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Executive Committee

The Society is run by its Executive Committee comprising four honorary officers and six other members of the Society. The Committee has powers to co-opt up to three additional members. Elections take place each AGM, which is usually held in July.

The Executive also has a Programme Committee. The Executive until July 2017 comprises:

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Alan Wenban-Smith

Chairman

Alan Wenban-Smith

Alan Wenban-Smith is an independent consultant in regional and urban policy, and was responsible for planning and transport policy at Birmingham City Council (1981-96). He chaired Solihull and Birmingham Health Authorities (1998-2002) and NHS Innovations West Midlands (2004-14) and is a former visiting Professor of Planning at Birmingham City University. He has been a member of the Society since it was re-established more than 20 years ago, acting as Hon Sec (1998-2008) and Vice Chair (2008/9 and 2014/15).

He has committed to build on the Society’s tradition of providing an apolitical forum for discussion of major underlying issues facing Birmingham and the wider region.

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Rt Hon Jacqui Smith

Vice Chair

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith

Former Home Secretary Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith holds the position of Vice Chair of the Society. Born in Malvern, she studied PPE at Hertford College, Oxford and gained a PGCE from Worcester College of Higher Education.

Jacqui taught Economics at Arrow Vale High School in Redditch from 1986 to 1988 and at Worcester Sixth Form College, before becoming Head of Economics and GNVQ Co-ordinator at Haybridge High School, Hagley in 1990. She was also secretary of the National Organisation of Labour Students.

She was Member of Parliament for Redditch from1997 until 2010 and became Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust in December 2013.

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John Ellis

Honorary Secretary

John Ellis

John is an accountant by profession, who has been involved with many church and charity clients, along with organisations which specialise in fund-raising.

He was Treasurer at Edgbaston Priory Club and has been a Governor at Kings Norton Boys School and is former Honorary Treasurer of the Society.

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Dr Peter Mayer

Honorary Treasurer

Dr Peter Mayer

Dr Peter Mayer is a former consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine, and his past NHS roles include director of research and development, elderly service manager and medical staff representative.

He has been involved in the voluntary sector throughout his career, setting up the local Crossroads in 1984 and was a national trustee of Carers Trust. He is Chair of Age UK Birmingham and a Rotary International district officer.

He has been a member of the Society for more than 20 years and has served on the Executive Committee as Chairman (2011-2013); he is a former membership secretary, vice chair and honorary secretary. He is also the Society’s heritage lead.

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Saqib Bhatti

Committee Member

Saqib Bhatti

Saqib is a Chartered Accountant and a director at Younis Bhatti & Co Ltd and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He has been a Lunar Society board member for several years and was formerly, Chair of the Society’s Membership Committee. He has worked closely with the Chair, Vice-Chair and the Secretary, advising and helping to develop a strategy and business plan for the Society. He is also a Director of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP with responsibilities for promoting diversity and business support. One of his current roles is serving as President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce.

He was Secretary General of Muslims for Britain, a national cross-party campaign set up to engage British Muslims in national issues and has a firm belief in the promotion of SME interests in the strategic development of the region, actively liaising with key stakeholders across the region and at a national level.

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Stuart Guy

Committee Member

Stuart Guy

Stuart has a BSC in Chemistry, PhD in process engineering and a keen interest in sustainable systems (not theoretical, but soundly based on known science). He now runs his own environmental consultancy and enjoys the challenges that it brings.

He has organized reunions for Chemistry and Minerals Engineering, held offices of President, Secretary, Treasurer and Membership in the Rotary Club of Birmingham.

Stuart is keen to involve all ages in promoting the understanding of science and to widen the appeal by encouraging appreciation of arts, history, and how science and engineering fit into all aspects of our society.

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Mukesh Murria

Committee Member

Mukesh Murria

The founder of Murria Solicitors, based in Birmingham City Centre, Mukesh has been a partner and director for 27 years. He is a former Chairperson of the Institute for Asian Business, Director of Birmingham Training & Enterprise Council, Board member of the Chamber of Commerce, and Governor of King Edwards School.

Mukesh is currently a Trustee of Focus (a charity for visually impaired people) and a Trustee of the interfaith charity Science of Spirituality. He has been a co-opted member of the Lunar Society since 2015, and in this capacity has been actively engaged in taking forward its adoption of charitable status.

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Lucy Partridge

Committee Member

Lucy Partridge

Lucy currently supports alumni and community engagement in her role as Volunteer Relationship Manager at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this, she developed her career in marketing communications in the West Midlands before spending over five years in the third sector as a Head of Fundraising and Corporate Relationships for a Birmingham based charity.

Lucy is passionate about developing and retaining young talent in our city, utilising her experience in marketing, project management, networking and event management to help unlock networks to support a common purpose and develop positive community engagement.

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Mark Purcell

Committee Member

Mark Purcell

Mark’s career journey towards being one of the few remaining bespoke tailors within the Midlands has taken in, along the way, an engineering apprenticeship and road managing musicians and bands around the UK.

All of this experience to date has helped inform his interest into the history of the Midlands from a skills and craft perspective, and the industries that continue today.

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John Rainford

Committee Member

John Rainford

John is co-creator of Darwin Matrix App - Technology & Business Intelligence, Director of Rapid innovation for Business Development at Birmingham City University, Visiting Fellow of the University of Birmingham Business School Entrepreneurship (MBA) and Fellow of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management.

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Clarke Associates UK Limited

Communications support

Clarke Associates UK Limited

The Executive Committee is supported by Clarke Associates UK Limited, the Birmingham-based public relations, communications and marketing consultancy. The consultancy is responsible for the Society’s communications, membership development, event management, membership support and administration. The consultancy is well-known in Birmingham and the West Midlands and is led by David Clarke DL with support from Karen Stanley, Mark Whitehouse, Lydia Marshall, Alison Shingler, Jill Ince and Yvonne Rush.