Synopsis of Minutes of Steering Committee meeting 5th June 2007

Present: -

Jason Chaffer - Chairman
Simon Barker, Duncan Gibson, Max Kirby, David McCausland, Benet Northcote and Fred Packard

In Attendance: - Tim Young and Silvia Domit (Fundacao Estudar)
Apologies: - received from Clive Baker, Lindsey Clay, Andrew Cowen, Alastair Rolfe, Stuart Smith and Emma Watson Mack, as well as from Fernanda Paukstys and Eduardo Roma (both Fundacao Estudar)
  1. The Chairman welcomed Max Kirby to his first meeting.   He also congratulated Suzy Lambert on the recent birth of her daughter, Lauren.
  2. The Minutes of the meeting held on 6th March 2007 had been circulated to all members and the Chairman signed them as correct.  There were two matters arising.   A clause had been added to the acceptance forms of new Bursary holders, underlining the importance of prompt response to communications from The Rank Foundation (and Fellowship).   Mobile telephone numbers had also been sought.   Communication continued with emerging members of the Missing Army.
  3. Communications Team Report

    David McCausland reported on a successful recent meeting of the Team, focusing on the website and involving Steve Wilson.   The website's third anniversary had prompted thoughts of an MOT.  A subsequent meeting at Moore-Wilson's Salisbury office had produced a number of technical and design initiatives: a choice of redesigned home pages, the use of the Charity Skills Marketplace area for broader messaging among Fellows, accurate statistics for visitors to the website and email alerts to Tim Young when Fellows change their details on the database.

    The figure of around 100 separate visitors to the website each week was regarded as encouraging.   Very few visitors venture beyond the home page (with the average time on the website at less than two minutes).   Discussion initially centred on the similarities with the front page of a newspaper.  It was felt that any redesign should produce several beckoning features on the home page which would draw people inside.   Those features might encourage visits to Charity, Leadership, Database, News Archive and Interactive sections.   Tim Young would take these views back to Moore-Wilson.

    Face book is clearly an effective interactive medium.   There was agreement that an interactive tool cannot by itself create a community: the more Fellows meet up with each other, the more readily they will post on any interactive section.   Providing photographs and profiles of Fellows (initially from the Steering Committee) could help to develop a greater sense of community.   Part of the School Leadership Day will be set aside for the School Fellows to come up with proposals for the website.
  4. Mentoring Team:

    The Chairman congratulated Emma Watson Mack on her recent appointment as Head of Events (Europe) for Goldman Sachs.   Although a Goldman Sachs commitment prevented Emma's attendance at this meeting, an earlier meeting had reviewed the Mentoring Evening and planned for the School Leadership Day.

    The Mentoring Evening had generated very positive feedback from those who had attended, but numbers were down on the previous year.   An analysis had shown that Fellows tend not to return once they have attended once.   The best way to make a future event attractive was discussed.   Suggestions included more general advice (on life skills), specific guidance for university, an environmental focus and a panel for questions.

    The Leadership Day on 13 September is scheduled to incorporate a number of features: reports on Community Placements, addresses from the Chairman and other Fellows, a dance session, briefings from Rank volunteers, team-building through bicycle assembly, postcards for personal objectives and a discussion on the website.
  5. Charity Team:

    The Charity Team has been joined by Lindsey Clay and Max Kirby.   Early plans are being made for the Charities Evening on 7 November at the RSA.   The Charity Team would be meeting in London in June.

    In thinking about invitations to the Charities Evening, it had been suggested that Gappers should be invited, but it was felt that this would muddy the delineation between the Fellowship and other branches of the Rank family.   It would be good to have a few Heads from schools on the Leadership Scheme.   Some Charities from last year should be invited back, while there should also be some new ones.   Charlie Harris would be able to advise.  A more proactive approach to matching Fellows with appropriate Charities would be good, but it was also very important that the Evening should be an enjoyable social event again.   Events of this kind create the sense of community essential to the Fellowship. 
  6. Regional Events:

    Numbers continue to build for the dinners at Bolton (22 June) and Sedbergh (29 June): there should be around 20 at the first and around 25 at the second.
  7. Fundacao Estudar Link:

    David McCausland reported that the link continued to develop very successfully.   It was excellent to see Silvia Domit at the Steering Committee meeting.   Fundacao Estudar alumni in London have a standing invitation to Steering Committee meetings and it would be good to be able to contact all those alumni while they are in London.

    In answer to a question comparing the activities of the Fellowship and the Fundacao, Silvia spoke of the very successful careers evening held in Sao Paulo, matching members with companies of their choice.   Although many Fundacao Estudar participants have been involved in charitable activity, there is no charities occasion as such and Silvia looked forward to the Fellowship Charities Evening in November.

    The Steering Committee was advised of planned contact with the Qatar Foundation and the London MagNet Society over the next nine months.
  8. Additional members of the Steering Committee:

    The Chairman expressed his pleasure at the recent additions of Benet Northcote, Lindsey Clay and Max Kirby.   There would be room for one or two more invitees.

    The Chairman asked when the most convenient time of year might be for a Steering Committee social gathering.   Fred Packard kindly offered to host a buffet cocktail party in London in April or May 2008, with a barbeque at Jason Chaffer's Berkshire house to follow in the summer.
  9. Date of next meeting:

    This would have to be changed to Tuesday 4 September at Spencer Stuart.

    The meeting after that would be on Tuesday 4 December, with 2008 dates to be agreed in the near future.
  10. The meeting closed at 7.45 pm when supper was served.
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