Chief Executive Officer
Meryl Davies joined Re-engage as CEO in May 2018. She joined the organisation having spent many years in leadership roles in international development organisations. Her passion is in leading teams to bring about real change by finding new ways to tackle longstanding social issues.
At Re-engage, she has led the rebrand of the charity and the change of name from Contact the Elderly to Re-engage which reflects a strategic shift in the organisation.
Christian Grobel first volunteered for Re-engage as a driver in Westminster in 2001. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2004 as Hon. Treasurer, becoming Deputy Chair in 2014.
Christian began his career at KPMG, after which he worked at EMI Music and subsequently FremantleMedia, the global TV production company, in various positions in the UK and US. He is currently a director of the social media company Social Chain responsible for its media and marketing divisions.
Christian became Chair of the Board of Trustees in July 2015. He also sits on the finance committee of The Passage, the charity for the homeless, and is co-founder and Chair of the London Choral Sinfonia.
Sue became the Treasurer and a trustee of Re-engage in May 2019.
She has been a trustee of MAC Birmingham (the Midlands’ most visited arts centre) since November 2014 and sits on its Finance & Governance and HR committees. She is an Examiner and past Chair of the UK’s Investor Relations Society (a not-for-profit professional body representing the voice of its 800+ members and promoting best practice in investor relations).
Sue spent seven years as Director of Communications and member of the Executive Team at AMEC plc, during a period of significant and successful transformation. AMEC was then a FTSE 100 engineering, project management and consultancy company, with some 26,000 employees working in 40 countries.
A CIMA-qualified accountant, she started her working life at Cadbury Schweppes plc. She has held a number of senior finance roles and started working in investor relations at GKN plc. Prior to joining AMEC, she was Head of Investor Relations at Brambles Industries plc, an Anglo-Australian dual-listed company.
William is now retired from a career as an international management consultant who has been a volunteer for Re-engage since 1977.
William’s experience of the charity as a Driver, Host and Group Coordinator gives him a strong insight into the issues faced by volunteers and guests alike. In addition, he brings professional experience particularly in respect of planning, performance management and corporate governance in many organisations in the UK and overseas: international bodies, government departments, charities and private companies – large and small.
William sees the key challenge for Re-engage as being to keep its focus on its beneficiaries: their growth and retention as the charity grows. He has an MBA from the London Business School.
John de Trafford
John became a trustee of Re-engage in late 2016 following the merger with The National Benevolent Fund for the Aged, where he had been a trustee for 15 years. He now works as a volunteer with Re-engage and is helping to ensure the success of the merger.
In his business career, John worked in marketing roles for Unilever, before moving to Guinness. He subsequently spent more than 17 years with American Express, becoming Country Manager for the UK and then Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Europe, Middle East & Africa Executive.
John has had two part-time roles for Government: firstly, Chairman of the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service and secondly Chairman of National Savings & Investments.
After working in the both the Home Office and the Scottish Office for 20 years, Stewart Gilfillan joined the new Scottish Parliament at its inception in 1999, first as a Director then as Assistant Chief Executive. As well as knowledge of the political and administrative landscape in Scotland, Stewart has extensive experience of public sector finance, human resources, strategic planning, risk management, organisational performance and change management.
Now retired, Stewart is a volunteer driver for Re-engage in Edinburgh. He was motivated to join following the death of his mother who, despite being fiercely independent and having a good deal of support from nearby relatives, found weekends difficult and looked forward to the companionship of being taken out for a drive or lunch on a Sunday.
Stewart hopes to be able to bring his experience of government and parliament to help Re-engage develop and expand its unique role in alleviating isolation among older people.
Philip Kelvin first volunteered as a host and driver in 2013, having founded university Re-engage groups in Durham. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2014.
His experience of the charity as a driver and coordinator gives him an insight into inter-generational relationships as well as the importance of engagement with younger demographics.
Philip began his career at Rothschild in corporate finance, after which he worked at Bain & Co, a global management consultancy. He is currently the Head of Operations at Trussle, a London based fintech company.
Sarah Reed has been a volunteer co-ordinator and driver for Re-engage since 1994 and a trustee since 2006.
For 35 years, she was a creative producer in the media industry. Her mother had Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia for a decade. The insights that this experience provided, together with Sarah’s regular experience with Re-engage guests fuelled her passion for connecting the generations more meaningfully.
Sarah founded social enterprise Many Happy Returns in 2008, creating original products, services and communication workshops to connect the generations more meaningfully and enjoyably. She runs a blog, www.theagepage.co.uk speaks regularly at national dementia conferences serves on the NCVO Volunteering in Care Homes Advisory Group and is an AgeUK Expert by Experience for the Care Quality Commission. In 2009, Sarah received a Bank of America Local Hero Award for her work with Re-engage.
Jonathan joined the board of Trustees in May 2019. He began his career with Arthur Andersen as an auditor, followed by a two year stint in the city as a Financial Controller for Pradera AM-PLC living in London and Milan. Having left Pradera in 2005, he joined a university friend who had recently setup a business specialising in residential property data, which they sold together in 2014. More recently, he has setup and invested in other data businesses in property information and legal technology.
His Grandmother to whom he was very close, had Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian dementia and he hopes that through Re-engage, he can try to help more people enjoy the frequent social contact that she had.
Jonathan Waite QC
After Cambridge University, Jonathan was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1978, joining Chambers at One Paper Buildings (later Crown Office Chambers) in 1979. Throughout his legal career he has specialised in most aspects of medico-legal work and associated insurance disputes. In the last 25 years, he has concentrated mainly on cases in which he was instructed on behalf of the manufacturers of pharmaceutical products (usually multi-Claimant cases concerning the side-effects of vaccines and drugs) and on behalf of the manufacturers of medical devices. He was appointed a QC in 2002 and since then, whilst concentrating on pharmaceutical and medical device cases, he has also acted in cases involving major property damage, usually arising from fires or floods. After 40 years practice at the Bar he retired in March 2019.
Since 2014 he has been a Trustee of the Marshall Hall Trust which provides financial assistance to needy members of the Inner Temple, and in particular students. He has been Chair of the Board of Trustees of that charity since 2016.