The DRS team brings commitment, diligence and extensive industry experience. We like to work extremely closely with our clients to truly understand their business drivers and create services which meet the real business needs.
Meet the team
The Board Directors
Debbie Francis - Managing Director
Debbie joined DRS in July 2016 following a 3 ½ year term at Network Rail as the London North Western Route Finance and Commercial Director. Debbie has 30 years of experience across a range of industries from IT to infrastructure maintenance to rail. She has also gained extensive experience throughout her career both in the UK and overseas in finance, systems, commercial, operations and business development.
Debbie currently lives in the North West and is married with one son.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants - FCCA
BA Hons 2:1 Business Studies
Chris Connelly BSc – Commercial and Business Development Director
Chris is responsible for all Company Commercial and Business Development activities in addition to all sales marketing and procurement functions. These responsibilities also encompass legal services, insurance, public relations and company strategy development.
Having joined the company in 1997, Chris has overseen the profitable growth and development of the company which is now leader in the critical and bespoke transport market. Previously he held the position of Head of UK Commercial Sales within British Nuclear Fuels where he lead commercial discussions with Magnox Generation and British Energy to conclude £9bn lifetime contracts to manage spent fuel from generating stations.
Graduating with a BSc Hons in Physics, Economics and Accounting, with over 25 years of high level commercial experience, Chris has developed best practise through a combination of nuclear and rail expertise.
50 years old, Chris is married with 3 Children. He is a Director of Penrith Rugby Club where he is Chairman of the youth section.
Jeffery Marshall BSc – Operations & Compliance Director
When Jeff joined DRS in 2002, he started as the General Manager of Risk and Compliance but later in that year Jeff took over responsibility for the planning and delivery of all operational services for the company including train planning and 24 hour control functions, along with safety, security, quality and environment compliance aspects of the Company, he also gained approval from all Regulators on the company's Safety Case. The Operations Department has over 160 members of traincrew and 40 management and supervisory staff who carry out day to day management of traincrew at a number of depots throughout the UK, train operational planning and 24 operation control coverage and also 12 members of the Compliance Management Team.
Before joining DRS, Jeff worked for BNFL for 16 years during this time he had roles of:
• Graduate Programmer
• Project Engineer
• Plant Engineer
• Operations Management
Jeff is married with two children.
BSC HONS Mechanical Engineering
Institute of Industrial Management Associate Diploma in Management Studies
Mike Leckie – Finance Director
Mike joined DRS in May 2017 after a 5 year period working on interim contracts in the engineering, energy and aviation sectors. Prior to that Mike spent over 25 years in the oil & gas industry, managing a broad range of business functions, including Finance, Commercial, Procurement, IT and Logistics.
Mike has a son and a daughter and lives in the North West with his partner.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – ACMA, CGMA
Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators - ACIS
BA Business Studies
Non Executive Board Members
Martin Liefeith – Chairman
Janice McCann – HSEQ Director
Janice joined DRS in June 2017, appointed to the new role of Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Director.
A senior HSEQ professional, Chartered Fellow of IOSH, Janice brings more than 30 years of experience gained across a range of industry sectors, including: Ports & Logistics; Construction; Manufacturing; Pharmaceutical. She is an influential and strategic leader with a track record of improving stakeholder experience by developing new systematic and integrated support services, promoting change, empowering teams and driving continual improvement.
Janice lives in North Lanarkshire and is married with two children.
NEBOSH Health and Safety
Chartered Fellow of Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Alastair Brown – Engineering Director
Alastair Brown joined DRS in January 2018 having been Technical Director for International Nuclear Services since 2015. Alastair has 20 years experience in the highly regulated field of nuclear transport and has held both Operations and Technical roles over that period. He has also been a Director of Pacific Nuclear Transport Ltd. and the World Nuclear Transport Institute.
Prior to joining International Nuclear Services, Alastair was an engineer at the Sellafield site in Cumbria for nine years.
Alastair is married with two children and lives in the North West of England where he is also a scout leader.
BSc (hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow.
Natasha Hanson – Business Services Director
Natasha Hanson joined DRS as Business Services Director in October 2017. Prior to joining the Company, Natasha was Head of HR Strategy and Delivery at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and led the agenda on the People Strategy for the NDA estate. Natasha also has great experience in both Director and Non-Executive roles within engineering companies.
Supporting contract delivery, skills retention and working in a positive relations environment, Natasha ensures value for money. Strategy focuses on building a culture around equality, diversity and inclusion to create the environment that encourages innovate solutions to complex business problems.
Neil Curtis – Executive Head of Security and Resilience
Neil’s career began in electrical engineering and facilities management. He joined DRS in October 1998 as Assistant Logistics Manager looking after the refurbishment of facilities to support DRS’ initial development. He has worked in the logistics department and also headed the Compliance Department for six years. In April 2016 Neil was appointed Head of Security and Resilience.
Neil is a keen country sportsman and lives in the North West.
Member of: The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
DRS Department Heads
Commercial & Business Development (Interim Director until 21 March 2018)
Commercial & Business Development
Simon Price BEng (Hons)
Programme & Infrastructure Support
Health Safety Environment and Quality