Meet our trustees
Nick Winser - Chair
Nick became Chair in January 2017. He had been a trustee since 2015 and Vice-Chair since 2016. He's determined to improve the daily experience of people living with MS. As well as developing more effective treatments, he knows it will be vital to give people with MS high quality information about these treatments and fair access to them. He also wants to challenge the public’s ideas about disability and ensure people with MS can continue to participate fully in their community.
Nick is an engineer by profession. His career has been in the energy sector, primarily working for the National Grid. He was promoted to its Board in 2003 and became its UK and European CEO in 2011. This gave him a wealth of experience in business development, corporate finance, research programme management and the way government operates.
In July 2015, Nick left the National Grid to be Chairman of Energy Systems Catapult, a government-led initiative. He's on the Boards of several other organisations – from being a Non-Executive Director of construction company Kier and the Deputy President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology to a Trustee of Mid-Warwickshire Mencap.
Nick's wife, Denise, was diagnosed with MS in 1999. He's seen many of the challenges that come with the development and progression of MS and the opportunities and difficulties of accessing effective treatments and therapies. He's convinced that new, more effective therapies will be developed – supported through our continued investment in MS research and our Stop MS Appeal.
Ruth Hasnip - Vice Chair
Ruth was elected as a trustee in 2014 and became Vice-Chair in January 2017. She wants to use her marketing and communications experience to help raise awareness of MS and the MS Society. She's a director of MSS Trading, our trading subsidiary.
She's worked at board level for the past 15 years, taking a pivotal role across all strategic issues, adding insight and creative thinking to help shape and deliver corporate objectives. She's passionate about innovation and building brand awareness. She's worked as Executive Director of Marketing Communications at the Design Council. She's also been Public Affairs Director at the Barbican and developed its new brand strategy and corporate identity. She has extensive experience in leading membership and fundraising departments, as well as developing numerous consumer and business-facing marketing campaigns.
Ruth's mother was diagnosed with MS when she was five years old, so she knows first-hand the challenges of being a young carer. Now she's a mother of two and has a close friend with MS. Ruth says: "When my mother was diagnosed, we didn’t have the support of the MS Society, but I wish we had. I feel passionately that I should offer my experience and skills to support an organisation whose work is so vital and whose opportunity for impact is so great."
Jason was elected as a trustee at the beginning of 2015, after several years volunteering with his local group, including doing lots of fundraising. He's chair of the People Committee and a passionate supporter of the Stop MS Appeal.
Jason has worked at board level for over 20 years and has commercial, business development, marketing and financial skills. He's currently Managing Director of Russam GMS – one of the UK’s longest established and fastest growing recruitment companies. His earlier career was spent in senior financial marketing and change management roles with the Australian bank AMP.
Jason's wife, Katie, was diagnosed with MS in 1999 just before their wedding. He understands the challenges faced by people with MS, their family and friends, and what we can offer.
Esther has been a trustee since 2013. Her focus is on campaigns and policy as well as communications and digital media.
Esther is a social entrepreneur. She's founded two businesses dedicated to helping people, organisations and ideas to grow: The Social Change Agency and The People's Republic. She has over 15 years’ experience working in campaigns, policy and public affairs, and has worked on several award-winning campaigns at charities like Shelter, Help the Aged and Mencap. She's also a trustee of do-it.org, the UK's largest digital volunteering platform, and a judge for the Clinton Social Innovation Prize at Hult Business School.
Esther was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 1994, aged 15. She's passionate about our campaign for fair and equal treatment and medical access, and committed to providing support to the MS community as a whole.
Christine was elected as a trustee in January 2015. She's the chair of the Governance Committee and is also on the Research Strategy Committee. She's passionate about equal access to services and treatments, and involving people in the design and development of the services they need and use.
Christine has over 30 years’ experience as a pharmacist and 18 years of executive board level experience in NHS hospitals. During that time, she led transformational projects, including the introduction of telemedicine to rural areas. She's now working part-time, supporting hospitals with changes to their emergency care pathways. She has been and continues to be a trustee of various charities and has significant experience in charity governance.
MS is a cause which is close to Christine's heart, as a family member has MS. She also worked alongside people with MS during her time in the NHS.
Christine says: "I know the vital role of the MS Society in funding research into the causes of MS and finding new treatments. I believe it’s never too late to start a new challenge, raise money for a worthy cause and wear that MS Society running vest."
John became a trustee at the start of 2016. He's a member of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee.
John is a Chartered Accountant and had a wide-ranging international career in the professional services sector, retiring in 2008 from a senior partner position at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Since 2008, he's held a number of trustee and non-executive roles - including being a Council member and Chair of the Audit Committee at Royal Veterinary College, a member of the Advisory Board for Mazars LLP and a Board member of Alzheimer's Disease International. He was previously Treasurer of The Alzheimer's Society for seven years.
John has a good friend who was diagnosed with MS some seven years ago. He'd like to use his professional background and experience at The Alzheimer's Society to play a significant role in increasing our fundraising. He also understands how important volunteers and local groups are to those affected by a neurological condition.
Dowshan Humzah became a trustee of the MS Society in 2018. He is keen to support the MS Society as it fully embraces digital and technology in pursuit of its vision of a world free from the effects of MS.
Dowshan is a business transformation specialist with significant experience in strategy, brand management and board composition. He is known for delivering digital innovation and commercial growth having held senior roles with RSA Insurance, Virgin Media, Orange, Procter & Gamble and three start-ups. He currently holds a number of directorships and advisory positions.
Dowshan’s awareness and concern for those living with, or affected by MS comes from his digital work across many civil society and charity organisations – as well as insights from those with disability who have progressed to the most senior ranks in the work place. Furthermore, his personal background and journey explain his passion for ‘access to opportunity’ for those less privileged. Through these lenses and given his breath of experience, he is determined to contribute to the acceleration in research, support and access to treatments in order to improve the lives of those living with, or affected by MS.
Karen has been a trustee since the start of 2017. She's a member of the People Committee. Before becoming a trustee, she was a member of our Cymru Council for six years, including three years as its Chair. This gave her a wide experience and understanding of our activities, volunteering and needs.
Karen's background is in law. She's worked in both the public and private sectors and, until recently, was a director for a large third sector organisation providing housing, care and support. She's a trustee of two other charities and has a strong background in governance, compliance and equalities.
Karen was inspired to get involved with the MS Society when her closest friend was diagnosed with MS some 30 years ago. She understands how each diagnosis of MS affects so many people. As chair of her local group, she came into regular contact with members, people living with MS and volunteers, and she knows the importance of good information, peer support and friendship. She is committed to playing a part in stopping MS.
Marion became a trustee in January 2018 and is a member of our Audit, Risk and Finance Committee.
Marion's background is in the financial services industry. She's held senior leadership roles for well-known companies for over 30 years. These include: RBS where she's currently the Group Director of Payments, MasterCard where she was President and VocaLink where she was CEO. She also held a non-executive director position for the Low Carbon Contracts Company and is a Freeman of the City of London.
Marion's eldest sister was diagnosed with MS in 1980 at the age of 27 and sadly passed away in 2007. She supported her sister through several treatments to manage her symptoms and through her participation in research. Marion therefore has a personal understanding of the impact that MS can have and is passionate about finding a cure.
Sarah was elected as a trustee in January 2018, having previously served on the England Council for over five years, most recently as the England Council Chair. As a trustee, she'll continue to sit on our Governance Committee.
Sarah's experience is in HR, having worked in senior leadership roles for large corporations such as GAME and Coca Cola, in addition to being a trustee for the Adab Trust until 2017. She's now an associate consultant for a management consultancy firm and the owner and director of a business called Flexology Ltd, which focuses on helping organisations to develop a strengths-based culture to enable flexibility, wellness, engagement and performance.
Sarah's mother was diagnosed with MS in 1984, so she has a personal understanding of the challenges of the condition and how it affects both the individual and those that love and care for them. Despite the difficult times, Sarah remembers the bravery of her mother. She believes that good support and information are vital, as is investment in vital research to develop hope and a cure in the future.
Sarah says: "The MS Society plays such an important role in supporting those with and affected by MS, driving awareness and ultimately looking to achieve our collective ambition – to stop MS."
Stuart Secker - Treasurer
Stuart became Treasurer and a trustee in September 2016. He's Chair of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee.
Stuart is a Chartered Accountant and a partner at a large accountancy firm, with nearly 20 years of experience advising clients in the financial services industry. As well as his background in finance, tax and investment, he has experience in leading people and strategy, and a strong focus on risk management. He's also the Chair of the governing body of Polesden Lacey Infant School, near where he lives in Surrey.
Stuart's sister-in-law was diagnosed with MS in 2007. Her resilient attitude in the face of MS (‘I may have MS, but MS does not have me’) inspired him to start fundraising for us. Talking to donors about their own experiences of MS has broadened his understanding of the importance of the charity’s work in providing support as well as funding research.
Stuart wants to use his business experience to help us implement our strategy and succeed.
Anne was originally co-opted as a trustee because of her experience leading fundraising departments and major appeals – she's since been elected.
Anne has over 12 years of experience working in senior fundraising roles in the charity sector and is currently Director of Fundraising at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. She's worked in fundraising roles at other organisations, including Ambitious about Autism, the British Red Cross, UNICEF UK and Anthony Nolan. She has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and worked for Cancer Research UK. She also has experience in the corporate sector.
Before becoming a trustee, Anne fundraised for the MS Society, completing the 100-mile cycle challenge along the Olympic route in August 2013.
Anne says: "My sister had MS so I understand the challenges faced both by the person with MS and by carers. I’m honoured to be a trustee and to be able to bring my skills and experience to support the organisation at this exciting stage with a new strategy and fundraising appeal."
Ceri became a trustee in January 2017. He's a member of the Governance Committee.
Ceri has been a Director at UK Government Investments since its creation. Before that, he spent 20 years as a civil servant in HM Treasury, the Department of Business and in Brussels with the Foreign Office. He's been responsible for the UK's employment law framework, industrial strategy and small business taxation. He's also a non-executive Director of the British Business Bank (the UK's first economic development bank), which he set up in 2014.
Ceri was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago and had his first symptoms more than 20 years ago. He wants to help us increase our impact, especially with the tens of thousands of people with MS who are not members, providing high quality and authoritative information, funding world-class research and continuing to influence public policy to support all people living with MS.