Breakout session 1: speaker profiles

1.1 In conversation: modernising governance through engaging your community

Chris Sherwood chief executive, RSPCA

Chris joined the RSPCA in August 2018 and came with fifteen years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector. Chris joined relate in 2012 as director of policy, communications and digital services before becoming CEO in July 2015. He was instrumental in moving Relate to a new blended organisational structure, developing their digital services, and growing their influencing and ampaigning voice.

Chris joined Relate from Scope where he was the director of innovation and development. He was previously a senior development manager at Nesta where he led their work on co-production, People Powered Health and Ageing.

Prior to joining the voluntary sector he worked in Westminster and local government. His career interest to date has been on policy, innovation and service improvement.

Chris has excellent leadership credentials, experience of working in charities that provide crucial services, and a track record of delivering innovative change.

In his role as chief executive at RSPCA, Chris will continue to shape the debate about animals in society and how we can develop and maintain services that meet the needs of animals and the people who care for them.


Ellie Southwood chair, RNIB 

Twitter: @EllieSouthwood

Ellie Southwood is chair of RNIB and has been a trustee of RNIB since 2010. Over the past year, she has steered development of RNIB Connect, a growing community of blind and partially sighted people who support, inspire and share information with one another. Ellie is a champion for employment opportunities for people of working age and for involvement of blind and partially sighted people in civic and public life. 

In 2014, Ellie was elected as a Councillor in the London Borough of Brent, where she is now a cabinet member responsible for housing and welfare reform. 

Ellie’s career spans the public, private and non-profit sectors. She specialises in supporting organisations to develop strategies and implement cultural and operational change. Ellie’s early career was in public policy and includes research and stakeholder management for a local government think tank, a communications company and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). 

Ellie has a Masters in Organisational Behaviour (2013) and a first degree in Philosophy Politics and Economics from Oxford University (2003).


1.2 Leadership learning: making your workplace happy

Henry Stewart chief happiness officer, Happy Ltd

twitter: @happyhenry

Henry Stewart is founder and chief happiness officer of London-based training business Happy Ltd. Happy was rated one of the top 20 workplaces in the UK for 5 successive years and now helps other organisations create happy workplaces. Henry was listed in the Guru Radar of the Thinkers 50 list of the most influential business thinkers in the world. "He is one of the thinkers who we believe will shape the future of business", explained list compiler Stuart Crainer. His book, The Happy Manifesto, was published by Kogan Page in 2012 and short-listed for business book of the year.


Sally de la Bedoyere chief executive, Blue Cross

Sally’s career spans the commercial, public and not-for profit sectors with extensive experience in marketing, communications, charity fundraising and governance.  After 17 years at Associated Newspapers, culminating in three years as managing director of the Evening Standard, she joined RAJAR as CEO in 2004, where she stayed until 2010 working with the BBC and commercial radio stations to develop the industry’s audience measurement data.  In 2010 she became the RSPCA’s first director of income generation before taking up her next position as CEO of the PFRA in August 2012, and most recently joining Blue Cross as their chief executive in November 2014. Sally is married with two adult children. She has worked voluntarily as a school governor, supports training for young women in the communications industry through membership of WACL and was recently an independent member of the Surrey County Council standards committee. She was formerly chair of the charity Dreams Come True. Sally holds a degree in social science from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from the University of Glasgow.


1.3 Leadership learning: building personal resilience in a fast-paced world

Hannah Massarella founder, Bird

Twitter: @Hannahmazz

Hannah is the founder of Bird. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and has been coaching and facilitating resiliency workshops for the past ten years. Hannah began her career coaching and facilitating workshops for beneficiaries of two domestic violence charities. Whilst doing the work Hannah ended up burning out and having to leave the sector. Thus Bird was created to support others doing vital work in the not-for-profit sector, to educate and empower them to prioritise their own wellbeing and resilience so that they can support others. As a team of seven, Bird now works with not-for-profit organisations across the country, helping leaders, managers, and staff teams to maintain and build healthy working practices.


1.4 Panel: making the most of young talent

Caroline Macfarland founder and director, Common Vision

Twitter: @CarolineMacf

Caroline Macfarland is the founder and director of think tank Common Vision (CoVi). Common Vision’s mission is to champion public dialogue around social and political issues, and revitalise public diplomacy through encouraging established and new leaders to exchange perspectives and build understanding.

Previously, Caroline was one of the founding team members of the foundation Power to Change, a special advisor to the Big Lottery Fund and managing director of think tank ResPublica. She a regular commentator for UK and international publications and media outlets. In 2015, she was named one of
Management Today’s 35 women under 35 and in 2019 was nominated as one of the WISE100 women in social enterprise.


Imran Sanaullah chief executive, Patchwork Foundation 

Twitter: @imransanaullah

Imran became CEO for Patchwork in 2016. He has overseen the Foundation’s successful transition from company to charity status, introducing a new trustee board, expanding the number of beneficiaries the charity supports and bringing in long-term funding enabling the foundation to further improve the depth and breadth of its work. Imran has been recognised by the likes of HRH the Prince of Wales, the Mayor of London and Prime Minister for his hard work in improving opportunities for those from the most disadvantaged and minority communities in the UK through his work with the Patchwork Foundation, Naz Legacy Foundation, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Mosaic Network (part of the Prince’s Trust). In 2019, in recognition of his work for diversity and inclusion in democracy and civil society, Imran was awarded Social Leader of the Year (by British Muslim Awards) and Young Person’s Award for Excellence (Muslim News Awards for Excellence). 


David Reed director, Generation Change

David Reed is co-founder and director of Generation Change, a partnership organisation working with the UK's leading youth social action organisations including The Scouts and National Citizen Service. David was a co-founder of Undivided, a youth-led Brexit campaign, which crowdsourced the policy priorities of over 10,000 13-29 year olds to inform the Brexit negotiations. He graduated from Warwick University in 2012, where he had been an elected campaigns coordinator, and co-founded various social action initiatives including a branch of the charity Student Hubs. He has written for The Times, the Guardian, Third Sector and TES.


Rosie Tressler chief executive, Student Minds

Twitter: @rosietressler

Rosie joined Student Minds in 2013 after working in a range of student facing organisations. Rosie heads up our team at Student Minds, working closely with the trustees on strategy, managing key partnerships and working on funding and business development. 



1.5 Hack: building a better board - balancing risk and opportunity

Tim Rutherford head of charity and social enterprise sector group, Stone King LLP

Twitter: @charityLegalUK

Tim advises on a broad range of charity law, governance and related issues and is recognised as having a national reputation for his expertise in acting for religious and faith based organisations and almshouses. Tim is a member of the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association and a Trustee of Bath Abbey.  


Hannah Kubie partner, Stone King LLP

Hannah advises charities and social enterprises on incorporation and registrations, governance issues, commercial operations and mergers and transfers. Her particular expertise is advising on contracts and grants and she acts for many publicly funded organisations operating in a range of fields. She frequently advises on collaborations and partnerships, procurement and trading.