The charity continues to move through a period of change, particularly with new Trustees joining the Board, and the continuity of knowledge and experience offered by Gavin and Mike is invaluable.
In addition to their knowledge of the arboretum and understanding of the charity’s governance processes, Gavin and Mike bring strong business skills and expert knowledge in the fields of marketing, communications and public relations. In addition, following an open recruitment and formal interview process, we are delighted to recommend Christine Burt and Martyn Smith as new trustees to join our Board. Martyn brings a wealth of finance knowledge and experience and Christine provides some much-needed expertise in project management and IT.
I started my career in Plant Sciences at Kings College, London, followed by plant tissue culture research at the Unilever Oil Palm unit then three years research at Imperial College, London into plant pathogens. Subsequently I moved into IT and project management initially at BP and Shell before the Financial Sector where I worked for the last 25 years. I was previously on the Board of the Association for Project Management; a membership and qualification charity for the promotion of project management.
I plan to use my professional IT and project management skills to support the charity's objectives and success. I am passionate about the importance of trees and in particular, the significant tree collection at Westonbirt for promoting general health and wellbeing for future generations.
I have really enjoyed serving as a FOWA Trustee and I wish to continue to do so. My background is in general management, marketing and membership organisations. I hope that my professional skills and experience has supported the charity, the FOWA team and the development of Westonbirt. I also have a particular interest in helping Westonbirt develop a joint vision and plan with FOWA, to ensure we retain and enhance this incredible tree collection, develop our scientific facilities and deliver a world class educational and learning experience. I have served as Chairman of FOWA and as a member of several committees.
I have been visiting Westonbirt for more than 35 years, so was delighted to be given the opportunity to apply to become a Trustee of the charity. Following a degree in Natural Sciences, I then worked principally in finance throughout my career. I am a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). I have worked in a wide range of companies, private and public, and now run my own consultancy business.
I have experience of governance in the charitable sector. I was on the board of a locally based housing association for ten years, three as Chair, and am still on the board of one of its subsidiaries. I was on the Council of the ACT for six years, including a year in each of the four officer roles. I am a co-opted board member of a local charitable care home group.
It has been a pleasure to serve as a FOWA Trustee and I wish to continue to do so. My background is in public relations and communications. I hope this has been helpful in supporting our increasingly professional staff team including in the development of our magazine and website.
I have served on FOWA's Charity Development Committee. I have also had the privilege of representing FOWA on the National Arboreta Advisory Committee.