. Andy has had over 20 years of Senior Management experience as well as being at the forefront of many community initiatives and projects.