Chairman of the Governors
Roger was educated at Woodbridge School, Mansfield College Oxford (MA Law) and the College of Law.
He joined Ashurst Morris Crisp (now Ashurst LLP) as a trainee in 1975 and became a partner in 1985, specialising in Corporate and Competition Law. He retired from the partnership in 2009 but remained an adviser to the firm until 2017. Between 1989 and 2004 he was responsible for the recruitment into the firm of trainee solicitors. He is the author of UK Merger Control: Law and Practice.
He was a member of the Competition and Markets Authority (formerly the Competition Commission) between 2009 and 2017 and is currently a Trustee of the Legal Education Foundation, Chairman of the City Solicitors Educational Trust, Chairman of Ipswich Town plc and a vice president of Ipswich Town Football Club, Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of British Universities and Colleges Sport, a member of the Mansfield College Development Board and chair of its Remuneration Committee and he has a number of other non executive roles.
To contact the Chair of Governors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or to write, please use the following address; Seckford Foundation, Marryott House, Burkitt Road, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4JJ.
Neil grew up in Woodbridge. He was educated at Woodbridge School and went on to study mechanical engineering at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
In 2012 he joined Lintstock, a corporate advisory firm based in London, where he is responsible for the scoping and delivery of Board performance review mandates. He has experience of facilitating reviews for Boards within a broad range of markets and sectors, including at listed, private and not-for-profit organisations.
Jude has a degree in Biochemistry from Bristol University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has extensive commercial and international experience gained from a 30-year career with KPMG. His experience includes auditing and advising on mergers, acquisitions and stock exchange listings, for public and private companies. He is a governor of the City Academy, Hackney, and the City of London Academy, Southwark. Jude is chair of SSAT (The Schools Network) Ltd, an education services provider and a non-executive director of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust where he chairs the audit and risk committee.
Wendy holds a BA(Hons) degree from London University in Town Planning.
After spending a short period as a town planner she moved into the field of housing association development, first in Norfolk and latterly in Suffolk. She has been Director of Development and Property Services for Orwell Housing Association since 1995 and also acts as the Director of Development for the e2 development consortium working on behalf of three other housing associations operating across East Anglia.
Wendy is also a trustee of St John’s Housing Trust, which supports the homeless.
Jill holds a degree in Geography from University College London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. She has over 30 years of experience of the not for profit sector particularly in social housing, including housing care and support, in the East Midlands, London and East Anglia. She has served as chair and board member of Orwell Housing Association and is currently a trustee of BSHF, a charity that transfers knowledge of solutions to global housing problems. She has written for the Chartered Institute of Housing and has served as a Governor of a local Primary school.
Inga was educated at Gravesend Grammar School and Regent Street Polytechnic (BA Hons Business Studies).
Inga spent fifteen years in commerce with Levi Strauss, Sainsbury and Storehouse, undertaking roles in marketing, brand management and general management. She then moved to the not for profit sector where she ran Ski Club of Great Britain before joining the National Trust, first being responsible for the Trust’s commercial operations and later for the management of one third of the Trust’s properties including those in the East of England. Most recently, until her retirement in 2010, she was Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society and in 2016 completed a term as Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the East of England
Inga is currently Chair of the Regional Advisory Board of the National Trust in East of England and in the June 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours list was awarded an OBE for her services to heritage and the community.
gained a PhD in Chemistry from Keele University before moving to Suffolk in 1985 to work for BT. Geoff’s career path at BT led him to study further gaining an MBA in Strategic Management from Nottingham University and later a Law degree from London Guildhall University. Geoff finally ended up in BT’s Brightstar business incubator helping to create fledging businesses. After leaving BT Geoff was elected first as a District and then as Town Councillor. He was Mayor of Woodbridge in 2014/15 and is currently Deputy Leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council as well as Cabinet Member for Economic Development. Geoff is a member of Woodbridge and District Lions Club, the Deben Yacht Club, Chairman of the Woodbridge Regatta Association and a Director of Choose Woodbridge CIC.
grew up in and around Woodbridge and attended Farlingaye High School. She has an LLB in Law with German from the University of Birmingham and also attended the University of Bayreuth and the College of Law in York. Sarah joined Birketts LLP as a trainee solicitor in 2008 and is now a senior associate specialising in shipping and international trade disputes. She lives in Woodbridge with her husband and 3 chickens.
Kevan was educated at Southampton University, Chichester Theological College, where he gained a Certificate in Theology.
He was ordained in 1980. After a number of roles as a curate and parish priest in Ross on Wye and Leominster he became the chaplain of Royal Hospital School Holbrook in 1987 before being appointed rector of St Mary’s Parish Church Woodbridge in 2001. He is also honorary chaplain to Ipswich Town Football Club, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Woodbridge Royal British Legion, Seckford Foundation (The Seckford Chapel), Officiating Chaplain to the Military and Chaplain to the Provincial Grand Lodge of Suffolk. He became a Canon in 2009 and in 2014 was appointed Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.
Graham returned a few years ago to the UK with his family (2 of his 4 sons are still at Woodbridge School) after 24 years living abroad. He is Chair of Institute of Directors in Suffolk and a Prince’s Trust mentor. In the past, he was a member of the supervisory board of The British School in The Netherlands and a Trustee of Dulwich College Beijing. He: volunteers; invests in start-ups and scale-ups; and holds board/trustee roles – his ‘third’ career.
His ‘first’ career was a Mining Engineer managing underground operations in coal and gypsum mines in the UK. After his MBA (1993), Graham joined FilmNet in corporate finance and business development – the start of his ‘second career’. He joined Irdeto, a media technology company, in 1995 and was CEO from 1998 until his resignation in 2015. Graham’s qualifications include: BEng (Hons) and MBA degrees; Chartered Engineer and European Engineer; Chartered Director; Member of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Bryan Laxton Member of Property Committee and Member of the Finance and Audit Committee.
Bryan has a BSc (Hons) in Land Management from Reading University and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Bryan has over 35 years business experience mainly at Cushman & Wakefield – one of the world’s largest real estate advisory firms. Bryan served on the UK Board for 11 years, including 5 years as CEO and the EMEA Board for 8 years. Bryan has served as Chairman of the Reading Real Estate Foundation charity during his 10 years on the board. Bryan joined the board of Notcutts, a Woodbridge based Garden Centre retailer, in 2015. Bryan is married and has two sons at Woodbridge School.
Jeston Na Nakhorn Governor
Jeston was educated at Felsted School, the University of Bristol, where he read Classics, and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He commissioned into the Royal Logistic Corps in 1997 and left the Army briefly in 2001 working in the recruitment industry, then rejoined and transferred to the Coldstream Guards. Over his 17-year military career he served on operations in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, and enjoyed overseas postings in Italy and Denmark.
Jeston retired from the Army in 2013 and joined the food retailer Sainsbury’s. Jeston has two children at Woodbridge School. He enjoys running, cycling and rugby, though the latter now from the sidelines.
Judi Newman Governor
Over the past twenty years, Judi Newman has worked across the charitable and public sectors in local, national and international organisations as a fundraiser and philanthropy advisor. After moving to Suffolk in 2007, Judi was the Development Director for the Suffolk Community Foundation for six years where she helped raise endowments for Suffolk worth over £7m from local benefactors and match funders. During her time at the Suffolk Community Foundation, Judi worked on a range of initiatives to raise awareness and funds for Suffolk communities, including Suffolk Dog Day, the EADT’s Surviving Winter Appeal and the 2011 “Hidden Needs” report from the University of Cambridge.
Judi has now established a new independent charity to improve access to renewable energy in remote communities in rural India, called the Armstrong Energy Global Foundation. She is an Honorary Fellow of The University of Suffolk and a member of its Foundation Board and is Non-Executive Director of East of England Co-Op.
Emily was educated at Woodbridge School, Gonville & Caius College Cambridge (MA History), and BPP Law School in London (GDL and LPC). After Cambridge she lived, studied and worked in Tokyo for two years as a Daiwa Scholar before pursuing a legal career and joining Hogan Lovells as a trainee solicitor in 2014.
Emily is now an Associate in Hogan Lovells’ employment law team in London. She advises multinational employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, corporate transactions and complex Employment Tribunal claims. She also does pro bono legal work for survivors of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Martin’s career has been spent in the property sector where, since 1990, he has been an executive director of Churchmanor Estates plc, an Ipswich based property development and investment company.
He has been a member of Woodbridge Town Council since 2003, serving as town Mayor on three occasions and as the chair or vice chair of a number of its committees. He has a breadth of local experience gained from board membership of Suffolk Heritage Housing Association, Woodbridge Round Table, Deben Yacht Club, Deben Valley Young Farmers Club and as a school governor.
James graduated from Cambridge University (MA Economics) and his first career was in financial services working for Morgan Guaranty, Granville and then latterly running the UK equities and investment banking operations of US investment bank Robert W Baird.
Over the last 10 years James has established a number of private companies involved in IT Services and recruitment.
James is married with five adult daughters and has lived in Suffolk for over 25 years.
Jane was educated at Queen Mary College, University of London (LLB) and The College of Law.
She qualified as a solicitor in 1982 having trained at Slaughter & May and after a career break while her children were of pre school age she returned to the University of London for a Masters degree in Law. Jane was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Essex in 1992 and has been a member of the School of Law since then, specialising in Human Rights Law, on which she has lectured and written widely. Her academic interests have frequently taken her abroad, particularly to the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe.
Jane has served as both the Dean and the Head of the School of Law and in 2011 was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Standards) with responsibility for the Faculty of Humanities and Comparative Studies at Essex. She retired from the University in 2017.
Co-opted Committee Members
Sarah Hill embarked upon a career in media planning with BMP following her English degree from Exeter, subsequently becoming media director of DMB&B in Hong Kong. Returning to London she became a board director of Young & Rubicam . During her family’s five year stint in Moscow she was trustee and chair of the British registered charity Action for Russia’s Children.
Sarah has four children at Woodbridge School. She is a Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer and is a member of Ipswich Orchestral Society. She also enjoys running, cycling and sailing.
Gary Pilkington has over twenty years’ background in primary education, having qualified in teaching at Aberystwyth University in Wales. He started teaching in 1994 at Britannia Primary School in Ipswich and subsequently went on to teach at Heath School in Kesgrave. In 2001 he became the Deputy Headteacher of Hadleigh Primary School, and was Headteacher there from 2004 until 2010. He moved to Claydon High School until 2015 when he returned to Hadleigh Primary School as Headteacher. Gary’s wife teaches at Woodbridge School and he has two children here.
Chris Staley has been a teacher and involved in education for 25 years. Having graduated from the University of Portsmouth, he then went onto London University for his PGCE and so began a relationship with the Institute of Education that still exists today. He started working in the state sector but after two years moved to Cranleigh School in Surrey. There he gained experience as Geography teacher, CCF officer, Rugby, Hockey, Tennis and Cricket coach, Deputy Housemaster, Head of Department, Housemaster and lastly, Senior Housemaster. After 15 years at Cranleigh he became Deputy Head at Milton Abbey School and having completed four years in Dorset then moved to become Headmaster at Wisbech Grammar in 2014, an HMC co-educational day school.
In 2010, he has completed an MBA with the University of London and also currently lectures to two cohorts of MBA students in Marketing, Resource Management, Strategic Leadership, Finances and most recently Human Resources. He is also currently training to be an ISI inspector.
Chris is a classic all-rounder who loves, in equal measure, his sport, art, music and drama. He enjoys the outdoors (alongside his Rhodesian Ridgeback Albie), taking part in Crossfit at the gym, Marvel films and spending time with his wife (a Governor at Sherborne School) and three children: Charlie 17 years old, Tilly 15 years old and Octavia 13 years old.
Finance & Audit Committee
Steve Liddell is a Chartered Accountant and a partner at Mazars LLP. Previously he worked for KPMG, specialising in audit and transaction advisory work. He has worked in London, Munich and Ipswich where he was Office Senior Partner from 2002-2006.
He is a keen sailor and a former committee member of Aldeburgh Yacht Club.
Margaret McKenna MA MBA FCMA After reading Physics at Somerville College Oxford, Margaret qualified as a Management Accountant (FCMA) and developed her financial skills in a number of business areas. She then studied for an MBA at the London Business School, and subsequently worked as a finance manager for a variety of organisations in roles including change management and business development. After a stint as Finance Director of a large FE College, she joined Sherborne School as Deputy Bursar, and became Bursar five years later. In 2009, after seven years as Bursar at Sherborne, she was appointed Bursar of Felsted School. Whilst at Sherborne she was Governor of two prep schools and latterly Chair of Governors of Sherborne Preparatory School. She was elected as a member of the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association Board in 2010, Treasurer for 2013-15 and Chairman in 2016. She retired from Felsted in September 2017. Married to David, she has three adult children, two of whom are teachers.
Alex Skailes is Director of consulting at the Cass Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness and teaches on the Cass MSc programme. Prior to focusing on the nonprofit sector, she held senior roles with PwC and Deutsche Bank. Alex is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and holds their post graduate diploma in charity accounting. She has an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School, a BA in Geography from University College, London and is a Fellow of the RSA and RGS. Alex is a Freeman of the City of London and until 2016 was Chair of Community Action Suffolk.