Meet the Trustees

Chair of Trustees

Lord Michael Bichard

Michael brings a wealth of experience with a background in education and the arts. He is currently the Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, alongside his roles as Senior Independent Director at RICS, and Chair of the National Trading Standards Council. Previously he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Arts in London, Chair of the National Audit Office, Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe, Chair of the Design Council, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education and CEO of Gloucestershire County Council.

Vice Chair of Trustees

Louise Emerson

Louise started coaching business leaders 10 years ago whilst Head of Business and Commercial Strategy at the Natural History Museum. As a chartered Electrical and Electronic Engineer, she began her career working for GEC and M/A COM in marketing and design. After completing her MBA Louise became Director of a multi-disciplinary arts center, where she started the Belfast Literary Festival and oversaw the development of the capital plan.

Louise’s consultancy ‘Take the Current’ helps organisations develop strategic plans, manage change, increase and develop income streams and coaches and supports leaders and senior teams. Her partners have included BBC, Panasonic, American Museum of Natural History, San Rio Corp., News International, SKY and British Airways. Louise recently completed further study at Warwick University and is a member of the Association for Coaching.

Chris Durant

Following graduation, Chris held a number of hotel managerial positions rising to general manager of a country house hotel before joining a major financial institution as head of catering. He spent the next 10 years as a leading hospitality and workplace catering consultant undertaking projects covering strategy, policy development, contract monitoring & foodservice design for a range of blue-chip clients including Microsoft and the BBC.

Seeking new challenges Chris returned to operations to develop and direct outsourced management of food & beverage operations with hotel brands including Millennium & Copthorne, IHG and Hilton. He then joined an independent catering contractor as Business Development Director before being appointed National Operations Director. From 2007 he headed up one of the UK’s leading providers of purchasing solutions to the hospitality industry. In 2012 he returned to hospitality consultancy as a partner and commercial director in The Litmus Partnership where he has undertaken both national and global projects for a diverse range of clients.

Chris is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, A Hospitality Action Ambassador, a post-graduate mentor at Oxford Brookes and serves as a trustee for York Carers Centre.

Louisa Harris Trustee at Hawkwood

Louisa Harris Trustee at Hawkwood

Louisa Harris

Louisa has spent over 9 years working in UK advisory firms driving business as a force for good and unlocking collective potential to create positive impact. Her experience includes strategy design and implementation, non-financial reporting, ESG assurance, culture change, coaching, facilitation, co-creation and leadership. She has worked with HM Government’s Inclusive Economy Partnership, the UK National Advisory Board for Impact Investing, the World Benchmarking Alliance, Future-Fit Business Benchmark’s Development Council and the Marine Foundation’s creative team.

Her current focus is on work that champions leadership and sustainability including: working with the Sustainable Business Management Programme for the Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership, Advisory Board member for Business Declares a Climate Emergency, Leadership facilitator for REAL Sustainability Centre and a Head at 6heads.

Louisa is inspired by how we need to think and be as individuals, communities and organisations, to navigate uncertainty and answer big questions. She loves to co-create unusual, immersive and experiential events that connect, engage, inspire and call to action.

Prof. Gavin Henderson

Gavin is the former Principal of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. He was Principal of Trinity College of Music from 1994 to 2006 – moving the College to the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, and forming the merger with Laban Centre for Movement and Dance. At Trinity he established the Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts, incorporating the Mander & Mitchenson Theatre Collection.

He has been President of the European Festivals Association, and Chairman of the British Arts Festivals Association. He was a founder council member of Arts Council England, and the longest serving chair of its music panel. He served on Sir Richard Eyre’s review of the Royal Opera House, and founded Youth Music (the National Foundation of Youth Music), the first and only delegate distributor of Lottery Funds, which he chaired for some eight years.

Roger Mortlock

Roger Mortlock is CEO of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest environmental charity with 28,000 members and over 60 nature reserves. He joined the Trust in 2013 from the Soil Association where he was Deputy Director and Chair of the Food for Life Partnership. Previously he worked in policy, communications and fundraising roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Nursing and the national volunteer agency, Community Service Volunteers.

Roger is also a Trustee of the Bat Conservation Trust and the Summerfield Trust and vice chair of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership. He has a particular interest in ecological land management, and programmes that connect people and nature, especially in relation to health and wellbeing.

Ela Pathak-Sen

Ela has just completed a career in the NHS spanning over 30 years. Most recently she was the Director for Mental Health Services in the London boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, with joint responsibility for health and social care. Prior to this, she has worked locally, in London and at national level.  

Running her own company founded in 2005; CommotionUK focuses on promoting the principles of patient and public engagement in policy and decision-making. Most of her current work is focused in the USA. Ela has a deep understanding of issues related to inequality, being an immigrant herself, she understands the experience of difference, exclusion, welcome and integration. Her work both in and outside the NHS has been about recognising and celebrating difference but also challenging systems and processes to find answers to improve by bringing issues of diversity and inclusion into the centre of shaping what and how services are delivered and by whom. She continues to serve as a Lay member on CNWL NHS Foundation Trust’s Clinical Ethics committee. 

Ela has lived in Painswick for over 20 years and has served as Parish Councillor and School Governor. She says her values lie deeply rooted in the spirit of community leadership as owners, partners and vehicles of change and she is privileged to serve as a Trustee at Hawkwood.