Writing, editing and photography by Ralph Mills of ConBrio Associates Ltd 

An introduction to Ralph Mills

Employment history

Present occupation

Freelance writing
I co-own ConBrio Associates Ltd, a boutique consultancy based in the north of the UK.

Co-owner and Director Lenore Ogilvy specialises in project and stakeholder management.

I focus on freelance writing, editing, photography and marketing.

Past employment

Archaeological employment

Kent Archaeology Rescue Unit:
Volunteer, then supervisor. Faversham Roman villa; London Forum; Horton Kirby granary; Dover Roman forts; Dover mansio ("Painted House"); other minor excavations in Kent (4 years).
English Heritage:
Planning and photography supervisor, Piercebridge Roman fort (2 years).
National Trust:
Assistant Director, Hadrian's Wall excavations (6 years).
Hertfordshire Archaeological Trust:
Director, Chells excavation, Stevenage (1 year).
Other short-term rescue projects:
For example: Northamptonshire; Essex (Mucking) Yorkshire (York Minster); Somerset (Norton Fitzwarren); Monmouthshire (Caldicot bronze age site) and others.

Commercial employment

Marketing and Communications Manager, Ergo Computing UK Ltd, Nottingham
Managed marketing team of three (Marketing Co-ordinator, Web Developer, Events Co-ordinator).
I performed the hands-on duties of a marketing executive in a medium-sized IT manufacturing company. The company had a strict self-sufficiency policy, with the majority of marketing activities being carried out in-house, with no use of external creative, PR or advertising agencies and limited use of external printers. The position involved a considerable amount of practical activity, especially copy-writing, graphics, case studies, desktop publishing, layout and design, sales support, printing production control, photography, image manipulation, exhibition stand design and creation, presentation design etc.
Account Manager, PLATO computer-assisted learning, British Columbia
TRO Learning (Canada), Inc., Vancouver:
In my three years with TRO Learning in Vancouver I not only significantly increased the B.C. client base and achieved my sales quotas, but rose to be number two in the company in percentage of quota sold. All this with no previous experience in sales!
PLATO Learning Inc. is a Minneapolis-based company that develops and markets PLATO software to schools, colleges, First Nations, community-based organisations and the workplace. The company has moved strongly into the Internet to provide the first "real" high-quality computer-assisted courseware provided through this medium.
I expanded the use of PLATO in schools and school districts throughout British Columbia, and established its use in province-wide Community Skills Centres. I also set up the first workplace learning centres in lumber and other companies. I added PLATO to the resources of B.C.'s much-respected Open Learning Agency, and initialised negotiations with BCTel (PLATO courseware is to be included in its Sympatico Internet schoolroom). I also created Canadian PLATO, a country-wide newsletter for clients and prospects.
For much of 1997 I was travelling in the USA and Canada. On returning to Vancouver I wrote, and carried out contract research work.
Virtual schooling
My next research project was for School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen), researching the feasibility of creating an electronic, Internet-based school for students learning at home.
In Britain
In August 1998 I rejoined PLATO Learning (UK) Ltd. as an Account Manager in the UK.
Freelance Web Development
I resigned from PLATO Learning in April 2000 to focus on freelance communications work. My first contract was to build a large-scale web site for Cranford Community College.
Freelance Writing
I carried out feature writing commissions.


Staff Writer:
Print Buyer Magazine, London — printing trade magazine
I-SPY Books, Polystyle Publications, London — children's books
District Editor:
Faversham News, Kent — local weekly newspaper
Copy Editor:
Elsevier/North-Holland Scientific Publishers, Shannon, Eire — scientific learned journals
Corporate Communications Department, Dewe Rogerson, London — business magazines, newspapers, annual reports and newsletters for Trafalgar House, RTZ, BICC, BP, TSB, Department of Transport and others

Other employment

Maths/General Science, Faversham Secondary School, Kent
Human Biology, Central Foundation Girls School, London
Hairdressing Science, Bishop Auckland Technical College, Co. Durham
School District #16, Southern Okanagan (now #53, South Okanagan/Similkameen) — research on alternate school and web-based schooling
Healthy Communities Initiative, Oliver, B.C. — research into health of small rural community
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