Governors

The Board

Roland Anderson

Roland Anderson

Roland Anderson was appointed to the Board in 2020. Roland is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. He is the link Governor for Engineering and Construction. Roland has 49 years’ experience in the rail industry in operations, commercial contracts, project management and sales, working in both public sector and managing the transition to the private sector.


Gerry Bender

Gerry Bender

Gerry Bender was appointed to the Board in 2020. Gerry is a member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee. He is the link Governor for Student Services and the Student Union. Gerry has a wealth of experience in mainstream and special education, adult learning and latterly workplace education and training. He is a retired education consultant and NVQ Internal Verifier.


Lee Freeman

Lee Freeman

Lee Freeman was appointed to the Board in 2020. Lee is a member of the Policy & Resources Committee. He is the link Governor for Art, Design & Business. Lee is a chartered accountant (FCA) with international experience as a Finance Director. He currently works as a Specialist Procurement Advisor.


Dr Roderic Gray

Dr Roderic Gray

Dr Roderic Gray was appointed to the Board in 1998, is Chair of the Policy & Resources and Search & Governance Committees and a member of the Remuneration Committee. He served as Vice Chair of the Corporation from 2006-2012. He is the link Governor for Equality & Diversity, HE and Business Development. Rod is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and was formerly a management consultant and coach. He now writes on organisational behaviour and is a visiting research adviser at a Polish university.


Nikki Hill

Nikki Hill

Nikki Hill was elected as a Staff Member of the Board (Support) in January 2020. Nikki is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. Nikki is a Student Engagement Officer.


Sue Leonard

Sue Leonard was appointed to the Board in 2020. Sue is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and Curriculum & Quality Committee. She is the link Governor for Learning & Progression. Sue is a qualified FE teacher with extensive experience of working in post 16 education and within custodial learning and skills and several years of inspecting post 16 education and training with Ofsted. Sue currently works as an Independent Quality Improvement Consultant.


Jo McGee

Jo McGee

Jo McGee was elected as a Staff Member of the Board (Academic) in December 2017 and is a member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee. Jo is an Advanced Practitioner, Teaching & Learning.


Denise Brown HCIMA, DMS, MSocSc

Denise Brown

Denise Brown is the Principal and Chief Executive of the college, appointed in 2022. Denise was the former Principal and Chief Executive of Stoke on Trent College, and has worked at South Essex College previously as the Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality. Denise has 26 years’ experience in further education, including 18 years’ experience in senior leadership roles.


Rick Olver

Rick Olver was appointed to the Board in 2020. Rick is a member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee. He is the link Governor for English and maths. Rick has many years’ experience in education, having served as a Vice Principal of a local adult community college. He is also Chair of Trustees at Trust Links, a local mental health and wellbeing charity.


Louise Parr-Morley

Louise Parr-Morley was appointed to the Board in 2020 and is a member of the Policy & Resources Committee. Louise is an ACMA accountant and she is interim CFO for University of Plymouth. Louise is an experienced CFO and Executive Director of wider Governance and Corporate Services and currently provides independent contract support to the HE and not for profit sector.


Andy Ray

Andy Ray

Andy Ray was appointed to the Board in 2020. Andy is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. He is the link Governor for Health & Safety and Capital Projects. Andy has worked for 30 years in the NHS. He is an ACMA qualified accountant and his current role is as the Chief Finance Officer for Mid and South Essex NHS Joint Commissioning Team.


Elizabeth Sipiere

Elizabeth Sipiere

Elizabeth Sipiere was appointed to the Board in March 2019 and appointed as Chair of the Corporation in August 2019. Elizabeth is a member of the Policy & Resources Committee, the Search & Governance Committee and Remuneration Committee. She is the link Governor for Digital Technologies, Media and Performing Arts.

Elizabeth joins us as an experienced board member, having had a career in technology including CEO of a number of Private Equity backed businesses and as Global Head of Capital Markets at HP and President of Broker Business at OMX (now OMX Nasdaq). Elizabeth has also held a number of Non-Executive Director roles over the last 17 years. She is on the board of Swan Housing, providers of social housing and regeneration projects in East London and Essex and chairs their Operations Committee. Elizabeth has a BSc and MSc from the London School of Economics.


Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone was appointed to the Board in 2019 and serves on the Curriculum & Quality Committee. She is the link Governor for Workforce Apprenticeships. Sarah is employed as a Director of People and Culture in a global managed print and IT Services company. She lives locally and is a member of the Basildon Business Group.


Gwynn Williams

Gwynn Williams

Gwynn Williams was appointed to the Board in 2012 and appointed as Vice Chair of the Corporation in 2015. She is Chair of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee and the Search & Governance Committee. She is also governor of an infants’ school. Gwynn is the link Governor for Health & Science and Safeguarding. Gwynn retired in May 2012 as a Divisional Commander with Essex Police, for whom she served for over thirty years.


Co-opted Member

Linda Everard

Linda Everard is a co-opted member of the Audit & Risk Committee from March 2021. Linda was employed as the Head of Internal Audit for two local councils and a housing management company until her retirement in 2018. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and an associate member of the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD).


Clerk to the corporation

Melissa Drayson

Melissa Drayson

Melissa Drayson has been the Clerk to the Corporation since November 2019. Melissa is an experienced governance professional. She has managed and supported Further Education Boards of Governors for 20 years, but also has experience of governance within the private sector, charities and academies. Melissa holds the Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries (ICSA).