Sapphira Waterson

Chief Executive Officer

Sapphira Waterson serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Management Development Services (MDS). A visionary leader, she brings 20 years of experience in leading organisational strategy and a passion for cultivating talent and driving cultural transformations. Her background in executive coaching and training coupled with her ability to empower food industry professionals through comprehensive management training solutions enables her to drive the business towards sustained growth, innovation and industry leadership.

In her role, Sapphira oversees the design and delivery of the company’s strategy and holds full P&L responsibility for business operations spanning finance, HR, marketing and recruitment. Under her leadership, the company has doubled its turnover in 3 years and improved cost efficiencies by more than 50%.

A forward-thinking leader, Sapphira drives her team to achieve ambitious goals, engaging an inclusive leadership style to foster a culture of innovation, collaboration and continuous learning that helps attract top talent and drives employee engagement. The business now boasts a 100% employment rate and 95% retention rate, driven by her efforts to build innovative career pathways that lead to successful careers.

Known for her exceptional communication skills and ability to build strong relationships, Sapphira cultivates lasting partnerships with clients, industry leaders and other key stakeholders. By understanding their needs and aligning MDS’s solutions to address industry-specific challenges, she has successfully forged strategic alliances, expanded market reach, and solidified MDS’s position as a trusted advisor and provider of management training excellence within the food industry.

Sapphira’s unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and quality drives every aspect of MDS’s operations. By leveraging her extensive industry knowledge and foresight, Sapphira continuously identifies emerging trends and market demands, ensuring that MDS’s training programmes remain relevant, impactful and ahead of the curve. This customer-centric mindset has propelled MDS to become a market leader in the food industry’s management training space.

Before joining MDS, Sapphira served as a Probation Officer at the National Probation Service where she contributed to efforts to rehabilitate high-risk offenders. In addition, she led the delivery of Home Office-accredited programmes and built relationships across a wide network of senior professionals and agencies.

Sapphira holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Justice Studies from Portsmouth University and a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Social Science and Social Policy from The Open University. Sapphira is also a fully accredited MBTI Practitioner and holds a Level 7 Executive Coaching qualification.