+44 0191 607 0225

  +44 0191 607 0225



The Collective Talents in The Opportunity Group

Meet the people at The Opportunity Group who help deliver on our promise to improve business performance through the improvement of your people. Our friendly and professional team are on hand to help.

Michaela Reaney

Michaela Reaney

Managing Director

The founder of Gradvert, Michaela provides strategic direction and commercial focus while maintaining a strong relationship with our clients and universities. Michaela has a decade of experience in global talent management and recruitment with FTSE 100 organisations and is an authoritative figure in the news on education, employability and policies affecting young people.

kate temple-brown

Kate Temple-Brown

Client Director

Kate is an early careers recruitment and development professional. She has worked with large 50,000-person global multi-divisional investment banks, exciting 8-person start-ups and everything in-between. Kate’s Apprenticeship Levy Strategic Consultancy Aequalis supports employers in this exciting time of Apprenticeship reform to help them maximise place talent at the heart of their organisational strategy.

Emma Whitenstall

Programme Success Manager

Emma is a highly motivated project manager with diverse experience in programme development, operations management and event production. She brings in-depth knowledge of managing both funded and commercial programmes alongside production of high profile conferences such as Thinking Digital and TEDx. She is a natural problem solver, creative thinker and loves to bring people together.

Briony Laidler

Account Executive

Briony is joining the Gradvert team with an extensive background in the hospitality industry, with a 6 year long career as a fine dining pastry chef in some of the North East's top restaurants. From this, she brings with her a high level of organisation and crucial attention to detail that will be key in delivering programmes to clients with the highest level of professionalism.

Jamie Howard

Creative Content and Learning Solutions Designer

Jamie has joined the Gradvert team as our in-house Graphic designer. With her specialist skillset and six years of industry experience, she will be catering to our learning content on both print and digital platforms.

Gavin Blagden FLPI

Learning Technology Specialist

As an advocate of learning, Gavin has joined us as our Learning Technology Specialist. With having worked over 20 years in the L&D industry, he brings his learning technology skills to assist with creating content and managing MyLearning, and all things digital.

Jakub Jonczyk

E-Learning and Tech Support Intern

Jakub is a recent Newcastle University graduate with a Masters in E-Business. He has previous experience of running his own platform that enabled aspiring entrepreneurs to connect with each other and seek advice. Jakub has past experience in marketing, content creation and online platform management, and will be responsible for the daily administration of MyLearning, as well as the creation of new and engaging content.

Jasmine Cain

Admin Coordinator

Jasmine has joined the Gradvert team as our Admin Coordinator. She brings excellent customer service and administration skills, and she has an exceptional ability to bring everything together while smiling all the way to the end!

Laura Brown

Laura Brown

Administrative Co-ordinator

Responsible for project support, maintaining and updating project timelines and organising and monitoring project budgets, Laura also distributes project communications to delegates, ensuring facilities are available for delivery dates. Laura is currently enjoying her maternity leave.

Alison Burgess

Facilitator & Coach

Since starting her career in Learning and Development almost 20 years ago, Alison has been a passionate advocate for the impact that training can have on business success. She has designed and delivered training for a wide range of blue chip companies within the Financial, Technology, FMCG, Professional Services and Charity sectors.

Cathy Lawson

Facilitator & Coach

Cathy has a strong portfolio career with over 25 years Corporate experience leading Commercial, Sales and Business operations, Business Development, Sales Enablement, Talent and Learning units. A qualified Management Accountant and Coach, Cathy has intensive skills in leading large Business Improvement, Transformation and Change programmes.

Georgina Kvassay

Facilitator & Coach

Georgina is a talent development professional with over 20 years’ experience in Professional Services. She has led student recruitment teams and is passionate about developing people early in their careers. Georgina has supported a number of clients from banks, charities to regulators on their Apprenticeship Levy journey.

Jacqui Flavell

Facilitator & Coach

Jacqui has over 25 years of experience in training design, facilitation and coaching. She is passionate about both personal and leadership development, and specialises in designing experiential, interactive, engaging learning. She has delivered programmes in the UK and internationally for global organisations and also with small and medium enterprises.

Michael Archer


Michael joins us as an Assessor, who has worked in the education sector for the last 11 years, so is bringing his extensive experience to the team, along with roles in the commercial and recruitment sector. He is here and ready to help our learners through their learning journey.


James Curry

Financial Director

James has held Finance Director or Managing Director positions within SMEs in the North East for the last 15 years and has proven experience of growing businesses through both organic and acquisitional growth. He works with Michaela on Gradvert’s strategic direction, helping to achieve our organisational objectives and ongoing expansion.