YES – Directors & staff

YES has four Non-Executive Directors: Martin Hathaway (the Chair), Justin Whitston, Deirdre Bounds and William Oxley. The Non-Executive Directors bring a broad range of skills and expertise to the YES Board.

Martin Hathaway

Martin Hathaway

LinkedIn Profile

Martin has been involved with the Young People’s Enterprise Forum (YPEF) since its inception in 2000 and has been instrumental in the development of both YPEF and YES. In addition to his work with YPEF, Martin is a director of YourRail Ltd, an innovative South Yorkshire company which has become the first in the UK to provide train tickets directly to mobile phones.

Before joining YourRail, Martin was the Chief Executive of Yorkshire & Humber Chambers of Commerce Ltd which represents the views of, and provides support to, 13,000 businesses in Yorkshire. Working closely with regional and national bodies, Martin has had a seat on the Regional Assembly and has successfully set up and run 2 social enterprises, both of which have £million turnovers. Martin has spent the last 13 years working in business support in a number of management roles, having previously worked in the City of London as a futures broker. Enterprise has always been a key interest of Martin’s and he has been involved in a number of businesses as an owner and non-executive director. He is currently Yorkshire Regional Chair of Young Enterprise. Always looking for the next big deal, Martin is also a non-executive director of Partnership Investment Fund Limited, a £40 million venture capital company.

Justin Whitston

Justin Whitston

LinkedIn Profile

Justin started out in business at a young age and in 2000 set up Nexus Vehicle Management, growing it to become the largest independent provider of rental vehicles to corporate businesses in the UK. In 2007 he exited the business to private equity in a multi million pound deal. Since selling Nexus, Justin has become an active investor in local businesses and also devotes the majority of his time to funding, mentoring and working with young people to give them the best possible start in business. He has formed and runs his own startup school, Venturelab, which is based in Brewery Wharf, Leeds.

Deirdre Bounds

Deirdre Bounds

Deirdre is a former stand-up comedienne, world backpacker and teacher who set up the ethical travel company, i-2-i.com. This company was set up from a bedsit in Leeds and became a global leader in ethical travel within 10 years. Deirdre is also a world-class motivational speaker on topics such as Enterprise, Leadership, Women in Business and Young People in Enterprise. She is also the author of ‘Fulfilled- A Personal Revolution in 7 Steps’ – a self-development book published in June 2009.

William Oxley

William Oxley

William was born in Barnsley and educated at Holgate Grammar School and Durham University. He spent the next 20 years in corporate life working and moving around the country as the roles demanded. Since 1994, William has lived in Yorkshire working as a management consultant and developing businesses in the hospitality industry. He and his wife, Pat, own one of the region’s top bed and breakfast operations and are both involved in the wider tourism industry. William still works with a range of clients primarily focusing on developing senior people and teams.

Involvement with the Young People’s Enterprise Forum began in 2004 when William was instrumental in re-launching the Forum and the later creation of YES.

His interest in encouraging enterprise in young people has never waned and he has continued to carry out work on behalf of the Forum. In his new role, he particularly wants to focus on the involvement of small businesses in enterprise education and championing self employment as a positive choice.

Jane Walton

Jane Walton – Policy Director

Jane joined the team at Youth Enterprise Services in July 2010, working on the policy agenda both regionally and nationally. Jane was Head of Enterprise UK for Yorkshire and Humber. The campaign aims to give people in the UK the confidence, skills and ambition to be enterprising – to have ideas and make them happen and runs the Make Your Mark campaign, the Enterprising Britain competition and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Prior to this role Jane ran the Make Your Mark campaign in the Wakefield district.

Jane’s background is in the public sector. She is a chartered librarian having started her career in the Further Education sector before moving to Wakefield Council to establish a members’ research and information service. Jane then moved to the Yorkshire Museums Council where she developed a training and information service for the heritage sector which included establishing vocational qualifications for the sector and developing a national mentoring scheme. In 2002 the Museums Council became the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Jane became Head of Regional Development. During this time Jane qualified as a trainer and member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, eventually becoming a Fellow and a member of the West Yorkshire committee.

In her spare time Jane is a primary school and college governor and mentors a range of mentees including secondary school students and HR professionals.

Jane is passionate about enterprise and believes that everyone has the potential to be enterprising and to contribute to both the social and economic well being of the region.

The best thing about working in enterprise education is seeing the energy and ideas coming from young people. They have so much talent and enthusiasm which we need to get better at nurturing and encouraging. Through enterprise education we can develop the skills employers require and create the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future to drive forward the region’s economy.

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