Katie Saunders has been appointed as Group People Director at the Devonshire Group, the company that represents the interests, charities and businesses of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
Having been operating at board level for the past 15 years in High Street retail and during 20 years in the motor industry, including Volkswagen UK and Audi UK, Katie Saunders joins the Devonshire Group with responsibility for more than 1400 employees spread across 65,000 acres at Chatsworth in Derbyshire, Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire, the Compton estate in Sussex, and Lismore in the Republic of Ireland.
Katie Saunders: “I’m genuinely excited by the challenge. My experience is very broad, which I think will be important given the Devonshire Group includes such a variety of businesses from visitor attractions, shops, restaurants and luxury accommodation to farming and forestry, and property development.
“Although there are many different job roles and responsibilities, it’s very clear that there is a strong, shared passion for the organisation and its values, at all levels. Part of my role will be to share my experience and expertise in Learning and Development, and particularly Management Development and Leadership, to enable everybody to make the very best of their skills and reach their full potential.”
“Some great work has been done to introduce young people and apprentices to the Devonshire Group through the Kickstart scheme and there’s more to come. To be an employer of choice we need to listen to our team and respond to their concerns so I’ll certainly be looking at issues like wellbeing and diversity to see what more we can do to further develop a modern, motivated and committed workforce.”
Brought up in Doncaster and now living in Chesterfield, Katie Saunders and her husband are frequent visitors to the Peak District and keen foodies. “We know Chatsworth well and often take walks across parts of the estate. For many years I’ve experienced first hand the professionalism, commitment and good humour of the people who work here – this really is my dream job,” she says.
The Devonshire Group supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.