Our Management Team
Christine (Chris) Howard – Chairman of the Society
I am the current serving Chairman for the Surrey Hills Society, having served on the Management Committee since its inception. I have been a Parish Councillor for 19 years and am Vice President of the Surrey Association of Local Councils. I served as a Borough Councillor for Waverley Borough Council for four years where I was delegated to represent the Borough at the Surrey Hills Partnership Board. This is where I first learnt about this special protected landscape, met Neil Maltby, our President, and became a lifelong supporter and protector of this area. The creation of the Surrey Hills Society was a new way for me and many other residents of the area to become more involved with the environment in which we all live.
I am Strategic Director for Visit Surrey CIC, the social enterprise company engaged in supporting and promoting Tourism for the County of Surrey.
I had a commercial background in the computer industry, but after the birth of my two daughters became involved in local government. This was originally as a volunteer, then a councillor and finally as an Officer working for Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils. In my free time I enjoy gardening, walking, environmental issues and performing in Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.
Marika Elzinga – Surrey Hills Society Co-ordinator
I am the Co-ordinator of the Society. My role is to ensure that our Trustees, Management Committee and all the other Committees work together smoothly. I keep them informed about each others’ work and progress. I support our Chairman in many ways; meeting minutes, reports, development strategies etc. Also if you call our mobile phone, I will be there to help you as best I can.
I came to the Surrey Hills from France in September 2013 having previously lived half of my life in Finland and the other half in France. I fell in love with this beautiful area from the very beginning and a friend told me about the Surrey Hills Society. A brief meeting with Chris Howard made it clear that I wanted to become an active member. Soon I was asked to participate in the PR and Communications Committee meetings because of my professionnal background in that area. I enjoyed being part of the team and when the Society advertised for the position of a co-ordinator, naturally, I applied. I started my new job in August 2014.
Previously, I have worked in senior positions for several other charities where I enjoyed the teamwork and possibility to meet new, like-minded people and share ideas.
My work experience spreads from French to Finnish companies, mostly in communications and public relations where human contact is highly valued.
Today the Surrey Hills Society offers me the possibility to work in a magnificent environment with fantastic people, hopefully for a very long time.
Kenneth (Ken) Bare – Vice-Chairman of the Society
I joined the Surrey Hills Society in November 2008 shortly after retiring in my mid-fifties. I was invited to join the Management Team and then became a Trustee. I have developed the public facing activities of the Society by giving presentations to external groups and as the person responsible for our trailer and gazebo presence at many public events throughout the year.
Prior to my retirement, I had two careers with blue chip companies – firstly as a scientist and latterly as a Health, Safety and Environment adviser/manager. My leisure hours included long walks in the Surrey Hills to clear the mind and enjoy the scenery. This pastime continues with the added benefit that the photographs which I take can now find a use in Society publications, presentations and other promotional items.
Diane Cooper – PR and Communication Committee Chairman
I first became involved at the Society’s inaugural meeting at Denbies when many people offered support in various ways to help get the Society off the ground. I started to attend the PR Sub Committee; a role I still do and have now become Editor of the member newsletter three times a year.
My ‘day job’ is fairly well linked to the aims of the Society as I work for Surrey County Council’s Countryside service as a PR & Promotions Officer. The Surrey Hills Partnership is part of this service.
My background before this was less connected to countryside matters but nevertheless in a PR role. I lived for many years in my younger days in the far east in Hong Kong and then Singapore and in that time worked in hotel PR. The years in between were the ‘child rearing’ years!
I’ve always had an interest in the environment and its conservation and one of my main hobbies is to get out there and enjoy our countryside and discover the delights of living in the Surrey Hills.
Stella Cantor – Trustee and Membership Secretary
I was born in Dorking and have lived here in the Surrey Hills for most of my life, so I was keen to join the organisation set up to help protect and promote this beautiful area. I had recently ‘retired’ early and therefore had some spare time to offer.
I first joined the events committee and took on organising one or two events. I was then invited to attend the management committee and was present when the membership secretary announced his wish to stand down. The last job of my working life was as an IT teacher and hence I had some pertinent skills which meant that before I knew what had happened, I had taken over the membership administration of the Society.
My other voluntary job is with Girlguiding and I am active as a commissioner and leader. I consider myself fortunate to be able to offer time to two organisations in whose work I truly believe and to join with other committed volunteers in doing so.
Terry Driscoll – Treasurer
Prior to retiring my career was involved for 25 years with IT in the retail industry during which time I was employed in various roles by a number of the leading groups in the country.
Living in Effingham for the past 40 years I have been a councillor on the Parish Council and Treasurer of the local playing fields association. I am a volunteer ranger with the National Trust working for a number of years at Polesden Lacey, and now at Headley Heath helping to reclaim the area back from birch and bracken.
Jeff Holliday – Events Committee Chairman
I was Head of PE at Glebelands for 28 years after three years at Therfield in Leatherhead. Born in South Wales, I moved to Guildford when I was 11 and have lived all my life in the Guildford area. After engrossing myself in sport for most of my life, (the highlight being selected for a Surrey under 18s Cricket team), I am now enjoying getting to know more about the beautiful area in which I am privileged enough to live in during my retirement. I currently volunteer for the Shows and Events team, and chair the Events Committee.
Peter Salisbury – Administrator
Having always lived in Reigate or Redhill I have a great interest in the Surrey Hills. My wife and I joined the Society soon after it was formed and are Founder Members.
In my present role as Administrator I send out the circulars notifying members of forthcoming events that are open for booking. I receive the requests for places on events and send out confirmation of participation for those who book. I also attend the Management Committee and Events Committee meetings as Minute Secretary.
Away from the Society, I have several other interests to keep me busy, including being a volunteer at the National Trust property, Leith Hill Place, and a volunteer on the Bluebell Railway (part of a team who print their tickets using an ex British Railways machine). I have also been a member of the Scout Association for over 40 years and have held a variety of leadership and administrative roles.