Debbie Francis

Managing Director, Direct Rail Services Ltd.

Debbie joined Direct Rail Services Limited (DRS) in July 2016 as the Managing Director following 3 ½ years at Network Rail as the Finance & Commercial Director for the LNW route. DRS has had a great success over the 2 ½ years that Debbie has headed up the organisation and was recently awarded the National Rail Freight Group ‘Business of the Year’ Award, while Debbie herself has been shortlisted for the In-Cumbria ‘Business Person of the Year’ award.

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. She has a 2:1 degree in Business Studies from Liverpool Polytechnic, an MBA from Manchester Business School, is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and has recently commenced a PhD with leadership and team performance at the heart of the research.

Debbie originally left school at the age of 16 with virtually no qualifications and took a rather circuitous route through education although throughout that time she continued to build steadily on her business experience and career. Debbie is passionate about business, diversity and equality, developing and promoting talent and all things ‘adventuring’.

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