Ben appoints Steve Nash as Chair of its Board of Trustees and announces three new Board members

  • Steve Nash has been appointed as Chair of Ben’s Board of Trustees
  • Robin Woolcock has stepped down as Ben’s Chair but retains Board member position
  • Sharon Ashcroft, Mark Outhwaite and Chris Thomas join Ben’s Board of Trustees
  • Sarah Bayliss also joins Ben’s People & Nominations Committee

Ben, an independent charity and dedicated partner to the automotive industry, providing support for life for its people and their family dependents, has announced the appointment of Steve Nash as Chair of its Board of Trustees.

Steve has served on Ben’s Board since September 2014 and takes over as Chair from Robin Woolcock who has held the position for four years. Robin, who was formerly Managing Director of Volkswagen Group (UK) Ltd, has been a long-standing Board member for Ben. He remains a trustee, chairing the Board Committee that oversees Ben’s Health and Wellbeing work.

As current CEO of the IMI, Steve brings a wealth of experience in the motor industry to his new role as Chair:

Steve Nash BA (Hons) FIMI  CEO of the IMI

Steve has worked in the motor industry, in both the retail and manufacturing sectors, since graduating in 1977. Steve joined BMW in 1986 and was a Director of the company from 1997, including a period as Group Aftersales Director, looking after the Rover and Land Rover brands.

Steve was Chair of the IMI for five years, before becoming President in November 2009. In 2012 he joined the IMI as Chief Executive Officer. Steve will work closely with Zara Ross, Chief Executive, to lead the organisation and head up its Board of Trustees.

Zara Ross, Chief Executive at Ben, said: “We are delighted that Steve has taken up the role as Ben’s Chair. Steve is renowned for his strategic leadership, experience and depth of knowledge of the automotive industry, which will be invaluable as the sector embarks on a period of significant change. Steve will play a significant role in helping Ben progress to the next level of its transformation.”

Ben also welcomes three new members to its Board of Trustees:

Sharon Ashcroft – HR Director, TrustFord

Sharon has considerable senior HR experience in the automotive industry and is currently HR Director at TrustFord where she has been for the last 13 years, having previously held HR roles at CODA and Gamestation. Sharon’s own professional experience directly aligns with Ben’s approach to delivering Health & Wellbeing services within companies and she will help influence the delivery of the organisation’s new five-year Health & Wellbeing strategy.

Chris Thomas – Finance Director, Retail Motor Industry Federation

Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1989, Chris has been a Finance Director across various commercial and charitable organisations for the last 20 years. Chris has been a dedicated supporter of Ben for many years and brings his significant knowledge of the automotive industry and charity sector to the organisation.

Mark Outhwaite BSc, MBA, Chartered MCIPD, MBCS – Director, Outhentics Consulting
Mark Outhwaite
Mark has worked in and alongside the NHS and Social Care for almost 30 years as a NHS CEO, a director of a national NHS Agency and currently as an independent consultant and a non-executive director of an NHS Mental Health Trust. Mark continues working closely with many NHS national and local organisations. Mark’s considerable experience in change management and information technology implementation and adoption will help put Ben in a stronger position for further development and transformation.

Sarah Bayliss – Head of HR, Thatcham Research

Sarah Bayliss joins to serve specifically on Ben’s People & Nominations Committee. Sarah has a wealth of HR experience spanning over 25 years, having worked for organisations including Hitachi, Sony UK and Centrica. Sarah brings a real understanding of organisational change and transformation to Ben’s People & Nominations Committee.

In addition to these changes to Ben’s Board of Trustees, Tim Holmes and Lesley Upham, both long-standing Board members, have now completed their terms of office as trustees.

To see the full list of Ben’s Board of Trustees, click here.

Zara Ross said: “We would also like to give our heartfelt thanks to Robin Woolcock who has been our dedicated Chair for four years now, and long-standing Board member before that. Robin has played an integral part in Ben’s transformation up until now and he continues to be a loyal and committed support to the organisation. On behalf of all at Ben, I would like to thank Robin for his significant contribution as Chair and we look forward to continuing working with him as trustee.

“We would also like to give a warm welcome to our new Board members, Sharon Ashcroft, Chris Thomas and Mark Outhwaite, and also to Sarah Bayliss, who joins our People & Nominations Committee. Each of them brings considerable knowledge and experience in their respective fields and we very much look forward to working with them. As our new Board members join, we would like to thank Tim Holmes and Lesley Upham for their important contribution to Ben’s Board over many years. 

“With strong leadership in place, we believe Ben is in an excellent position to meet its ambitious strategic goals and continue to fulfil its purpose of providing support for life to the people of the automotive industry.”

Steve said: “It’s a real pleasure and honour to have been appointed to the role of Chair of Ben’s board of Trustees. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time as a trustee over the past few years and I will now further utilise my experience to support Ben’s Executive Team in driving forward the organisation’s future development and transformation. I’m passionate about playing my part in Ben’s future by helping develop and indeed continue the charity’s success in supporting the people who work, or have worked, in the automotive industry with their health and wellbeing. Thank you to Robin for his dedication to Ben over the past four years, I look forward to carrying on the good work.”

Robin said: “Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Steve on his appointment as Chair of Ben’s Board of Trustees, whose expertise and knowledge will continue to be extremely valuable to the charity. I’m very pleased to have been given the opportunity to be so involved in Ben’s work for the past four years. I’d also like to thank my fellow Board trustees for their support and I look forward to continue working with them to help Ben continue its important work in our industry.”


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