Kate Bowes Renna
Cat Hoad – I run a niche interior design practice, specialising in the renovation of London homes. I set the business up when choosing a different pace of life, having been a City solicitor prior to having children. I live in Islington. I was introduced to Spear through friends and was impressed by the very specific and targeted aims of the charity. Having seen the changes in the behaviour and particularly the improvement in confidence and self-esteem of students having completed the course, I was keen to be more involved. I volunteer in practice interviews, attend ‘graduations’ and help with fundraising – so far mainly as a donor to, and buyer from, the annual Camden Spear Trust auctions.
Lady Jennifer Leigh – Jennifer Leigh’s career began in investment banking in 1991 working initially for Cavendish Corporate Finance on sell side advisory and then joining Lazard, where she worked on a wide range of public M&A transactions including contested takeovers and privatisations. She subsequently moved to Wasserstein Perella, the strategic M&A advisory firm where she advised clients on cross-border transactions and was later appointed Chief Operating Officer holding overall responsibility for executive hiring, resource allocation and the coordination of WP’s European private equity calling effort. Jennifer also assisted in the integration of the sale of Wasserstein Perella to Dresdner Bank in 2001 and was appointed joint COO of DrKW. She has been a director of Peach&Co, the executive search firm since 2008, where she has worked on a wide range of senior level assignments. Jennifer sits on the Wateraid Development Board and is a member of Friends of the Foundation, an initiative that is spearheading a peer education project within schools throughout the UK on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation, a subject of particular interest to her. Jennifer lives in Maida Vale and is married with two children.
Carrie Longton is co-founder of Mumsnet, an online community of parents sharing advice, support and product recommendations. Over the last 17 years it has become the UK’s busiest and most influential network for parents with over 12 million monthly users. In 2013 Carrie was listed 7th in BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour’s Power List of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. Prior to Mumsnet Carrie was a TV producer who worked with Clive James for almost 10 years. She lives in Hampstead with her husband and three children and attends Lighthouse London. She is co-chair of the Spear Ambassador programme and is passionate about the impact Spear can have on individuals and the community.
Kate Oakley – I’ve worked in HR and Talent Management for over 20 years, and two things still give me a thrill: matching people with their dream jobs, and making a real difference through coaching. During my career I have reviewed thousands of CVs, conducted hundreds of interviews and devised several recruitment processes and whilst this is my paid profession, I also wanted to use this experience to help those who needed it most. I was introduced to Spear by a mutual friend and the fit for me is perfect. I have seen first-hand the huge impact they have on young people’s lives in such a short time and I feel lucky to play some small part in that through coaching, mock interviews and assisting in training sessions.
Libby Potter – is a journalist and reporter with over a decade’s experience working for the BBC, Channel Four and ITN. She began her career in New York, reporting on arts and entertainment stories for BBC News and continued as a reporter and presenter in London, on the shows Liquid News, Celebdaq and BBC Three News. She’s best known as one of the last regular presenters of BBC’s The Money Programme. Libby has four children and lives in Highgate.