IPSE is delighted to announce the following result from the recent election for the Board of Directors:-
To serve as IPSE Directors from the close of the GM in January 2019 and for a term of three years
To serve as IPSE Directors from the close of the GM in January 2019 and for a term of one year
Why are you interested in serving on the IPSE Board?
I care about what IPSE does and am keen to support and promote the aims of IPSE and its members. I’ve been self-employed and now an independent consultant through a limited company, I understand the challenges facing our members and would like to ensure IPSE continues to have a voice representing our membership. Having been personally affected by the public sector IR35 changes and clients’ late payments I’m keen to continue serving on the Board and make a positive difference.
What particular expertise and knowledge do you bring to the Board?
Over the last 18 years’ I have held board-level roles in the UK and internationally, with 6 years’ as a non-executive in the not-for-profit sector. I am a Chartered HR professional, MSP/PRINCE2 programme manager; coach and facilitator. I have worked as an employee and contractor in a variety of sectors such as professional services, transportation, engineering, defence, support services, and healthcare; many of which have been global in nature. I have developed and implemented the people strategy for several organisations and have experience of delivering commercially successful business growth internationally. I have helped to establish operations (North America, Middle East, Asia, Australia, Europe) and undertaken acquisitions/integrations in the UK and overseas. I am able to evaluate and interpret financial date and have a good understanding of financial and investment strategies e.g. bonds, treasury. My contracting knowledge and variety of organisational experiences can assist the Board in developing IPSE’s strategy and in its decision making.
What experience do you have of Board level work?
I have executive and non-executive experience of boards and of leadership in several organisations. I am knowledgeable on governance, law, risk, remuneration and strategy. I am a non-executive director of Radian and GreenSquare and chair their remuneration committees. Both these housing associations are in a regulated environment where an organisation’s governance and viability are assessed annually. I have been a member of IPSE’s nomination committee and serve on the audit and risk committee (I am also on Radian’s A&RC).
Formerly, I was the chairman and a trustee of Wiltshire Air Ambulance and was involved in PR, marketing and communications undertaking media interviews, hosting MPs and being an ambassador for the charity. I have promoted diversity and inclusion at board-level; encouraged and mentored women into STEM. I recently facilitated a joint IPSE/CIPD focus group on the potential rollout of IR35 off-payroll to the private sector. I have assisted several clients with their board and leadership development; and have facilitated board meetings, committees and events.
Freelancing is a hugely important part of my working life and the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) is vital component of that lifestyle. I am standing for a Non-Executive Director (NED) role on IPSE’s Board of Directors (BOD) to help protect that lifestyle and because I believe that my experiences as freelancer, as someone who has represented IPSE at a local and national level, make me an excellent candidate.
I am a freelancer because of the opportunities available to me like the right to control the way I work and the path my career follows. This control has allowed me to enter new ﬁelds and to consider new business opportunities such as collaborative working, and I will bring this belief to the role of NED and join IPSE’s ﬁght against the proposed changes to off-payroll working. It is vital to me that my business status is recognised and I will seek to support all efforts to create a fairer system for freelancers.
I will bring my experience of working as a freelance IT consultant for last thirteen years on various projects in the public and private sector. I have successfully fulﬁlled freelance managerial roles requiring me to hire and lead teams, to achieve goals and deliver outcomes to senior managerial staff. These experiences, along with those of running a business, have helped me to support other freelancers and I will aim to continue this work on the BoD.
During my third term on IPSE’s Consultative Council (CC) I have sought to be a positive, independent contributor to the organisation through engagement on keys issues, the promotion of ideas, Freelance Friday events, and through engagement with the wider membership and beyond. I have sought to use the knowledge gained during my previous term on the IPSE BoD to further develop my contributions to CC and I will continue this conversation, if elected, and maintain a link with the CC and the membership.
I have been an active member of the local freelance community within Scotland, helping to arrange IPSE events, such as a co-working club because I believe that IPSE’s membership is one of its most important resources. If elected, I would make the support of members the key tenet of my tenure by seeking ways IPSE and its members can support and collaborate with each other.
Over the last three years I have enjoyed being an active member of IPSE on panels at National Freelancers Day and as a member of the Consultative Council where I actively participate in discussion and debate. I believe that collective debate on key issues is extremely important and I’m unafraid of adapting my own views and opinions when presented with well-reasoned arguments and evidence. I’ve seen a lot of change over recent years and I am genuinely excited about the opportunity to serve on the board and contribute further to the growth of IPSE.
I’ve been a freelancer since 2004 and started my first business, Intelligent Penguin, at university. Intelligent Penguin was incorporated in 2011 when the company started to grow and I became responsible for all aspects of the business including strategy, hiring (firing), managing a team of 13 great people, financial planning and marketing. On occasion I had to face some very tough decisions and reached out to experienced friends and family to assist me with these. This access to expertise and critical friends is a fundamental part of the value that the IPSE community should bring.
I continue to work with a large mix of clients, including start-ups and freelancers, through my software development company “The Code Guy”. At my core I am a problem solver and a pragmatist. Like most developers I’m very intrigued by shiny new ideas and innovations but I am able to channel and adapt this instinct to focus on the client’s business need. The software solution must always come second to understanding the client’s business need and their strategic plan.
I believe the type of freelancer I am enables me to be able to positively contribute to the board and offer insight in setting the strategic goals for IPSE. I would welcome your support and the opportunity to represent the needs and interests of the IPSE freelance community.
When I saw the call for directors I felt a close synergy between what I’ve been trying to change over 18 years and IPSE’s strategy. I have many of the skills listed under the Desirable Specialist Expertise. My personal passion for economic development stems from having lived through the demise of manufacturing and high technology engineering during the 1980/90s. In the late 1990s I saw the economic shift to a knowledge economy enabled by the growth of internet-based technologies. I forecasted that this would elevate the economic importance of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It was this forecast that underpinned the award-winning Science Park Business I founded in 2000 and then, following acquisition, having the privilege of leading Oxford Innovation to become the largest innovation centre operator in the UK (25 innovation centres supporting over 1,200 start-up and SME businesses with flexible business space and business support programmes).
For the last 18 years I have seen many barriers to entry for freelancers/self-employed and their subsequent growth into small businesses. I have sought to influence change as a business leader and volunteer. I was elected to the main board of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and continue to chair Venturefest South which is an annual showcase event to strengthen connectivity between innovators, investors and entrepreneurs.
Whilst there have been some successes, progress has been frustratingly slow due to vested interests and institutional/bureaucratic behaviours. The barriers to growth I’ve witnessed are diverse and range from legislative issues (eg IR35, business rates); skills and careers advice; access to finance and; access to investment. Institutions such as government, banks, LEPs, property investors, training providers do not culturally understand how to support the growth of entrepreneurial businesses and a strong evidenced based lobby is critical if this is to change.
I’m excited by the opportunity to work with IPSE and believe that my experience enables me to add significant value. I am an experienced director with 18 years of executive and non-executive main board experience on both company and public sector boards.