Meet the Team
Nigel Gilkes, Managing Director
Nigel has spent over 20 years working in the field of business simulation, role-play and drama based methods to enable people to develop their self-awareness and improve their interpersonal skills and impact. Also an experienced facilitator and coach, Nigel has worked with many leading organisations including Three, Barclays, Pepsico, BP, Asda and Marks & Spencer. Nigel’s original career was in teaching, he then spent 10 years as a professional actor before discovering the joy of combining his love of learning and teaching with performance through role play, coaching and facilitation. Nigel also works as a mental fitness coach and is a keen table tennis player. He lives with his family in North Wales and speaks passable Welsh, acceptable French and a few words of German!
Rachel Steventon, Programme & Finance Coordinator
Stafford born and bred, Rachel joined Impromptu in November 2009. Rachel is a qualified nursery nurse and before joining Impromptu worked for Coral Gala and as an assistant pub manager. Rachel co-ordinates our client programmes, manages the Impromptu office, and is the first point of contact for our clients and associates.
Connie Wiskin, Special Advisor
Connie is the founder of Impromptu Ltd, is accredited by the Institution of Learning and Teaching, and has over 24 years experience in the development and use of interactive and simulation learning methodologies. Connie is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Communication and Academic Lead at the University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences, where she specializes in the application of interactive methodologies in the teaching and assessment of communication in the healthcare context. Connie remains actively involved with Impromptu, advising Nigel on HR strategy and Imromptu’s work in the healthcare sector.
Louise Paris-Downton, Project Manager
Louise is a long-standing associate, writer, facilitator and role player for Impromptu since 2005. With nearly 20 years of experience of working with behavioural and communication techniques in both the corporate and medical world, she is also our Healthcare Project Manager. Trained at the tender age of 6 with the crew of the “Why Don’t You Just Turn Off Your Television Set….”
Maria Gough, Project Manager
Maria is one of Impromptu’s long serving professional Role-players as well as being a facilitator and Project manager with over 17 years’ experience. She also has 28 years’ experience as a professional actress. She has worked across a wide range of companies at all levels and has experience in leading projects and role-player teams.
Maria is London born and now resides in sunny Salford. Outside of her corporate career she spends time renovating her old 1905 terrace and is a keen mindfulness and meditation practitioner.
‘I feel extremely grateful to work in this field and I am passionate about working with individuals and teams to explore through practice what contributes to skillful communication thereby creating an environment that enables people to thrive both individually and collectively in a learning space that’s safe, open, thought provoking and fun!’
Susan Jeffrey, Project Manager
Susan has been an associate role-player with Impromptu since 1999 and is now part of Impromptu’s Project Management team. Susan’s experience includes forum theatre, real-play scenarios, business simulations, hot-seating, small group facilitation across a wide range of clients and development contexts. She finds it very rewarding to see the positive impact experiential learning has on the development of individuals and teams.
In addition to her career as a role player, Susan has been a professional actress for over 40 years, working in theatre, television and radio and as a dancer and puppeteer. She lives in Birmingham with her partner (and fellow-actor) Terry Pearson. Susan enjoys gardening, Pilates and watching classic movies from the golden age of Hollywood.