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South West

IoD South West introduces new ambassadors

25 Jan 2021

Institute of Directors South West names five new regional Ambassadors 

The Institute of Directors in the South West has appointed Darren Colley, Steve Hill, James Savage, Carolyn Stephenson and Russell Toms to support and promote the work of the IoD in the region.  
Darren Colley is Managing Director of industrial metal pipe and tube fabricated product specialists Iracroft Limited, based in Blandford Forum, Dorset. Darren has previously held positions with Hydreco Hydraulics (hydraulic component manufacturers), Sulzer (Dowding and Mills) where he completed his MBA, Siemens, Dresser Rand (gas turbo machinery supporting the oil and gas industry) and served as a helicopter technician in the Army from 1987-2009 where he gained a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sciences. He is a member of the Association of Project Management (APM) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).  Darren will be the Ambassador for Engineering and Manufacturing.

Steve Hill started his career as an electrical engineer for GEC Marconi and then moved into Project Management in which he gained a post graduate degree. In 2000 he took up his first executive Project Management role for a division of Thales (then Racal).  He took up his first MD role in 2002 and went on to lead a number of Thales businesses in the UK. In 2011, Steve joined the Cohort group as MD of one of its subsidiaries, SEA. Here he led a significant acquisition as well as the divestment of two non-core areas. During the period of his leadership SEA grew both profitably and in size, increasing its customer base from the UK only to include customers from eight countries. In late 2020, Steve decided to step down from his role to build a portfolio career supporting other businesses, aiming to share the knowledge he has built up to help others succeed.  Steve, who lives in Cheddar, is a qualified IoD Chartered Director.  He will be the Ambassador for SMEs.

James Savage, who is based in Wiltshire, has over 30 years in the technology sector with asset management, professional services and industry experience. He has been an Independent Director on the boards of ten technology companies since 2004. Based in Hong Kong from 1994 to 2018, James has extensive knowledge of the technology industry in the Asia region including India, Greater China, SE Asia, Korea and Japan. He was Founding Partner of HSBC's Asian Venture Capital business, Chairman of the Venture Committee of the Hong Kong Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.  Since his return to the UK he has concentrated on mentoring tech ventures. James is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and was a Licensed Investment representative of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong from 2000 to 2018.  James will be Ambassador for High Tech Industry and Tech Ventures.

Carolyn Stephenson, who is based in Gloucestershire, joined Mitsubishi Motors UK in 2011 and was appointed as General Counsel and Company Secretary in January 2018.  As part of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Risk and Compliance Committee, she has overall responsibility for the Legal function, Risk Management, Compliance and Corporate Governance across the Mitsubishi Group.  Carolyn has been involved in leading the transformation of the Legal and Compliance function to becoming a true business partner to the board with full integration across the business.  Previously she worked as a solicitor for a number of UK national law firms specialising in commercial litigation and professional negligence.  Other roles include acting as a Non-Executive Director for a catering business and Trustee for a DB Retirement Benefits Scheme.  She is also the founder of Grace Counsel Limited, a business dedicated to helping other companies navigate their way through the ever-changing governance, risk and compliance landscape, which she intends to officially launch later this year.  Carolyn will be Ambassador for Policy and Corporate Governance.

Russell Toms has a background in the education sector, both at school and University level. Previously he worked in manufacturing and aerospace. He has just been appointed as a non-executive director of a Multi Academy Trust and continues to work as a business coach and trainer, helping SME Directors shape their strategic plans and grow their businesses. He is based in Poole but has been working most recently in the Middle East establishing a new international school.  He has been an IoD member for 15 years and is also a Chartered Director.  He has a keen interest in helping to develop new, younger directors and will be the Ambassador for Diversity and Inclusion.

All five ambassadors will work closely with existing ambassadors, Nick Sturge MBE (Education and Skills) Luke Menzies (Professional Services), Rob Varley (Chartered Directors) and James Piper (Sustainability).  They will have the support of Chair Muir Macdonald, Regional Director Robert Lloyd Griffiths OBE and Senior Branch Manager Kerri-Anne Mruk.

Contact IoD South West

For more information, please contact

0117 370 7785

South West
Branch and staff contacts can be found on the main Contacts tab

IoD South West
The Innovation Centre
Bristol and Bath
Science Park
Emersons Green
BS16 7FR

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