Mechanical and then Marine Engineering dominated David’s early life as an apprentice and junior naval engineer officer.  He served on a dozen ships, pioneered the docking facility for Vanguard Class Trident Submarines and was chief engineer on the Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster where he served with NATO.

Promoted to the rank of Commander in 2004 he subsequently became the senior naval officer for HMS Daring during her build phase, sea trials and handover to the Royal Navy. For his leadership in this role he was awarded the OBE in 2009.

Leaving the Royal Navy in 2010 he joined a maritime logistics organisation in a government liaison role and then joined a business group as a Regional Director in 2014.

His life changed direction in 2015 with a diagnosis of stage 4 advanced renal cancer. His experience and treatment has led him to start a charity, ASTRiiD, which aims to help people who have chronic, long-term illness find meaningful work.

David lives in South Lincolnshire with his wife Jo, stepson Zach (b2002) and two barking dogs.  A lapsed Rugby Union referee he is also a published novelist with his book, A French Affair, published in 2017.



David is the Chief Executive of Nottingham Building Society; a role he has held since 2011.

The Nottingham is currently the eighth largest building society with assets of over £4bn.  Since the financial crisis the Society has developed significantly; increasing its assets by almost 50% and growing its franchise from 31 branches in four counties to 67 in 11 counties across England.

The Society is growing through developing its unique all under one roof advice and service proposition, offering estate agency, lettings, whole of market mortgage advice, whole of market financial planning advice and estate planning services from its branches.  The Society is working with Salesforce to digitise this unique offering and offer its customers a genuine omni-channel service whilst also looking at ways in which the savings market could be transformed for the benefit of customers. The Society has recently launched a member rewards scheme which rewards members for planning for and protecting their financial futures, as well their loyalty.

David has over 30 years financial services experience in both the mutual and plc sectors having held a number of senior roles at Alliance & Leicester, including MD of A&L Direct, Director of Contract Centres and Director of Current Accounts and Savings.  He is also a member of the Building Society Association Council, and the FCA’s Small Business Practitioners Panel.

He is married with three children and lives in the East Midlands.  He enjoys most sports, but now watches more than participates!



Maeve was appointed the Marketing Director for the Commercial, Business and Private (CPB) franchise of RBS in June 2017.  In this role, Maeve is responsible for shaping marketing and communications strategy for CPB across multiple brands including NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Coutts, Adam & Co and Lombard.  Maeve was promoted internally within the RBS group from Ulster Bank in Dublin.  Prior to her current role, Maeve was Ulster Bank’s first Director of Customer Experience and Products with responsibility for marketing, communications, products, digital, innovation and customer experience for the bank. Maeve has a wealth of experience across markets and product types from companies as diverse as GE Capital, MasterCard and American Express.

Maeve holds a degree in Business & French from University of Limerick, Ireland and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK.   In 2013, Maeve was awarded the Image Magazine Award for Overseas Businesswoman of the Year.  Maeve was also a recipient of the “Hero of Growth” Award from Jeff Immelt during her time at GE Capital.

Together with her husband Aidan, and their two children, Ella (8) and Tom (7), she lives in Dublin but commutes weekly to London for work.  In her spare time, she spends time with her family in Dublin and is a weekend golfer. Maeve enjoys watching rugby (supporting Munster) and skiing in the winter.



Raymond Cloosterman (Born August 17 1964) is an entrepreneur, brand builder and business economist who enjoyed a thirteen year career at Unilever. At one point during his time there he found himself with a couple of months off between jobs. He used this period to take a journey of discovery in search of new insights in the field of new brand thinking and new business. And so he embarked on an expedition that entailed visiting countries around the world to explore the latest trends in personal and domestic care products, brands and retail concepts. He spoke with experts in a variety of fields. One of the things he came to realize during that trip was that people see their home as an extension of their personality. That wisdom marked the start of everything that has happened since. He developed a new brand that encompassed products for both personal care and home care. 

Raymond Cloosterman is founder and CEO of Rituals Cosmetics. From a basement on an Amsterdam canal house in 2000 he worked, together with a small but passionate team, on the opening of the first store in Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat shopping street. With its unique combination of skin care, body cosmetics, precious mineral make-up, men’s and home care products Rituals Cosmetics unites advanced technology with ancient Far Eastern traditions to present an exclusive range of affordably priced products that turn everyday routines like bathing, shaving and drinking tea into meaningful moments. 

In the past seventeen years time the core concept has grown to become an international success story. Rituals Cosmetics aspires to realize 1,000 stores around the world in the next five years. The home and body cosmetics brand now has over 618 stores, more than 1940 shop-in-shops in leading department stores and 4 City Spa’s with in twenty seven countries worldwide. Rituals Cosmetics has seen a rapid expansion in duty free, airline, cruise liners & ferries as well as hotels. The brand supplies specially designed amenities to over 1500 boutique hotels, is sold on 120 cruise liners & ferries, counts more than 220 airport stores and is sold on or supplied by nine different airlines. 

Raymond Cloosterman is married and has four children.


Jim Bruce is Chief Operating Officer, Cigna UK HealthCare & Insurance Services (Europe) Limited. In this role, he has responsibility for all Customer Operations and Business Functions as well as driving the relationship and profitability of Strategic Partner Relationships.

With more than 20 years of experience in general management, global sales, international operations, marketing and strategy, Jim leads his management teams in developing and implementing profitable strategic Partnerships and driving a culture of Customer and Employee excellence and engagement.

Jim joined Cigna in 2011 as Business Development and Marketing Director for the International Health Care Benefits business. He was then  pivotal in building the  successful Global Individual Healthcare business (GIPMI) prior to moving on earlier this year to manage the transition of the CISEL business and heading up  the transformation of the UK HealthCare Benefits  Operation.

Prior to joining Cigna he held several senior roles within the General Insurance and Finance sector.

Based between offices in Plymouth, London and Glasgow, Jim is happiest spending time at home with his  twelve year old daughter. Jim is a keen football enthusiast (sadly restricted to watching these days) and an avid golfer – when travel commitments permit!





Following Martin’s degree in Psychology, he’s worked in CRM & Customer Marketing for over 20 years, beginning in bricks & mortar at Blockbuster. Martin built the Customer Marketing function from scratch and now runs a global team delivering targeted, personalised, multi-channel communications in over 100 countries. are leveraging email, Push, propensity models, machine learning and customer signals to deliver a highly sophisticated range of coordinated communications throughout the customer lifecycle.




Celia is a proven pioneer in emerging technology companies and has extensive experience in leadership and creative roles across the digital sector. In 2015, Celia became CEO of Rated People,an innovative online marketplace connecting homeowners with skilled local tradespeople.

Prior to joining Rated People, she led strategy and product marketing for T-Mobile as Executive Vice-President of Marketing and Head of Product and has also worked at IDEO, the world’s leading product design and innovation consultancy. Celia headed up the marketing team for Xtime (sold to Cox Automotive), the leading retention solution for the retail automotive industry, where she helped grow the company tenfold. She also served as CEO at WeeWorld, a social gaming company.

At Rated People, Celia is driving the company’s mission to deliver ‘better homes, better work, better lives’. Rated People is changing the face of the trades industry across the UK, disrupting the old-fashioned model of directories and flyers with an on-demand digital marketplace model. Rated

People has amassed a huge set of ratings and reviews of tradespeople over the past 12 years. In the past year, it has seen around 1 million jobs posted by homeowners on its site, with a total job value of circa £2 billion.

Celia is passionate about inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs and can be found mentoring early-stage start-ups in her spare time. A champion for Coder Dojo (with a particular interest in teaching young girls to code), she regularly speaks at industry events and talks passionately about getting more people into well-paid, skilled and satisfying work, including young people and apprentices.

Celia graduated from Harvard University and has an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.





Van der Zee joined Rituals Cosmetics in May 2017. Within Rituals, van der Zee is in charge of E-commerce and Digital Marketing. Using best-in-class technology and by attracting the best talent, he is working hard and smart to keep Rituals at the forefront of Digital. 

Prior to Rituals, he worked at Suitsupply as Marketing Director in charge of the omnichannel marketing strategy, with a focus on customer service, CRM and innovation.

Until January 2015, Van der Zee had a commercial career at Air France-KLM and was member of KLM’s Executive Committee.

His last position within Air France-KLM was SVP Digital, being responsible for setting up the often praised KLM Social Media leadership.

In 2014 he was voted most innovative digital professional in Holland.


John is a commercial, operational and field service leader, with a wealth of experince across the HVAC, engineering and manufacturing sectors. Having held various roles in his career from Apprentice HVAC Engineer, through to Regional Service Manager, National Projects Manager and currently National After Sales & CRM Manager at Daikin Applied (UK)Ltd . 

John is currently blazing the trail by scoping, leading and more importantly delivering Multi cloud implementations across the commercial product sales and field service businesses at Daikin Applied (UK) Ltd. His role includes taking into account business strategy, needs, current pain points and opportunities to improve our operation, drive revenue, growth and profitability. Whilst maintaining the highest level of customer service.

With proven high level stake holder management skills, a record of bringing about change and innovation.  It’s been a brilliant experince transitioning into the exciting world of the Salesforce echo system.

 Aligning the correct technology platform, with best practice and cadence to achieve business goals. Is a recipe for making a remarkable impact. With this in mind, it gives John great pleasure to give a little back by sharing his experinces and trailblazer story.


Tom Dewaele is 39 and has almost 15 years’ experience in various fields across HR, both in expertise and as HR business partner.

He started his career in market research but after one year moved to HR, joining beer industry leader AB InBev to join the trainee program. He took various roles in HR expertise focusing on talent development and on reward. He worked as business partner in different environments including production environment, sales & marketing offices, business centers and headquarters. In his last role he was HR Director joining the board of 1bn EUR business in BeNeFralux.

He joined Unilever in 2010 as VP Reward for Europe. In July 2013 he moved to Warsaw to become the VP HR for CEE, double hatting as HR Director for Poland and Baltics. After 3,5 years of living in Warsaw, he moved to the UK and since December 2016, he is leading Global HR Services for Unilever. In his new role he is part of Unilever global business services organization and member of the global HR leadership team at Unilever. His primary focus is to make the employee experience at Unilever as simple and delightful as it can be, allowing people to be their best: boosting sustainable growth! Creating more personalization, convenience and capacity through the use of technology which can be reinvested into a more human, more simple and more impactful HR approach.

Being a native Belgian, Tom studied Psychology at the Catholic University in Leuven and a master in business planning at the Vlekho Business School in Brussels. 

He is happily married with Veerle and has 2 daughters of 12 and 7 years old. He is located in London, UK. His passions include running, snowboarding and travelling.


Darren is responsible for the end-to-end delivery of all IT operational services, change programmes, IT strategy and architecture to the composite UK businesses, across Life and General Insurance. This includes helping drive the digital agenda to grow the business, alongside a Group and local challenge on cost reduction, evolve a rightsizing / right-sourcing strategy to build an in-house DevOps capability to enable ‘2-speed’ IT delivery and optimise the UK sourcing strategy, and drive a change in ways of working to enable more agile developments.

Darren has been in role for a year following a variety of roles within Zurich over the last 30 years, with his most recent being the head of technology for UK Life, where he was instrumental in delivering the Wealth Platforms for the Retail and Corporate businesses, in addition to the launch of the new Direct to Consumer solution.

Darren joined Eagle Star in 1986 in Executive Pensions, prior to moving across to Zurich IT after a few years, where he has held a variety of roles, including Head of Change Delivery (and his involvement of launching Zurich Internet Bank in 2003) and various local and Group Outsourcing Projects, including a secondment to Group.

Darren is a Board member for one of the Zurich UK legal entities.

Darren is married with two children, aged 18 and 16.


Mary joined SES Networks in 2011, and currently leads development teams to deliver on prioritized projects. Through working with cross functional teams in the business, Mary translates the overall business needs as well as leads the efforts in defining the strategic roadmap for their back office applications to accelerate business growth.

Prior to this role, Mary headed up the Satellite Asset Management department and was responsible for the management of the O3b MEO fleet satellite capacity portfolio to drive maximum revenue.

SES Networks, a provider of Global Managed Data Communications, connects the “other three billion” while going “beyond frontiers.” As a digital connectivity and experience leader, the company has opened the door to the connected world for millions of people from the Amazon to sub-Saharan Africa to the middle of the Pacific. SES Networks believes everyone deserves access to affordable, high-performance connectivity that will allow them to fully capitalize on the opportunities of the app-driven world.


Craig launched Nomura’s Client Ecosystem programme in November 2016. He is focused on leveraging best-in-breed technology to digitally transform the business in order to boost client service, enhance profitability and improve technology agility. Craig has over 15 years’ experience in Capital Markets having previously held Head of Sales Roles at RBS, State Street and RBC. Craig is co-chair of Nomura’s Global Markets EMEA Graduate Steering Committee and is passionate about mentoring and career guidance. Craig started his career at Goldman Sachs after receiving a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick. He is an accomplished racing driver, having won a number of championships in karts and cars since he started racing at 10 years old. Craig is married with two young children and lives in Essex.

Martin has been a prominent member of the Automation community for over 30 years driving the adoption of the latest robotics & autonomous systems, control and information solutions into manufacturing and process control markets through both commercial and trade association roles. He is currently responsible for Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure automation offer for Smart Machines and Factories and for the complete Schneider offer, electrical power, building management, IT and automation solutions into the Automotive, Food and Beverage, Lifesciences and Mining, Minerals & Metals segments.

Martin has also been chair of EAMA (Engineering and Machine Alliance) for over 9 years an association that furthers the collective interested of some 15 focused associations for the growth of engineering and manufacturing in the UK. Before Schneider Electric Martin has gained a broad experience in discrete and process control at Honeywell, Rockwell Automation and as MD of ABB Robotics.




With over 20 years’ experience in Strategic Planning, Data Science and Consumer Insights, Jim has worked for a range of blue chip companies including: Anne Hauser Busch, Diageo, National Australia Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.

His key responsibility is to grow the Ulster Bank franchise by incorporating data-driven insights into all aspects of the business model – from strategic planning through to continuous improvement in day to day processes. Critical to this role is embedding primary research and designing analytical capabilities that enhance both staff and customer experiences.

His current remit spans all aspects of Analytics, Research, CRM, AI development and strategic planning for both retail and business banking. He has a proven track record for developing new types of data sets and creating analytical techniques that fuel discovery and innovation.

Along with the analytics vision and strategy, Jim and his team are responsible for gathering and analysing the Voice of the Customer, driving the customer experience culture deep into the organisation and marshalling cross functional teams to resolve critical and systemic customer issues, responsively and effectively.

Jim is an Economics graduate from Queens University, a Post Graduate in Data and Business from the University of Cork and has a Masters in Business Strategy from the University of Ulster.

He is married to Orla and has 4 children, aged 16, 13, 11 and 10. In his spare time, if he has any, he is a passionate mountain runner and keen sea kayaker.



Kevin sweeney is the CIO of Cpl Group, Ireland's largest recruitment services company with a significant international presence in 10 countries. Previously Kevin has held senior IT roles for large corporates in Manufacturing, Financial Services, Telecoms and Energy  initially spent 15 years working in the U.K and the U.S following graduation in Computer science from Trinity  College, Dublin

Kevin is recognised for his specialist expertise in It Service Management, Data Protection, Supplier Management and Business Analytics. Over the past 7 years, he has driven Cpl's solution architecture built on the Salesforce platform  with focus in last two years on designing and implementing artificial intelligence solutions to transform business operations.

Outside of his professional career, Kevin has personal interest and qualifications  in childhood education and many years of experience in sports coaching.


Chris started working with Salesforce in 2015 when OVO moved all contact center systems to use Service Cloud (resulting in significant AHT savings and increased collaboration). The contact center systems have been iterated over the last few years with a focus on efficiency and removing technology friction from the customer conversation plus a focus on integrating legacy systems to provide a single customer view. The award winning Ovo contact center is now building a brand new Service Cloud platform using event driven architecture and a fully lightning console to provide real time customer data in an easily accessible format.

Neil Procter is Global Head of CRM at Hive, responsible for selecting and delivering the customer technology that drives Hive marketing, sales, fulfilment, billing and customer service. Prior to Hive Neil lead the delivery of high profile CRM projects for News UK, General Motors and many others.


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