Geoff was born in Yorkshire, starting his life in a family that combined railways with farming. His father, uncle and paternal grandfather worked for over 150 years between them with British Railways, and his mother was one of seven children born of a farming family in North Yorkshire. His early years were spent in a small village, before moving to the well-known town of Harrogate when he was seven. Geoff was educated at Harrogate Grammar School, where he was a keen member of the school's rugby team and enjoyed a brief career in amateur dramatics. His first part-time job involved working in one of the major exhibitions that was one of the first major events that developed into the town's successful conference and exhibition trade. From Geoff's viewpoint it was of real value, as it helped him to fund the lessons that helped him to pass his driving test. His first 'proper' job was at the Ford main dealer Ringways of Leeds, where he spent four years, initially as assistant to the General Sales manager, then as a car sales representative and eventually he set up their first Fleet Sales Department.
In 1975, Geoff joined the Freight Transport Association, as Assistant Regional Secretary for the North West. He travelled widely across the north of England helping FTA Members, and played a major part in setting up their Managers' CPC Course, and the first tachograph analysis service. In 1987, he joined the Road Haulage Association as the North East District Manager, and in over twenty years with RHA he pioneered a number of new initiatives, including Contracts of Employment, a Health and Safety Workbook, a Drivers Handbook, a BS5750 Quality Video and Vehicle Inspections. He was elected Chairman of the Yorkshire Section of the Chartered Institute of Transport in 1993 and elected Fellow of the Institute in 1995. In 1994, he successfully implemented the merger of two Districts to form the Northern Region of the Road Haulage Association and became the first Regional Director. He was promoted to Chief Executive of the RHA in May 2009. Geoff is a family man; he married Sandra in 1980, and has two daughters: Claire, born in 1983, and Beverley, born in 1986. Outside work, his main interest is his family, though he enjoys gardening and watching Formula One motor racing.