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OUR LONDON TRUSTEES

London Trustees
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Philip Howard

The Chair, Philip Howard helped to found the Launch It Trust in 2000. He worked in Investment Banking for 25 years and was a board and panel member for The Prince’s Trust. He is currently Executive Chairman at CRUX Asset Management.

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Gabrielle Boyle

Gabrielle has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years. She is currently an Investment Director and Head of Research at Troy Asset Management.

 

Gabrielle is also a Non-Executive Director of Witan Investment Trust.

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Rebecca Byrne

Rebecca is one of the initial founders of the Launch It Trust. She also previously volunteered as a Business Advisor and Mentor at The Prince’s Trust. She is also member of the NY State Bar/NY City Bar, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) and Chairman of the Byrne Charitable Trust.

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Michael St Aldwyn

Michael worked with the Man Group for 15 years, is a director of the Rank Foundation, a Governor of St. Paul’s School and a Patron of the Seven Springs Foundation.

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Jan Pethick

Jan has had many years of experience of financial services including as Chairman of Merrill Lynch International, Debt Capital Markets, Europe and as a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers. He is currently Chairman of Troy Asset Management.

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Leone McKinley

Leone is an experienced corporate banker BNP Paribas where she has been based for the past ten years having started her banking career at Bank of Ireland in London. She holds a Diploma in Corporate Treasury.

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Joanna Rowelle

Joanna is a Director at Arup where she runs the City Economics practice. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a member of the Institute of Economic Development.

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Abhay Varma

Abhay co-founded Tarchon Capital Management, a multi-billion dollar fund hedge fund, serving initially as COO and then as Portfolio Manager (1998-2013). Since 2013, he has founded and served as Managing Partner of Vahnea Marolda Investments, a property business focusing on student, elderly and commercial properties.
 

Abhay is married with 3 children and loves playing tennis. He also volunteers at his local hospital and also serves as a Founder and Trustee of St Clare's Foundation.

OUR DUNDEE TRUSTEES

Dundee Trustees
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David Dorward

Former Director of Finance, then CEO of Dundee City Council,  David retired in 2014. David has an in-depth knowledge of Dundee and now commits his time as chairman or director to local charities.  He is Chairperson of the Launch It Dundee Board of Trustees.

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Simon Rolfe

Simon is the Commercial Development Director at Zudu, an award-winning global digital agency. Zudu provides profitable development and marketing solutions to clients, and aims to bring the world’s markets closer together by breaking digital boundaries.

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David Milne

David is a partner at MacRoberts LLP, whilst sitting on the management board. David has served a number of local charities in a Trustee capacity.

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Jillian Elizabeth

Jillian started her first business at age 17 and ran it successfully until she was 30 when she decided to have a career change and open The Little Green Larder - Dundee's first sustainable shop. Jillian is passionate about young people in business and is keen to empower others to start their dream business. 

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Vivien Buchan

Vivien was Finance & Governance Director with Insights until 2018. She is now Director of the Insights Foundation, a charity established to manifest the charitable and social responsibility activities of the Insights Group. Vivien is passionate about empowering individuals to understand themselves and others better, inspiring them to make a positive difference in everything they do.

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Amber Wright

Amber has worked for the Launch It Trust for 12 years, first as an Enterprise Manager running a Launch It Centre in London, and now as the Out of London Development Director for the charity. 

OUR PAISLEY TRUSTEES

Paisley Trustees
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Leon  Breakey

Leon is a Partner at Macroberts LLP. He grew up in Paisley and his parents both owned and operated small businesses locally, so  is well placed to understand the pressures facing anyone setting up on their own. Being a trustee is a new experience for Leon, and he is committed and enthusiastic and feels he can use his professional and personal experience to assist in making a success of Launch It Paisley.  

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Janet Brown

Janet’s experience includes working for for Scottish Enterprise (SE) heading up their activities in technology and innovation, with her last role being Managing Director for Industries. She then became CEO of the Scottish Qualification Agency from 2007 until her recent retirement. Janet has lived in Paisley for 20 years and will use her experience in business and economic development to help guide the charity.

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Pat Shelley

I spent 25 years in Local Government working in Portsmouth, Stoke-on-Trent, and London. During this time, I managed a range of services for young people. In 2016 I moved into the voluntary sector as CEO for Launch It. I have a passion for working with and developing opportunities for young people, particularly those who are dealing with social or economic challenges and enjoy seeing the changes Launch It can make to a young persons life.

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Alan Ritchie

Alan Ritchie is the Director of Finance at the West College Scotland, where the role has evolved since he joined Clydebank College in 2004. He enjoys diversity in his role and is focused on motivating staff and partners to provide the best support possible to students. He plans to bring this approach to Launch It as well as his financial and estate management expertise.

OUR KENT TRUSTEES

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Alison Robinson

Alison has been working with Launch It since 2017, responsible for all of the financial management of the charity and also assisting with advice on general business management to the Trust and their young entrepreneurs. 

 

She also currently runs the Money Matters Training for the Trust and provide on-going support to the businesses related to their accounting systems. A Chartered Management Accountant, she has worked in the industry for over 20 years. For the last 15 years, she has been running her own accountancy practice and dealing with many different types of business and assisting many new businesses in their first years.

 

When not working, she enjoys cooking and traveling as well as spending time with her family of six men (including her husband and the cat!). 

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Chris Pieroni

Chris was born in Yorkshire, and educated in Wimbledon. After university, he had a career in corporate finance and commercial real estate. He retired in 2021 from a company called Workspace which specialised in providing business accommodation to small businesses from 65 buildings (4 million sq. ft) in London. 

 

Chris got to know Launch It whilst at Workspace as they had one of their own centres in one of the buildings. A few years before retiring, he was involved in helping Launch It explore an opportunity in Sheerness. 

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Daisy Mills

Daisy is the Head of Business and Enterprise for a non-profit called RIFT Social Enterprise. She has worked within the employability sector for 10 years, starting off as an apprentice for a local Housing Association. She has lived in Swale since she was 11 years old, following a move from London and currently living on the Isle of Sheppey with her husband and dog, George the Pug.

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