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Who we are » Meet the team

Meet the team

The Vegetarian Society is a national charity governed by a board of trustees who are responsible for making sure we are focused on our goals. Our staff team are a small but extremely dedicated and productive community.

Trustees

Conn O'Neill

Chair, First appointed 5 Oct 2018

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Conn O'Neill

Chair, First appointed 5 Oct 2018

Lifelong vegetarian, Conn O’Neill, studied Politics at Stirling University. He manages external affairs for a pharmaceutical company. Having previously worked for a national health charity and a leading UK politician, he brings both charity sector and campaigning experience to the table.

Fond of replicating enjoyable restaurant meals at home, Conn especially enjoys Italian and Indian food.

Dale Hoyland

Deputy Chair, First appointed 26 Oct 2015

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Dale Hoyland

Deputy Chair, First appointed 26 Oct 2015

Having worked for a national environmental and sustainability charity previously, Dale Hoyland has developed key skills including staff management, strategic development, project and financial management. He is a member both of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), and has an MSc in Marine Environmental Management from the University of York.

He now works in the Climate Action Team for Oxfordshire County Council, delivering impactful work to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, helping to secure the future of our fragile planet. Dale has one daughter, is (very almost) a life-long vegetarian and is keen to help others reduce their meat consumption, then support them to become vegetarian / vegan.

Andrew Johnson

Treasurer, First appointed 17 Dec 2015

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Andrew Johnson

Treasurer, First appointed 17 Dec 2015

Andrew is a lawyer and Company Secretary and works in the water industry, in market systems and water market regulation. Prior to that he has worked in a range of industries, but particularly financial services, in both a legal and an IT and project management capacity and also has experience in starting up and running a small business.

Andrew has been vegetarian since the age of 21 and his wife and three children are all vegans or vegetarians.

Michael Harriot

First appointed 17 Nov 2014

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Michael Harriot

First appointed 17 Nov 2014

Vegetarian since 1984, Michael Harriot is a member of the Co-operative National Members Council. He is also Chair of a Community Book Co-operative, which runs a second-hand bookshop and online store.

He has worked in the charitable sector for 19 years, and set up a local family service charity in 1998. Michael currently works for HMRC in a tax compliance role.

Anne Plaskett

First appointed 17 Feb 2021

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Anne Plaskett

First appointed 17 Feb 2021

A vegetarian since 2017, Anne has a long career with food, holding senior positions in UK and European manufacturing companies in a number of different disciplines. She then went on to lecture in a wide range of food subjects whilst gaining a Masters Degree in teaching and learning, designing academic courses and mentoring students in Higher Education. Anne is is also a qualified meditation teacher and reiki practitioner.

Sophie Randles-Dunkley

First appointed 17 Feb 2021

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Sophie Randles-Dunkley

First appointed 17 Feb 2021

A fundraising professional with over 20 years’ experience, Sophie Randles-Dunkley has developed and delivered fundraising events, campaigns and projects for some of the UK’s most prominent charities.

A relative latecomer to vegetarianism, she wants to help others discover the joy of a veggie lifestyle, and make it easier for everyone to make the switch. She brings skills in fundraising, marketing, volunteer management and charity leadership to further the work of the organisation.

Tobias Azizah

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

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Tobias Azizah

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

Tobias Azizah is a hospitality professional who has worked in the Food and Beverage sector since 2014, with experience in evaluating food and beverage provisions perks and benefits, specialty dietary needs, as well as international food and cultural trends.

He is a member of Réunion des Gastronomes and holds a BA in Special Events Management from the University of West London, and L4 certification in Principles on Nutrition from the Royal Society of Public Health England (RSPH).

Tobias has been a lifelong vegetarian and committed to a vegan diet in 2014. Born and raised in London, he has spent a number of years living and working across Europe and Asia in food services.

Carmel Edwards

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

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Carmel Edwards

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

Carmel works on food policy as a Senior Policy Advisor at WWF-UK and has worked in similar roles in other environmental NGOs previously, including the RSPB. She brings to the trustee team a range of skills, including in food policy, campaigns, public engagement and fundraising.

She has been vegetarian for over ten years and vegan for 3 years. She enjoys vegan cooking and baking and getting out in nature.

Katie Phillips

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

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Katie Phillips

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

Katie is an MSc Society, Environment, and Global Change student and has a (BA) Geography degree from Swansea University. She was awarded the Terry Fenge Prize by the Swansea University Geography department for demonstrating the greatest commitment to social and environmental justice for her research.

Having held various trustee and director roles, Katie is passionate about amplifying young people’s voices in education, climate change and sustainability work and has a track record of mobilising young people in sustainability-related campaigns including Food Waste Action Week, Veganuary, and World Refill Day.

Vegetarian since the age of 18 and now vegan, Katie aims to support others in their reduction of consumption of meat in her role as Swansea University VegSoc Secretary.

Sima Ramkalowon

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

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Sima Ramkalowon

First appointed 3 Jan 2023

A lifelong vegetarian, Sima has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology and worked in the charity sector for over 15 years.

She has taught English in several countries around the world and has a vast array of experience in teaching, fundraising, social research, web design and property management. More recently she has begun working with young people with speech, language and communication needs.

Sima has a passion for trying new vegetarian/vegan recipes and has become a bit of a whizz at making sumptuous eggless cakes to share with friends and family.

Michael Krause

First appointed 23 March 2024

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Michael Krause

First appointed 23 March 2024

After a business career, Michael worked in nature conservation charities for over 20 years, in fundraising, leadership, finance and project management, helping protect threatened species and habitats, from conserving the UK’s rarest plants to saving tropical rainforest.

Vegetarian since 1984, the food the enjoys cooking is inspired by dishes from Italy, the Middle East and South Asia. He also loves the challenges of growing veg, breadmaking, understanding wine and playing bridge.

Barbara Zonneveld

First appointed 23 March 2024

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Barbara Zonneveld

First appointed 23 March 2024

Barbara is an ACCA qualified accountant with a Master’s in Business Studies and Economics. She has a diverse background in financial reporting, including consulting, audit and standard setting roles.

Motivated by her passion for climate change, she redirected her career path to sustainability risk, reporting and strategy and currently serves as the Head of ESG Reporting at a bank.

Barbara has been a vegetarian since she was a teenager, and she switched to vegan diet in 2020. She’s passionate about vegan nutrition and has experience of launching her own vegan multivitamin brand.

Directors

Richard McIlwain

Chief Executive

Richard McIlwain

Chief Executive

Deirdra Barr

Director of Marketing & Communications

Deirdra Barr

Director of Marketing & Communications

Antony Byatt

Director of Finance and Operations

Antony Byatt

Director of Finance and Operations

Ben Worth

Director of Development

Ben Worth

Director of Development

Cookery School

Sam Linford-Platt

Head of the Cookery School

Sam Linford-Platt

Head of the Cookery School

Nikita Gordon

Chef Manager

Nikita Gordon

Chef Manager

Lajina Leal

Tutor

Lajina Leal

Tutor

Maz Linford-Platt

Tutor

Maz Linford-Platt

Tutor

Danielle Maupertuis

Tutor

Danielle Maupertuis

Tutor

Trademark Services

Vanessa Brown

Head of Trademarks

Vanessa Brown

Head of Trademarks

Craig Longshaw

Business Development Officer

Craig Longshaw

Business Development Officer

Julie Toft

Business Development Officer

Julie Toft

Business Development Officer

Sales team

Nina Anderson

B2B Sales Manager

Nina Anderson

B2B Sales Manager

Millie Wallage

Business Development Officer

Millie Wallage

Business Development Officer

Lisa Williams

Business Development Officer

Lisa Williams

Business Development Officer

Policy & External Affairs

Jen Elford

Head of Policy & External Affairs

Jen Elford

Head of Policy & External Affairs

Marketing & Communications

John Soonaye

Head of Communications

John Soonaye

Head of Communications

Kirsty Cunningham

Marketing Manager

Kirsty Cunningham

Marketing Manager

Julia Godridge

Content Manager

Julia Godridge

Content Manager

Louise Goodwin

Campaigns and Programmes Manager

Louise Goodwin

Campaigns and Programmes Manager

Chris Ogden

Communications Officer

Chris Ogden

Communications Officer

Su Taylor

Digital Media and PR Manager

Su Taylor

Digital Media and PR Manager

Fundraising

Joey Fisher

Individual Giving Manager

Joey Fisher

Individual Giving Manager

Becks Wood

Fundraising and Administration Officer

Becks Wood

Fundraising and Administration Officer

Finance

Kate Kenny

Finance Officer

Kate Kenny

Finance Officer

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