Learning from those who have been successful at finding Non-Executive Director or Trustee roles will be extremely useful as you develop your own career. Likewise, hearing from industry leaders will assist you in your thinking and help you connect with key people.

Over the last couple of years we have interviewed a wide range of successful people including senior executives, independent portfolio Non-Executive Directors (NED) and industry experts. These interviews give you the chance to learn from industry experts at the top of their game – allowing you to gain a better insight into sector trends, hot topics and insights that can help develop your own thinking and career development.

  • Wendy Cartwright (University of East London), Robert Cole (BT) and David Hodgkinson (KPMG) share why they sought to develop their careers by becoming Non-Executive Directors and /or Trustees.
  • Gerry Brown, Peter Miller-Smith and Simon Fanshawe are all portfolio Non-Executive Directors. Peter and Gerry were from a corporate background whilst Simon has always been self-employed.
  • Sharon Constançon is a Chartered Director Interviewer for the Institute of Directors, NED and Trustee, and Chris Spencer-Phillips runs a niche NED recruitment agency, so provides great insights from the recruitment perspective

Please note these interviews were conducted by The Non-Exec Hub which is now known as Smarter Networking Ltd.

Wendy Cartwright

Wendy Cartwright

Director of Corporate Services / HR at the University of East London and a Non-Executive Director with Defence People & Training Board UK Ministry of Defence.

Wendy talks about becoming a Non-Executive Director with Defence People & Training Board UK Ministry of Defence and the benefits HR professionals can bring to the boards.

Robert Cole

Robert Cole

Robert is a full-time employee in BT’s Flexible Resource Unit working with BT Global Services in the Corporate and Public Sectors of the business. He has been a member of BT Scotland’s Management Board since 2009 and, as an enthusiastic BT volunteer, he is Vice Chair of the Scottish Mediation Network, a charity promoting alternative dispute resolution.   He’s also co-founder and a trustee of SWAN (Scottish Workplace Area Networking) – a business network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

David Hodgkinson

David Hodgkinson

David Hodgkinson is the Head of Digital & Mobile, Customer & Growth Practice with KPMG.

In these interviews, David talks about becoming a Non-Executive Director of Rivers Coaching, which provides coaching for teachers and education professionals; he discusses how this benefits both them and his career.

Gary Brown

Gerry Brown

Author of ‘The Independent Director: The Non-Executive Director’s Guide to Effective Board Presence’.

Gerry Brown is the Chairman of NovaQuest Capital Management, a Board Mentor for Critical Eye and a Council Member of Exeter University.

Independent DirectorGerry Brown, the Chairman of NovaQuest Capital Management, a Board Mentor for Critical Eye and a Council Member of Exeter University, talks about:

  • His new book The Independent Director
  • The role of the Independent Director
  • Some of the major challenges facing Independent Directors
  • Questions all prospective Independent Directors should ask themselves
  • What Independent Directors should do when they join a Board
  • His favourite Independent Director job
  • His next project

Click here for the interview

Gerry Brown’s Links:

‘The Independent Director’ published by Macmillan www.theindependentdirector.co.uk

Peter Miller-Smith

Peter Miller-Smith

Peter Miller-Smith is the Chair of the Board of Soha Housing, an Executive Coach, a Mentor and a Career Preparation Consultant.  

In this interview, he discusses his experience of becoming a Non Executive Director and then a Chair, and shares his tips for those seeking a Non Executive Director or Trustee role.

Simon Fanshawe

Simon Fanshawe

Simon Fanshawe is a portfolio Non Executive Director, Trustee, broadcaster, journalist, trainer and advocacy on leadership, equality & diversity. 

Simon discusses how he became a portfolio Non Executive Director and Trustee and how being middle class and gay has helped him offer more as a strategic board contributor.

Simon co-founded Stonewall, which transformed the face of gay rights. Simon was an original member of the generation that transformed stand-up in the UK (and he won the Perrier Award).  Simon led the team, which transformed Brighton from a declining seaside town to one of the UK’s creative brainpower capitals, as Chair of the successful city bid in 2000 and of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership, the city’s strategy body.  And now Simon is working to transform the organisational performance of organisations in the public, private and third sectors (including FTSE companies, SMEs, Universities, Housing Associations and The Scouts!).

He is a formidable public speaker, a much in demand Chair of conferences and events, and a well-known broadcaster. For six years (2007 – 2013) he was The Chair of the Council of the University of Sussex. He is on the Board of the Brighton Dome and Festival, Housing 21 and English Touring Theatre. He recently co-authored a report for The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), with Dhanajayan Sriskandarajah, called “You Can’t Put Me In A Box”, which outlines the approach. The analysis is refreshing. Simon’s career has spanned live performance, broadcasting, journalism, training and advocacy on leadership and equality & diversity and as a non-exec. He has had several of his own series on Radio 4, Radio 5 and Talk Radio. He makes documentaries for the BBC on both Radio and TV. He is a regular on BBCBreakfast (BBC1). He has written extensively on the arts, politics, housing and equality & diversity for all the national newspapers. He has had columns in the Guardian, Sunday Times, and Time Out. He chairs and speaks at conferences and training programmes for a range of organisations both commercial and in public service. He has advised government on equalities, economic regeneration and the arts.

Sharon Constancon

Sharon Constançon

Sharon is the CEO of Genius Methods Ltd, the Managing Director of Valufin Ltd, a Non Executive Director of a Buckinghamshire Building Society and a Chartered Director Interviewer for the Institute of Directors.

Sharon talks about securing a Non Executive Director role, the challenges faced by CEOs & Boards and some of the issues she covers when mentoring Chairpeople.

Chris Spencer-Phillips

Chris Spencer-Phillips

Chris Spencer-Phillips is the Managing Director of First Flight, a specialist provider of Chairs and Non-Executive Directors, offering a service to companies that ensures they get the most effective NEDs.

First Flight work across all sectors including AIM listed, FTSE SmallCap companies, unquoted companies, SMEs, UK subsidiaries of multinationals and Angel/VC/PE-backed companies.