The Plunkett Foundation is governed by a Boart of Trustees elected by Plunkett Foundation members. Details of all of Plunkett's trustees are below:
Peter Cleasby is Chair of the Plunkett Foundation trustees. As a director of a small Devon-based consultancy, he advises on aspects of business change and on solutions to policy questions, with particular interests in rural development and in land use. His clients have included central government departments, local authorities and NGOs.
Peter is a trustee of the Community Council of Devon and represents the south-west region's rural community councils on the board of their national umbrella body, Action for Rural Communities in England (ACRE). He is an adviser to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) nationally and locally, and served for several years as secretary of his village’s community association.
A career civil servant until 2006, Peter most recently held a series of senior posts in Defra - the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. As Defra's social enterprise champion, he promoted the role of social enterprise approaches in delivering the Department's objectives.
Peter joined the Plunkett Foundation board in April 2008, becoming Chair in July 2010.
Tom Scanlon is Vice Chair of the Plunkett Foundation. Tom is the board representative of the Plunkett Community Shops Network following successfully establishing a community shop in his community. Tom spent most of his business career at director level in supply chain organisations across a whole spectrum of internationally recognised companies and is now involved in his own consultancy enterprise engaged in business improvement, mergers and acquisitions and employee relations. He is also a local parish councillor.
Susan Knox Susan was the chair of ViRSA – The Village Retail Services Association, now part of the Plunkett Foundation, from 1999 until its merger with Plunkett in December 2004. Susan is also an independent consumer consultant. A long time Member of the Women’s Institutes, Susan became a trustee of the Plunkett Foundation following its merge with ViRSA in December 2004 and Chaired Plunkett from 2008-2010.
Helen Seymour is a community activist. She is a founder director of Headingley Development Trust and helped to set up Headingley Farmers' Market and the Headingley Fowl and Pig Co-ops. She is a founder director of the Natural Food Store Limited, a community co-operative which bought a much-loved local shop from its owners when they wished to retire. She was formerly head of Projects and Development at Co-operativesUK.
David Dickman is a retired senior banker with a wealth of experience in both retail and corporate banking having worked for The Co-operative Bank for over forty years. David spent four years seconded to Unity Trust Bank where he played a key role in the development of this newly formed bank. David also played a key role as part-time Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Co-operative Council in the merger and integration of the United Kingdom Co-operative Council with Co-operativesUK. In 2008 David was awarded an honorary degree by Salford University in recognition of outstanding achievements. David is married to his wife Vivien and has two sons.
Diane Montague has been involved in journalism and publishing for all her working life. She began her career in journalism working on local newspapers. Having decided to specialise in agriculture she worked for several magazines including Farmers Weekly before moving to The Agricultural Merchant first as deputy editor and then editor. In 1971 in association with the late John Ashby she founded Agricultural Supply Industry a weekly news letter for management in the agribusiness industry and took over as owner, editor and publisher in 1973. Over the next 15 years she also launched Farming Industry, a weekly newsletter for large-scale farmers and Country Store, a quarterly magazine aimed at the developing country retailing sector.
In 1987 she became the first woman to be awarded the Netherthorpe Award for outstanding services to agricultural journalism. She sold ASI in 1992 and since then has worked as a freelance writer and public relations consultant. Between 1997 and 2000 she researched and wrote the book Farming, Food and Politics - The Merchant's Tale, the first book on the history of agribusiness.
In 2002 she was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to agricultural journalism.
John Don MBE, who in partnership with his wife Elizabeth farms 650 hectares-cereals, beef and sheep-in central Aberdeenshire, has a long pedigree in agricultural co-operation, having been President of SAOS and chaired Aberdeen Grain (cereals) and Aberdeen and Moray Growers (veg). He also remains a Director of the ANM Group, the large multi purposed livestock Co-op that serves the North East of Scotland's faming community. He recently (June 2005) stood down from the Chair of the S.R.P.B.A., the Scottish organisation representing and promoting the land-based interests of its members and their communities. He is also about to complete (Dec. 2005) a nine year term as a member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, where he chaired two working groups that reported on the implications of Farm Assurance Schemes on Animal Welfare.
He remains deeply committed to the well being of U.K. agriculture, especially the cooperative sector, and also to the rural communities of his native Scotland.
John has been a Plunkett Trustee since 1999 and was recently invited to become a founder Trustee of the Farm Animal Welfare Trust.
Kate Braithwaite MBE is the Director of the Carnegie Rural Community Development Programme, leading on Commision and the Rural Action Research Programme.Kate was previously Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Cumbria – the Rural Community Council for the County. With a staff of over 60, she was responsible for the delivery of innovative rural development programmes including Rural Women’s Network, Enterprising Communities (social enterprise support), hosting a LEADER+ programme and work with hill farming communities. Kate chaired Carlisle and Eden Local Strategic Partnership and the Voluntary Sector North West – the regional voluntary and community sector network. She was also a member of Rural Regeneration Cumbria Board with responsibility for socio-economic programmes. Kate has achieved a PhD at Newcastle University – Centre for Rural Economy which was about rural women's networks (Ireland, Sweden and UK.) She has also been awarded a MBE in Millennium Honours for services to rural communities.
Jane Ryall has 20 years professional experience of working with communities in England, Wales and Africa. She now works as a freelance social enterprise consultant, based in Carmarthenshire, West Wales, operating across southern England and Wales; and has working relationships with major social enterprise organisations, including Co-operatives UK, RISE (Regional Infrastructure for Social Enterprise, South West), the Social Enterprise Mark Company and Co-active Ltd. Previously, Jane worked for 7 years as a social enterprise adviser for Co-operatives Futures, supporting 200 new and existing social enterprise of all shapes and sizes. In 2009, Jane obtained a Masters in Business Administration through part-time study from the University of Bath, and was awarded a distinction for her final dissertation which considered the merits of Wiltshire Maternity Services becoming a social enterprise. She has been a SFEDI accredited business adviser since 2003. Before this, Jane worked in a variety of roles – grants assessor during the Foot and Mouth crisis in Cumbria, community development and planning in the Brecon Beacons National Park, and overseas development for an environmental charity in Botswana.
Dr Wil Gibson has been chief executive at Suffolk ACRE, a social innovation agency, for the last 10 years. In that time the organisation has undertaken substantial work in the areas of Community Led Planning, Social Enterprises, Rural Regeneration and promoting rural issues generally, as part of the organisation’s strategic influencing role. Academically Wil’s area of study has been within Sociology of Development and his PhD looked at developing a sustainable development model for the Micro-states of the Eastern Caribbean. Until 4 years ago Wil was a County Councillor and Parish Council for 15 years. Within that capacity he was actively involved in initiatives aimed at modernising the workings of the Council both at the first tier and at the principal authority level.
Bill Gray has worked for almost fourteen years at Community Food and Health (Scotland), a Scottish government funded team based within Consumer Focus Scotland, who encourage and enable local communities tackling health inequalities and social exclusion through the medium of food. Prior to taking up that post Bill worked for eight years at a community-managed health initiative in Paisley following a previous eight years with a city-wide voluntary sector community development team in Edinburgh.
Bill is currently a director of Scotland’s Community Retailing Network and sits on the Scottish steering group for the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens as well as chairing the Scottish Government’s expert group on access and affordability for its national food and drink policy.