Ruth has spent all her professional life working with, for or in the public sector. She confesses that she believes there is no greater honour than being a public servant and in 2012 there could be no better time to support public sector workers and the services they provide. Formerly the Assistant Chief Executive of Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and Humber, Ruth was responsible for maintaining external relationships with stakeholders, partners, media and Government. Ruth was also the Director of HR at Yorkshire Forward and, following the announcement of its abolition, was responsible for the organisation entering into a change management phase swiftly -maintaining high morale and maximum productivity by implementing a bespoke Personal and Professional Development initiative for all staff. She also continued to champion innovative approaches to organisational development in closure and transition. Even after the redundancy of over 400 people the staff satisfaction rates never fell below 94%, the success of which is attributed to Ruth, her policies and her approach.
Ruth’s campaigning for equality and fairness has spanned the length of her career, with early roles as a lecturer for deaf young people, a National Liaison Officer for PHAB, Co-ordinator for CHIPS and leading member of In-Valid? providing the backdrop for driving forward disability and diversity agendas through all areas of her life.
Severely deaf herself, Ruth brought both her personal and professional experience to bear as the Chief Executive of Disabled Access to Technology Association (DATA), a training project for disabled adults, which became a European Centre of Excellence under her leadership. Motivated by her commitment to equal rights for all, Ruth also held a successful political career as Chair of Community & Environmental Services, the first female Chief Whip of Bradford Council, a founder member of Bradford Congress, a Director of the Training & Enterprise Council and the Chair of Bradford City Centre Group.
Ruth divides her time between her primary role as Director of Communities, Transformation and Change at Kirklees Council and Chairing You Must Be Wondering as an unpaid non-executive. Ruth is a life fellow of the RSA, a fellow of CMI, CIPD member, a qualified teacher, a professional facilitator and coach, a published writer of both articles and poetry and a Practitioner of Neuro-linguistic Programming
You Must Be Wondering who Don is if you are reading this.
Well, he spent the early years of his working life in London for the Department of Trade on Civil Aviation
regulation issues before moving on to Overseas Trade in Eastern Europe, North
Africa and China. He also worked on Consumer Protection, Complaints about the
Health Service and Industrial Privatisation. Taking a rest from the front line
he trained as a lecturer and did a couple years in staff training before moving
out of London to work directly with the private sector delivering business
support in Leeds.
From there he moved on to a spell with the Manpower Services
Commission working with the Construction Industry and then on to work with
services for young people. By now in Manchester he ran European Development
Fund programmes in Lancashire and Cumbria before heading back to Leeds to run
the Single Regeneration Budget in Yorkshire.
He was in at the birth of Yorkshire Forward and spent ten
years there as Director of Economic Inclusion and later as Director of
Strategy. He ran the major events programme with highlights such as The
Bollywood Awards and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and also led the
work to create what became Welcome to Yorkshire. He then spent
two years with Welcome to Yorkshire before leaving to form You Must Be
Wondering Ltd. He now splits his time
between You Must Be Wondering and non-executive work for Yorkshire and North
East Film Archive, Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association and Heaton Tennis and
Alex has over 40 years' experience in a variety of senior management roles in both the private and public sectors. His IT career with British Gas; the Asda Group and Arla Foods encompassing the early adoption of information technology by these blue chip organisations where as head of IT at the UK arm of Arla Foods he oversaw the evolution of IT infrastructure from mainframe through distributed processing and finally to PC server-based systems. Alex also supported the UK Board of Arla Foods through the adoption of a Corporate Planning process leading to the development of a demerger and acquisition process which laid the foundation of what became one of the largest food manufacturing groups operating in the UK.
In the mid-1990s Alex set up his own training and development company focusing on personal productivity, time and change management where he counted Sainsbury's, the NG Bailey group and Sheffield Training and Enterprise Council amongst his portfolio of clients.
Moving into the public sector in 1999 with Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency (RDA) for Yorkshire and Humber, Alex developed and led management and staff development programmes, internal communications and employee engagement strategies and change management projects and guided the organisation through the adoption of Business Excellence benchmarking leading in 2004 to recognition by the Sunday Times as a top 100 UK company, one of the few public sector organisations to achieve this.
With the announcement in 2010 of the closure of RDAs Alex helped to devise and co-ordinate the development of a closedown and change management transition process which successfully maintained employee engagement and productivity through a commitment to ongoing personal and professional development which saw the large majority of staff move on to new careers in both the public and private sectors.
|During her 30 year public sector career Tracey has in depth experience of a range of Government departments. Originally from the North East Tracey began her career working for the International Road Freight Office in Newcastle. Transferring with the Department of Transport in Whitehall, she was part of a team tasked with commissioning and implementing an innovative departmental Finance and Contracts computer system. Tracey trained all the staff in the 9 regional offices on this new system. This challenging role sparked Tracey’s interest in how people learn and how they adapt to change and she has brought this experience to every role since. |
Transferring to Yorkshire in the early 1990s Tracey was a Contracts Manager for the Highways Agency working with private sector companies, negotiating contracts and managing large capital projects.
After leading a team at Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber, she became a founding member of staff in the new Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward in 1999.
Constantly motivated by social justice and a passionate believer in fair play Tracey developed and managed a variety of highly complex, multi million pound regeneration schemes as a Senior Manager in the Inclusion Team. These schemes tackled the physical, environmental and social welfare of deprived communities throughout the region. A consummate relationship manager Tracey ensured projects were developed in conjunction with the residents and businesses of local communities, empowering local people to make local decisions and enabling them to contribute to their local economy and ultimately their own destiny.
During the final two years at Yorkshire Forward Tracey was asked to be the Head of the Corporate Services Team, efficiently managing the Board of Non Executive Directors and acting as Personal Advisor to the Chair. Known for her ‘can do’ attitude and great sense of humour Tracey spearheaded an approach that guided the team through this difficult period. Tracey ably developed a transition programme supporting Senior Managers and their staff through the closure of the RDA. Tracey was also responsible for the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda, leading to charities and third sector organisations benefitting from Yorkshire Forward - both in terms of staff time and practical resources equipment. Tracey is an Associate Director of You Must Be Wondering, an active Board Member of St Georges Crypt and admits that she is a passionate advocate of the public sector and third sector and believes firmly that with the right attitude and approach we can still change the world!