Business Language Champions Ltd is a company limited by guarantee and run as a Social Enterprise to bring benefits to both the schools and businesses taking part.  Business Language Champions is currently run by Directors Sally Fagan and Suzannah Hutton:




Sally Fagan


Sally headshot Feb 2014Sally graduated in German and Russian from the University of Surrey and then spent 8 years in export sales, with responsibility for Europe and then later also South America, for which she learnt some Spanish. After a further 8 years running her own company offering language services for business, Sally moved to Singapore. During this time she became a management trainer and took the opportunity to learn some Mandarin Chinese. Also during this time she was elected to the one year voluntary position on the world board of Junior Chamber International, assigned to Australasia. In this role, she had the dubious honour of being interviewed on live Tahiti television news in French and reckons that if she can do this with just A Level French, then anyone can! Sally took on managing the Business Language Champions project in the East Midlands in 2009 for the last 20 months of government funding. In 2011 she set up the social enterprise Business Language Champions together with fellow directors Suzannah Hutton and Fran Berry. She has also continued her management training, and frequently receives assignments training in German at international conferences. Sally travels frequently to the continent delivering soft skills management training in either English or German, as well as being a director for Business Language Champions Ltd.


Suzannah Hutton

Suzannah Hutton

People we work with include:


Tamzin Keenlyside

Tamzin Keenlyside pictured second left

Squadron Leader Tamzin Keenlyside from the RAF – Tamzin, who works in the Directorate for Recruitment and Initial Training, organises for us to use RAF facilities every year – Read more in our Flying High Case Study. She is a great supporter of BLC as the RAF is keen to find competent linguists. We always enjoy meeting the RAF linguists who help with our events there.


GCHQ – For security reasons, we cannot name anyone from GCHQ, however we were delighted to work with them for the first time in April 2015, and we are already planning our next joint event for Autumn 2016.


Simon Hart

Simon Hart – pictured left

Simon Hart – sports journalist with UEFA – Simon has worked with us for the last two SCOOP! events as our keynote speaker and will be coming to the one planned for 2016 as well. This year he treated the winning team to a day out at The Independent newspaper in London to see a national newspaper at work.


Tara Webster-Deakin at the University of Nottingham – Tara manages the language outreach at the University of Nottingham and has generously organised the venue for our Unravelling Russia day and the Challenge of China day. In addition to offering the lovely surroundings of the Senate Chamber and Main Hall of the university, Tara also finds us language students keen to help our events run smoothly and inspire your budding linguists.


Dr. Jinrong Meng

Dr. Jinrong Meng – pictured right

Dr. Jinrong Meng the Confucius Institute – the Confucius Institute provided the backbone to our Challenge of China event in March 2015 and it was great to work with so many dedicated and enthusiastic Chinese teachers, who were so keen to promote the Chinese culture and language. We have also benefited from our connections with the Confucius Institute for parts of other events as well which have included a Chinese element.


Paul Hughes receiving David Crystal Trophy with Prince Michael

Paul Hughes receiving David Crystal Trophy with Prince Michael

Paul Hughes – a former Flight Sergeant with the RAF and now Director of PH Interim – Paul is one of our most prolific Business Language Champions and very popular with students. He speaks Russian, Arabic and Pashtu.  Paul learnt his languages through the RAF and has some very interesting stories to tell!  He has won numerous awards for his work with schools including the David Crystal Trophy from the Institute of Linguists for promoting languages, the national BLC Ambassador award and the Language Personality of the Year from Linguascope.


Andy McMurray

Andy McMurray

Andy McMurray at the National Space Academy – Andy is Head of Teaching and Learning at the National Space Academy. He is an integral part of our International Space Challenge which was piloted in Derbyshire in 2014 and is going region-wide in Autumn 2015. He also organised a fabulous day out for the winning team at the National Space Centre.


Stephen Powley from the Institution of Engineering and Technology – Stephen was instrumental in pointing us to the funding obtained from the IET for our International Space Challenge in 2014 as well as obtaining a number of STEM Ambassadors to help at our events, who, like him, combine a STEM-based career with using languages.