Staff Spotlight with Gillian Dunster

As part of our staff spotlight series, we are taking some time to get to know members of the team at Alliance Leisure. Today’s spotlight is on Gillian, Business Development Manager for the South West and Wales region.

Tell us about your time at Alliance Leisure so far.

I’ve been with Alliance for 12 years since joining in February 2012, having started with TA6 and then moved over into the BDM team after a few years.

My role as a Business Development Manager involves:

  • working with clients to identify needs
  • putting together proposals with innovate ideas which will benefit the client’s objectives
  • progress the client through RIBA stages and to cost certainty
  • deliver the project by coordinating with contractors, architects, PM and FF&E
  • supporting the client either through TA6 or through BDMs directly to ensure successful operation

In many cases although we get new clients, a lot of our clients see the success of an initial project, then go on to develop other areas of their portfolio (for example, outdoor play).

What initially attracted you to the industry and Alliance Leisure?

I did a degree in sport at the Scottish School of Physical Education, then went on to work as an instructor. Following this, I then transferred to sales and marketing, then progressing to working with fitness suppliers. I grew up in the industry and met with Sarah initially so was aware of what Alliance did, and was enthusiastic about what they delivered and wanted to join the team.

What do you think are the key factors that have supported the longevity of Alliance Leisure, as well as your career in it?

I think a great product and service, backed up by a supportive team, development and evolution over time – and a lot of that is because of the positive relationships we have developed with clients, as well as what we offer in terms of the UKLF – we offer a turnkey solution and remove headaches!

How would you describe the culture of Alliance Leisure?

Mad!! Everyone supports everyone, great support from above, communication is open.

What’s your most memorable moment with Alliance Leisure?

Being in any presentation with Sarah is quite entertaining – including referring to a window as a glazed aperture (never a dull moment!)

More about you…
You’ve got a free weekend, what are you up to?

Spending quality time with family and friends, with activities generally relating to sport and fitness. In some cases it’s not my first choice, but we often watch rugby and football, because the family is so into it! It’s always a bit pretentious as there’s an English father and Scottish mother and we live in Wales, so it’s great for competition! The weekends also involved taxiing my two children to and fro.

Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know?

I went to an all-boys school! I grew up at the school since the age of five. My dad worked at the school, so we lived onsite, and I did my higher education there.

Where’s the most extravagant place you’ve been to?

I’ve travelled a lot so I’ve been to a lot of exciting places, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia  and even the old Alliance Leisure office in Bridgwater!

Where are you based and have you always lived there?

I moved from Bristol with my family across to Wales in Chepstow, so only just in Wales really!

Meet the rest of the team