Christine Knipe

ASAO Chairman

Christine Knipe was appointed Chief Executive of Westmorland County Agricultural Society in 2005, and her role includes the organisation of the Westmorland County Show. She is also Administration Secretary of the North West Federation of Show Secretaries and has been the Honorary Secretary of the industrial section of Cartmel Show since 1992. A farmer’s wife, who grew up exhibiting sheep with her father, she has a life-long passion for agriculture. She is keen to learn, share, listen and help out when needed.

Nigel Evans

Vice Chairman

Nigel Evans is Vice Chairman of the ASAO and has been the Executive Director of the Cheshire Agricultural Society since 2005.  Nigel’s skill set includes Corporate sector fundraising, sponsorship, event management, marketing and business development. Nigel is a firm believer in the power of good networking, mutually beneficial partnerships and the sharing of best practice.

Paul Hooper OBE

ASAO Secretary

Paul Hooper is Society Secretary for the Royal Bath & West of England Society and a well-known figure in the shows industry. He began his career in 1977 and is experienced in most aspects of agricultural and country show organisation at national level. In 2015, he was awarded an OBE in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours. Paul is a Justice of the Peace and enjoys listening to military music in his spare time.

Katie Bradley-Hudson

ASAO Assistant Secretary

Katie Bradley-Hudson has been Show Secretary of the Sherborne Castle Country Fair in Dorset since 2006, after serving as Show Secretary for the North Somerset Agricultural Show.  She is a farmer’s daughter, with a deep-rooted interest in agricultural shows, competing with horses from an early age. She has enjoyed a long association with the Somerset Federation of Young Farmers and is a keen supporter of this rural youth movement.

Clare Farrell

ASAO Council Member

Clare Farrell is Show Manager for the Newport & District Agricultural Society, and has been responsible for the organisation of the Newport Show since 2003. Before that she was Procurement Manager of raw materials for a prepared salad and vegetable supplier. A farmer’s daughter, who visited the Newport Show every year as a child, she has a keen interest in agriculture and still helps out at Harvest time, once the Show is over. Clare is married with two small children, who she is coaching to be show stewards by the time they are 16.

Rhonda Geary

ASAO Council Member

Rhonda is the Operations Director of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and as part of her role, organises the Balmoral Show and The Royal Ulster Winter Fair.

Ollie Allen

ASAO Council Member

Ollie Allen is Secretary of the Devon County Show, and has been overseeing operations there since 1996, arriving at the Exeter showground after 15 years with the Royal Bath & West of England Society. She is a Vice President of the Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and a member of the Devon Committee for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. She is married to Trevor and has one son.

Doreen Smillie-Gray

ASAO Council Member

Doreen Smillie-Gray is Shows Manager for the Three Counties Agricultural Society, and is responsible for the organisation of national events like the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, the Royal Three Counties Show and the Malvern Autumn Show. She is a Past President of The Ryeland Flock Book Society and currently Chairman of the Ryeland Judges Committee. She is also Chairman of the Worcester and Malvern Canine Society and a well-known figure on the dog show circuit, having judged at Crufts. She is married, and lives on a smallholding with a menagerie of sheep, dogs and birds.

Mark Stoddart

ASAO Council Member

Mark Stoddart is the Financial Controller of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which stages the Great Yorkshire Show. He is also Secretary and Treasurer of the Yorkshire Federation of Show Societies.

David Tite

ASAO Council Member

David Tite is Society Director of the Driffield Show Society and first joined the organisation in 1990 to work during his school holidays. He was made Director in 2006 and since then has increased the Showground’s rental activity and established the annual Driffield Show as one of the largest one-day agricultural shows in the country. He also oversees the running of the monthly Driffield Farmers’ Market and sits on many local committees aimed at supporting the rural community. David is a time-served furniture designer and craftsman and lectured in the subject for over seven years.

Ronald Wilson

ASAO Council Member

Ron Wilson is Company Secretary and Treasurer for the Border Union Agricultural Society, and from 1965 until 1998 when he joined the organisation, he was a farmer, with pedigree Hereford Cattle as his main enterprise. He has industry experience ‘on both sides of the fence’, having shown at major events across the UK and judged at Royal shows in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Eire and Germany. He has also attended events in Poland, Hungary and Canada, and was formerly involved in the Scottish National Farmers’ Union at county level, being awarded an ARAgS in 2006. He fervently believes that agricultural shows and associations are the lifeblood of rural communities. Ron is married with two children.

Denis Dooley

ASAO Council Member

Denis joined the ASAO Council at its AGM in February 2017.  Denis is the Show Secretary of the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, which is held in July at their showground at New Park, Brockenhurst.

Sharon Gilbert

ASAO PR Consultant

Sharon Gilbert is Managing Director of glasshouse communications and was previously Communications Manager at Worcestershire’s Three Counties Showground, heading up PR & Marketing for events like the Royal Three Counties Show and the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.

She began her career at the Worcester News, going on to manage the press office at KAYS Home Shopping (Great Universal Stores) for almost a decade, and has delivered public relations for the University of Worcester, Berkeley Castle, Spetchley Park Gardens and best-selling horror writer Helen McCabe.

A specialist in media relations, Sharon operates out of her office at the foot of the beautiful Malvern Hills, offering PR and marketing expertise to both start-up and established businesses.