At Optimo, we have a strong senior management team supporting the group’s services and departments, with many years of care, operational and financial experience.

Chairman

Mark Hales

Mark has spent the majority of his career to date in the Health & Social Care industry, formerly running Claimar Care Group PLC, on of the UK’s largest social care providers.

In 2010, Mark co-founded Optimo Care Group with Richard Walker. Over the past 10 years Optimo has gone from strength to strength, becoming a market leading regional care provider delivering over 25,000 visits every week to service users in the community.

Business Development

Ben Hales

Previous to working at Optimo, I worked at Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, in the Commercial Litigation Group based in Birmingham for two years. Gowling WLG are a international law firm with offices in 19 cities across the globe. My practice focused on assisting with corporate and commercial disputes acting on behalf of and advising clients both within the UK and abroad.

At Optimo, I help lead the Business Development aspect of the business. Focusing on acquisitions, marketing, highlighting and reducing inefficiencies in existing business processes, and mobilising new technologies into the business to drive Optimo forward.

Chief Executive Officer

Richard Walker

I have over 25 years experience of the health and social care sector and believe strongly in the benefits of care and support in the community and at home. In July 2010 I co-founded Optimo Care Group Ltd, which has gone on to be a market leading regional care provider. Multiple acquisitions and strong organic growth has ensured that Optimo continues to go from strength to strength. My specialities include: mergers and acquisition, operational and strategic leadership, financial and operational management, supported living, older people, learning disabilities and domiciliary care.
Head of Recruitment

Jane Lister

In 1992 after returning from working abroad I took a job working in a Recruitment Agency based in Rotherham, at the time I didn’t really understand the concept of Recruitment Agencies. However, shortly after starting there I fell in love with the job. It was hard work, hectic but great fun. After 6 months I was promoted to Branch Manager, my team and I grew the business to become one of the top fee earning branches within the Group. 5 years later the current owners decided to sell their successful business to a major High Street Agency and so I decided to move on.

From 1997 to 2015 I worked for 3 other Recruitment Agencies within different sectors of the market, from Commercial, Driving, Logistic, and Manufacturing and latterly within the Retail sector. I worked with Blue chip retailers to recruit and supply National Merchandising Managers and Team Installation Staff.

Although I still loved the all-encompassing role in 2015 I decided to look for a career within a Company rather than a Recruitment Agency. I was delighted to be offered the position as Group Recruitment Manager for the Optimocare Group of Companies.

Having no previous experience working within the Care sector I found the role a real challenge for the first few months however, the other Senior Managers, Registered Managers, Operations and wider Teams were so supportive. I soon settled in and now five years later I feel like I have been part of the Group forever. My current role includes the delivery of a first class recruitment service to all areas of the business, working with Care Service Managers to ensure that we have healthy pipelines of quality candidates for each area. Also that all recruitment activity is conducted in line with best practice and regulatory requirement including sector specific CQC.

Financial Controller

Ceri Bate

I joined the Optimo Care Group in 2015 as Group Finance Manager and took over the role of Group Financial Controller in 2017. I bring extensive experience in financial management gained in numerous roles across the private and not for profit sectors during my career. As Group Financial Controller, my role is to provide a comprehensive, effective and efficient shared finance service for the Group with responsibilities including business planning, financial management, financial reporting and statutory compliance.

In addition to my role at Optimo Care Group, I am a trustee of two local charities whose aims are to build a stronger community and enrich lives by supporting individuals and organisations in need. This work complements my role at Optimo Care Group and enables me to make a real and tangible difference to my local community.

Group Finance Manager

Nichola Wade

As the Group Finance Manager, my role is to manage the Group Finance function and support the Group Financial Controller to deliver accurate and timely Company financial information.
As a qualified bookkeeper and having worked for large international companies and smaller SMEs and charities, I have a broad range of experience in finance as well as customer service and facilities management. Outside work, I am a volunteer with the local community support group.
Group Operations Director

Leanne Bertrand

I have more than 18 years’ experience in the management and delivery of domiciliary care and specialist support services. I joined WarrenCare in 2003 initially in a HR role before quickly becoming involved in the operational management of services. I became Strategic Planning & HR Manager and was Registered Manager when WarrenCare was acquired by Optimo Care Group in 2010.
I moved into an Optimo role as Group Business Manager before being promoted into my current role of Group Operations Director. I have line management responsibility for the Heads of Department delivering our HR, Training and Recruitment services as well as the operational management team.
My roles with Optimo have been focussed on growing and developing our services. I am responsible for tendering for new business and successfully mobilising services including the transfer in of staff and service users. We have gone from working with 2 Local Authorities to more than 10 during this time. As our teams have grown I have developed and implemented new policies, procedures and ways of working and ensured teams are appropriately resourced. We are continuously looking at how we can do things better and very much committed to our vision to ‘deliver a service to be proud of’. My role involves taking some of the ideas we have to achieve this and delivering against a project plan to put them into practice.
Business Compliance Manager

Sally Denton

I started working with TLC Homecare in 2000 and joined part time to complete care work alongside my other job in a residential home. From this I was approached by the Registered Manager to work full time due to me working on a specialised package and receiving positive feedback from the Service User’s next of kin. I was proud of the feedback I received and started working full time in the November where I was completing respite care for this particular client. It involved me meeting the Service User on a Friday from day care and providing all care throughout the day until Monday.

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