NADFAS People

Patron

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester GCVO

 

President

Dr Loyd Grossman CBE, FSA

 

Vice-Presidents

The Rt. Rev'd & Rt. Hon. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London KCVO, DD, FSA
Martin Drury CBE, FSA
Philippa Glanville OBE, FSA
Alison Richmond ACR, FIIC
Desmond Shawe-Taylor LVO

Chief Executive

Florian Schweizer

Before joining NADFAS as Chief Executive in 2014, Florian worked in the heritage and education sector for 13 years. As Director of the Charles Dickens Museum in London he was responsible for the ground-breaking, multi-million pound restoration and expansion project that transformed the Museum into a centre for heritage education and volunteering. He was also founder and General Director of Dickens 2012, an international consortium of more than 150 organisations set up to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens around the globe.

He has lectured internationally on a wide range of topics and acted as heritage consultant for both heritage and corporate organisations around the world.

Florian was brought up in Germany within an artistic environment. His father was a sculptor and painter, and his mother a novelist and journalist. He graduated with degrees in English Literature and History from the University of Bonn and holds a PhD in Victorian Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Trustees

June Robinson - National Chairman

June's career began in Personnel with District Bank, then a change of direction after her two sons were born. She spent the next 25 years teaching - Business Subjects, Computer Skills and Religious Studies.

Involvement in the community has always been a feature: Church groups, Scout groups, PTAs, teaching adults with learning difficulties, stewarding at the local Museum, Heritage Open Days and as a County-appointed Governor at the local 1200 pupil comprehensive school; she is currently Chairman of the Leatherhead Community Association. June was awarded the British Empire Medal for voluntary services to the community in Surrey in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list.

Her first approach to NADFAS House revealed that all local societies had waiting lists and the suggestion to start a new Society. She became Founder Chairman of Leatherhead DFAS (now President) then East Surrey ACE and Area Chairman.  At NADFAS House she has contributed to National Events, Training and the Societies Support Team.  Elected as a NADFAS Trustee in 2010, she became National Chairman in 2015.

Catherine (Kate) Siebert - Vice Chairman

Brought up in Yorkshire, Kate read English at university and taught in London schools before moving into Adult Education, working mostly for the University of Surrey. It was one of her enthusiastic students who introduced Kate to NADFAS sixteen years ago, and since then she has served as Programme Secretary and Chairman of Farnham DFAS, West Surrey Area Chairman, and recently completed three happy years as OAR. She has been a Church Recorder and still volunteers in the local museum where she began as a new NADFAS member. Delight in NADFAS lectures led her to study for a diploma in History of Art at Birkbeck College and reinforced her conviction of the importance of life-long learning.

Kate was founder chairman and trustee of a local charity with an international outreach; a governor of a school for Children with Special Needs for twelve years and is still a governor of a girls' school. She has three grown up children and five grandchildren and lives in West Sussex with her husband John.

Shaun Pitt - National Treasurer

On retiring from a 35 year career as a Chartered Accountant and partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shaun joined his wife at Royal Leamington Spa DFAS. He served as Treasurer from 2007 to 2012 and as Vice Chairman 2008 to 2011. Following completion of his term of office at RLS DFAS, he applied for the role of NADFAS Honorary Treasurer and was co-opted to the Trustee Board in April 2012.

Shaun is Chairman of the Audit Committee at Queen Alexandra College in Birmingham, a tertiary college for the disabled and is also a Vice President of Leamington Rugby Club.

Shaun lives in South Warwickshire and is married with a son, daughter and two granddaughters.

Hilary Alcock

Hilary was a teacher, lecturer and OFSTED inspector, before moving into Higher education administration establishing international degree programmes and aid projects, and organising the marketing for the  recruitment and exchanges of students.

Initially Hilary joined South Lakeland DFAS, and undertook a variety of committee roles. She then became the inaugural chairman of Fylde DFAS in Lytham St Annes, and concurrently spent two years as Deputy  Area Chairman NW. She is still involved with local Young Arts, Church Recording and Heritage activities.

Other volunteering work has included being a school governor and a FE/HE College governor, and she is currently a trustee of Blackpool’s historic Grand Theatre, as well as a Queen’s Award for Volunteering  Assessor for Lancashire. Hilary has degrees in Philosophy and Education, and is passionate about promoting a love of arts and cultures.

She has a remarkably patient and supportive husband, and a wonderful family!

Felix Appelbe

Felix was brought up in Highgate and his parents were great supporters of the Arts. He followed their example and has founded and supports many charities.

Felix has been a Solicitor since 1972 becoming a Partner and then Senior Partner of Ambrose Appelbe Solicitors inLincoln’sInn. Now as a Consultant with the firm Felix has more time to devote to the Arts and to NADFAS.

He became the youngest elected Member of the Council of the National Trust. Felix runs a lovely Cotswold Farm on the Owlpen Manor estate and is a regular supporter and Benefactor of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, other charities and the Courtauld Institute of Arts.

Felix is currently attending a History of Art course at the Courtauld and an art course at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Felix lives in London and Gloucestershire.

William (Billy) Baxter Dawson

Billy spent his working life in banking, including a very interesting and enjoyable 30 years in India, South East Asia and the Far East, where he also did much voluntary work. On retirement Billy moved to the south of Spain and was introduced to NADFAS in 1999 when he joined Costa del Sol DFAS. He held various Committee posts for three years and was then Chairman for four. He spent a subsequent four years as Area Chairman for Mainland Europe, representing Societies from Berlin to Gibraltar. He was instrumental in opening the latter, and is currently assisting the opening of a new Society in southern Spain.

Billy still lives on the Costa del Sol and is currently Stewardship Officer, as well as assisting with fundraising, at his local Anglican Church.

Alison Galvin-Wright

Alison worked in a historical picture library and then as a charity consultant for over 20 years. 

She and her husband Jeffrey retired and moved to Marlborough in 2001 where they became involved with The Merchant's House and the restoration programme of the iconic 17th Century silk merchant's house.   Alison as a Trustee and Chair of the Development Committee and her late husband designing the 17th century style garden and also the Marlborough Community Diamond Jubilee Orchard. 

A long association with NADFAS, as a committee member, Society Chairman, Area Chairman and a member of the NADFAS Societies' Support Team, Alison is looking forward  to helping formulate plans for NADFAS as a Trustee, whilst keeping in touch with the needs of Societies and their members. 

Relaxation comes through music, theatre, the local community and not least with her family, grandchildren and friends.

Denise Topolski

Denise left the Netherlands and came to Great Britain in 1969 to study English and became a permanent resident after her marriage to her British husband in 1971.  Her early career was in public relations at a newspaper and as a receptionist for an electrical retailer. After her marriage she used these skills to help build the family business in electronics for 16 years, as well as raising her family of three children. Denise was involved in sales, but was also responsible for human resources, customer relations and marketing. She helped run the local NCT group and became a trainer for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. In 1988 Denise pursued a different career and became a psychotherapist running a private clinic dealing with stress and change management, family therapy and behavioural therapy. 2000 brought an opportunity to become an instructor and trainer in Method Putkisto Pilates and Denise ran the training course from 2009/2011.

Always interested in art and history Denise became part of the committee setting up Surrey Heath DFAS and was Vice Chairman and the projectionist for the first four years. This was followed by her Chairmanship, during which she set up the afternoon group. Served as a YAAR and Chairman of the West Surrey Area, as well as being a member of the National YA Team, In 2010 Denise was appointed Young Arts Chairman till May 2014. She will now be contributing to NEL and NADFAS Tours.

Michael Shirley

Michael enjoyed a twenty five year career in the Electrical Appliance Industry. He was one of the management team which launched Braun Appliances in the UK after which he was headhunted by Bristol Myers Inc to lead the launch of Clairol Appliances.

Subsequently he was European Director with Dart & Kraft Inc (Kraft Foods, Duracell Batteries, Hobart Catering Equipment etc) reporting directly to the US with additional responsibilities in the Middle East.

In 1996 Michael established Sonning Developments Ltd which acts for farmers and landowners whose land is required by local authorities for future residential or mixed use developments in   locations where inward investment policies require a commensurate level of housing for increasing populations.

Michael joined NADFAS in 2006 and was elected Chairman at Englemere DFAS (West Surrey Area) in 2009.Whilst serving as Chairman he was invited to join the New Societies Committee where he assisted in the creation of three new societies, Corinium, High Wycombe and Wokingham DFAS.

Elected to the Trustee Board in 2015, Michael now serves on three sub groups, much of the work is in preparation for the Golden Jubilee in 2018 and increasing the visibility and brand awareness of NADFAS

Michael is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Fellow of the RSA and a Court Member with the Worshipful Company of Fuellers for whom he organised a Royal Charter in 2015.

He is dedicated to the arts and enjoys golf and cricket.

Sally Wykeham

Sally joined NOP Market Research after university and subsequently became a Group Manager before leaving the commercial world to join the Central Office of Information Research Department. She continued in her career over a number of years, punctuated by spells abroad as an Army wife, and published several academic papers in market research journals.

A member of NADFAS for over twenty five years, she has served on two Hampshire committees, Alton and Winchester and joined the Hampshire Area Team as Education Representative in 1996. Involvement in Training followed and she became one of the first Area Trainers when national Training started in 2004. She subsequently was appointed Head of Training in 2007 which she undertook until the end of 2010. Additionally she has been Deputy Area Chairman of Hampshire from 2009 until 2011.

Married with two sons, Sally lives near Alton in Hampshire with her husband and two dogs. She has been active in the local community both in politics and in fundraising for arthritis research.

Susan Zuill

Susan spent her early career working in Scottish Television for the Scottish Director of a London advertising film company.

After marrying and having three sons she took over an antique business in Falkirk and spent several very enjoyable years buying and selling antique furniture, jewellery and china.

Susan also became interested in juvenile care and justice and the unique Children’s Hearing System in Scotland and was appointed to the Falkirk Children’s Panel later becoming a member of the Children’s Panel Advisory Committee.  This led to her 17 year membership of the Visiting Committee of Polmont Young Offenders Institution encouraged by her bridge partner who was a Governor.

Susan was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk in 2008.

Her interest in NADFAS developed nearly twenty years ago when she joined Stirling DFAS becoming Treasurer then Chairman and eventually Area Chairman, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  She says she has had a great deal of very rewarding pleasure from her membership of NADFAS.

Jillie Moss

After a career as a fashion designer in Milan and London, Jillie graduated with a BA Hons in History of Art in 2000. She was motivated by her belief that the Arts should be accessible to everyone to become a Gallery Guide at Dulwich Picture Gallery and Pallant House Gallery. She later went on to serve as Deputy Chair of the Friends and Chairman of the Friends Events Committee at Pallant House Gallery. She is currently still also a Trustee of the Friends of Pallant House Gallery. She has also volunteered as a School Governor at Rogate Primary School. 

Jillie is currently a member of Midhurst DFAS. Having seen the enthusiastic response of the public to artworks in tours and talks and having witnessed the therapeutic benefit that Art brings to disadvantaged groups, she hopes by being involved in NADFAS on a Trustee level to enable the education and conservation of the arts in a wider context and get the message across that NADFAS does so much more than just organise lectures.

Julia Charlton-Weedy

Julia has First Class BA and MA degrees from York University, where she studied from 2003 to 2009. From 2011 until 2015, Julia was a Trustee and latterly Vice Chair of the Friends of York Minster, a substantial charity, in which she played a significant role in modernising its governance. She also served as County Commissioner for British Guides in Germany from 1996 to 1997 and a School Governor from 2000 to 2008. In addition, Julia is currently Secretary of the Malton Branch of the British Heart Foundation and has been in that position since 1998.

Julia has been a member of NADFAS since 1986 and is currently a member of York DFAS. She has held most committee positions in the large and thriving York branch, as a Committee Member from 2000-2003, Lecture Secretary from 2009-2012, and Chairman 2012-2015. As a result, she has a very good understanding of the operations of NADFAS at branch and area level, and an insight into national issues. Julia is passionate about the Arts and their promotion to the widest possible 

audience. As a Trustee, she brings her energy, enthusiasm, practicality, and an open-mind to the service of NADFAS.