Meet The Team

Nicola Markham

Joint Regional Managing Director and Group Sales Director

Nicola has extensive experience and knowledge of both Devon and Cornwall having worked in new homes sales since 1984. Nicola joined Acorn in 2008 to head up the South West sales and marketing team based in Newquay. Since then her role has expanded to Group Sales Director of Acorn Property Group and Joint Managing Director of Acorn Blue and comprises her being involved in every development from the design stages through to the handover of each property.

Stuart Brereton BSc (Hons) MRICS

Joint Regional Managing Director and Land Director

Stuart spent 3 years working with Acorn Property Group in London and around the UK, transferring to Newquay in 2006, specialising in developments in Cornwall with Acorn Blue. Stuart’s role is to acquire sites for the company and manage them from acquisition through planning and construction and finally sales, making sure the project is run on time and to budget.

Duncan Powell BSc (Hons), MRTPI

Group Planning Director

Duncan assists Acorn’s land teams, based in Bristol, Cornwall and Cardiff, with an existing portfolio and to look for new strategic land opportunities in all regions. With extensive experience of planning consultancy in the South West, in particular the Bristol region, Duncan provides invaluable planning advice on acquisitions and steers Acorn’s proposals through the planning system.

David Stein MRICS, MCIOB

Pre-Construction Director

With over 30 years of experience, progressing from graduate site QS, Contract Surveyor, Design and Build Manager, Regional Design Build Manager, and subsequently Regional Manager for a National Contractor, David gained an intimate insight into the industry and what is needed to create a coordinated team and make buildings efficient. Joining Acorn in 2007, David has been closely involved in the development of the business in Cornwall and is in daily contact with Contractors, Architects, Engineers, Planners, and many others when helping assess live and future developments.

David Brunton

Construction Director

Joined Acorn Blue in May 2015 after running his own construction management company in Scotland since 2005, managing the build of mainly high spec “grand design” type properties for individual clients and developers. David has over 35 years experience in managing both building and civil engineering projects mainly in Scotland. David brings a wealth of management experience to the team in Cornwall and is leading the way in taking the company forward to being its own builder/ developer in this region.

Andrew Strathdee BA, MSc

Land Manager

Andrew worked as an architectural technician for Michael Auckett Architects prior to receiving his degrees in Architecture, and Masters in Project Management. Before moving to Cornwall he worked in London for 4 years as a Section manager for Laing O’Rourke construction, working on several BSF projects, as well as a prestigious, luxury, residential renovation. Before joining Acorn Blue in Newquay he also gained experience site managing on several small sites across Cornwall. Working as part of the land team Andrew’s role is to find profitable sites, with an emphasis on off market opportunities and working alongside Stuart to bring these prospects to fruition.

Richard Roach BSc, MCIOB

Design and Build Manager

Richard is a Chartered Builder and holds a BSc in Construction. After completing his Degree Richard joined Interserve PLC (national main contractor) as a Graduate Construction Manager and quickly progressed into Design Management. During this time Richard worked on a number of projects across a varied range of sectors including Healthcare, Education, Residential and Office. Richard has experience in a wide range of construction techniques, and implementing sustainable design including building to the Passivhaus standard.

Chris Trew

M&E Design Manager

With 7 years of experience, working for T Clarke as Bid Manager with 18 years further experience working in the industry as an M&E designer and procurement manager. Chris covers all regions and reviews and assesses the proposed M&E layout and design, including routing of pipework and ductwork.

Wayne Rundle

Project Coordinator

With 32 years of working in the construction industry from joinery to senior site management on a varied amount of projects within the south west, Wayne is now bringing his experience to the client side of construction as a Project Co-ordinator. On a day to day basis Wayne is the liaison between the contractors on site and the project manager and sales team.

Denise Fleming

Construction Facilitator

Prior to Acorn, Denise worked for Somerset County Council and Cornwall Council as a Senior Highway Development Planning Officer for over six years, working closely with Architects, Engineers and Developers on residential and commercial projects, with a two year break in the middle where she worked as an Engineer for a Civils and Drainage Consultancy, working on highway and drainage design, planning application submissions and the legal adoptions of highway and drainage projects. Denise started with Acorn in January 2014 as a Construction Facilitator, dealing with aftercare, ensuring that defects and other snagging issues are rectified as quickly and efficiently as possible, engaging with the owners, internal clients and external contractors. She has recently taken on the role of snagging the properties after construction and prior to occupation.

Sean Butcher

Regional Sales Manager

Coming from a residential sales background Sean first worked as an estate agent in London in 1987 and was promoted to office Manager within the year. Since then Sean gained experience in new homes as a sales executive for a London based New Homes company before returning to estate agency where he has managed offices for small independent agents. In 2007 Sean relocated to Cornwall to be an office Manager for one of the South West’s largest independent Estate agents. In 2010 Sean joined Acorn Blue where he is the member of the sales team.

Anne Williams

Sales Coordinator

Anne has been with Acorn since 2008 and has been a part of every sale in the region. Anne is moving from Sales Negotiator to Sales Coordinator and will liaise with solicitors on the legal set up of upcoming developments and oversee all sales through to exchange and legal completion. Having been born and brought up in the Duchy, Anne considers herself very fortunate to have been able to spend her life in Cornwall.

Nicola Rafferty

Land Assistant

Nicola joined the Acorn Blue sales team in October 2010 and has now moved to the land department to assist Stuart Brereton and Andrew Strathdee with managing on-going projects and appraising potential new sites, drawing on Nicola’s previous experience in sales through out Cornwall and Devon. Having lived in Cornwall all her life Nicola has an extensive knowledge of the area and feels spoilt to be able to work in such great coastal locations.

Peter Williams

Aftercare Coordinator

With over 40 years in the construction industry Peter has experienced all aspects of the trade from carpenter to construction management. For the last 20 years he has been involved in the health and safety aspects of the trade and the administrative dealings of after care. Peter joined Acorn Blue in 2010 and is responsible for the hand over of each property to the new owners and dealing with any queries or questions they may have about their new home.


Tom McNeill

Technical IT Engineer

Tom is based in our Newquay office and works alongside our IT Director Steven Hurry. As well as administering the IT requirements and support for all users in our regional offices in Bristol, Cardiff and Cornwall, Tom is also responsible for the installation and support of the networking infrastructure for new build projects. Tom has previously worked for IBM and BAE Systems on MoD Contracts.

Rowena Arthur

Office Administrator

Rowena has worked for the Acorn Property Group since 2006 and after a short break to travel, she rejoined in 2010 based at Acorn Blue in Cornwall. She is often the first person you speak to when you contact Acorn Blue and assists in the running of the office, this includes liaising with suppliers, processing purchase orders and supporting all senior members of the team with admin duties.


Working alongside the Acorn Blue Team are the following people based in the London office.

Romy Summerskill

Founder and Chairman

Romy worked as an estate agent in central London for many years prior to forming Acorn in the early 1990s and managed development projects, funding and sales at Acorn directly for many years until the team expanded. Romy now acts as Chairman for the Group and oversees development design, group management and expansion and acts as Chairman of all the Directors.

John Skok

Founder and Group Operations Director

John originally studied Building Surveying at London South Bank prior to forming his own construction company and then moving into property development where he has worked for the last 30 years. John heads the acquisition team nationally and the vast majority of the groups joint ventures both with landowners and other developers. He has extensive knowledge of all kinds of developments ranging from refurbishments, single luxury units, multi storey residential blocks, commercial properties and multi phased regeneration projects.

Melanie Omirou

Group Managing Director and Funding Director

Melanie has been working at Acorn for over 10 years. She has combined her previous experience in estate agency and banking to form her primary role to procure and manage funding for all site purchases and their development. In addition to this she has managed new projects from their inception through to sales of the end product.

Duncan Rothwell MRICS, MCIOB

Commercial Director and Group Quantity Surveyor

Duncan has 30 years experience on a wide variety of building and civil engineering projects, (domestic, commercial, industrial, both UK and overseas). Duncan prepares construction cost plans from feasibility to post contract stages. He liaises with consultants and authorities, advises on procurement options, contract amendments, warranties and guarantee’s, tender selection, appraisals and the appointment of the contractor. Duncan oversees the preparation of all contract documents, valuations, funders, bank draw downs and agrees final accounts. Additionally, he advises on contractual matters, value engineering options, risk alternatives and project management.

Julian Hampson BA (Hons), DipArch, RIBA

Group Design Director

Julian has been a qualified Architect for over 25 years and has extensive experience in urban design and regeneration as well as in residential development. He has worked with a number of high profile architects and urban designers as well as working for several leading residential developers. He was Chief Architect for Goldcrest Land from 2004-2007 and for Fairview Homes from 2007-2011 leading their design departments. Having worked on both the ‘client’ and ‘design’ sides he understands the benefits that the right combination of design and investment can bring to an area.

Rena Makwana-Mistri BA (Hons) (Interior Design)

Group Interior Designer

Before joining Acorn, Rena undertook a variety of projects in the fields of both residential and commercial property for bespoke, individual projects and large scale development. Rena captures the essence and trend of a development’s surroundings through the medium of design. Rena carefully considers every aspect and detail of the design, ensuring each specification is unique to the development and meets the demands and aspirations of the buyer. Whilst at Acorn, Rena has successfully designed award winning interiors and continues to be inspired by the individuality of each Acorn development.

Dane Cummings BSc (Hons) MRICS

Head of Commercial Property

Based in the London Head Office and a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Dane has many years of experience working with Acorn Property Group. Dane’s experience started in acquisitions and disposals which soon saw him moving in to property management of the residential sector. Dane’s knowledge, drive and enthusiasm has lead him to head up commercial property throughout the Acorn portfolio across the South of the UK managing commercial units for sale or to let in some of Britain’s most prime waterfront and city locations.

Samantha Bertie

Group PR Coordinator

Sam has over 20 years experience as an internal and external communications professional working predominantly for global corporations. Working with the communications and marketing team Sam’s role at Acorn is to carry out Public Relations activities whilst increasing brand awareness. Sam’s strengths are building and developing relationships with consumer media.