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How It Works

How It Works

Structure

SIGBI Organisation Chart

Board of Directors

Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland is run by a Board of 12 volunteer members elected by the membership. Some details are given below:

President: Isobel Smith

Isobel-Smith

Isobel joined SI Birmingham Central in 1992 and transferred to SI Solihull in 2012.  She has been President at both Club and Region level, and was Councillor for SI Midland Arden for four years. She served for two years as Director without Portfolio, before applying for the Director of Organisational Development post. She has held that post for three years, and remains in post for a further year as well as now being Vice President of Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Ltd.

President Elect: Johanna M Raffan MBE
johanna-raffan

Johanna has been a Soroptimist since 1987. Originally a Member of SI High Wycombe, she is now a Member of SI Thames Valley. She has been President at both Club and Region level, as well as Federation Councillor for London Chilterns. She was also Chairman for the Glasgow 2015 Conference and is Chair of the Soroptimist International Convention 2023.

Johanna has previously been on the SIGBI Board as Director Without Portfolio from 2017-2018 and now takes up the role of President Elect.

Vice President: Catherine Cottridge

Catherine has been a member of the Southend-on-Sea Club since 2007 and has held positions at Club, Region and Federation level. She was a Federation Councillor, moving to being a Director Without Portfolio and then become a Director of SIGBI Trading Ltd.

She is looking forward to helping Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) move forward as an Organisation.

Immediate Past President: Sue Williams

Sue joined SI Barnstaple in 2000 before transferring to SI Harrogate and District in 2004. Following this she was a founder member of SI York Ebor and latterly transferred in 2009 to SI Paisley. A keen interest in the link between membership and programme action has lead Sue to the role of director Without Portfolio in 2012 followed by Director of Membership, 2013-2016, before taking on this role and that of Vice President in 2016. Sue has been Club President twice in SI Paisley and also in SI York Ebor. She has also been Regional President of SI Scotland South.

She has been an avid supporter of the Growth Plan approach to recruitment and retention of members in Clubs. Membership Month in May 2016, to be repeated in 2017, provide Clubs and members an opportunity to align themselves to a campaign to recruit new members and promote the SIGBI brand. In addition Sue has worked closely with the Director of Organisational Development in the delivery of two development days around leadership development.

Programme Director: Kay Richmond
Kay Richmond, SIGBI Programme Director

Kay has been a Soroptimist since 1999 and is a Member of SI Cardiff and District.  She has served as Programme Action Officer at Club and Region level, and was UKPAC and Wales Programme Action Chairman before taking on the role of SIGBI Programme Director.

Kay has worked as a physician at home and abroad, and her time as Chairman of UKPAC has increased her enthusiasm for the work SIGBI does and the influence we can bring to bear. This has been illustrated by UKPAC’s work with governments across the UK, the Prison Reform Trust, the Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group as well as other bodies local to all our clubs.

Director of Communications: Vacant
Director of Finance: Ruth Healey
Ruth Healey

Ruth joined SI Guildford and District (now SI Surrey Hills) in 2003. She has been President and Treasurer at both Club and Region level, and is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years experience.

She is a commercially focussed Finance Director with a proven track record of developing strategies and businesses processes. She is a proactive change manager utilising strong communication and influencing skills to implement policies, procedures and systems to enable businesses to achieve their objectives. She is confident that she can help SIGBI move forward financially.

Director of Membership: Claire Bell

Claire joined the Nottingham club in 2003, transferring firstly to Lewes and District and later to Eastbourne club. She has held a variety of positions at all levels of the organisation, including HR Liaison to the staff.

She is looking forward to the challenge of Director of Membership.

Director of Organisational Development: Vacant

DIRECTORS WITHOUT PORTFOLIO

Shirley Jones

Shirley joined Soroptimists in 2000 and is a member of SI Rhyl and District. She has held various Club and Region roles, including President, Membership Officer and Communications Officer, as well as being Federation Councillor for the Region. She is looking forward to supporting the other Directors with their workload and to support Federation Councillors (FCC) in their roles.

Judi Chaddock

Judi joined SI Belfast in 1980, transferring to SI Chichester in 2006 and SI Surrey Hills in 2017. She has been Club President and Secretary, Federation Councillor and APD Violence and Conflict Resolution. She has represented SIGBl on outside bodies such as the Nl Women’s European Platform where she was elected to represent Nl on the UK Committee of Women and act as representative to the European Women’s Lobby and as Board member. She also represented SIGBI as a representative from the UK PAC at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg.

Val Hills
Val Hills

Val has been a Soroptimist since 1996 and is a Member of SI Harrogate and District. She has held many roles within her Club including Club President, Programme Action Officer, Press and Publicity Officer and Club Web Mistress for the last 18 years. She is currently the Club’s Vice President. She was the Yorkshire Region’s Development Officer. She has served as the Federation Consultative Councillor for Yorkshire for four years, before joining the SIGBI Board as a Director Without Portfolio. She is passionate about women’s equality and recently completed a course ‘Beyond the Ballot Box’ at the Royal Holloway, University of London. She has developed and delivered leadership development programmes for nurses and other healthcare professions across the UK.

Programme Team

The Soroptimist International Great Britain and Ireland Programme Team consists of the Programme Director, and six Assistant Programme Directors (APDs), each assigned to one of the Programme Areas.

Details of the post holders are given below, and information about the projects each area covers can be found by following the “Read my Page” links.

Kay Richmond

Programme Director

Kay Richmond, SIGBI Programme Director

Kay has been a Soroptimist since 1999 and is a Member of SI Cardiff and District.  She has served as Programme Action Officer at Club and Region level, and was UKPAC and Wales Programme Action Chairman before taking on the role of SIGBI Programme Director.

Kay has worked as a physician at home and abroad, and her time as Chairman of UKPAC has increased her enthusiasm for the work SIGBI does and the influence we can bring to bear. This has been illustrated by UKPAC’s work with governments across the UK, the Prison Reform Trust, the Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group as well as other bodies local to all our clubs.

Carol Infanti

APD Prosperity

Carol Infanti

Carol has been a Soroptimist since 2010 and is a member of SI Maidstone. She has held various roles at Club and Region level, including President, Communications Officer and Membership Officer. She also looks after the Club’s website.

Carol worked for 19 years in local government, working on strategic planning and took early retirement in April 2018 to concentrate on her Soroptimist work. Her training and experience as a Home Economist has given her the skills to take on the role of APD Economic Empowerment. Home economics encompasses all aspects of daily living; human development and relationships, consumerism, financial and resource management, housing and shelter, clothing and textiles. Home economists research all of these areas to help people improve their lives.

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Yvonne Gibbon

APD People

Yvonne has been a Soroptimist since 2009 and is a Member of SI Widnes. She has been Club President and Membership Officer, as well as Programme Action Officer for both Club and Region. She currently teaches English at a range of levels from adult beginner readers, all levels of Functional Skills English and GCSE English.

Being a teacher, she firmly believes that education has to be at the core of what we do and believes that men and boys must be educated too on women’s rights and why violence against women and girls is wrong. Yvonne hopes to be able to support and encourage clubs and regions to undertake Programme Action work that educates or enables the education of women and girls and men and boys to make the world a better place for everyone for if we improve the life and life chances for women and girls then the lives of men and boys will be improved as a direct consequence.

Naina Shah

APD Planet

Naina has been a Member of Soroptimist International of Chennai Downtown since 2008. Her heart has always been in Programme Action and she has been Programme Action Officer at Club, National Association and Federation level.  She has been one of Soroptimist International’s delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women on more than one occasion.  She is passionate about the Environment and looks forward to working with Clubs to help achieve the SDGs in this area. She has served as a President, Secretary, PAC, and PAC of National Association of India. She was responsible for starting two clubs in India, SI Madurai and SI Kodaikanal. She has been very passionate about the environment and has two decades of experience at National and International level. She attended CSW 59 in New York and had an opportunity to speak at the side event. In the post of APD Environment Sustainability, she will be able to use her knowledge, experience and passion to work with clubs.

Yvonne Freeman

APD Partnerships

Yvonne joined Canterbury Club in 2009, and very much has Programme Action at heart, having held the post of Programme Action Officer at Club level for several years.

Nisha Ghosh

APD Peace

Nisha Ghosh joined SI Poona in 2002 and moved to form SI Pune Metro East in 2010. As founder president of the new club she brought her experience of 8 years to the table as did 5 others and has since worked around the clock to make it a force of good standing.

As a writer and former journalist, she has used her writing skills for doing almost all the content to showcase what the club does and achieves. She contributes regularly to blogs for SI Global Voice as well as the SIGBI website. Nisha has had the fortune of doing a presentation for the UN Advocacy Officer at the UNODC office in Geneva. As the first Indian on the Soroptimist CSW delegation in 2015, Nisha made a presentation on Domestic Violence – at one of the parallel events. She was the first Indian on the Federation team as Friendship Link Coordinator and now one of the first Indians on the Programme team as APD.

At club level, she has served as PAC, Communications Officer and now Membership Officer. For this role she made a video film for ‘Ask me why I’m a Soroptimist’ competition.

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