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Saturday, 5 December 2020


Seven new Trustees announced at Guide Dogs

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GUIDE Dogs have welcomed seven new Trustees at their recent AGM.

The Trustees join ahead of the charity’s 90th anniversary year and are committed to enabling the By My Side strategy to support more people with sight loss to live the life they choose.

The seven new Trustees are:

  • Paul Baker
  • Lynne Hill
  • Mark Johnstone
  • Michael Olaye
  • Jennelle Tilling
  • Emma West
  • Mike Wroe

The decision was made to appoint seven new Trustees to replace those retiring this year and those who will be stepping down in 2021. This enabled the charity to take advantage of the exceptionally strong field of candidates who applied to be part of the Board earlier this year.

Paul Baker retired from a 40-year career in Banking in 2014 where he served as Chief Procurement Director, Chief Operations Director and finally Chief Property Director. He is currently Vice Chairman of a Property Services Group. Paul lost his sight in one eye in 2015.

Lynne Hill is a veterinary surgeon by profession with over forty years of experience in practice, industry and academia. Lynne has been involved with a number of veterinary organisations including BSAVA where she became the first female President, and the BVA – sitting on a number of committees and their Council.

Mark Johnstone

Mark Johnstone is a Chartered Accountant with extensive executive and non-executive experience in the not for profit sector.  He is currently Chief Financial Officer of the Kennel Club, prior to which he was Finance Director of The Royal Society of Medicine. In due course, Mark will take over chairing the Guide Dogs Audit & Risk Committee.

Michael Olaye

Michael Olaye is the Chief Growth Officer of International for The North Alliance (NoA) where he is responsible for leading expansion overseas. He served as the CEO and Group CTO at Dare and OLIVER respectively from 2016 to 2019 and has been recognised in the Financial Times Top 100 BAME influencer 2018, The Drum’s Digerati 100 and UK’s BIMA 100 most influencers.

Jennelle Tilling

Jennelle Tilling has over 25 years’ consumer marketing, digital and innovation experience with leading global FMCG and food retail brands. She spent over 17 years working for Yum! Restaurants International in a variety of senior marketing roles – culminating in her serving as the Global Chief Marketing Officer for KFC, responsible for the company’s marketing, communications, innovation, digital presence and reputation in over 125 countries.

Emma West

Emma West has a background in HR and she has held senior roles in four FTSE 100 companies, including leading the Talent function globally for Cadbury, Unilever, Sainsbury’s and Burberry. She has led HR initiatives during significant periods of change specialising in talent management, leadership and organisation development and employee engagement.

Mike Wroe

Mike Wroe has over 20 years of senior finance leadership experience across a range of services and technology businesses. He was Group CFO of Just Eat plc for eight years until 2016. While at Just Eat he led the transformation from a 40-person, venture-backed start-up to an international business with over 2,500 staff in 13 countries, which entered the FTSE 100 in 2017.

The new Trustees succeed David Anderson, David Bagley and Pat Stafford, who retired from the Board at the AGM this year and create a succession for those Trustees retiring in 2021.

David Anderson has been a Trustee for nine years and initially worked with Guide Dogs providing veterinary care within general practice before serving as a Trustee.

David Bagley has been a Trustee for nine years. He has been an active supporter and puppy walker for Guide Dogs, having puppy walked 12 dogs and fostered many more before serving as a member of the Board.

Pat Stafford has also served as a Trustee for nine years, having been actively involved with Guide Dogs for many years, initially through boarding working guide dogs, and subsequently looking after guide dog mums before serving as a member of the Board.

James Hambro, Chairman of Guide Dogs, said:

“I am delighted to be welcoming a new generation of Trustees to Guide Dogs who bring their extensive knowledge and skills with them as Guide Dogs prepares for our 90th anniversary. I remain extremely grateful to our outgoing Trustees for their considerable commitment and hard work over the last few years.”

Tom Wright, Chief Executive of Guide Dogs, added:

“Appointing seven new Trustees during the COVID-19 outbreak has been an unusual experience but a rewarding process and I am excited to be working with such a diverse and experienced Board. Everyone at Guide Dogs is grateful to our outgoing Trustees for their service and their commitment to making the charity the best it could possibly be for people with sight loss, now and in the future.”

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