BEES UNITED BOARD ELECTION 2022
There are six candidates contesting five places on the Bees United Board. BU Members, who are being invited to vote for five of the six, will be contacted by the independent auditors conducting the election..
The candidates have submitted these personal statements:
1. Jeffrey Dent
I am retired from a long career with London Underground where I started as a 16 year old operational apprentice and finished having held a number of senior management posts. These included being responsible for the operation of all stations on the Bakerloo and Victoria lines; the operation of the Bakerloo Line train service and finally having responsibility for the delivery of Service Control training as well as the network’s safety training.
As well as my full time employment, I have always been a professional musician, working on a part time basis, and continue to do this almost half a century after my first paid gig back in 1974.
I attended my first Brentford match at Griffin Park in April 1992, the match that won us promotion to the then 2nd Division. Having recently moved into the area I was very fortunate to have been invited to the match as the guest of the match day sponsors and was immediately hooked!
I have never been a season ticket holder as work commitments both with LU and as a musician, limited my ability to attend matches as often as I would like. So I have only ever been a member but, since retirement from LU, I am now able to attend most home and away matches that I can secure tickets for.
If elected to the board I will bring many years of management experience including strong people management and organisational skills as well as budget and finance management. I am also a qualified trainer with strong presentation skills and experience.
As a member rather than a season ticket holder I feel I have a good understanding of the issues facing members, particularly the difficulties that often arise in getting match tickets, particularly for away matches. I feel that more needs to be done to ensure match tickets do not end up on 3rd party resale websites at inflated prices, although I do understand the club are working hard on this issue.
Brentford is an outstanding example of a community focussed club and I would dearly love to be involved more closely in ensuring that the link between club and the local community remains as strong as possible and that the supporters always have a say in the running of Brentford Football Club.
2. Stuart Hatcher
As a long term Brentford fan and long time season ticket holder (like many I remember the dark days and the darker days) I wish to put myself forward for the BU Board.
I’ve been involved with the supporters trust behind the scenes since the early days of conversations to take the club over were ongoing. As a corporate lawyer in my day job I offered up my time and advice to help the trust acquire the club and thereafter to put in place finding and ownership structures with Matthew (I also advised the trust on the implement of the BU Special Share).. This was on the basis that the trust needed good advice of the sort I give day in day out but that they could not afford – and I could help as a fan with the right skills.
That has continued on and off over the years with me giving time and advice to the trust when needed and so I feel I have a good understanding of the sort of issues that the board will need to address. My day job also means I feel suited for a role as I advise clients on governance and company law matters which I think would bring insight to the board.
Previous experience includes having been elected to PricewaterhouseCoopers Supervisory Board where I also sat on the firms Risk Committee and Audit Committee so I feel I have some relevant experience to bring to a board.
Overall I’m passionate about good governance and about ensuring that BU continues to play an important role in the heritage of the club as well as its future. This is an important next phase for the trust as the club has its incredible success on the pitch has removed the need to shake buckets and so the trust needs to ensure it plays its role in the heritage of the club and as the guardian of the club via the Special Share. The trust has played an important role in shaping the fan led review giving its views on how good governance works and I’d like to see the trust continue to be at the front of innovation and thinking off the field and as a real voice for the fans- at this club and also to help other trusts that might wish to draw on our experience.
This is an exciting time for the club and I believe that I can bring my expertise, insight, experience and connections to the board of BU and ensure that it remains vibrant and relevant for the future.
3. Keith Macinnes
Hi, my name is Keith Macinnes and I’m a massive fan/supporter of the club.
It all started in 1967, at the ripe age of 7. Best thing my Dad ever did for me and taking me to that first game against Chester City, where we won 3-1. If you were to break me open now, I feel sure you would find red and stripes, running through the core of my body. It’s a true love thing and part of my DNA.
Brentford Football Club has been a massive part of my life and always will be. Everything is good in the world, when the mighty Bees go and win.
Over the years my involvement with the club has taken many twists and turns, from being the treasurer of BFCPCC (Brentford Football Club Programme Collectors Club). Writing many different articles in the Brentford matchday programme under different pseudonyms. Interviewing players at their homes. Composing crosswords, fun trivia facts of opposing teams and more. I’ve also contributed to some of the books on the club, that have been produced over the past years. I took part in the Brighton to Brentford walk, back in 2007 and still have the scars to prove it. Been a member of the Brentford Lifeline society, since its inception back in 1986. Getting my hair dyed blonde, when we signed Hermann Hreidarsson and getting on the front page of the Hounslow Chronicle.
I used to live and work in America but had to come back after 3 and a half years, as it was just too far away from the club I and we all love.
My aim is to bring renewed energy to Bees United. Represent our members, the supporters of the club and the local community, to ensure Brentford FC remains a club we can all call our own.
I would like to work on bringing new fans to our club. Recently, I had the opportunity of getting a work colleague, who had recently relocated from Singapore to a game. He had never been to a game of football before and loved it, even though we lost.
I feel supporter’s groups, like Bees United are so important in representing the fans. The role supporter’s groups have played in the past has been pivotal to our very existence and is still a big factor today.
I work in release management for a Bank and have been with them for some 21 years. I consider myself conscientious, hardworking, discreet, trustworthy and a good listener.
Vote for me please.
Up the Bees!
4. Rafael Scalfi
Being Brazilian, I’m no exception to the stereotype: I do love Football. Even after almost two decades not living in my hometown, I still support my local team to this day. As the time passed though, somewhere along the way football became more about the stories, experiences and memories than anything else. But then, on a cold October night a few years ago, during a West London derby at Loftus Stadium, I was surprised by Brentford and the way they played. I left that game wanting to know more about this local team as I lived in Chiswick at the time. The more I learned about the club, the more fascinated I became.
From that moment on, I caught myself religiously following the Bees and the Championship.I can say that I rediscovered football and the Bees became a passion.
Now here I am, a season ticket holder who wants to do more for the club. As we reach new heights with our promotion and the new stadium, it’s only natural that the interest in Brentford will continue to grow, both locally and internationally. That’s where I believe I can add value to Bees United. At the same time that we need to preserve our essence as a club, which has the local community as a key pillar, we do need to think about how this expansion to never before imagined places will look like and how we can turn that into another strength in the longer term.
As for my professional background, I have more than 20 years of experience, mainly in the Telecom and Education sectors. I’ve worked with commercial planning, strategy, marketing and finance, currently acting as a business performance director for Pearson Education. I’m also a school governor at The Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls in Ealing and an Independent Visitor volunteer with Coram Voice.
Currently live in Barnes, and London has been home for the last 5 years.
5. Colleen Wong
My son, Eddie, who is 7, had recently started playing football at his school in Teddington and his passion for the game is so inspiring. I decided to learn more about football so that I could ‘talk his talk’. So, in early Oct 2021 I became a member of the Brentford Bees.
I took Eddie to the first game which was Brentford vs Norwich City and I fell in love with the stadium, the team and football. We have gone to almost every home game since and have tickets for the upcoming matches e.g Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
My passion has led me to wonder why there are not more women in attendance at football matches. There are many football mums who take their kids on weekends to their league matches but hardly any at the stadium. I have been selling Brentford FC, the focus on diversity and inclusion and also how family friendly it is to everyone I meet and especially to women.
I am Founder and CEO of a wearable tech business, Techsixtyfour Ltd, since 2015. I am now building a service-based tech business for health and well being with a team of health professionals. Having built a business from ground up, I have extensive experience in all areas of business and a large founders/professional network.
During the lockdown in 2020, I co-founded another business called Thrill Two Birds Ltd. (www.thrilltwobirds.com). We are a consulting business which helps new and small businesses and organisations with anything that is needed to generate more revenue and awareness. Our services include building and designing websites, social media marketing, copywriting, PR, strategy consulting and other areas that help small businesses grow. I am an American Express Small Business Saturday ‘Hero’ which means I support many local small businesses in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames with such services.
I believe I can add significant value to the board in sharing my ideas from the perspective of a woman and an experienced entrepreneur. I hold an MBA from one of the world’s top schools and have previous experience in investment banking with both Credit Suisse and Barclays Capital. I am an active member of the ladies’ league at the Hampton Court Palace golf club and a regular speaker at local schools on the topics of women in STEM and also diversity and inclusion. I am a Sky Women in Tech Scholar and have been named as 1 of the 400 Women of the Year in the UK in 2021.
I am extremely excited about being a Brentford Bees supporter and I think my experience and passion will make me a valuable Board Member of Bees United.
6. Sharon Wright
I am delighted to have the opportunity to put myself forward for election to the Bees United Board. This is an exciting time for Brentford FC and Bees United has a key role in helping to make the very best of the opportunities that brings.
When not belting out Hey Jude at the Community Stadium I’m a self-employed consultant supporting organisations to better connect with their users and communities. I work with senior leaders to help them develop good governance systems and to plan strategically so that their organisations better meet the needs of their users. I have also spent over 20 years working with communities to give them a voice in decisions that are important to them. I’m passionate about empowering people to make the places they live, work and visit better. I feel that experience could be useful to Bees United, particularly in the areas the Board wishes to strengthen in the future around building a more diverse membership, maintaining strong governance and developing a productive connection between the fan base and the Club’s Community Sports Trust.
As a season ticket holder cheering from the North Stand it is wonderful to be part of the passion, connection and respect between club and supporters. The unique atmosphere is one to be proud of, but it cannot be taken for granted and Bees United has an important role in developing and strengthening that relationship. At a time when the club is finding its feet in its new home and in the Premier League, the supporter voice is more important than ever in ensuring the best possible experience for all. Continuing to expand the Bees United membership, and ensuring it is inclusive and representative of all sectors of the fan base, is key to advocating on important issues within the club and the sport. For example, the brilliant question at the AGM about how to encourage more women and girls to come to matches certainly struck a chord with me!
Being a Brentford resident, I have experienced first-hand the positive effects of having a major football club as part of my community. The club’s ethos and the facilities at the Community Stadium offer amazing opportunities to engage with fans, local businesses and the community in new and exciting ways. Brentford FC is ambitious for the future – not just on the pitch but in terms of contributing to local wellbeing and economic growth. Bees United has a wonderful opportunity to support that work by representing fans and the community on the Brentford FC Board and by adding value through stronger links with the Brentford Community Sports Trust and other local initiatives.
I would be honoured to join the Board and particularly keen to support its ambitions to ensure a diverse Bees United membership and to strengthen the relationship with the wider community.