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Meet the Team

David Warby: Chairman

David Warby WebMy responsibilities are to bring an outside view to the business, with a strategic focus on the future.

I joined the company as Chairman on 1st March 1996, when the Leisure Management contract with Mendip District Council started. Before that I had worked with Peter Gilpin and Tim Richards from August 1995 advising on the tender for the contract.

I am a Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with more than 40 years' experience in many industries as a company director.

Working for Avalon Leisure: Working at Avalon Leisure is always a pleasure because of the enthusiastic people who have transformed the business over the last 16 years.

Life outside of work:  I have always been interested in sports, having grown up in Sri Lanka and South Africa. I played serious rugby at London University, was one of the early surfers in Cornwall and still go to the gym and swim.


Rob Taylor: Managing Director

Rob TaylorI was initially employed in the leisure centres in 1988 as a Casual Lifeguard and have taken on most roles since then until becoming Managing Director in March 2010.

I have 15 years’ experience of Senior Leadership in leisure and recently gained a Diploma in Management Studies to add to my graduate qualification. I now focus on the strategic management of the company and developing new business opportunities.

Working for Avalon Leisure: The strong people culture in Avalon Leisure ensures that those with potential and ability are encouraged to perform. It is this positive approach that makes working for Avalon Leisure rewarding and I relish the challenge to continuously improve the company.

Life outside of work: I love most water sports and at the moment kayaking is top of the list. I also regularly enter charity events such as dragon boat racing and rickshaw running.


Malcolm Baker: Technical Manager

Malcolm Baker webAs Technical Manager, I am responsible for budget setting, control and the maintenance of all fixtures, fittings and plant, plus the general upkeep of the facilities.  Asset management, Project management and consultation work for other companies is also part of the role.

I originally worked for Mendip District Council as a Maintenance Officer at Strode Swimming Pool for 6 years prior to the company inception in 1996, when I became the company Technical Manager.

Having studied engineering and then trained as a PE Teacher, I started work in 1979 as a Lifeguard at Yeovil Pool.  After 6 months I was promoted to Duty Manager.  During the next 10 years I was responsible, at different times, for all the different aspects of running a swimming pool.  On moving to Strode Swimming Pool, I was a Duty Manager specifically responsible for maintenance, development of a planned maintenance program, health and safety and staff training.


Bob Buckingham: Membership Sales Manager

Bob Buckingham WebI manage, support and develop Team Member activities designed to achieve membership sales targets at each centre and to ensure that, once recruited, our members’ experience is such that they will never want to leave!

I joined Avalon in October 2003 after a long career in a variety of leadership roles in the financial services industry. I am based at Avalon Headquarters in High Street, Street, Somerset.

I have 40+ years of experience in sales, customer service and team leadership/development.

Working for Avalon Leisure: Operating in an environment where customers and their wellbeing is at the heart of all that we do, is both refreshing and rewarding. Having the freedom to challenge established practices and introduce new ideas is stimulating and rewarding and ensures that no two days are the same.


Joe Fenton: IT Manager

Joe Fenton WebAs IT Manager I am responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the development, implementation, deployment and operation of information systems and technology solutions for the needs of the company.  I also keep a keen eye on any strategic matters that effect the business.

I have worked for Avalon Leisure for over 12 years having started work experience on 5th March 2001, while attending Strode College.  I then progressed through Catering Assistant, Lifeguard and Duty Manager roles then worked my way into the more technical role of IT Manager that I hold today. 

Whilst working for Avalon Leisure I have successfully completed a GNVQ, NVQ, 5 A-Levels, a degree at Reading University and I am working on a second. 

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