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Meet Team Optima

The Team

Optima Training has a small core team made up of: Rea Edwards, our Business Administrator; Jo Small, Education Director; and Mark Small, Business Director.


Mark Small Business Director

Mark is focused on our project management and staff development services. He has led the development of learning resources and training materials for a number of commercial organisations, as well as working within the Further and Higher Education sectors. Mark provided innovation and management training to small businesses for the GrowthAccelerator service and now delivers leadership and management training on behalf of our client organisations.

Mark joined Optima Training as a business consultant in 2004, responsible for product and business development. He has worked in customer services and consultancy for over 20 years with organisations such as Metropolitan Group, Black Horse Estate Agencies, Pera International and British Airways.

He spent two years managing the delivery of the Global Industrial Coatings Market 2010 – 2020 study on behalf of the PRA Irfab team, for which he was also the Lead Editor. Mark also has experience as a copy writer and editor in the public services sector. He has written a number of vocational learning materials (including Level 2 NVQ literature for Business Improvement Techniques, Performing Manufacturing Operations and Sign Making), college promotional materials and technical papers for use by various government departments.


Jo Small Education Director

Jo has been developing and delivering business language training for over 18 years and has delivered teacher training and support to a wide variety of education organisations. She is a Quality Improvement Consultant with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) – her specialist fields are offender learning, Skills for Life, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). She is a member of the Institute of Linguists and, as a Business Language Champion, has a strong commitment to the promotion of language learning in the UK. Jo is also a business coach and works with businesses to develop their leadership and management teams

Jo was Head of German at Bilborough College, Nottingham, Head of English at HMP Morton Hall and has trained several prestigious business clients including Reckitt Benckiser, Zytek Automotive and Flowserve.
She is also an experienced writer, having worked as the News Editor for the International Journal for Language and Documentation and a reporter for Language Today and Language International.

She has also worked on Skills for Life materials and offender education materials on behalf of the Department for Education.


Rea Edwards Business Administrator

Rea joined Optima Training in 2007 as a Business Administrator. She is responsible for ensuring that all of our clients get the best possible service and manages our team of Associates. She also maintains our Facebook page and the Optima Training Twitter feed.

Many of you will be speaking with Rea as she handles many aspects of Optima Training’s services including: the processing of timesheets, invoicing responsibilities and handling initial enquiries. Rea is often involved in special projects for Optima to improve and extend the range of services offered, and has introduced a number of new processes and systems that have improved our administrative efficiency.