Essex Community Foundation



Jonny Minter DL, Chairman 

Jonny joined ECF as a Trustee in 2010 and became the Chairman of the Board in 2013. He has a background in investment management, first with the Barings Group, then with Julius Baer.  

Jonny is a Trustee of several other charities, a school governor, a member of half a dozen investment committees, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners.


Nicholas Alston CBE DL

Nick Alston joined the board in 2017. He was elected as the first Police and Crime Commissioner in Essex, in 2012, an appointment he held until the end of his term in 2016.  He chairs a research institute at Anglia Ruskin University, is a Non-Executive Director both of a local NHS Trust and the National Crime Agency.


Dame Kate Barker CBE, Chair Finance and Investment Committee

Kate joined the Board in 2011 and became Chair of ECF's Finance and Investment Committee in 2013, which oversees the Foundation's investment portfolio. As an experienced business economist and strategist she holds various appointments including senior adviser to Credit Suisse, non-executive director of Taylor Wimpey plc and the Yorkshire Building Society.

Previously, Kate was a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) where she led two major policy reviews for Government, on housing supply and on land use planning.  Before joining the MPC she was chief economic adviser at the CBI, and prior to that chief European economist at Ford of Europe in Essex.

Kate became a Dame in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the economy.


Clare Ball

Clare is now retired from the City after a long career at both HSBC and Portigon AG in London. She has relationship management experience and more recently specialised in credit and risk in the non-bank financial institutions sector. She has a range of trustee experience having acted for many years as a trustee for her employer’s final salary scheme.

Clare has been volunteering with ECF since 2012 giving her time and experience as a co-opted member of the Finance and Investment Committee. She joined the Board as a Trustee in 2014.


Lee Blissett

Lee has a strong background in financial planning and now provides personalised wealth advice through Lee Blissett Wealth Management, a partner practice of St. James' Place Wealth Management. Prior to this, Lee held the positions of Director and Wealth Manager at Coutts & Co and before that he was a Financial Planning Manager at Lloyds TSB for 16 years.


Charles Cryer

Charles, a Chartered Accountant who trained with PwC, has over 20 years’ experience of working in blue chip City organisations. Most recently he was Divisional Finance Director of Capita Plc where he was with responsible for financial strategy, acquisitions, legal, risk & compliance.   Prior to this he was Chief Executive of Capita Registrars for six years. He recently decided to leave the City and work closer to home in Essex using his experience in corporate services and outsourcing to help local businesses to grow.


Russell Edey

Russell joined the Board in November 2016 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. 

He is currently Chair of Avocet Mining Plc, and a non-executive director of BlackRock World Mining Trust and Genesis Emerging Markets Fund.


Simon Hall MBE

Simon qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and trained with the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer where he was a partner from 1985 to 2014.  He was head of their Finance Practice, and was head of their global corporate responsibilities programmes. Simon is High Sheriff of Essex for 2017-2018. 


Sandra Hollis

Sandra joined the board in 2016. She graduated from Durham University in modern languages and holds a Master’s degree in Marketing.

Sandra has held a number of strategic business development and marketing roles, including responsibility for global relationships with the world’s largest banks and brokers.  She also held senior positions at Anglia Ruskin University and was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor.


Peter Martin MBE DL FCA

Peter joined the Board in 2013. A qualified chartered accountant, Peter has worked in Essex for most of his life, starting with the family business, Martin the Newsagent PLC in 1971. He then went on to serve Essex for 24 years as a Councillor and latterly as Leader of Essex County Council. 


Claire Read, Company Secretary

Claire Read is a partner at Birkett Long Solicitors where she leads the Personal Tax, Trusts and Probate team.  Claire is also chairman of the Essex Branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.   She is an active member of the Essex Chamber of Commerce and is the honorary solicitor for the Mid-Essex Hospitals Charities Foundation. 


Owen Richards

Owen joined the Board in 2010.  He has a strong background in healthcare commissioning, having held a number of senior roles in Essex, London and East Anglia.  He worked on the Thames Gateway initiative in Essex, providing health and social care expertise into major regeneration initiatives, and was a member of the East of England Design Review Panel.   Owen has also worked with local government in advisory roles with Essex County Council, Rochford District Council and Basildon Borough Council.

He is currently the Essex Director for NHS NEL Commissioning Support Unit, which provides professional service support to the seven clinical commissioning groups in Essex.


Rosemary Turner, Chair Fund Development Committee

Rosemary joined the Board in 2013. She has held senior marketing positions with Saatchi & Saatchi-Compton in New York, Leo Burnett in the United Kingdom, and J. Walter Thompson in the United Kingdom and Europe.  Her clients included Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Unilever, Kraft Jacobs Suchard, Kellogg's, and Cadbury. 

Her area of specialisation was in creative development and strategic brand planning.  Rosemary is currently a trustee of Campaign to Protect Rural England - Essex Branch and she is a former trustee of the University of Essex Foundation. 


Jo Wells

Jo is the Director of the Blagrave Trust. She has more than 20 years of experience in the voluntary sector both internationally and in the UK, covering programme development, donor engagement, strategy, grantmaking and research.