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Our Trustees

Tim Oliver – Chair

Tim is a solicitor by training, who stepped down as CEO of the Parabis Group in 2014, having founded and then led the firm for many years. Parabis provided advice to insurers on a range of legal and other professional services. When Tim left the business it employed over 2500 people across a number of locations in the UK…more

Fiona Stark – Vice Chair

Fiona has many years’ experience as a Board level executive in both the private and public sectors. Before retiring she was Corporate Affairs Director for E.ON, the energy company and a founding member of the Company’s Diversity Leadership Group…more

Nikki Walker – Treasurer

Nikki is a graduate in accountancy and is a fellow of CIMA. In 2013 Nikki set up More2Gain a business led change consultancy helping organisations across all industries drive strategic change in diversity and inclusion…more

Helen Humphreys

Helen is an experienced corporate affairs director who has specialised in reputation and issues management, and has managed major change programmes for large organisations…more

Gemma Rosenblatt

Gemma joined the Advertising Standards Authority in 2015 as their research specialist. Prior to this, she had led the Electoral Commission’s research programme and worked in research roles at the Hansard Society and Fawcett Society. Her areas of research have included parliamentary and constitutional affairs, elections and electoral registration, and the participation of women and ethnic minorities in politics….more

Mary Starks

Mary is Director of the Competition and Economics Division and Chief Economist at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). She shares the role, working 3 days a week. more

Jennifer Thomas

Jennifer has over 20 years of extensive experience of both corporate and consumer PR. She has been at Direct Line Group for nine years and is currently Head of Internal Communications and Experience. Jennifer was previously Media Relations Executive at Lloyd’s of London and Motability…more

Rachel Verdin

Rachel has over 14 years’ experience working within the trade union environment supporting, negotiating for and representing members in both the public and private sectors. In doing so Rachel has worked with companies and local authorities as they try to improve their record on equality…more

 


Tim Oliver – Chair.  Tim is a solicitor by training, who stepped down as CEO of the Parabis Group in 2014, having founded and then led the firm for many years. Parabis provided advice to insurers on a range of legal and other professional services. When Tim left the business it employed over 2500 people across a number of locations in the UK.  Outside of his professional career he has always been actively involved in the voluntary and charitable sector. A Borough Councillor for over 15 years, he is very engaged in his local community as well as having served on the Boards of a number of schools, a 6th Form College and a University as well as a Prison. He and his wife Debi, a local GP, have been active supporters of Shooting Star Chase children’s Hospice where Tim previously served as Chair of Trustees. Tim’s experience in business and his involvement in the not for profit sector has given him a very good understanding of some of the challenges people using the services of Working Families face in their day to day lives. The charity has a vital role to play in supporting those people as well as educating employers and politicians on how they can improve individuals and families’ quality of life.

 


Fiona Stark – Vice Chair has many years’ experience as a Board level executive in both the private and public sectors. Before retiring she was Corporate Affairs Director for E.ON, the energy company and a founding member of the Company’s Diversity Leadership Group. She is a qualified lawyer and was Chair of E.ON’s pension scheme for many years. Fiona is also a Trustee of The Shakespeare Hospice and the Municipal Charities of Stratford Upon Avon which manages almshouses in the town.

 


Nikki Walker – Treasurer is a graduate in accountancy, she is a fellow of CIMA. Nikki began her career at Coca Cola Schweppes and worked in a number of FMCG companies before joining Cisco in 1999. Over the next 14 years, Nikki took on a variety of senior roles within Cisco spanning finance, strategy and operations. Cutting her teeth in a fast-moving, high-stake, sales oriented environment provided her with a keen understanding of business and a drive to set and reach transformational goals. It was during this time that her deep interest in diversity and inclusion blossomed.

In 2008 she was appointed to the role of Managing Director for Diversity and Inclusion for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia at Cisco. Over the next five years, Nikki drove cultural change right across the organization, with a hands on, practical approach that saw her achieve buy-in from all areas of the business. Working at EMEAR board level Nikki masterminded programs to engage senior leadership and implemented strategies touching all areas across the breadth of diversity and helping to build Cisco’s “people brand” across EMEAR.

Along the way she has chaired WeConnect Advisory board for Europe for 4 years. She is a member of the board for the National Equality Standard in the UK and also sits on the faculty for Diversity for the Conference Board in Europe and the US.

The impact Nikki has had is widely recognised and in 2011 she was awarded the Everywoman in Technology Inspiration of the year.

In 2013 Nikki set up More2Gain a business led change consultancy helping organisations across all industries drive strategic change in diversity and inclusion. More2Gain is working with diverse clients from many industries including Allianz, Brambles Cisco, and Roche.

 


Helen Humphreys is an experienced corporate affairs director who has specialised in reputation and issues management, and has managed major change programmes for large organisations.

Helen also coaches and mentors senior executives and has advised corporate communication teams on how to work more effectively.  Most recently, Helen was the Group Internal Communication Director for Lloyds Banking Group where she was responsible for all strategic internal communication across the group, overseeing a large team of internal communicators.

Helen has lived and worked in Asia and Europe and has worked for large businesses including NatWest, Coutts, FTSE, Prudential, Norwich Union, Aviva, Rolls-Royce and United Biscuits.  Helen has also run her own business and operated as an independent strategic communications consultant.

Helen is an experienced Non-Executive Director and recently completed her six-year tenure on the Board of Drinkaware.

 


 

Gemma Rosenblatt joined the Advertising Standards Authority in 2015 as their research specialist. Prior to this, she had led the Electoral Commission’s research programme and worked in research roles at the Hansard Society and Fawcett Society. Her areas of research have included parliamentary and constitutional affairs, elections and electoral registration, and the participation of women and ethnic minorities in politics. Gemma is also a member of the advisory board for the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, Oxford.

 


Mary Starks is Director of the Competition and Economics Division and Chief Economist at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). She shares the role, working 3 days a week.

She has worked part-time in senior roles for over 10 years. She has held previous roles at the Office of Fair Trading, the New Zealand Commerce Commission, NERA Economic Consulting, and the Bank of England.

 


 

Jennifer Thomas has over 20 years of extensive experience of both corporate and consumer PR. She has been at Direct Line Group for nine years and is currently Head of Financial Communications overseeing the reputation all management of the Group. Jennifer was previously Media Relations Executive at Lloyd’s of London and Motability.

She is married and has first-hand experience of trying to juggle a career whilst raising two boys, aged 7 and 5.  She has a dual degree in Economics and Dance and alongside her keen interest in performing arts, she was also a former 400m and 400m hurdles runner for England.

 


Rachel Verdin has over 14 years’ experience working within the trade union environment supporting, negotiating for and representing members in both the public and private sectors. In doing so Rachel has worked with companies and local authorities as they try to improve their record on equality. She is currently a commissioner on the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission, an independent body set up to address the inequalities in the city.  Rachel is a firm believer in social justice and enjoy the challenge of ensuring people are treated with dignity and respect at work. She has an interest in law and have recently studied a postgraduate law course focusing in part on inequality in employment.  As a mother of two young daughters Rachel is excited to be joining Working Families as a trustee to support the fabulous work you do. In her spare time, she enjoys running, football and gardening.  And trying to keep up with her twins!