Our President is Sir Michael Fallon. Our Vice Presidents are Dr David W R Wright MBE, LLD, FCIS, Viv Lawrence and Michael Brignall.
Dr David W R Wright MBE, LLD, FCIS
After 36 years’ service David retired in 1991 as Group Company Secretary at Johnson Matthey. He also served as a Director & Company Secretary of a number of their subsidiary companies between 1979 and 1993. A qualified Chartered Secretary David served on its Council between 1983 & 2004 and was President in 1990. David has a long public service record across a number of organisations. He is also a Founder Trustee of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Harlow Campus Trust) and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1999.
David served on the Council of the RLSB between 1994 & 2013; Governor of its Dorton House School (1994-2006), and chaired its Finance & General Purposes Committee 1996-2006. He was RLSB’s Honorary Secretary 2010-14. In March 2014 he was appointed a Trustee and Chairman of the Royal Blind Society until its merger with the RSBC. He was appointed a Vice President of RBSC In May 2017.
In January 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to the community of Harlow. His interests include golf, birdwatching, walking, theatre, travel and on the insistence of his late wife Prudence Donaldson Wright, gardening.
Sir Michael Fallon - President
The Right Honourable Sir Michael Fallon KCB has been President of RSBC (formerly the Royal London Society for Blind People) since 2010.
Sir Michael was born in Perth, Scotland, and has studied classics and ancient history from St Andrews University. He and his wife Wendy have two children and live near Sevenoaks, Kent. His business career has been as director of several social care companies including Quality Care Homes PLC, Just Learning Ltd and Attendo AB.
Sir Michael was MP for Sevenoaks from 1997 until 2019, and previously MP for Darlington from 1983 to 1992. He served as Minister under four Prime Ministers: as Schools Minister in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major; as Business and Energy Minister under David Cameron; and then Secretary of State for Defence under David Cameron and Theresa May. He retired from Parliament at the last general election.
Sir Michael is now a non-executive director of several companies, and patron or president of various local charities. He continues to write and broadcast on defence and foreign policy.
Viv Lawrence studied business and human resources and spent his formative working career in the public sector in an industrial relations department. He moved into the private sector working in sales for companies like Axa, Equity & Law and Schroders. He moved into recruitment in 1977 and founded his own business in 1994. Viv retired in 2007.
Viv has been involved with the charity sector through a charity linked to his old school and he became a Vice-President of the Royal Society for Blind Children following his retirement as a trustee in October 2014.
Michael graduated in mathematics from Oxford in 1961. He spent his career in the field of information technology, culminating in 12 years as a partner in KPMG, London. After retiring Michael worked as a part-time lecturer for eight years with the University of Greenwich, specialising in MSc courses in Finance and Financial Information Systems.
He became a Vice President of the Royal Society for Blind Children following his retirement as Trustee in 2022.
Ian became one of RSBC’s Vice-Presidents in January 2023 after having been RSBC’s Chair since May 2010. Prior to this Ian had been a trustee since 2006. His initial involvement with us was because of our long-standing association with Johnson Matthey. In effect, Ian was the Johnson Matthey appointee to our Council of Trustees. Our association with Johnson Matthey goes back to 1838 when Elizabeth Lydia Johnson, the wife of Percival Norton Johnson co-founder of the Johnson Matthey corporate body, was Chair of our first Ladies Committee.
Notwithstanding this historical connection with Johnson Matthey, Ian’s commitment to our charitable cause stems directly from the fact that he has a daughter who is visually impaired from birth. As a parent, he has experienced many of the issues that confront parents of children and young people who have little or no sight so he understands only too well the issues in the educational environment. He also appreciates the difficulties and barriers that many visually impaired people face as they make the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Ian has extensive senior management experience, having been with Johnson Matthey for 21 years as it has grown to become a major international business and FTSE 100 company. He has been a member of the company’s executive committee for much of that time.
He has undertaken a number of roles in developing the company’s environmental businesses and currently has direct responsibility for the company’s professional staff including HR, pensions and environmental affairs, among others. Ian was awarded an OBE in 2007 for Services to the Environment.
He is Deputy Chairman of the Carbon Trust Ltd and Chairman of Carbon Trust Enterprises Ltd, which develops low carbon businesses. Ian has a number of other responsibilities in the European precious metals and chemicals sector and intends to scale back these activities to devote more time to RSBC affairs.
Ian is a charted engineer by profession holding first and second degrees in engineering. He started his working life in the chemical industry and prior to Johnson Matthey followed an international career with Unilever.
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