While we deliver training to thousands of people around the world, Professional Academy is – at its heart – a close-knit team of outstanding individuals, all committed to setting the highest standards for professional learning and development.
We pride ourselves on delivering the best customer service possible, going out of our way to offer help and advice whenever possible. We also make a point of knowing our business inside out. All our staff have been on the courses we offer to our customers, ensuring they completely understand the ins and outs.
You can read about the key members of the team below.
MBA, DipM, FCIM, FCMI, FInstSMM
Martin is a self proclaimed workaholic and the founder of Professional Academy. As a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Sales and Marketing (ISMM) he successfully blends a broad range of business disciplines. Coupled with his in-depth knowledge of all areas of business and keen interest in IT and programming, and financial management skills, Martin leads by example.
He is often asked to speak at conferences and events on a wide range of subjects ranging from Internet Strategy, Sales and Motivation. Martin is a sales person at heart and has written on the subject for a wide range of purposes not least the material used in Cambridge Professional Academy's sales training programmes.
Having started his career as a welder, progressing on to a range of senior sales and marketing roles, Martin has been either MD or General Manager since the age of 25 for whoever he has worked for.
An energetic, positive individual who seeks to inspire and motivate everybody he works with, Martin never shies away from a challenge and revels in the ups and downs of running a business.
When he is not working you will often see him buzzing around the skies in a four seat light aircraft as the proud holder of his Private Pilots License.
Sarah has held management positions in retail and retail banking in various different areas of the country from Staffordshire to Wales, Hertfordshire and London. After a career break, to have her children, she joined the Professional Academy in October 2019 and now looks after the students and training staff involved in our apprenticeship programmes. In her spare time when not driving Mum’s taxis, Sarah loves to garden and cook and enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Sales & Marketing Director
Michael is a bit of a wandering jack of all trades. Having grown up in a military family he has lived all over the world and since leaving home has taken many a job from builder to professional piercer, salesman to bartender before he eventually headed to university. After completing a degree in History he started to forge a career in Marketing first through music and events management, then in the competitive and sometimes cutthroat world of hospitality and from there Professional Academy where he rose to the ranks of Sales & Marketing Director.
Michael has a deep interest in non-intrusive and content led marketing as well as the innovative ways it has evolved and developed over the years. As such Michael is still very much as up to date as can be on all things Digital Marketing which allows him to maintain a secondary role in Professional Academy as Digital Marketing Consultant and trainer, delivering training across the UK and Europe on all the areas he finds far more exciting than most such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Content Marketing as well of use of data and analytics because if there is one thing Michael likes it is stats and data!
Though Michael has handed over the reigns of Professional Academy's Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to the very capable hands of Abby Rolfe you may still see one of Michael's token "Fantastics" flying out in a tweet once in a while, as well as snapshots from when he is training in interesting cities around the world.
Michael was also well known for writing the vast majority of Professional Academy’s blogs (and being responsible for any spelling mistakes and typos across the company’s online presence) but has since developed a fantastic group of guest bloggers featuring Professional Academy tutors, friends and industry experts creating a great resources of differing view points in the Professional Academy blogsphere.
When he is not talking about content marketing or social marketing or things in that vein Michael is usually found talking about Sport from his support of League One football team Gillingham FC to his fierce support of the Irish Rugby team and mild obsessions with Curling & Ice Hockey he developed whilst living in Canada as a teenager.
Senior Qualifications Adviser
Philip left school and took a year to expand his horizons and embrace some of the sights and sounds of Europe, before heading to University to complete a degree in Drama. To help balance his university life he was a prominent figure in the university Rugby team, regularly playing and leading the social events. Following the completion of his BA (Hons) in Drama Philip undertook a short tour for a Children’s theatre company before falling into a career in hospitality for 6 years.
During this time Philip also became a Dad and now pushes his dreams of a professional rugby career on his son whilst enjoying arranging the next adventure to zoos, farms, seasides and theme parks.
Undertaking various roles within hotels Philip has developed a very adaptable and varied approach to work through a diverse range of challenges from refurbishments to re-branding. With a heavy focus on Customer Service, Philip now effectively uses his skills in a Sales environment. With Philip now undertaking the Qualifications Advisor role he will be able to do what he does best, meet with people and get to know their needs with the view to overcoming challenges together.
Downtime for Philip includes terrible TV and a continued interest in Rugby following the England team’s ups and downs.
To find out more about Philip’s career history feel free to look into his LinkedIn Profile.
Digital Marketing Executive
Abby comes from a digital agency background with a focus on copywriting for a variety of businesses. Having recently spent 2 years travelling in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, she has now happily settled down in Cambridge and joined the Professional Academy family as a Digital Marketing Executive. Her responsibilities include keeping the website, blogs and social media up-to-date and creating email campaigns.
Abby spends her free time playing video games, drawing and dreaming about one day having her very own golden retriever puppy.
After leaving school Ethan joined Needham market football club Academy where he began to chase his dream further to become a professional footballer. He also started in a customer service-based role in a local restaurant.
He wants to use the skills in customer service that he has gained over the last year to help him better himself and see the other side of customer service. Ethan is a very sport orientated individual trying to stay at peak fitness by continuing his football or spending most days in the gym. He also loves spending time with his friends and trying to jet away to some of his favourite countries.
Upon leaving school Xavier chose to begin a career as a chef, working in a busy hotel in Cambridge. However, after around half a year in the industry he decided that the late nights and sweaty shifts weren’t for him.
This is when he decided that he wanted to start on a different career path and develop new skills, as a result of this he is now our new Sales Apprentice!
Xavier enjoys spending time outdoors and is always up for a good game of football. When he’s not busy kicking a ball about, he’s jetting off to pretty much anywhere outside of the UK, with Amsterdam being one of his favourite cities by far due to the beautiful buildings and unbelievably welcoming locals.
Living in a small village on the far outskirts of Cambridge means he’s learnt to enjoy peaceful walks with dogs through the countryside, some being his, as well as also volunteering to look after others to help family friends. He’s also got 16 chickens and struggles to put all of them to bed making for a funny, and usually very muddy time.
Wendy started her career working in the travel industry as a Travel Agent where she also studied travel & tourism on a Youth trainee scheme. She discovered a passion for seeing the world during this time and was lucky enough to visit many countries. Her passion for travel has never left and she still spends a lot of her spare time researching with country to visit next!
Since leaving the travel industry she has worked in various sales/ account management roles within various industries including property, finance & more recently the leisure industry.
Wendy realised quite early on in her career that working in a sales environment was what she loved and giving clients great customer service is really important to her. Her love of working as part of a team and building relationships brought her to her role as an Apprenticeship Adviser at Professional Academy in March 2020. She's looking forward to building relationships with Professional Academy’s existing apprenticeship client base as well as bringing on board new businesses to work with us.
Hayley comes from a retail background, originally to earn those extra few pounds for the weekend as a teenager, but soon developed into a genuine love for customer service and meeting new people every day. After completing a degree in Film and Television Production, Hayley continued down the retail path until she figured out what she wanted to do with these newly acquired skills.
The answer was revealed when the opportunity to join Professional Academy emerged. Now Hayley spends her time creating ideas and content for future video blogs and campaigns as well as building the new online system for eLearning, working closely with both the marketing and operations departments. She is very much looking forward to working more directly with students in the future. In the working environment Hayley adopts an organised approach with a tidy desk and lots of colour coding! Hayley prides herself on being hard working and a team player.
Growing up with two older brothers, Hayley is not the most girlish of girls and on many weekends you will find her enjoying a pint of cider watching some sporting activity or another. She of course has a very keen interest in the film industry which inspired her choice of degree, and can talk for hours about films and actors with anyone who will listen (with a special interest in Tom Hardy). She is also partial to a bit of vinyl collecting.
Dominik was born in Poland but began living in Cambridge in 2013. Back in Poland he worked in different roles: from salesman, through office support to DJ in a local club, recording singles and tons of remixes on the way as a producer. For several years he has been part of Lublin Film Group where he coordinated international actions, assisted on the set and played a few minor roles in short movies. He hopes that one day he will be able to convert his hobbies into a way of living.
Dominik holds a Bachelors degree in British Linguistics and teaching qualifications from his country, although his work never went further in that direction than private tutoring. For the last decade, he has been working for many different companies, mainly in the fields of customer service and administration.
Business Admin Apprentice
Hera is our new Business Admin Apprentice joining Professional Academy in June 2019. She decided to undertake a Business Administration programme having started off her career by going to the University of Essex. Deciding that University was not for her, and that her interests lay more into the commercial world of business, she chose Professional Academy as her preferred company allowing her to learn on the job and a chance to learn a wide variety of new skills.
Working closely with Kamilla, the Operations Director, she jumped straight into the CIM July Board submissions immediately proving herself a massive asset to the administration and operations team. Within her first month she has covered student support, Microsoft Forms, awarding body registrations, exam bookings, hotel bookings and Excel spreadsheets, and she has quickly established herself as a valuable member of the team.
Hera lives in a small village on the outskirts of Cambridge with her family, 2 dogs, a cat and several chickens and ducks. She enjoys ((BOUNCE)) classes, Geo-caching, walking and cooking.
Alongside side her apprenticeship, Hera is currently undertaking her Guiding Leadership Qualification having previously been a qualified Young Leader. She works a 20-strong Guiding unit and is using her own experiences to encourage young people to develop themselves.
And at the end of a busy day in the office (or a noisy Guide meeting), she loves sampling new and interesting flavours of gin… Especially when the weather is warm.
IQA and Verification
Having worked with Professional Academy as a Tutor for seven years, David took on this additional role in Internal Quality Asssesment and Verification in 2020. He is tasked with ensuring a high level of quality across Professional Academy's Apprenticeship programmes.
David's background is broad, having worked in International business for Alfa Laval and ITT for close to 30 years in technical sales and product management and regional/ senior divisional management roles. He was later working as a Senior Lecturer at Portsmouth University Business School. He was also a Governor at Havant and South Downs College with the first-hand experience of Quality issues and Ofsted engagement.