Speakerstrust Trainer Trainees

The Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees sets the overall strategy and direction of our charity, ensuring Speakers Trust works as well as possible and in the best way possible to fulfil our mission.

Trustees are unpaid members of the charity who are either elected by the other members or invited because of their specialist knowledge.

Meet our Trustees below – and find out what happens at their meetings via the Chair Reports.

Sue Warner, FOUNDER

Following an early career in marketing and public relations, Sue has spent the last 25 years working in the voluntary sector. She set up the hugely successful Speak Up! Speak Out! programme and is the Founder of the charity as it is today. Sue is a Trustee of the Joseph Rank Trust and a Fellow of the RSA; she is also a Greater London individual National Training Award winner and holds a Highly Commended Beacon Fellowship Award.

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Sean Kennedy, Chair

Sean is a property investor and an investor in new and early stage businesses. Previously, he was a Director of Speakers Bank and instrumental in the creation and delivery of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! He joined the Board in May 2015.

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Andrew Billington, Vice-Chair

Andrew has held a broad range of senior posts including Chair, CEO, Grant Maker and Fundraiser. He established and until 2008 ran the Jack Petchey Foundation, which has given more than £100 million in grants thus far. He was Founder Chair at The Petchey Academy and previously CEO at the national charity The Winged Fellowship (now Revitalise).

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Fiona Wilkinson

Fiona Wilkinson is Chief Officer, corporate communications at Visa Europe. She has over 30 years experience in financial services with specialisms in marketing, sales and communications. She is responsible for protecting and building the company’s reputation and advising its Board and CEO. She is an experienced conference organiser and speaker.

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Colonel David Norris OBE

David has been an Army Officer since 1982, serving in the UK and overseas in various roles. Latterly he was a member of the small executive team that delivered the inaugural Invictus Games. He has significant Board level experience in strategy, operational planning, cross-cultural leadership and change, public affairs, communications and team building.

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David Butter

David held senior international roles in marketing and advertising with WPP before becoming an independent management consultant, facilitator and coach. Alongside his work with business, government and professional service firms, he is a Kilfinan Trust mentor to charity leaders, a consultant to Impetus-Pef young lives charities and a Board member of The Globe – promoting the study and appreciation of Shakespeare in performance. He has been a Trustee since 2015.

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Rupert Pennant-Rea

After reading Economics at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Manchester, he spent most of the next twenty five years either at the Bank of England, or at The Economist. During this period, he also had several spells as a consultant to the World Bank. Rupert was editor of The Economist from 1986 – 93 and Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 1993 – 95.

He then went into business, leading a buy-out of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, which the Government was privatising.  Rupert has been on the Board of many companies, both private and public. His current directorships include; Royal London Insurance Group, Chairman since June 2013, the Economist Group, Director since 2006, Chairman from July 2009, PGI Group, Chairman since 1997 (de-listed 2009), Times Newspapers, Independent National Director since 2003 and in the social sector Chairman, Shakespeare Schools Festival, since 2001 (and retired in August, 2015).

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Cindy Rampersaud

Cindy Rampersaud is a senior executive with Board level experience in global and UK-based organisations within the education, commercial and third sectors. She joined City and Islington College in February 2011 as Deputy Principal, having spent all of her previous career in private sector organisations such as EMI Music, Warner Brothers and Virgin Retail. She has a strong track record of financial, strategic and change management. Cindy is currently a trustee of The Children’s Society and a Governor of the Kensington Aldridge Academy, where she is Chair of the Business Committee.  

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Shaninga Marasha

Shaninga Marasha is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for London based youth charity, the BIGKID Foundation. Shaninga has over 15 years experience working with young people, specialising in engaging with those deemed ‘hard to reach’. He is responsible for building and nurturing external networks and partnerships, as well as spearheading major projects and fundraising. Shaninga has a background in business development and alternative education.

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Martin Clifford-King

Martin Clifford-King has spent the last 25 years working with a wide variety of consumer businesses. Most recently he was an Operating Partner with the private equity firm Sun European. Prior to this role, Martin ran his own business for 9 years providing Interim CFO services to clients in retail, restaurant, healthcare and gaming sectors including Wiggle, Clinton Cards, The Practice, Office Shoes, HobbyCraft, Whistles, Costa Coffee, mkone and Leisure & Gaming plc. Previous jobs include CFO at MFI Furniture Group Plc, FD at Harveys Furnishings plc (both listed on the London Stock Exchange) and 9 years in various positions at Debenhams and the Burton Group. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells.



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Michael Ronayne

Michael has been a trainer with Speakers Trust for over seven years. In that time he has made significant contributions not only to developing confidence and speaking skills across a wide range of our Speakers Trust students, but also in supporting and mentoring many of his fellow trainers. He is no stranger to the pressures of standing up and speaking, delivering regular talks and seminars on communication skills for professionals, as well as having been a National Speaking champion for the UK Association of Speakers Clubs on four occasions.

As a Director of the College of Public Speaking  Michael’s specialises in training courses in storytelling skills for businesses and for government departments, as well as a range of advanced presentation skills courses and  accredited programmes in Training the Trainer.

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Participant Quote

I was nervous about the day and speaking in front of people, but the way the course was run made me feel relaxed.

Jacqui Bouch
Make Your Mark

Top Ten Tips

10) Remember to Breathe

Always remember to breathe from the abdomen – this will relax you and stop you panicking.

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Bishop Ramsey School
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