Meet the Governors

Festus Akinbusoye

Governor

Festus  Akinbusoye

Festus Akinbusoye joined the Board in May 2016. He is a Senior Parliamentary Assistant for Mark Lancaster MP and Iain Stewart MP and also runs a successful business that employs approximately 60 staff. Festus stood as a Conservative Parliamentary candidate at the 2015 General Election having grown up in Canning Town after arriving in the UK from Nigeria aged 13. Festus has mentored young offenders, led youth groups and believes that education is a powerful vehicle for social mobility. He is a regular speaker at schools in Milton Keynes and at graduation ceremonies of young people on the National Citizens Service (NCS) in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. He holds a BA in Business Communications, Pg. Diploma in Public Relations and a Master’s Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy. He is an avid sportsman and father of young children. Festus is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee.

Hugh Benjamin

Vice Chair of Governors

Hugh Benjamin photo

Hugh Benjamin joined the Board in April 2012. Hugh has spent most of his professional life teaching in secondary schools, firstly in West Cumbria and then in Milton Keynes where for 16 years he was Vice Principal of Stantonbury Campus. Hugh is now retired but continues to work as an education consultant, leading a variety of projects for local and national organisations as well as maintaining some international links. Hugh is a Governor Champion for Teaching and Learning and also for Safeguarding & Prevent. Hugh is (joint) Vice Chair of Governors, a member of the Remuneration Committee and the Curriculum & Quality Group and also Governor Champion for Safeguarding & Prevent.

Peter Cox

Governor

Peter Cox Photo

Peter Cox joined the Board in July 2014. Peter is a corporate partner in the Milton Keynes office of Dentons, a global law firm. Peter's particular expertise is in corporate finance transactions. His practice covers banking, mergers, acquisitions and disposals, establishing and reorganising businesses, joint ventures, venture capital and private equity investments. He also heads the Dentons Company Secretarial team. Peter is a member of the College's Audit & Risk Committee and Search & Governance Committee.

Lesley Donoghue

Governor

Lesley Donoghue

Lesley Donoghue joined the Board in January 2015. Lesley is a consultant in leadership development and culture change. She worked in further education for thirty years and retired as Principal of Reading College in July 2014. Her previous colleges included; Solihull College, City of Wolverhampton College and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College, where she held a range of senior management roles including curriculum and quality, teaching and learning and technology, student services, and HR. In her early career she taught English and drama in schools before moving into FE and teacher education. When Principal she was Chair of the Employment and Skills Committee of Reading UK CIC; member of Reading UK CIC Board; member of the Reading Chamber of Commerce Council; member of the Reading Cultural Partnership Board. She was also a member of the AoC Learning Technology Portfolio Group. Her main motivation has been the development and success of students and she is a passionate believer in the power of further education. Lesley is a member of the Curriculum and Quality Group.

Jane Drew

Staff Governor

Jane Drew

Jane was elected as Staff Governor to serve for the period January 2016 to January 2019. Jane joined the College in March 2004 and is a Management Accountant and a member of the Finance Team. During her time with the College, Jane has been involved in process reviews, systems design & implementation and teaching.

Jean Gowin

Governor

Jean Gowin

Jean Gowin joined the Board in November 2015. Jean is a media professional with wide-ranging business experience in both domestic and international markets. She has more than twenty years’ experience Public Relations and marketing, working both locally with Milton Keynes businesses and internationally within the global maritime industry.
Jean is passionate about Milton Keynes and is a Non-Exec Director of SEMLEP where she is Business Lead for Skills and a representative for the private sector. She is passionate about education, apprenticeships and offender learning; supporting educational meetings and committees.
In maritime, Jean is also on the Advisory Board of international welfare charity Human Rights at Sea and works with the DfT as part of a maritime image working group. Jean is currently taking a period of absence from the Board

Louise James

Staff Governor

Louise James

Louise was elected as a Staff Governor on 2016 and having worked at the College for 11 years, starting as a Lecturer in Computing and IT, she is now Head of School for Digital Technologies. Louise previously had management responsibility for Student Services so has gained a good understanding of the wider issues facing Students and their support needs, further reinforced by her role as Safeguarding Officer. Louise says she has a strong motivation to improve the experience of Students through quality Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Support and she is an advocate of eLearning and effective systems. Louise wants to provide an effective Staff Voice to assist the Board’s strategic decision making.

Fola Komolafe MBE DL

Governor

Fola Komolafe photo

Fola Komolafe joined the Board in January 2011. She is a currently a partner at Mazars and the Global Lead for International Development. Before joining Mazars, Fola was the Managing Director of Indisys Business Solutions, where she directed a multi-million pound portfolio of award winning programmes across Asia and Africa for the Open University; these programmes were predominantly in education, health, management and business training sectors, transforming the lives of teachers, health workers and children. Fola started Fresh Inspiration, a charity that focuses on empowering people through education and enterprise in developing countries, she is the chair of Into The Community - the charity that oversees the Milton Keynes Foodbank, a director with Milton Keynes Christian Centre and a Board Member of Milton Keynes Community Foundation. Fola has previously worked with HSBC and with IBM as Head of Diversity and as a management consultant specialising in business strategy, process reengineering, IT, project and change management. In July 2015 Fola was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Buckinghamshire. Fola was Chair of Governors from 2013 - 2016 and is currently a member of the Curriculum & Quality Group.

Dr Liz Marr

Vice Chair of Governors

Liz Marr photo

Dr Liz Marr joined the Board in December 2011 and is Director of Teaching at the Open University. After leaving school and going straight in to the workplace, she started university as a mature student. A BSc, MSc and PhD later, Liz began working as a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University where she eventually became head of widening participation. In 2009, she moved to the OU where she has been able to pursue her passion - the provision of higher education as a means of achieving social justice. Liz was awarded the MBA in Higher Education Management with Distinction at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2012 and is co-author of ‘Identity Crisis: Working in Higher Education in the 21st Century’, published by Trentham Books. Liz is (joint) Vice Chair of Governors and chairs the Remuneration Committee and the Curriculum & Quality Group. Liz is also Governor Champion for SEND.

David Meadowcroft

Chair of Governors

David Meadowcroft imafe

David Meadowcroft joined the Board in March 2015. David is employed by Carillion, a construction and services company, where he works in Facilities Management responsible for the maintenance of all of the properties of a number of large high street brands such as the Royal Bank of Scotland. Carillion is one of the largest organisations in the country in this sector and as he has a passion for supporting the development of young people, he is proud that Carillion is one of the largest trainers of apprentices around. David grew up in West Cumbria, which is where he developed a passion for the countryside and outdoor pursuits. He lives in Old Stratford with his wife and two teenage sons. David is a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Julie Mills

Governor/Principal & Chief Executive

Julie Mills Governor

Dr Julie Mills was appointed Principal & Chief Executive of Milton Keynes College in January 2011. Prior to her appointment, Julie was Deputy Principal for five years. Julie is an Open University graduate and was awarded a doctorate in 2005 for her academic research into the psychological contract of prison education staff. Julie is passionate about closing diversity gaps and challenging discrimination and is a mentor for the Black Leadership Initiative and the Women’s Leadership Network. Julie is a Board Member of MK Business Leaders, Vice-Chair of the Helena Kennedy Foundation and sits on the University of Bedfordshire’s University Campus Milton Keynes sub-committee. She represents the FE Colleges within the South East Midlands LEP region on the European Funding Committee and is a director of Border Engineering Limited, an engineering company based in Luton. Julie is a weekly blogger for the Huffington Post. Julie is a member of the Search & Governance Committee and Curriculum & Quality Group.

Giles Mullins

Governor

Giles  Mullins

Giles Mullins joined the Board in April 2016. Giles is a partner at Grant Thornton working with a range of local businesses and leading the audit practice in Milton Keynes.  His is also a business coach, helping leaders inside and outside of Grant Thornton realise their ambitions. Giles is passionate about the local area leading Grant Thornton’s annual Buckinghamshire Limited which showcases high performing local businesses and is also a non-executive director at the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce. As a father of three, Giles spends most of his free time as a taxi driver and standing in the cold cheering on his sons who are budding footballers. Giles is a member of the College's Audit & Risk Committee.

Stephen Norrish MBE

Governor

Stephen Norrish photo

Stephen Norrish MBE joined the Board in October 2009. Stephen has lived and worked in Milton Keynes for 25 years and is currently Co-Director of the MK Christian Foundation, a local charity working mostly with young people, offering them learning opportunities through their engagement in a variety of social enterprises. He is currently a Director of MK Community Foundation and a former chair of the MK Community Property Company. He has previously been involved in supporting and managing a number of regeneration schemes in the area and is a former Chair of MKCVO and MK
Community Foundation. Stephen was made an MBE in 2001 for services to the community, especially young people. Stephen is a Governor Champion for Teaching & Learning and is a member of the Search & Governance Committee and Curriculum & Quality Group. Stephen chairs the Search & Governance Committee and is a member of the Curriculum & Quality Group.

Charlynne Pullen

Governor

Charlynne  Pullen

Charlynne Pullen is a Programme Manager Research with the Education and Training Manager currently on secondment at the Institute for Public Policy Research where she is researching apprenticeships and other skills challenges. As part of her research role, she developed data on the offender learning workforce used in the Coates review of Prison Education. She is well informed on the national challenges facing the sector.
Charlynne was a councillor in the London Borough of Islington and in July 2014 stood for parliament for Mid Bedfordshire. She grew up in Milton Keynes and attended Ousedale School and from there she was accepted to study Modern History at Oxford University where she was Vice-President of the Student Union.
Charlynne is a member of the Search & Governance Committee.

Gwynneth Tan

Governor

Gwynneth Tan

Gwynneth Tan joined the Board in September 2014. Gwynneth is a partner at Shoosmiths LLP where she specialises in employment law providing strategic and commercial advice to clients across a range of sectors including further and higher education and retail. Shoosmiths is a major UK law firm with a network of ten offices. Gwynneth enjoys the outdoors and travel. Gwynneth is a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Silvia Vitiello

Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

Silvia Vitiello photo

Silvia Vitiello joined the Board in June 2010. She is an accountant and a Partner in Kingston Smith LLP. Silvia is a general practice partner whose clients include owner-managed/entrepreneurial businesses and UK subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies. She has expertise in a range of sectors including property, technology, not for profit and professional firms. Silvia chairs the Audit & Risk Committee and is a member of the Remuneration Committee.