Firstly, my thanks to each and every one of you for placing your trust in me for the next year. I will do my best to fulfil that trust.
I would like to start by thanking Ray Long for having led us through particularly difficult times over the past six months. I look forward to working with him, as our Deputy Master, over the coming months.
The theme for my year, Engagement (in the Involvement sense), intends to build on this progress across the following three areas:
- The Membership When everyone becomes a new Freeman, they are reminded that joining a livery company is a privilege and is membership for life. You pay an annual quarterage for this privilege. It is important, given the importance of this commitment, that everybody feels that they are getting value and satisfaction throughout their livery journey. To this end the Wardens, Alistair Fulton, Rob Wirszycz, Kerri Mansfield and I are looking at ways to seek the views of as many of you as possible as to how we can do this better.
- The City I am also a Liveryman of the Glass Sellers - interestingly, they see themselves as ‘Ambassadors for Glass’ in the City. I believe that we should follow this theme seeing ourselves as ‘Ambassadors for IT’. We are doing this now through our sponsorship of the Gresham lectures, our membership of the Financial Services Group, our involvement in Future.Now and working with other Livery Companies. One past Lord Mayor has described us as the “most relevant” livery company. Let us ensure that we maintain and enhance this reputation.
- The broad IT Industry and its leaders This is an area where, over the years, I think we have slipped. I would like to Increase our engagement with leaders from all sectors of IT in the UK; suppliers, corporate, academics and advisers / influencers. We need to create a better value proposition without compromising our independence and integrity.
I would welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we can develop these three themes and thereby build our reputation and influence as a Company, as members, and as an industry. Please email me (email@example.com).
Finally, we call ourselves a modern livery company. We should look and feel modern while recognising we are part of a great tradition - not vice versa. We have made great strides in the past twelve months with a new management system, the use of Zoom and Teams. Used effectively all of this should support increased engagement and activity. There are other areas where perhaps we could also become a little more modern.
I would like to feel that by this time next year each and every one of us has found some way of engaging in the Company, be it attending an event, joining a Panel or listening to a lecture.
These are the first steps that my fellow Wardens and I are taking along a journey to create a cohesive plan which all of us will carry out in the coming years. We hope you will join us to make it a reality and make being a member of the WCIT more enjoyable and fulfilling.
The Company’s structure mirrors the tradition of long-standing livery companies. A Master is elected every year, as are three supporting Wardens. A group of senior members form the Court which, chaired by the Master, is the governing body of the Company. There is a separate appointed board that is responsible for running the WCIT Charity. The Clerk is the “Chief Executive”, reporting to the Master and Court, managing the Company and the small Hall team. There is a range of panels and committees, each of which has a specific focus, from Arts to Employment, Accessibility to Education.
Master 2020/21: Mark Holford
Mark Holford is a solicitor by profession but spent 38 years with an international provider of market leading insurance services, many of them in the shipping and transport sector. During the last 20 years he has been involved in a number of B2B start-ups in the international transport sector. He is currently the chairman of another B2B tech start-up and a non-executive director of a wine importer: he is an investor in these and other start-ups. Mark is also a trustee of a charity which supports young opera singers in the early stages of their careers.
Mark has been a member of WCIT since 1994 and has sat on Court since 2012.
Senior Warden: Alistair Fulton
Alistair Fulton has been in the supply side of the IT Industry since 1971. Founding Managing Director of the Triad Group Plc in 1988 and CEO responsible for growth from start-up to London Stock Market IPO in March 1996. Triad won the Holway Boring Award in recognition of unbroken profits growth. He was Chairman from 1997 to 1999 and then senior non-executive Director to date. He was President of CSSA (now TechUK) in 2000-2001 and Board member 1995 to 2007. Alistair continues to represent UK IT Industry on the Philippines British Business Council since 1999. He is a mentor, non-executive director and an investor in early stage technology companies. Alistair is a Chartered Engineer and member of BCS. He was Chairman of the WCIT Industry Committee and has sat on Court since 2012.
Junior Warden: Rob Wirszycz
Rob Wirszycz is a non-exec chairman, advisor and mentor for a number of start-up, scale-up, private equity-backed and publicly-quoted businesses that operate in the software and services industry. He has been involved in the broad IT industry for over 30 years in marketing, sales and general management. He was Director General of the CSSA (now TechUK), the UK IT industry trade association, from 1994-1997. He holds Chartered status as an Engineer and Marketer, is a fellow of RSA and BCS, and is a Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School. He has been a member of WCIT since 1995 and has sat on Court since 2016. He is a member of the Entrepreneurs Panel, which he chaired for several years.
Panels Warden: Kerri Mansfield JP
Kerri Mansfield left school at 17 and has been in IT ever since, as a trainer, coach and project manager working as an independent consultant in the financial and technology sectors. Kerri was awarded a BSc in Social Studies from the Open University and gained her Masters in Professional Development from Middlesex University in 2019. Kerri is an Honorary Fellow of the Coaching Academy, a Fellow of the BCS and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute and was a winner at the National Mentoring Awards in 2019. Within WCIT, Kerri has been Chairman of the Events Panel, Careers Panel and Charitable Fundraising Committee and has been instrumental in the setup of the coaching initiative with the Royal Corps of Signals, Judicial Panel and the Equality Committee in recent years.
Kerri has been a member of WCIT since 2008 and has sat on Court since 2012.
Deputy Master: Ray Long CB
Ray Long left the Civil Service in 2017 after a 40-year career which included roles as Director of Business Tax Change and Corporate Services Change in HM Revenue & Customs, Senior Responsible Owner of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP’s) Infrastructure Modernisation Programme, and CEO of Benefits & Pensions Digital Technology Services Limited (the Government-owned private company which provides digital services to DWP).
- PAST MASTER Lady Parmley (Wendy)
- PAST MASTER Dr Stefan Fafinski
- PAST MASTER Lieutenant Colonel Chris Histed
- PAST MASTER Alderman Sir David Wootton
- PAST MASTER Nicholas Birtles
- PAST MASTER Michael Webster
- PAST MASTER Michael Grant
- PAST MASTER Jonathan Soar
- PAST MASTER Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE
- COURT ASSISTANT Dr Elizabeth Sparrow
- COURT ASSISTANT Gary Moore
- COURT ASSISTANT Gus Machado
- COURT ASSISTANT Martin Black
- COURT ASSISTANT Paul Finch
- COURT ASSISTANT Paul Jagger
- COURT ASSISTANT Sheila Flavell CBE
- COURT ASSISTANT Sheldon Stoutt
- HONORARY TREASURER Nicholas Claydon
- COURT LIVERYMAN Anjola Adeniyi
- COURT LIVERYMAN Dominic Aslan
- COURT LIVERYMAN Emma Steenson
- COURT LIVERYMAN Iain Mitchell QC
- COURT LIVERYMAN Maxine Ricketts
- COURT LIVERYMAN Michelle Gurney
- COURT LIVERYMAN Paul Excell
- COURT LIVERYMAN Major Sarah Trevelion
- COURT LIVERYMAN Steve Smith