Managing Director, Sustainable Leather Foundation
With senior management experience, Deborah is passionate about environmental and social sustainability, and encouraging individuals and businesses to make a difference, with a specific interest in the leather industry. A firm believer that 'a small change, made by many, can result in much more significant, positive impact than one person or organisation making a single big change', Deborah is an advocate of working collaboratively in the industry to encourage a cohesive approach to improvement.
Deborah's early career was spent in Sales & Marketing, working for the largest marquee and events company in the UK. This provided experience of managing large budget events for corporate blue-chip companies such as Powergen and the International Petroleum Exchange; entertainment and event companies such as the BBC and the Lawn Tennis Association; public sector organisations and the public. For 15 years while her children were young, Deborah ran her own business as a freelance project manager and worked with brands including Sony Mobile and PlayStation looking after their incentive and recognition programme websites.
More recently, from 2015 to 2020 Deborah managed the Leather Working Group (LWG), an environmental stewardship programme that supports the reduction of environmental impacts caused by tannery operations around the world. During this time, Deborah worked with CEOs and Directors of the largest global luxury goods and high street brands, leather manufacturers, chemical and machinery suppliers, testing houses and NGOs. While managing LWG, Deborah saw membership and audited tannery numbers double, managed the increased number of audit tools now available and created greater collaborative effort and formal links with other initiatives in the sector.
Now the Managing Director of the Sustainable Leather Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, set up specifically to support the leather industry in becoming more sustainable, Deborah is expanding on the work she is passionate about in a more holistic way that works across all areas of sustainability. In addition, the Sustainable Leather Foundation believes that consumer focused information is fundamental and works to raise the level of understanding and education around the positive and sustainable practices that already exist, and are in development, within the leather industry. A practitioner member of the Chartered Quality Institute and a certified SA8000 lead auditor, Deborah also currently works as a Consultant for the UNECE on the project to 'enhance traceability and transparency for more sustainable value chains in the garment and footwear sector'. In addition, she is a Council Member for the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists.
At home, Deborah has previously served her village as a local Parish Councillor and is a current Trustee of a local charity, the Welton Townlands Trust, since 2005. She is also a member of Mensa since 1992 with a registered IQ of 150.