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Meet your trainers

Optima has a fantastic team of training associates ranging from talented linguists to experienced business professionals. We have a team of trainers all over the UK and key associates who we work with regularly to develop leadership and language programmes.

Jo Lyons

Jo is our English language specialist and has worked with Optima Training since 2008. She worked as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for several years at the Wall Street Institute in Barcelona and then became school manager. She has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to adult learners at all levels and has delivered a number of successful programmes to our clients including Aviagen and Reckitt Benckiser. Jo is particularly good at confidence building and supports clients and families in the process of relocating to the UK. She is also our grammar queen and has helped us develop a range of grammar resources to support our advanced Business English clients. Check out our programmes page to see the full range of support delivered by Jo.

Marina Ibrahim

Marina is your culture guide, helping you to explore cultural diversity and break down barriers in international business and communication. She is a cross cultural trainer, certified DiSC© trainer and NLP practitioner with a wealth of marketing experience. Marina is a cosmopolitan in every sense of the word, having been brought up between a European and Arabic culture – she is Egyptian-German – and has real understanding of how to support her delegates in bridging cultural divides. She has worked with Optima for several years providing business and German workshops for groups of engineers at Zytek. Check out our services page for the full range of support delivered by Marina.

Nisha Kaunda

Nisha is a dynamic, forward thinking individual who believes very strongly that the power to create change comes from within. At the age of 24, she set up her own company with a very clear goal in mind – to make a real difference to people’s lives and deliver powerful and impactful personal and professional development training that is both fun and interactive. With this in mind, Nisha has sat on various Boards and Working Groups and even chaired the Minority Ethnic Advisory Group’s Independent Stop and Search Committee.

She regularly mentors young people to inspire them and support the next generation of leaders. She loves to set up new and sustainable partnerships and networks. Nisha has a wealth of qualifications such as Life Coaching, Management, Teaching, Advocacy and Media which all make her an impressive trainer, facilitator and business coach. She is passionate about Enterprise, Training and Development and the Arts and strives for quality in everything she does. Her approach to life and work are to be present and to enjoy everything.

Pierette Humphries

Pierrette has been working with Optima Training delivering French programmes since 2008. She is trilingual but specialises in French language training for business. She has quickly become an important part of our team and has developed a suite of materials specifically matched to the existing language needs of our business clients.

Before becoming a French tutor in 2006, Pierrette held a number of support roles working in companies as diverse as Geest, DHL Africa and Heckler & Koch. This gives her a great insight into the importance of customer service and standards of delivery, enabling her to make a contribution to your organisation that extends beyond enhancing language skills.

Raffaella Da Costa

Raffaella is a native Italian speaker and has worked with Optima since 2010. She is a highly experienced trainer and has delivered Italian programmes for the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, as well as Lincoln College.

Raffaella is on a long term assignment supporting Catensa with Italian language training.


Steve Watson

Steve Watson headshot

A background in Recruitment, Sales and Marketing, Publishing, Acting, Directing, Radio Broadcasting and Presenting has allowed Steve to develop an engaging technique that both clients and employees feel at ease with.

His twenty years’ experience in the Media Industry include: owning his own production and theatre company; producing and directing corporate training videos; and creating engaging content for Blue Chip and Small Business Clients. These have covered diverse topics such as: How to Handle Difficult People; Interviewing Techniques; Inductions; Lean Management; Sales and Marketing; and Productivity Adeptness.

Steve lectures from time to time on Entrepreneurship and the importance of collaboration at the University of Lincoln.