Team Rubicon UK Staff
Richard Sharp, CEO
Richard’s early career was spent as a semi-professional rugby player and yacht rigger before joining the Royal Marines as an officer in 2005.
He served for over eight years in many leadership positions, mostly with 42 Commando Royal Marines, and deployed twice to Afghanistan in 2006 and 2011.
When he left the Marines, Richard joined the world of financial services with Deutsche Bank, starting out in Strategy and Business Development, and then Liquidity Structuring and Risk. High Finance provided a great challenge, but it didn’t satisfy his hunger to serve.
In 2014, Richard moved to Help for Heroes as the Executive Operations Officer, and was promoted to Operations Director.
However, the highlight of his career is –without doubt– being given the role of CEO at Team Rubicon UK in 2017 and working alongside the most remarkable people that created this wonderful organisation. He is humbled everyday by the commitment and selflessness of the team.
Bethan Canterbury, Chief of Staff
Taught to salute by her guardsman father and with ‘Targett’ as a surname Bethan was destined for the Army, but just didn’t know it and did a degree in Cultural Studies instead. Finally joining the Royal Corps of Transport when they took two girls per year (yes, she is that old), tours in NI (told you) Bosnia, Florida (!) and two to Afghanistan followed. Latter roles included strategic Information Operations, a secondment at the FCO, running a joint training establishment, re-writing tri-service HR policy and running Army media and communications.
She left after 28 years and is now counting her birthdays in reverse.
Working initially as a communications consultant she also dabbled in airline and regional airport retail models but the draw of Team Rubicon was strong. She joined as a Greyshirt, followed by the OLC and then began as Chief of Staff in May 2019.
She enjoys, in an old before her time sort of way, gardening (sitting in it with a glass of something), trying to wean her spaniel off tennis balls and wrangling the 4 chickens that have survived the fox. She is a ‘long lunch’ alpine skier, is never knowingly seen without her passport and also has an unhealthy interest in cheesecake.
Chief of Staff
Zoe Ferries, EA to the CEO
Zoe has come across to Team Rubicon after completing 9 years at Help for Heroes.
She held a variety of roles within the charity and her most recent experience was working in the Fellowship Membership Team and along with her team, was directly supporting our Wounded, Injured and Sick and their families.
To say Zoe is ‘outdoorsy’ is an understatement! She relishes a challenge and has travelled the globe to raise money for causes close to her heart.
This has included, trekking across the Sahara, completing the Annapurna Trail in Nepal, horse riding across Mongolia and completing a bike ride from Bangkok to Yangon in Myanmar.
If time allows, she has been known to get on the piste - skiing all over Europe and although more at home in the saddle, will dust off her running shoes if that’s what it takes to raise money for Team Rubicon!
She couldn’t feel more privileged to become one of the TRibe and is really excited to get stuck in with the task in hand!
EA to the CEO
Kirsty Dolan, Director of Marketing & Comms
Kirsty has spent the last 19 years marketing some of the most famous drinks brands on the planet, from Bacardi to Coca-Cola and Horlicks to Heineken
Career highlights include carrying the Olympic torch, sponsoring London Fashion Week and being invited to Number 10 Downing Street. She’s met some interesting people over the years, including Jessie J, Martin Johnson, Peter Andre, Jude Law – and Neil and Christine Hamilton.
Kirsty’s ‘drink days’ are behind her – and now she’s focussing on creating fortune and glory for something she’s really passionate about, Team Rubicon.
A netballer known as “Bear” by her teammates, she’s also fond of dancing, singing, sewing, knitting, boxing, canoeing and football.
Director of Marketing & Comms
Chris Lyon, Head of Tech & Innovation
Chris is a former Captain of Artillery in the British Army, serving in both Germany and the UK for a total of 8 years.
During his service, he deployed to Cyprus with the UN, and to Afghanistan on 3 separate 6-month tours of duty, in a variety of different roles including as a Tactical Psychological Operations Team Commander, and later as a Staff Officer controlling the deployment and operation of technical surveillance equipment.
Chris has deployed internationally with Team Rubicon US to Nepal after the 2015 earthquake (and during the second one), to the Philippines with the newly founded Team Rubicon UK to rebuild a school, and perhaps most glamorously of all to Little Rock, Arkansas in the wake of a tornado.
A keen sportsman, he has at one point or another tried his hand at most disciplines – most notably as the Army U23 Hockey Goalkeeper (before he got fat, ironically), although these days he sticks mostly to Squash and Alpine Skiing.
When he isn’t breaking a sweat, he can be found piloting X-Wings and thrashing out 80’s classics on his Ukulele.
Head of Tech & Innovation
Ben Lampard, Operations Programme Director
Ben joined the team in April 2019 as the Operations Programme Director with the primary role of developing long term Disaster Risk Reduction projects to enhance Team Rubicon UK's offering within the humanitarian sector.
The first 17 years of his working career was as an officer in the British Infantry which was spent either charging around the World on operations or training others in leadership and tactics. Operational deployments included Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.
On leaving the Army in 2010 he joined Saab, the Swedish defence and security company, and spent the next 8 years of his career in Kenya where he was responsible for Saab Group's activities in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. This included running an embedded training support contract for the British Army in Northern Kenya and a complex logistic support operation in Somalia for the United Nations, European Union, African Union and associated agencies.
Now back in the UK, Ben is relishing the opportunity to make use of his international operational experience in such a dynamic and focused organisation whilst working alongside some incredibly talented people.
When he is not at work, Ben enjoys pursuing an active outdoor life alongside an ever patient wife, two mischievous kids and a small Kenyan dog.
Operations Programme Director
Paul Taylor, Operations Response Manager
Paul joined the Army at 16 and served in the Infantry for 26 years. This saw him deployed on operations and training around the world with his last operational deployment as a sniper to Afghanistan in 2009.
He left the Army in 2011 and started a career as an expedition guide and has led expeditions to Sierra Leone, Gabon, DRC, Zambia and Botswana, China and Mongolia, Nepal, Borneo and India.
In 2015 he deployed with Team Rubicon to Nepal in response to the earthquake on the 25th April and has since deployed to Haiti, Sri Lanka, Italy, the Caribbean, Indonesia (twice) and a further three deployments to Nepal.
He is studying towards a Master’s Degree in International Disaster Management and when not deployed to or learning about disasters he enjoys climbing, packrafting and running in the hills accompanied by his Border Terrier ‘Hercules’.
Operations Response Manager
Sam Wheatley-Smith, Mission Hub Manager
Sam qualified from his masters degree in international disaster management in 2015 then spent a year travelling and working in central and South America before beginning his 5 month internship with Team Rubicon UK as an operations coordinator.
He then led a development project in WASH for 5 months in Nepal before starting his current full time position at Team Rubicon UK as the Mission Hub Manager.
In this post Sam has overseen the planning and delivery of 9 operations, deployed to Indonesia in response to the 2018 earthquakes and tsunami, as well as to Sierra Leone to lead a livelihoods program benefiting the Sierra Leone Ex-Servicemen’s association.
As a proud Irishman he appreciates the value of potatoes as a staple food, is well versed in the art of storytelling and will sing you a song from the Emerald Isle at any opportunity.
An eccentricity dressed gentlemen taking influence from Cuba and the Orient., he can also be found training the interns to become kickboxing ninjas when the work day is done.
Mission Hub Manager
Jo Parsons, Fundraising Manager
Jo is a professional fundraiser with two decades of experience under her belt. She started volunteering for the Anthony Nolan Trust following her nephew’s leukaemia diagnosis and ran (badly) in the New York Marathon in a bid to do something to help. She then worked for ANT for 8 years. Since then she has worked for many national charities including The British Heart Foundation, Sue Ryder and, was the first Corporate Fundraiser for Help for Heroes, working with multiple organisations who had the capacity and intention to give millions of pounds to charity.
Jo’s passion for fundraising is with Trusts and Foundations and High Net Worth individuals. Her skill is to research, develop and tailor applications with the aim of creating lasting and meaningful relationships for both charity and donor.
Outside of work Jo lives on her family’s farm in Wiltshire with her husband and 2 children. The family farm has been passed down son to son since the 13th century until her father had 3 daughters. In a bid to diversify Jo and her husband set up the Traditional Meat Company and sells grass fed, free range meat to local pubs and restaurants who place welfare as a high priority as they do. Thanks to her rural upbringing, Jo was an Agricultural columnist for The Salisbury Journal for over 4 years. She enjoys plodding along claiming to be jogging with her dogs and creatively and peacefully separating her 3 and 6 year olds. She also has a meaningful and lasting relationship with juniper and botanicals.
Board of Trustees
General Sir Nick Parker (Ret.)
General Sir Nick Parker (Ret.) served in the British Military for 40 years. He commanded the UK forces in Sierra Leone, undertook senior coalition appointments in Iraq and Afghanistan, commanded in Northern Ireland and, in 2012, led the UK Defence response to the London Olympics’ venue security crisis.
He retired as the Commander in Chief of the UK Land Forces. Since leaving he has reviewed the senior structure of the Police and mentored executives in the Transport, Extraction and Legal sectors. He is the Chair of one of The Prince of Wales’ charities focused on young people volunteering to help others.
He was a Director of the Invictus Games which took place in London in September 2014.
He is the Chair of Salute my Job, a social enterprise which is designed to provide improved employment opportunities for ex-Service personnel, and he is a Director of The Military Mutual.
General Sir Nick Parker (Ret.)
Paul Gudonis heads the Enterprise team for Inmarsat. Since he joined in 2007, after 10 years in the Army, he has been involved with various fields within Inmarsat, covering Maritime, Aviation and Government business.
In his current role, he has switched the primary focus of the business away from basic connectivity, to a business focused on delivering value-led outcomes, to customers in Industrial IoT, mainly targeting those in mining, energy, agriculture, and the global supply chain.
Paul became a Greyshirt in 2017 and quickly realised the potential in a partnership between Inmarsat and Team Rubicon. He has since led a unique corporate partnership resulting in over 50 Inmarsat staff becoming Greyshirts in the programme’s first year.
Paul is also an advisor to the Board of EQITII, a blockchain enabled data marketplace, and owns a small craft cider business, Revenant Cider.
Andy is an Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company in London. He advises clients on post-merger integration and organizational transformation across a variety of sectors.
Prior to McKinsey, Andy served in the British Army for 25 years. He saw operational service in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and the Balkans. Other career highlights included commanding his regiment, and his final role providing military advice to political decision-making during times of crisis. He is a graduate of the Higher Command and Staff Course (HCSC).
Andy joined Team Rubicon in 2018.
Lizzy Stileman spent 20 years as an Army Officer in the Royal Logistic Corps. Her military career included operational and training deployments, and she had the honour of being selected as a Company Commander at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst training and developing the skills of the next generation of officers.
On leaving the Army, Lizzy completed a master’s degree in Disaster Management and formed her own company to deliver Disaster Management and Hostile Environment Awareness Training. This is proving to be highly successful with overseas training delivered in Kenya, China and Oman and also within the UK.
Lizzy joined Team Rubicon in January 2017 and has subsequently deployed many times and to different countries as a Greyshirt delivery aid, providing practical support, coordination and prioritising needs in chaotic and devastated environments.
Lizzy lives in Hertfordshire and is in the Army Reserves. She is an active sportswoman; playing golf and tennis enthusiastically, and walking, mountain and road biking whenever she gets the chance.
Initially trained in the BBC television newsroom, Kate Holt is a photojournalist, media trainer and content expert, with a focus on humanitarian emergencies and conflict.
Her first field experience was in Kosovo in 1999 documenting the effects of the war on civilians. Since then, she has travelled extensively, documenting refugees and the effects of war and poverty in the Dem. Rep. of Congo, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Haiti.
Kate was born in Zimbabwe, educated in both Newfoundland and the UK and obtained a Masters degree in History from St Andrew’s University.
In the early 90’s she established a charity in Romania for orphans following the fall of Ceasescu where she worked for five years, and a charity for women who suffered sexual violence during the Bosnian war.
Between 2009 – 2012 she was embedded as a UK press photographer with both US and UK troops in Afghanistan. Between 2010 – 2011 Kate was embedded with African Union troops in Somalia.
As well as working for numerous UK media outlets she undertakes communication projects and trainings for UN agencies, NGOs and corporations.
Kate has developed a strong belief that internal and external communication is key to the success of humanitarian response; and in 2012 established a communications agency, Arete, that facilitates communications for the NGO sector.
Andrew Purvis has worked in the for profit, not for profit and social enterprise sectors.
He started his career with a Short Service Commission in the Royal Green Jackets after which he moved to SE Asia for 10 years working with Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Japan.
He completed an MBA at IMD in Lausanne, and then spent 7 year as Managing Director of Neal's Yard Remedies based in London.
After overseeing the successful sale of the business, he went on to become Chief Executive of the charity Fairbridge helping disadvantaged young people achieve their potential and where his last project was to initiate the merger with the Prince's Trust.
Most recently he has been Chief Executive of K10, a social impact business targeted at helping young people access apprenticeships in the construction sector.
Sara is a specialist in domestic and international regulatory and criminal investigations. She advises firms and individuals challenging the exercise of powers by regulators and those accused of involvement in regulatory contraventions, market abuse, insider dealing, money laundering, fraud and corruption.
Sara was a prosecutor for the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and brought the first criminal prosecution by the FSA against a director for misleading the market (Regina v Rigby and Bailey), the first Listing Rule contravention, numerous market abuse cases and refusals of authorisation.
Sara advises in international criminal and regulatory investigations involving the SEC, the CFTC and the Department of Justice and in cases brought by European regulators, police forces and the Serious Fraud Office.
Previously a criminal barrister, Sara has extensive experience of advocacy before the Financial Services Tribunal, The Regulatory Decisions Committee of the FSA, the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal. She is described as "impressive" in Legal 500 UK 2011
Currently the owner and sole trader of Stanford Hall estate, a Grade 1 listed stately home set in 1,000 acres of managed parkland.
Nick has been managing the estate for 10 years, but moved there full time with his wife and son in 2013. As well as farming, the estate holds company conferences and training, summer music festivals and cultural events.
Nick was a graduate from Durham University and a former Captain in the Royal Marines.
Nick worked in the City for 20 years. He started in Schroder Investment Management and then became an equity analyst specialising in Aerospace & Defence with a variety of different banks, ending up as the number 2 ranked global aerospace analyst by the Institutional Investor, while working for Bank of America.
He joined Lehman Brothers in 2006, leaving research, he became Head of European Industrials sales & trading. When Nomura acquired Lehman Europe in 2009, Nick became head of sector sales and trading for European Equities.
In 2010, he was recruited by Royal Bank of Canada to start up and run their European Equities business until he retired from the City in 2013.
Nick enjoys both cross country and downhill skiing, offshore sailing and cycling. Nick is also a governor of St Andrews Hospital in Northampton.
Nick became a trustee of Team Rubicon UK in 2015.