I am delighted to have been elected as Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists for 2019/20. Ours is a modern and vibrant Livery Company, and one of the biggest, with around 800 members. Membership is open to IT professionals and those with a significant interest in IT who want to give back to our profession through our many charitable activities, our educational work, and our support of the IT industry and individuals seeking to join it. We have a large number of active special interest groups which focus on different aspects of IT and our profession, and a strong culture of public service, supporting the Lord Mayor of London, contributing to the wider affairs of the City of London, and working with the other Livery Companies for the common good. And we are very proud to own our own historic Hall in the City.
Masters are invited to choose a theme for their year in office and mine is Fellowship. The WCIT is not like a place of work, a professional institution or a trade association, although we have close links with many of these. We offer a unique opportunity to join a community of like-minded individuals who, as well as working hard to promote IT, enjoy each other’s company at formal and informal events, celebrating the historic traditions of the City of London in a relaxed and happy atmosphere. We are friendly, diverse and inclusive. I became a member in 2007 and wish I had joined many years earlier!
If you are interested in finding out more about our Company, please do get in touch – we would be delighted to hear from you. My wife, Yvette, and I are looking forward to making many new friends through our WCIT activities during my time as Master – we send our warmest wishes for another year of good fellowship to all of our existing members and hope that many more will want to come and share in all of the good things we enjoy.
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 2019/20: 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).
Senior Warden: 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.
Junior Warden: Jonathan Soar
Panels 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.
Deputy Master: Lady Parmley (Wendy)
Wendy Parmley was born and educated in Blackpool, where she met her husband-to-be (Alderman Dr Sir Andrew Parmley) during her school days. She read Languages and Philosophy of Education at the University of Lancaster followed by a postgraduate diploma at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, Cardiff in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in addition to a linguistics diploma of the International Phonetics Association. She also is a Licentiate of Trinity College, London in Second Language Learning.
- PAST MASTER Dr Stefan Fafinski
- PAST MASTER Lieutenant Colonel Chris Histed
- PAST MASTER Jo Connell OBE DL
- PAST MASTER Michael Grant
- PAST MASTER Nicholas Birtles
- PAST MASTER Charles Hughes
- PAST MASTER Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE
- PAST MASTER Michael Webster
- PAST MASTER Sir David Wootton
- COURT ASSISTANT Alistair Fulton
- COURT ASSISTANT Paul Jagger
- COURT ASSISTANT Kerri Mansfield JP
- COURT ASSISTANT Gary Moore
- COURT ASSISTANT Gus Machado
- COURT ASSISTANT Sheldon Stoutt
- COURT ASSISTANT Martin Black
- COURT ASSISTANT Paul Finch
- HONORARY TREASURER Nicholas Claydon
- COURT LIVERYMAN Prof. Roy Isbell
- COURT LIVERYMAN Steve Kingan
- COURT LIVERYMAN Rebecca George OBE
- COURT LIVERYMAN Sheila Flavell
- COURT LIVERYMAN Michelle Gurney
- COURT LIVERYMAN Iain Mitchell QC
- COURT LIVERYMAN Maxine Ricketts
- COURT LIVERYMAN Steve Smith