Judges for RailStaff Awards 2018 will be announced soon.
After leaving Leeds University where he had been researching in organometallic chemistry, Gary Cooper joined British Rail in 1984 being attracted to it as a commuter because of the then Government's and BR Chairman’s policy to ‘run the railway as a business’ that focussed on its customers.
Starting as a station supervisor, Gary moved through the management grades before becoming one of the first Commercial Directors for British Rail and later the Deputy Managing Director at Network SouthCentral - the BR-owned forerunner to Southern.
After privatisation, Gary undertook a number of roles for Connex at TOC and Board level including Group Engineering Director, Group Planning Director and Group Major Projects Director. In 2002 he was invited, by the Strategic Rail Authority, to take the then full-time post of Business Director for the industry’s National Task Force Punctuality (NTF). While retaining his role with the NTF, in 2007 Gary became a change consultant to the rail and bus industries before being asked to become Head of Operations at ATOC in 2009.
He became Director of Operations Engineering and Major Projects in May 2012 and Rail Delivery Group Executive Director Planning Engineering and Operations in November 2016.
His non-work interests include real ales; cooking, organisational design; classic cars; the works of JB Priestly; and walking in the English countryside.