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 a Director of Surrey Hills Enterprise CIC – a social enterprise company designed to engage and support the businesses and farmers of the area. I am also 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.
Martin Cantor – Finance Director
I am a Chartered Company Secretary and have been involved as a Director or Company Secretary of many companies for more than 30 years. I have extensive experience in running the financial and administrative aspects of businesses and have wide knowledge of a range of issues encompassing, for example, Income and Corporate taxes, VAT, HR, Payroll and FCA Compliance and Pensions Administration.
I run my own business from my home in Buckland and am pleased to be able to help in looking after the finances of the Surrey Hills Society. Having lived in the Surrey Hills for nearly 40 years, I appreciate and value everything that living here offers.
The Society exists to help promote and protect the wonderful lanscapes of the area and to assist in developing viable economic opportunities for those who wish to live and work locally and these are themes that I support wholeheartedly.
In my spare time I like to travel, play the piano, play golf and walk the hills with the family dog. I would also like to find time to play a bit of tennis again but fear those days may now be gone.
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.
Paul Bettinson – Governance and Risk Management
I have spent my whole career to date within the financial services industry, specialising in governance, risk management and finance. I am currently Executive Director at a Japanese investment bank based in the City.
Previous roles have included Chief Operating Officer of Equities at a Swiss investment bank, and Chief Financial Officer at a brokerage firm. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse and am a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
I have lived within the Surrey Hills since moving to the area nearly 20 years ago, and particularly enjoy taking in the breath-taking views whilst running on (and up!) Reigate Hill and Box Hill. My wife and I also enjoy exploring the Surrey Hills with our young daughter
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.
Sarah Jane Chimbwandira – Trustee
After completing a first degree in Zoology at Royal Holloway College I decided to fulfil an ambition I had long had and became a VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) when I was posted as a secondary school science teacher in Malawi.
On my return to the UK I completed a Masters degree in Environmental Management and began volunteering with Surrey County Council in the Countryside Service, working at both Newlands Corner Visitor Centre and the Semaphore Tower at Ockham. In time SCC offered me a full time role within the Countryside Service and following the ground-breaking transfer of the SCC Countryside Service to Surrey Wildlife Trust in May 2002 I transferred to SWT. Ten years later I manage the Biodiversity, Evidence & Policy department for the Trust where I oversee the planning advisory service, ecological consultancy, local record centre and Living Landscapes team as well as being involved in the development of Surrey Nature Partnership. I am a Member of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management (I currently serve on the Advisory Forum) and a Chartered Environmentalist.
Tariq Phillips – Trustee
I moved to Surrey four years ago and at that time set up my own firm of solicitors based in Woking in Surrey. My main practise area is property law. I have over a decade of experience in providing residential, commercial, landlord and tenant and agricultural land law advice to my clients.
In my spare time I love to walk Surrey Hills with my wife and our friends and regularly enjoy our favourite walk from Newlands Corner to Chilworth. I wish to continue to raise awareness of the natural beauty of the countryside on the doorstep of Woking town to its inhabitants.
Rob Hewer – Trustee
From the lake district – Cumbria, I came down to the Surrey Hills 20 years ago to work for the National Trust and settled here.
I have worked on Box hill, Holmwood Common and Leith hill, currently I am Lead Ranger based at Landbarn Farm covering Bookham Commons, Denbies hillside, Whitedowns, Netley park and woods, Abinger Roughs, Hackhurst Down and a small area at Blackheath.
I love the countryside, walking, running, cycling and am married with two children.