Wendy Varcoe, MBE
Wendy has over 15 years’ experience working within land regeneration, environmental improvements and conservation including working for the first Groundwork Trust in St Helens and in West London and central London regenerating London’s Canals.
Over the last 20 years Wendy’s work has focused on supporting local communities in Surrey, developing partnership projects and building community funds across all areas of community need.
Wendy was the Founding Director for the Community Foundation for Surrey and became its first Executive Director. In this time she has overseen the development of substantial new philanthropic funds to support community needs across Surrey. In total over £18 million has been secured for local communities since the Community Foundation was established in 2005. Wendy was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2016 to recognise her dedication and hard work in supporting local communities in Surrey.
In 2017, Wendy moved from the Community Foundation for Surrey to take up the role of Executive Director at Surrey Hills Enterprises to support the development of the rural economy and to protect and enhance the Surrey Hills.
The High Sheriff of Surrey
Bridget has lived all her life in Surrey, growing up on her family’s traditional farming estate between Guildford and Farnham. She now manages the business with her husband Bill. Bridget is currently a trustee of The Community Foundation for Surrey.
Bridget qualified as a rural property Chartered Surveyor after reading Land Economy at Cambridge University and spent her professional career with Cluttons and Smiths Gore. She has held many offices within the Country Land and Business Association. She is currently President of the CLA in Surrey and also a trustee of The CLA Charitable trust.
Dr Xavier Font
Professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey.
Professor Font specialises in helping small firms to gain a competitive advantage from using sustainable tourism as a tool for product development, marketing and communications. Xavier has run courses in the UK and overseas over 130 times for 2,500, accommodation and activity suppliers, tour operators, national parks and government agencies.
Director of Plastics and Packaging, WBCSD – World Business Council for Sustainable Development
John joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as Director of Plastics and Packaging in 2019 with a remit to mobilize private sector resources to build a circular economy for plastics. He leads WBCSD’s contribution to the Alliance to end plastic waste, a not-for-profit organization working to make the mission of no plastic waste in the environment a reality. John is an experienced sustainability leader and an expert in post-consumer material stewardship. John holds a Masters in sustainability leadership from Cambridge University.
Cllr Mike Goodman
Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, Surrey County Council
Mike has lived in Windlesham since 2006 having moved from Virginia Water. Having spent thirty years in retail, in 2006 Mike formed his own company specialising in security and risk, advising a number of major blue chip companies. In May 2011 Mike became a Windlesham Parish councillor and then Chairman the following year.
In May 2013 Mike was elected as a Surrey County Councillor representing Bagshot, Chobham and Windlesham and it was during this year that Mike decided to stop working for his professional company and serve full time on county duties. In March 2014 he became a cabinet portfolio holder for the Environment and Planning. Mike is also a school governor.
Farmer and hotelier consultant, Hill House Farm
Former hotelier and sale director, Ian Jones swapped the corporate life in 2018 returning to his family farm to establish a farm to table food business with his Father Gareth and Mother Maureen.
They have quickly established up one of Surrey’s best loved food business supplying over 40 restaurants, retailers and hoteliers within a 45 mile radius of the farm, with pork, lamb and turkey raised at the farm. Ian and his family are passionate stewards of the countryside and farm in a sustainable and responsible way.
Ian continues to consult 2 – 3 days per week in the hotel industry and regularly speaks on the topic of sustainability to hoteliers and travel buyers. Ian is a father of two amazing boys, husband to a wonderful and tolerant wife.
Horticulturist and owner of Plant Passion
Claire sells beautiful cut flowers that she has grown herself in the Surrey Hills. Her background is 27 years in Horticulture with time spent in Garden Centre management, including at the Plant centre at RHS Wisley, and running her own Garden design and maintenance business. In 2013 she set up the flower farm in East Clandon, and thought that growing and selling flowers would be an easy continuation
She was wrong of course, the last 7 years haven’t been easy, but although the learning curve has been extremely steep, the seeds do grow into flowers, they get picked and conditioned in the barn, and customers, both florists and locals come back time and again. We keep spreading the word so that more people know that there is an alternative to flown in flowers wrapped in plastic, and the scent of a barn full of sweet peas, mint and roses in the summer is enough to keep us going when our backs are sore.
Chairman & CEO – LC Energy Ltd
Mark’s passion is to inspire every heat energy user to adopt a low-carbon and long-term renewable alternative to fossil fuel energy. His business specializes in biomass wood fuel solutions including wood fuel supply from sustainable, accredited UK resources, an has the expertise, experience and management systems to deliver highly competitive and long-term renewable heating solutions.
Mark’s journey began in 2007 when he met with Company Directors James Maclean and Richard Melhuish, to discuss an idea. The news was riddled with warnings from environmentalists worldwide, stressing the urgency of finding ways to prevent resource depletion in the race to keep up with ever-increasing energy demands and Mark was determined there was a solution – renewable energy from biomass.
The team looked at the way many woodlands were being neglected and realised that this renewable source of wood fuel would bring value to woodland owners through locally distributed supply chains. It also created jobs and demonstrated secure renewable energy supply to the emerging biomass market.
From within the cramped walls of the bike shed at the bottom of the garden, Mark worked hard to establish LC Energy in the sustainable energy market, and watched their ideas transform into a reality. Over ten years later, based in Shere, and with thousands of domestic and corporate customers from major airports to zoos, LC Energy continues to fulfil this vision.
Mark lives in Cranleigh in Surrey with his wife Sarah-Jane, four daughters, two dogs and assorted chickens and enjoys cycling, sailing, rugby and cricket.