Head of Power Delivery, Transport for London
Andre is the Head of Power and Electrical for London Underground and has been in this position since Sept 2016. Prior to London Underground Andre held various roles at Gatwick Airport from an Engineering Manager to a Airport Operations manager and then leading in commercial operations for the airport. Andre joined Gatwick Airport in 2012 and prior to this spent six years in the Army with 59 Commando Sqn Royal Engineers where he completed a tour of Afghanistan in 2008. He is married and has two boys.
CEO, The Training Room
Andrew Powell has recently completed an MBO of The Training Room, which was purchased from Lloyds Development Capital. The primary purpose of the business is to engage the under privileged, poorly educated and unemployed demographic across the UK market and to provide them with relevant and exceptional industry and government recognised educational programmes, that result with the graduated population getting into work. In 2016, over 3,200 students traversed the educational programmes on offer and 83% of the graduated population went into work. Prior to this Andrew was Global Chief Operating Officer for six years at Colt Technology Services, a £1.6Bn T/O FTSE 250 Fidelity investment. Andrew’s career has been wide and varied and includes 11 formative years spent serving with the British military to include five years spent serving with the UK Special Forces.
Ben Farrell MBE
Head of Central Operations and Transport, John Lewis
In February 2014 Ben took up his current role as Head of Central Operations and Transport for John Lewis. He has a wide and varied array of responsibilities across John Lewis’ daily and future operations and loves the fast pace and challenges of the job. He joined the John Lewis Partnership as Group Head of Operational Risk Management in 2011 and was responsible for developing the John Lewis Partnership’s resilience and awareness of future risks to successful trading. Prior to joining the John Lewis Partnership he served in the Army. Commissioned into the Irish Guards, he held commands during the invasion of Iraq, in Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. He was awarded an MBE for his service in Kosovo in 1999. He commanded the Irish Guards between 2008-2010. He then held a variety of strategy roles in the Ministry of Defence for a number of years and led the team responsible for the day to day running of the British military operation in Iraq for two and a half years. He has a Master’s degree from Cranfield University.
Facilities Director, Hearst Magazines UK
Di is Director of Facilities at Hearst UK, the publisher of 19 magazine brands and five pureplay digital brands including Cosmopolitan, Digital Spy, ELLE, Esquire, Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar. She has held this position since 2001, managing projects, negotiating contracts and running all office facilities with a small dedicated team serving 850 staff. Di has created and led a multi-disciplinary team, establishing a unified, effective workforce. Her department includes the property maintenance team, security, post room, reception, security and switchboard, helping to provide a stimulating, comfortable and safe working environment for approximately 1,000 staff.
Dougie Dryburgh is CEO of Viapath, one of the UK’s largest independent pathology providers. After finishing university where he studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering followed by an MSc in Information Technology, Dougie joined the RAF on a permanent commission where he served in many varied roles within training, operations and infrastructure branches. Whilst serving in the RAF, Dougie was appointed as aide de camp to HRH The Princess Royal and Captained the 1998 British Winter Olympic Curling team in Nagano, Japan. He completed his MBA at Henley Management College, attained the rank of Wing Commander and retired from the RAF in 2006. On leaving the RAF Dougie joined the Board of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) as Executive Director for Estates and Logistics where he served for six years. He played a key role in the consolidation of NHSBT’s services across England, which resulted a significant reduction in the cost of blood and blood products to the NHS. In 2012, Dougie joined QinetiQ to run the Ministry of Defence’s largest outsourced contract – the £5.6Bn Long Term Partnering Agreement – before returning to Healthcare in 2014 as Chief Operating Officer at Viapath. In October 2016 he was appointed as CEO.
Defence and Intelligence Director, Cisco
On leaving the Army after 18 years of operational service, Hugh joined PA Consulting Group as a Managing Consultant working in the UK and US Public Sectors, and helped create the Defence and Intelligence Practice within PA. He specialised in high-performance organisational design and the practical application of strategic leadership models. On joining Cisco in 2007 Hugh built and led the UK government operation, which now includes a strong focus on consultancy and services as well as solution provision. Since 2015 Hugh has been the Senior Strategy Director in the Global Strategy Group building new organisational models and coverage frameworks for Cisco’s global markets. He holds top level security clearance, is an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, an Officer in the Army Reserve, an adviser to the UK Government on Cyber Security, and a regular speaker at National and International forums. He has a Master’s Degree in Defence Technology, and was awarded an MBE in 1994 and an OBE in 2004.
Head of Regulatory & Market Structure Propositions, Thomson Reuters
John Mason is the Global Head of Regulatory and Market Structure Propositions at Thomson Reuters. In this role, John is responsible for ensuring that Thomson Reuters is effectively addressing the industry’s regulatory challenges and developing solutions across the entire product range to meet the evolving requirements of the financial market participants. His military connections extend from the past, where he served as a Reserve in the Army, to the current where he actively supports charities such as The Afghanistan Trust, now Support Our Paras, the Churchill Lines Foundation and acts as a mentor for Hire a Hero and Vets.
Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters UK
John Ponsonby was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in April 1983, after nine years service in the British Army. He served as a support helicopter pilot throughout his career, operating in North West Europe, Northern Ireland, The Falklands and Bosnia. He held staff appointments at Group, Command and MOD level, including as Deputy Principal Staff Officer to the Chief of the Defence Staff. He was appointed Air Officer Commanding Training Group on 4 January 2005 and became Air Officer Commanding No 22 (Training) Group on 30 October 2006, where he was responsible for fixed and rotary wing flying training, RAF recruiting, individual ab-initio and specialist ground training and oversight of the Air Cadet Organisation. He is a graduate of the RAF Staff College and the Joint Service Command and Staff College. He was appointed OBE in the 1998 New Year Honours List, ADC to HM The Queen in 2001 and received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the 2002 Operational Honours List. In September 2007, John chose to leave military service to take a commercial role as Senior Vice President Training with AgustaWestland. In August 2015 John became Managing Director, AgustaWestland. John relinquished his functional support responsibilities in October 2016 and is now focusing his full time attention towards his UK/export responsibilities in his role as Managing Director, Leonardo Helicopters UK, and as a Director on the Leonardo MW Ltd Board.
Head of Fleet Services, Royal Mail
Lyanne joined Royal Mail in Apr 2014 as the Head of Fleet Services and is in charge of setting the fleet, fuel and environmental strategy for the largest fleet in the UK (c48,000 vehicle fleet and a c£170M fuel budget). Before this Lyanne had a 26 year career in the British Army as part of the Royal Logistic Corps, leaving as the most senior serving female officer. She joined the Army in 1987 from university and after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Course was commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, a forerunner of the Royal Logistic Corps. Lyanne has undertaken operational tours in the Balkans, Angola, Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded a QVCS for Angola. She was the first women to be the operational planner for the Household Division in London and was publicly recognised with an MBE for planning and executing Defence’s role in the funeral of HRH The Queen Mother and for the design of complex plans in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 for the Army in London. Lyanne commanded the Scottish Transport Regiment in Edinburgh before a walk-on part as the operational planner at the Defence Equipment and Support Agency in order to deliver a major defence contract in Afghanistan, followed by further promotion to Colonel and appointment as the Assistant Director for the Army’s Future Reserves 2020 programme. The £1.2bn army transformational programme was to deliver a credible, usable and relevant Army Volunteer Reserve as an integrated and enduring element of the Army, the greatest change to the Army Volunteer Reserve since Haldane’s review of 1907. Finally, Lyanne was the Chief of Staff of the Defence College of Logistic, Policing and Administration, the largest college in Europe with 30,000 students a year. She has an MSc (Cranfield) and MA (Kings).
Vice President, NTT Data UK
Mike was educated at Clifton College in Bristol and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment in 1991. On leaving the Army he started a new career in consulting and HR, mostly within the technology sector. This included being the global head of resourcing and recruitment at Logica which at the time was the largest British-owned IT services business. Logica recruited actively from the military around the world into its defence, space and intelligence business. Mike is currently responsible for selling and delivering strategic staffing. NTT DATA is a leading IT services provider and global innovation partner headquartered in Tokyo, with business operations in over 40 countries.
Managing Director & Founder, Soldier On!
Nicholas Harrison helps people to identify their authentic mission and vision in life and at work. He created the Transperformance approach to managing periods of change and is the founder of our benefitting charity, Soldier On! He is a published author, part-time PhD student, and board member of various HR/Recruitment committees.
Executive Director, JP Morgan
Paul graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 1997 and was commissioned into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He deployed straight to South Armagh and took over his platoon on operations. Paul commanded on subsequent operational tours to Bosnia (twice) and Iraq prior to serving for a year in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as part of the US Marine Corps Regional Headquarters. This was his final role in the British Army before he transitioned into civilian life and joined J.P. Morgan in 2011. Paul was part of the first ex-Military Internship Programme and secured a permanent role in the Global Corporate Bank leading the expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. After a couple of years developing capability in this region, he moved into Treasury Services, part of the team driving J.P. Morgan’s regional legal entity strategy.
UK National Security & Public Safety, AWS
Robbie works within the UK National Security and Public Safety team at AWS, responsible for supporting and serving the UK national security and public safety sectors in their adoption of cloud computing. Robbie grew up in a forces family, served nine years in the Royal Air Force and for 12 years has been collaborating with the UK armed forces community through Industry, working for some of the most prominent technology companies of their time.
Deputy Managing Director and Head of the Ex-Forces Programme, FDM Group
Stewart Sharman MBE retired from the British Army in Dec 2013 after nearly 30 years in the Royal Signals. As the Global Head of FDM’s ex-forces initiative and Deputy MD for the UK, Stewart has overseen the setting up and running of the programme since January 2014. The programme has recruited, trained and placed over 384 ex-services personnel as FDM consultants across the FDM client base. The success of the programme is a tribute to the skills of those leaving the forces but also their attitude, commitment and desire to have a meaningful second career. FDM’s commitment to the ex-forces was recognised in 2017 with the Defence Relationship Management Gold Award. Having recently taken on responsibility for FDMs ex-forces initiatives globally, Stewart is looking to establish ex-forces programmes across USA, Australia and Canada. Stewart is also a Trustee of Operation Christmas Box (OCB), a small charity that ensures any serviceman or woman away from their family at Christmas receives a box of small but useful and festive related items. Over 7500 boxes were delivered to those on operations across the world in December 2017. The slightly dishevelled image of Stewart in this photo was taken after he completed the Race Across America on a bicycle: 3004 miles in 7 days, 22 hours and 2 minutes raising £79,000 for BLESMA and the Wounded Warrior Project.
CEO, KCS Group Europe
Stuart has been involved in the Intelligence arena for over 40 years. His extensive knowledge of intelligence and security began when he served in the RAF in a variety of locations such as Aden and Nigeria. Later, with the SIB and other agencies he had several tours in the Middle East; locations such as Egypt, Libya and two tours in Yemen. His military career culminated in a tour of Oman. On leaving the RAF, he became the Special Projects Director for the Coral Leisure Group. Late in 1982 he joined the Government’s Operations Research Unit where he worked on many assignments in Eastern Europe. He left government service In 1990 and became managing director of the Merchant International Group. In 2007, he joined KCS Group, a leading provider of security and intelligence services, operating in some of the world’s most difficult environments on complex cases of fraud, theft, corruption, market dynamics and cyber security. Stuart is the author of many papers and books on security, intelligence operations and worldwide threats.
Director, Sage Foundation, and CEO, Invictus Games 2016
Victoria’s career achievements to date include being the Chief Executive Officer for Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando and the Military Project Lead for the first Invictus Games (London 2014), inspiring 14 nations and over 400 athletes to compete. She has completed 21 years service within the Royal Air Force culminating with the prestigious rank of Group Captain. Victoria has served on numerous deployments around the world including Iraq and prior to the inaugural Invictus Games she was the Base Support Commander for a Support Helicopter Base of 3500 personnel, which provided support to Operation Herrick, Afghanistan. Victoria is a passionate sportswoman and dedicates most of her spare time promoting adaptive sport within the Military. Vicky was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2004 following her deployment on Operations to Iraq and for her commitment to RAF Waddington, and she was also subsequently appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014 for her commitment to RAF Benson and to adaptive sports. Victoria is currently the Strategic Advisor for the Invictus Games UK Board; she is on the Steering Committee for a high profile Global Mental Health Campaign; Head of Social Impact for a flourishing FinTech Start up Business; Director of the Sage Foundation; the Armed Forces Councillor for the Lawn Tennis Association working closely with the Tennis Foundation, widely promoting Wheelchair Tennis; Ambassador for the War Horse Project; and she was recently appointed Custodian for the Rugby Centurions.