I became a Trustee in June 2018 following the recent election. I thought a lot about the responsibility involved and I was delighted when the scheme members gave me their support. I am very keen to get up to speed and ensure that I fulfil my role.
My career started with British Airways when I joined as a graduate trainee and I then moved on to work for Thomson Holidays before joining the Tourist Boards in 1985. I worked for the British Tourist Authority in London, initially, and then overseas in Australia and Ireland. I returned to London to take up the role of Chief Executive of the English Tourism Council in 2000. When the ETC and BTA merged in 2003 (yes it has happened before!) I left and set up a tourism consultancy business. This brought me into contact with a lot of other regional and national tourist boards and, in 2010, I became Chair of Bath Tourism.
One defining moment for me was a day in 1985 when the then Pensions Manager, Barry Meloy, sat me down and explained pensions to me. It was a revelation to someone who had cashed in their British Airways pension to pay for a holiday. That conversation led me to pay a bit more attention and I am very much in favour of making sure that current employees get good information as it is so important for their future.
My induction has already been fascinating. I have had an initial briefing and a legal and actuarial briefing. I have attended my first Trustee Board meeting and participated in a ‘beauty parade’ – a meeting to decide which funds the Scheme should invest in. I have started working my way through the training modules and tests and have completed six of the eleven modules that are recommended. There is a lot to learn but everyone has been very supportive and I have been really impressed with the knowledge and commitment of the existing Trustees. Looking 50 years ahead certainly opens up some fascinating issues and conversations. I am sure we won’t get everything right but there is a passion to do the right thing for you and the scheme which is very motivating.
My other life is spent in Warwickshire with my husband and includes working as a trustee with charities, looking after elderly parents and generally enjoying life.