Sir Denis O’Connor

18th March 2022

Sir Denis O’Connor CBE takes up the position as our new Chair having previously supported the Community Foundation for Surrey as a Trustee.

Denis has years of experience as a trustee for a number of charitable organisations, including the Migraine Trust and the Inclusive Educational Trust. He has also supported the Surrey Care Trust from 2015-17, and was appointed as Chair from December 2017 – July 2021.

Denis is a lecturer and advisor and member of the Committee at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He was Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary between 2009-12. Prior to joining the Inspectorate in 2004, he was Chief Constable of Surrey between 2000 and 2004.

He received the Queens Police Medal for distinguished service in 1996, CBE in 2002, and was knighted in 2010.




Carolyn Rich

1st October 2021

Carolyn started her career in the voluntary sector working for charities such as Barnardo’s and the British Lung Foundation, specialising in fundraising and marketing. She now works as Head of Brand Marketing and Social Responsibility at Allianz Insurance, which is based in Guildford.

Carolyn grew up in Camberley and now lives in Farnham with her husband and two teenage sons.

Carolyn supports the Foundation’s Finance & Investment Committee.


Vib Baxi MBA

12th October 2020

Vibhaker (Vib) Baxi is currently Joint Vice-Chair of the Council at University of Surrey.

Vib has had a distinguished banking career spanning three major money centre Banks with assignments in the Middle East, Far East and the UK. Subsequent to his banking career, Vib has been a Financial Consultant/Investment Advisor. He is also a Trustee of Migrant Legal Action in London, a Not-for-Profit organisation, availing fair and open access and opportunities under immigration, nationality and human rights law.

Vib is Chairman and Managing Director of UK-based Navras Records Limited, a Music Label specialising in Indian Classical and Traditional Music.

Vib sits on the Foundation’s Finance and Investment Committee.

Will Dawson

7th May 2020

William (Will) is a solicitor specialising in employment law. He is Senior Counsel at Farrer & Co (which he joined in 2007) and where he sat on the Management Board from 2013 to 2016. Previously he was at Simmons & Simmons for 25 years, where he led the employment practice both in the UK and internationally, and where he sat on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Will sits on the Foundation’s Personnel Committee and Governance Committee and lives in Surrey with his family, including a Labrador called Myrtle.

Elaine Tisdall OBE

10th March 2020

Elaine started her career as a graduate management trainee with the NHS, qualifying as an accountant (CIPFA) and subsequently working in finance within the public sector. After a break from full time employment to look after her family, Elaine moved into adult learning, gaining her PGCE and primarily teaching business studies and accountancy.

In 1999, Elaine joined Surrey Care Trust as their business manager, becoming chief executive two years later, and remained in that role until her retirement in spring 2019. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Adult Learning in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

Elaine is currently a member of both the Foundation’s Grants and Governance Committees.

Holly Murnieks

11th December 2019

As an Executive Director at J. P. Morgan Chase, Holly works as a consultant to alternative asset managers and institutional asset owners. Her work covers investment strategy, business infrastructure and also how the asset management industry is engaging with new financial regulations and implementing effective governance. Holly Chairs the Governance Committee.

Holly went to school in Farnham and now lives in Guildford with her husband and two young daughters.

Paul Downes

8th January 2019

Paul is a Chartered Accountant who spent 30 years working in banking and private equity. He has lived in Surrey for over 50 years. Paul is currently the Treasurer of the Horsell Common Preservation Society, a charity based in Woking where he lives. Paul is Honorary Treasurer of the Foundation and Chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.

Emma Walker

7th January 2019

Emma has spent the majority of her career so far managing international brands for Nestle, and this year took up a position as Head of Marketing Capability for UK & Ireland. Emma lives in Guildford with her husband and young daughter. Emma supports with the Foundation’s marketing and development.

Peter Cluff

7th November 2016

Peter Cluff was until recently Co-Founder and Principal at Europa Capital, an international real estate fund management group based in London that has invested more than €9 billion in over 90 transactions across 18 European countries since 1999. He was a member of the Investment Committee responsible for acquiring and disposing of all assets as well as being the Compliance Officer.

He volunteered for 13 years and was a founding member of the British Venture Capital Association Regulatory Committee. He also established a private equity finance director forum which now has representatives from over 100 firms.

Peter is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and currently sits on the Foundation’s Marketing and Development Committee. Peter is also Chairman of Guildford Philanthropy, our Area Fund for Guildford run in partnership with Guildford Borough Council.