David Rippon (Chair)

David has worked in IT for over 40 years, 15 of which have been spent as I.T. Director in two major businesses, Land Securities (a UK FTSE 100 plc) and Massey-Ferguson. As the head of IT in these organisations he has been responsible for the successful implementation of several multi million pound projects. David has also established a Research Centre into Applied Computing as Professor of IT Infrastructure Management at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Most recently David was Director of the University of London Computer Centre for 7 years overseeing the transformation of that organisation into an entrepreneurial shared service provider in the education and wider public sector.

David is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. He maintains a strong involvement with the promotion of professional standards within the I.T. community and has a particular interest in ensuring that IT is accessible and does not disadvantage any member of society in today’s world of ‘digital by default’.

James Kelliher

James is the chief executive officer of Whiteoaks, one of the UK’s top ten technology PR consultancies (PR Week).  With overall responsibility for the management of Whiteoaks, he is the majority shareholder in the business and provides high level strategic and consultative guidance to major clients and their senior internal stakeholders.

James has been providing communications consultancy to a wide range of clients across the IT, telecoms, B2B and professional services sectors for more than 20 years. His client experience includes AMD, Autodesk, Autonomy, British Telecom, Dell, Ericsson Mobile Communications, Honeywell, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Siemens, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Vodafone and Xerox.

He is a member of the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Institute of Directors (IoD).  James is also a Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London, Trustee Board Member of the Charity IT Association (CITA) and has frequently featured in PR Week’s Power Book (the definitive guide to the brightest and most influential PR professionals in Britain) and the Who’s Who of Britain’s Young Entrepreneurs.

Steve Smith

Steve’s long career in IT started with a Post Office Telecommunications Apprenticeship in 1973. In 1979 Steve joined Cable & Wireless UK Services as a Service Engineer but in 1984 having risen to Area Manager for the South East of England Steve co-founded Astro Communications to focus on the networking technologies that were the predecessors of the Internet. While with Astro, Steve has been responsible for the design and delivery of some very innovative and challenging technology solutions including: safety systems for the North Sea oil industry, global wide area networks, autonomous vehicle networks and many others. Steve has also been engaged as a trouble-shooter, to diagnose and resolve persistent business threatening problems on some of the largest, complex IT networks in the UK, public and private.

Steve is a Liveryman of the IT Livery Company and an active volunteer, fulfilling a long-term desire to put something back into the industry that has brought him so much pleasure.