The RailStaff Awards 2018

Change Event

The Judges

Meet our industry leading judging panel

Alison Rumsey

Alison Rumsey

Network Rail, Group HR Director

Alison Rumsey is Group HR Director and Executive Committee member at Network Rail. She has been working to establish a customer focussed culture since she was promoted from her role as HR Director for the Infrastructure Projects division, in 2017.
As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Alison has gained over 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sector; providing HR leadership to major organisations for: Infrastructure, Rail, Financial Services and Government.
In her role as Group HR Director, Alison acts as a role model for female professionals and an advocate for collaborative working. Her passion for putting people at the heart of an organisation is developing Network Rail into an inclusive and diverse organisation; a major requirement of the Network Rail People Strategy, for which she is accountable. Alison is working to make the rail industry an employer for everyone; through the 20by20 strategy (which aims to achieve a 20% female employee population by 2020) and through a focus on early engagement with young people and STEM subjects. She has recently established an effective approach to strategic workforce planning which will enable Network Rail to nurture and develop existing and emerging talent; creating the workforce of the future.
Through her concerted leadership style and dedication to improving the employee experience, Alison was nominated for Chief HR Officer (CHRO) of the year, EMEA leaders of distinction, 2017.
She believes that HR has a fundamental role to play in supporting a business to be people-centric. In her previous role at the Department for Transport (DfT), Alison delivered a People Strategy which future-proofed the organisation. It was designed to identify, retain and recruit the skills and capabilities required in the immediate term and in the future.
Having dedicated her early months at the DfT to gaining a thorough understanding of the transport sector, Alison used her commitment to professional development to deliver the first high-potential transport development scheme (in partnership with CASS Business school) and later, in 2014, she established the Rail Executive; designed to ensure greater co-ordination of improvements to track and trains and to develop a framework agreement governing the relationship between DfT and Network Rail.

Chris Rayner

Chris Rayner

High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, Director of Infrastructure Management

Chris Rayner joined High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd in April 2015 and holds the position of Director of Infrastructure Management.

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Having started in the rail industry as an apprentice in 1975, Chris has extensive experience of railway operations in the UK and various other countries, including roles at the British Railways Board and Balfour Beatty in the USA, Sweden and Hong Kong. Joining Network Rail in 2001, he was Managing Director of the Network Rail subsidiary business responsible for the operations and maintenance of HS1 infrastructure.

In 2011, Chris became Transportation Director for Serco’ Middle East operation including operations and maintenance of the iconic Dubai Metro.

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Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper

Rail Delivery Group (RDG), Rail Delivery Group Director: Planning, Engineering, Operations

After leaving Leeds University where he had been researching in organometallic chemistry, Gary Cooper joined British Rail in 1984 being attracted to it as a commuter because of the then Government's and BR Chairman’s policy to ‘run the railway as a business’ that focussed on its customers.

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Starting as a station supervisor, Gary moved through the management grades before becoming one of the first Commercial Directors for British Rail and later the Deputy Managing Director at Network SouthCentral - the BR-owned forerunner to Southern.

After privatisation, Gary undertook a number of roles for Connex at TOC and Board level including Group Engineering Director, Group Planning Director and Group Major Projects Director.  In 2002 he was invited, by the Strategic Rail Authority, to take the then full-time post of Business Director for the industry’s National Task Force Punctuality (NTF).  While retaining his role with the NTF, in 2007 Gary became a change consultant to the rail and bus industries before being asked to become Head of Operations at ATOC in 2009.

He became Director of Operations Engineering and Major Projects in May 2012 and Rail Delivery Group Executive Director Planning Engineering and Operations in November 2016.

His non-work interests include real ales; cooking, organisational design; classic cars; the works of JB Priestly; and walking in the English countryside.  

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John Sheehy

John Sheehy

Transport Benevolent Fund CIO, Chief Executive Officer

John Sheehy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Transport Benevolent Fund CIO (TBF) a membership charity for public transport workers.
 
TBF currently has over 60,000 contributing members and John sees on a daily basis the amount of help granted towards the Fund’s members who experience need, hardship or distress. TBF can sometimes be the difference between surviving and going under.
 
John joined TBF in 1998 as a Benefits Assistant and before that he started with LUL in 1989, firstly as a Guard before becoming a Train Operator.
 
John is proud to be part of the TBF because he says it is not every day that you can be part of an organisation that makes such a difference to people’s lives when they really need it.

Paul Bateman

Paul Bateman

Total Rail Solutions, Chief Operating Officer

Paul was appointed as Chief Operating Officer at Total Rail Solutions at the beginning of 2017. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the business and ensuring the efficient and safe running of all operational activities.  Paul comes from a commercial background, with a BSc Honours degree in quantity surveying and commercial management.  He combines this expertise with 10 years’ experience in the rail sector, to ensure strong leadership of an excellent team at TRS

Ruth Busby

Ruth Busby

Great Western Railway, HR Director

As the GWR HR Director, Ruth oversees a diverse portfolio of HR functions, which includes: Recruitment; Employee Engagement & Reward; Employee Relations; HR Business Partnerships; Learning & Development; Internal Communications. Prior to joining GWR, Ruth worked in a number of senior HR roles within the civil service and higher education. She has an extensive knowledge of diversity and inclusion, leading organisational change, employee relations, policy and employee reward. Ruth’s key priorities at GWR will be to continue to put people at the heart of our cultural change within our transformation, maintaining relationships with the Trade Unions and shaping our strategy as we look ahead to the future.

Ruth Sutherland

Ruth Sutherland

Samaritans, Chief Executive

Ruth was appointed CEO of Samaritans in August 2015.  She initially trained as a Registered General Nurse but has spent the majority of her career in public health roles, following a degree in Social Policy from University of Warwick and a Master’s degree in Health Promotion from the University of Ulster.  Ruth was the founding Director of the Community Development and Health Network, a charitable membership network committed to addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland.  Prior to joining Samaritans, Ruth was CEO of Relate and previously held senior executive leadership roles at Rethink, Alzheimer’s Society and Scope.

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Ruth is a volunteer at the Bexley and Dartford branch of Samaritans.  She has been a Trustee of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts since November 2015.

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Steve Mclaren

Steve Mclaren

Fenix Rail Systems, Managing Director UK & Ireland

Inspirational Senior Executive, attracting top talent to my team. Recognised as industry leader in Rail through extensive experience in functional and General Management. Strong team player with high emphasis on building collaborative relationships with internal and external customers. 
Significant Commercial and General Management experience achieving sustainable growth with considerable experience of managing a P&L account with a strong focus on delivering improved shareholder value. Excels in challenging and high-pressure environments.
Functional expertise UK and Global in Manufacturing, Purchasing, Supply Chain, Product Engineering /Development and Project Delivery.
Extensive experience in bringing new technology from R&D through Product acceptance to Project Delivery.
Strong Business Development skills, bringing new clients resulting in increased turnover and profit.
Specialising in business turnaround and profitable growth.

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Consultancy specialising in Rail, General Management and functional department advice.

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