Breakout session overview


The Hallmarks of a Successful Chair

Chairs carry a huge responsibility to lead their boards and steer their charities to success.  No matter how experienced you are, it’s a challenging and sometimes lonely role.     

This interactive session will explore the qualities and approach needed to be the best Chair you can be, and, if you work with a Chair, how you can help them succeed.

It will draw on the Association of Chairs’ guide “A Chair’s Compass” as well as the new Charity Governance Code.  John will cover the crucial Chair relationships: with their CEO or lead officer if they have one; with the board; with staff and volunteers; and with wider stakeholders.     

He will also offer practical tips from trustee recruitment to running effective meetings.      

john williams

John Williams, Vice Chair, Association of Chairs  

 John is Vice Chair of the Association of Chairs, set up in 2013 to support Chairs of charities and other non-  profits  and to promote good governance.  John has a professional background in public relations, advertising and marketing.  He is a co-founder and former Chair of the communications consultancy Fishburn Hedges, now FleishmanHillard.Fishburn. 

 Since then, he has taken on a number of advisory and non-executive roles, notably in the charity sector, focusing particularly on leadership and governance. He served as a Charity Commissioner for five years up to 2010; was Chair of the governance and leadership think tank Tomorrow’s Company; and Deputy Chair of ChildLine up to its merger with the NSPCC.  John is a longstanding board member at Business in the Community, and a recently appointed trustee of the Institute of Business Ethics.  He has also chaired the regional tourism board Tourism South East, and a commercial theatre production company.