Introducing, the New Chair-elect of our main board, Helen Simpson OBE

06 November 2020

Today we have announced the appointment of Helen Simpson OBE, as the new Chair of our main board from next April.

Our current Chair, David Kerfoot MBE DL, who’s term of office comes to an end next March, made the announcement at our annual conference, explaining that there will be a five month transition period before he retires to provide a stable transition in leadership.

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Helen is an experienced non-executive chair and director. Her non-executive experience follows a senior executive career with BT where she led digital growth businesses and major deals, developed strategy and built commercial partnerships before leading BT’s volunteering programme globally.

Helen currently Chairs Broadacres Housing Association, a provider of social housing, extra care and specialist provision in North Yorkshire and Trustees Unlimited, which works to improve charity governance. She also serves as a Trustee with St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity in their work with the homeless and vulnerably housed.  Helen brings expertise in leadership, strategy development, partnerships and collaboration including with government, social housing and charity and community development, as well as a passion for diverse leadership, including helping women leaders to fulfil their potential.

As Chair of the Y & NY LEP, her role will be to lead the board and work with our partners to engage with government as we work towards our vision for York and North Yorkshire to become England’s first carbon negative region and to reshape and strengthen the region’s recovery and future growth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, building greater opportunities for people who live, learn, work and travel in the region.

Speaking at the conference, David Kerfoot MBE DL said: “Helen’s experience and credentials are exactly what is needed for the role. She is passionate about York and North Yorkshire, is a proven leader and has in-depth experience of working with government at the highest level. I am looking forward to working with her over the next few months and I have no doubt that she is an excellent choice to lead the LEP’s vision to build a greener, fairer and stronger economy for the region as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Speaking of her appointment, Helen Simpson OBE said: “I am excited to get involved with the York & North Yorkshire LEP and look forward to meeting the LEP team, partners and businesses across the region as we work together to build the economy. We live in challenging times, so now more than ever, it will be a privilege to champion York and North Yorkshire.  I am looking forward to using my skills and experience, with the LEP team, the Board and the public and private sector partners to help make a real difference.”

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