Meet Our Team


Chief Executive

Ollie is Chief Executive of Community Energy South and leads on our Partnerships and capacity building support Community Energy Groups. He is the regional representative for Community Energy England and Chair of the Greater Brighton City Region Energy Working Group.

Ollie is a hockey player, coaches his local village junior cricket team and is a keen gardener and nature expert.


Operations Manager and Membership Coordinator

Jessie looks after the membership process for Community Energy South, the finance and administration, and supports the directors. She writes the monthly newsletter and helps to oversee and manage the marketing and project teams. She is also now a Trustee of the new CIO, CES Warming Communities.

Jessie has a background in retail management, but retrained as an accounting technician and book keeper to find a better work/life balance. The demands of two young children takes up most of her time but she enjoys Yoga, reading sci-fi, cooking new things, and a regular Zumba class!


Executive Director

Esmé has 17 years’ experience in energy and environment project management, working as an in-house environmental manager, a consultancy Director and freelance consultant. She has provided consultancy and delivered training programmes for a wide range of organisations including Universities and Colleges, Local Authorities, SME’s, Facilities Management, Construction and Waste Management Companies and Community Energy Companies across the south-east. Alongside her role at Community Energy South Esmé is a Director of Forest Row Energy Co-op.

Esmé also enjoys long walks in the Ashdown Forest where she lives, dancing, playing the guitar and singing.


Business Development and Events Manager

Liz is a long term associate of CES. Liz also works for Ovesco and runs a systemic consultancy – Sussex Constellations, and is a director of The Really Regenerative CIC.

Liz also enjoys long bike rides in the country and dancing in the kitchen.


Communications and Consultation

Cally has over 25 years of experience across multiple business sectors including energy, transport, tourism, arts, charities, retail and fmcg. She has been trusted by Board and Programme Directors to develop and deliver an effective communications plan. Cally has also been on the management team, running the operational aspects of a business which included Health & Safety, Environment, Quality Assurance and Human Resources.

Cally’s role at Community Energy South is to help bring together community energy groups and industry with the focus on supporting the drive for a net zero carbon future.

Cally loves walking her dogs and dabbles in photography in her spare time.


Nicola has worked in the public and community development sector for twenty years. As project manager at CES, her specialisms include community energy project development, fundraising and mentoring new groups to pioneer their own projects. She has a Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and a degree in Rural Resource Management. Nicola has worked as a Peer Mentor for the Power To Change programme supporting community business development.

During the early part of her career she worked in a number of technical roles within the Environment Agency and the London Borough of Ealing. Nicola is co-director of MaidEnergy supporting the group with project development and community engagement


Michael is co-director of Our Community Enterprise CIC and has over 25 years’ experience of financial management and fundraising within the voluntary and public sectors. He has expertise in: business planning and finance management within the not for profit sector, is a licensed Community Shares Practitioner and is a Peer Mentor for the Power To Change programme. He has an excellent track record of helping voluntary sector organisations secure contract and grant funding as well as developing innovative fundraising strategies and appeals. As a Director of community energy societies (MaidEnergy, and previously Reading Hydro) he leads on project development and financial planning.



Colin has a background spanning energy policy, climate policy and sustainable development. He currently works as a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol Law School. Previous work includes research for Climate-KIC’s Transition Cities Project; for the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex; for the Centre for Rural Policy Research, University of Exeter; and for Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter; plus consultancy for a German energy agency and the UK government; as well as stints as a steelworker and a mussel farmer. His academic background spans geography, history, economics, policy and sustainable development.

Colin likes good food, football, loud music and everything to do with the environment.



Jane brings 25 years of diverse business experience from interning at NASA to sitting on and advising boards of global companies, charities and government bodies. She is an environmental scientist and biochemist by training interested in how science and technology can shape tomorrow’s world. She is also an alumni of Sydney’s prestigious social leadership programme and a business fellow of Oxford University and today focuses on building and serving business that have a clear purpose and social impact.

Laura Wilson

Senior Project Manager

Laura is a specialist in the community energy sector and skilled in project management and delivery in community energy projects. Her experience includes commercial development and relationship management within the community energy sector. She is an experienced fundraiser and has extensive experience of stakeholder engagement including community partners and wider community engagement, central and local government, other public bodies and the wider public.

Laura is a volunteer director for Wey Valley Solar. In her spare time she enjoys being outside, taking long walks and swimming in cold water.



Richard Watson is a Founder/Director of Energise Sussex Coast, a community energy co-op set up to address fuel poverty in East Sussex through community owned energy schemes and community led energy advice programmes. He was awarded the OBE in 2016 for services to the community of Sussex.

Richard is a keen wild swimmer and often refers to his early years growing up in Malaysia.

Jamie Gordon



Jamie has over 25 years of diverse experience across the communications sector from running an ad agency in Poland in the late ‘90s to developing a campaign to support one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms. He currently works across the energy sector advising private and public interests on how they should liaise with local communities regarding Net Zero initiatives and projects.

In his spare time Jamie loves long walks with his family, writing comedy sketches and is a member of a community choir.

Kelly Dibbert

Project Manager

Kelly has over 20 years experience as a project manager. More recently she has chosen roles that cut carbon emissions working for Brighton Energy Coop, The Big Lemon and FareShare Sussex.

With experience in fundraising, community engagement, development and a passion for bringing people together to do good things!

She loves year-round sea swimming, scuba diving, dancing, long country walks, her bikes and sharing good food.

Zoe Nicholson


Zoe Nicholson is a  Councillor and Leader of Lewes District Council. She is experienced in partnership working to achieve the best for our communities. She has experience of delivering on carbon net zero ambitions and the development of a plural wellbeing economy.  She has a special interest in using the council’s procurement role, it’s assets to create the conditions for a greener, fairer and more sustainable economy across the region. She has a background in healthcare and social enterprise start up.

She lives in Lewes District with her partner, and teenage son, dog and horse.

Calum Millbank

Project Manager

Calum Millbank is a mechanical engineer with a background in delivering low and zero carbon district heating and cooling projects. He brings project management experience from working on large scale heat decarbonisation studies for a number of UK cities and has looked at a range of emerging renewable technologies from tidal river and estuary water-source heat pumps to mine-water and solar thermal seasonal pit storage. He is a registered Heat Network Consultant with CIBSE and EngTech with IMechE

Calum enjoys climbing and camping and spending time in the forests and hills and coast. He is interested in alternative fuels, brewing and fermentation and also gets involved in the community-led housing movement.

Sarah Macbeth

Design Consultant

Sarah is a socially responsible designer, researcher and community activist. She has over 25 years of experience in the non profit sector working for organisations such as Amnesty, British Council, UNESCO and Shelter and for design and technology cooperatives and collectives.

Her place-based and participatory practice involves engaging people in co-creating regenerative futures. In 2015, Sarah co-founded Transition Town Hastings as a platform for the local community to collaborate around low carbon living.

Sarah is a keen forager and spends a lot of time at her allotment or cooking what she harvests.