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Meet our Trustees

The Trustees of Foothold

Every year, our trustees provide invaluable experience, guidance and support in all our activities. We are proud of our trustees and here they are.

Our Trustees

Bob North - Trustee

Bob has been a Foothold Trustee since 2016

Bob is a chartered engineer and a member of the IET.  Following a career in engineering, he established himself as an engineering consultant, specialising in Functional Safety Management. Bob has been a trustee and president of the Cleveland Scientific Institution and is an active committee member and past chairman of the IET Teesside Network.

Dr Dolores Byrne OBE - Chair

Dolores Byrne has been a Trustee since 2018.

Dolores is a chartered engineer and an Honorary Fellow of the IET.  Following a career in industry, she has been a Board member of several engineering & technical services organisations.

Dolores has been a Trustee and Vice-President of the IET and also chair of the IET Fundraising Committee.  She was also a Trustee for other charities engaged in supporting engineers and encouraging more young people into careers in engineering. Dolores is currently a Non-Executive Director at Sellafield and a Trustee of Winchester Science Centre

Francis Fisher - Trustee

Francis has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2020

Gareth Price - Treasurer

“I am a Chartered Accountant and qualified with a medium-sized London firm of chartered accountants.” Gareth has been a Foothold Trustee since March 2020

“After qualifying, I joined Deloitte’s where I worked in the audit department for five years. While there I was involved in the audit of numerous NGOs, charities, universities and colleges.

Since then I worked in the secondary banking sector providing factoring and trade finance facilities to small to medium-sized family businesses.

I have also acted as a financial consultant to a number of businesses in the wholesale sector. From 2004 until I retired in 2018 I worked for 3 charities where I managed the fiscal and operational health of their UK and/or worldwide operations.

I lead teams in the areas of finance, information technology, personnel, legal, membership management and administration. In my spare time, I enjoy walking, travelling, family history and I am a season ticket holder at Reading Football Club.”

Paul Connor - Trustee

Paul Connor is founder and Chief Executive of Mycon Marketing Services Ltd. Paul has been a Foothold Trustee since March 2017

After graduating in 1975, he worked in the engineering industry for two multinational, blue-chip UK companies gaining valuable skills in the commercial areas of marketing, pricing, tendering, sales and contracts.

Experience as a Senior Business Planner led him to found Mycon in 1981 thus bringing his expertise in developing and implementing successful marketing strategies to benefit other companies.

Mycon’s worldwide client base includes every type of organisation from small entrepreneurial companies through to national and international government departments.

Professor Kate Sugden - Trustee

Kate has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2020.

Kate Sugden has been working in the area of photonics for nearly 30 years. This includes working for ADC (Australia), Oxford Fiber Optic Tools, and Indigo Photonics. She joined Aston University in 2004 and is currently Deputy Dean for the College of Engineering and Physical Science. Current research interests are in photonics and include fibre sensing, femtosecond laser material processing, OCT metrology and 3D printed photonics. Kate has a passion for outreach work and encouraging people to enter the engineering field regardless of their background. Kate has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2020 and is also a trustee of the IET.

Richard Spalding - Deputy Chair

Richard has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2017

“Having retired as a Captain from the Royal Navy in 2014 after 37 years, I am now actively engaged in various non-paid voluntary activities mainly in charity management.

I became a Trustee of Foothold in 2017 having spent the previous 8 years as a member of IET Council (2 years as Chair) during which I learnt a lot about the predicaments some unfortunate members and dependants find themselves in, so wanted to see how I could help.

I am also President (from July 2020) of Winchester Rotary and support other aspects of Rotary overseas including helping disaster areas and disabled citizens. Additionally, I am the co-founding Chairman of Worthy Runners as I believe social exercise is so good for well-being, and I provide occasional Customer Services consultancy as this is an area which can always be improved.”

Tom Budd - Trustee

“Tom was born in Australia and attended university at the University of Queensland and the University of Cambridge”. Tom has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2020

He has lived and worked in London for many years. He is a solicitor and a partner in an international law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, specialising in finance and restructuring law.

Tom is honorary legal adviser to the Order of St John (which operates St John Ambulance in the UK and elsewhere in the world) and a trustee of the British Society of Gastroenterology.

Virginia Margaret Hodge - Trustee

Virginia has been a Foothold Trustee since October 2019

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