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Academy Ambassadors is part of New Schools Network. Registered Charity 1132122.

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Speakers

This page will be updated with additional speakers when they are confirmed.

Gaenor Bagley
Non-Executive Director and Chair of Risk Committee at The Kemnal Academies Trust
Gaenor Bagley is now Chair-elect at the Kemnal Academies Trust, one of the largest Multi-Academy Trusts in the South of England with over 40 Primary and Secondary Academies. Following a 30-year career in professional services, Gaenor now has a portfolio of Non-Executive Director roles. They include Zopa Bank, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Gaenor previously led the UK M&A tax practice for PwC UK from 2008 to 2011, she was appointed to the Executive Board of PwC UK in 2011 to be Head of People and, from July 2016 until her retirement in December 2017, Gaenor was Head of Corporate Purpose at PwC UK.
Kevin Binley
Non-executive Director at Peterborough Diocese Education Trust & HEART Academies
Kevin Binley is non-executive director of two Multi-Academy Trusts, Peterborough Diocese Education Trust (PDET) and HEART Academies Trust - he chairs the Finance & Business Committees for both organisations. Formerly board director of award-winning financial management software PS Financials, Kevin has worked in the business management technology sector for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in understanding the needs and providing solutions to common business problems. Kevin has been deeply involved in implementing business transformation projects of all sizes, in different countries and across different sectors - with a particular emphasis on non-profit and publically funded organisations. Kevin has been involved in a number of successful business start-ups, management buyouts, acquisitions and mergers.
Zoe Bucknell
Deputy Company Secretary at Lloyds Bank, and Non-Executive Director and Chair of Aletheia Anglican Academies Trust
Zoe Bucknell is Chair of Aletheia Anglican Academies Trust, a partnership of seven academies in Kent. Zoë Bucknell joined Lloyds Banking Group in February 2017 as Deputy Group Company Secretary; Prior to this position, Zoe was Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer at the FTSE 250 challenger bank, OneSavings Bank. Zoe is a qualified Solicitor and Company Secretary, and has over 20 years’ experience in Financial Services, in firms including Linklaters, Lloyds of London and Hiscox.
Sir David Carter
Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute
Sir David Carter is Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute. From February 2016 to August 2018 Sir David was the National Schools Commissioner and before his appointment he was the first Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West. Between 2007 and 2014 David was CEO of the Cabot Learning Federation, a partnership of 15 academies in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Weston Super Mare and Bath. David received a knighthood for services to education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013.
Jeremy Cooper
Managing Director, RM Education
Jeremy is Managing Director of RM Education – the leading EdTech business providing technology products and service solutions to primary and secondary schools across the UK.  He is responsible for the financial performance of this £70m division of RM plc, meeting the needs of its 8,000 customers, and its 800+ employees. 
Jeremy has significant experience in board level positions in the educational sector, working in both the US and UK.  Most recently at Blackboard – the educational technology company headquartered in Washington DC; and before that with Hobsons plc – as Managing Director UK and Europe and Head of their International business.
Victoria FitzGerald ACMA MBA
Non-executive Director at Trust in Learning Academies and Academy Ambassadors Advisory NED

A professionally qualified CIMA accountant, Victoria gained her MBA with Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England. She has held finance director roles with high-tech manufacturing, aerospace, education and arts organisations. Victoria was chair of The Olympus Academy Trust in South Gloucestershire and currently holds two academy member roles. She is a trustee of Bristol Museums Development Trust and sits on the Advisory Board of the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance of the UWE. She founded her own financial consultancy business Briarsmead supporting the education and charity sectors.
Social: LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/vafitzgerald 

Russell Gill
Chair of Co-op Academies Trust / Head of Co-operative & Local Engagement at the Co-op

Russell Gill has been Chair of the Co-op Academies Trust since its formation in 2013, having led the Co-op's engagement with schools and academies for the past 15 years . He has worked for the Co-op since 1992 in London and Manchester, holding a variety of leadership positions covering membership, governance, community programmes and sustainability. Russell is also a trustee of the People's History Museum in Manchester, chairs one of the Co-op's pension funds and has extensive contacts with the Co-operative Movement, in the UK and globally. He has a Masters degree in the Management of Co-operatives, awarded by Saint Mary's University, Halifax (Nova Scotia) and lives in the Pennines with his wife and two children.

Dan Kolinsky QC
Barrister, Landmark Chambers, and Non-Executive Director and Chair of Burnt Mill Academy Trust

Dan Kolinsky has over 15 years’ experience in school governance. He joined the Board of Directors at Burnt Mill Academy Trust in July 2013, he was appointed Vice Chair in July 2014 and Chair from 1 January 2018.  Dan is a Barrister whose practice covers planning, rating, local government and public law. He sits as a Recorder (part-time judge) and is a CEDR accredited mediator.

David Ross
Chairman New Schools Network, Founder and Sponsor of The David Ross Education Trust and co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse Group plc
As Founder and Sponsor of The David Ross Education Trust David has built a group 33 academies in Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and the Humber Region. David Ross qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co. He co-founded The Carphone Warehouse Group plc in 1991 and has also been involved in leading many other public and private companies. David is also the Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery and on the Board of the British Olympic Association.
Mo Isap
Trustee and Vice Chair of STAR Academies and board director at the Careers and Enterprise Company
Mo Isap is a trustee and Vice Chair of Star Academies, operating 30 + Schools across the country. Star Academies is ranked as one of the best performing multi academy trust in the country, all the trust’s free schools are rated Outstanding by Ofsted. Mo is also board director of the Career & Enterprise Company.

Mo scaled his company MPG to one of the largest independent digital print companies in the UK, listed in the Financial Times 100 fastest growing UK companies. He is now the Founder & CEO of IN4.0 Group, providing industrial digital technology training and nurturing technology talent into local high skilled employment.
Sir Rod Aldridge OBE
Founder of the Capita Group and Founder/Chair of the Aldridge Foundation
One of the UK’s leading entrepreneurs, Sir Rod is founder of the Capita Group, which he built from a start-up in 1984 to it becoming a FTSE 100 company. The Group shaped the outsourcing market in the UK and today employs over 70,000 people. Following his retirement in 2006, Rod founded the Aldridge Foundation, a charity focussing on creating positive, sustainable, social and economic impact, by putting enterprise skills and an entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of young people’s education through a family of academies in the NW, London and SE. 
 
He is also Chairman of The Lowry, President of Sussex Cricket and a Founder Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs. Rod was awarded an OBE in the 1994 and received a Knighthood for services to young people in 2012. His autobiography ‘You’re Better Than They Think You Are’ was published in 2018.
Jeremy King, Chair
REAch2 and Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Attest
Jeremy King is the Chair of REAch2 Trust Board and CEO & Founder of Attest, a technology company based in London.

Before starting Attest, Jeremy guided many large companies on strategy, operations, governance, decision-making and organisation during his 9 years with McKinsey & Company, where he worked across U.K., U.S., Australia and over 20 other countries.

Jeremy holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and was originally a scientist, focusing on genetics and ecology.
Peter Baines
Non-Executive Director, The Kemnal Academies Trust
Peter spent 25 years working in Venture Capital and has considerable experience as a Chair and Non-Executive Director. 
 
He was General Partner at Advent Venture Partners in London managing funds investing in small and mid-size companies, and helping them grow and adapt to change.  Prior to Advent, he worked for 6 years for Permira. He spent his early career as a consultant with PWC and as a software developer working on MRI scanners.  
 
In 2016 he moved to a plural career sharing his time between non-executive positions, managing investments and involvement with charities in the education sector. He is Chair of Action Tutoring where he has been a volunteer tutor since 2012. He is a strong believer in the power of education to reduce disadvantage and allow each child to reach its potential.
Rebecca Ganz
Non-Executive Director, Leodis Academies Trust
Rebecca Ganz (Becks) has an extensive global career in a range of sectors specialising in growth, internationalisation and governance and sits on the board of Leodis Academy Trust in Leeds as a non-executive director and Vice-Chair of its Finance and Risk Committee.
 
She is also Chair of iFM Bolton and sits on the board of the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.

This page will be updated with additional speakers when they are confirmed.

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