Previously known as The Transformation Trust

Amy Leonard MBE

Chief Executive

 

Amy set up The Talent Foundry, (previously known as the Transformation Trust) in early 2009 and is the driving force behind achievements including the establishment of Rock Assembly as an annual end-of-term futures fair and pop concert for over 10,000 young people at Wembley Arena. Alongside her role as CEO, Amy is a consultant advising a range of organisations on their communications and positioning. In the 2020 New Year Honours List, Amy was awarded an MBE in recognition of her establishing the charity and for services to young people and education.

Susannah French

Operations Director and Company Sectretary

 

Before joining the team in January 2016, Susannah worked as a Business Manager in a school. Prior to that she was a Business Manager for the Local Authority as part of their School Improvement team. She also worked as a Programme Leader working as part of the 14-19 Team to manage a large programme of Flexible Learning for KS4 students across the Borough. She has a first-class degree in Law, 12 years experience as a school governor and has extensive experience in the Financial and Education sectors.

Cate Smith

Head of Programmes

 

Cate joined the team in August 2017 after working in Beirut for five years. While in Lebanon, she worked at the United Nations (UNRWA) coordinating an EU-funded employability project, before moving on to manage humanitarian relief and development programmes, including an emergency maternal health project funded by the UN's Syria Emergency Relief Fund. Cate sits on the Editorial Board of Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, a peer-reviewed, inter-disciplinary academic journal. She is also the Chair of the Barclays Lifeskills Youth Advisory Council (LYAC). Cate holds a first-class honours degree in International Relations from the University of Leeds.

Tom Owen

Programme Manager

 

Tom joined the team in January 2019 as Programme Coordinator. After completing his LLB in Law at Durham University, Tom worked in communication and events for a US-UK start-up, before moving into the third sector. He is passionate about removing inequality in education and wider society. He previously volunteered in Cambodia on an inclusive education programme aimed at improving engagement between pupils and their community, and more recently as an online mentor to help young people make confident and informed decisions about their future.

Kieran Proctor

Programme Manager 

 

Kieran joined the team as a Schools Liaison Officer in September 2018. Kieran graduated with a BA Hons Drama and Performance degree which he studied in London. During this time Kieran worked on several projects which explored different aspects of theatre on and off stage. Kieran developed a passion for educational outreach through an applied theatre module in which he created a workshop for young audiences. In his spare time, he volunteers with an inclusive theatre charity supporting young people with drama activities.

Lizzy Jones

Programme Manager

 

Lizzy joined team in August 2021. Transitioning from a background in professional services early talent recruitment, Lizzy established her passion for social mobility through implementing a variety of initiatives to improve young people’s access to the accounting profession. Lizzy has volunteered for Young Women’s Trust, helping improve the employment prospects of young women. Supporting young people to understand their career options and successfully make the transition from education to employment is at the core of her work to date.

Vikki Barber

Finance Officer

 

Vikki joined the team in April 2019 as a Finance Officer Maternity Cover, to work alongside the Operations Director.

Vikki has over 20 years’ experience in Marketing and Business Development in a range of industries from luxury brands, construction and, most recently, education. She also has extensive experience in customer relations and events organising.

Jordan Konda

Schools Liaison Officer

 

Jordan joined the team in September 2019. After completing sixth form, Jordan worked for a local education charity. Since joining us, Jordan has worked on a wide range of programmes, providing vital support to both schools and colleagues. He is particularly passionate about working with and helping disadvantaged students. Jordan is currently studying for a BA is in Politics, Philosophy and History at Birkbeck, University of London.

Our Core Team

Robyn Cummings

Schools Liaison Officer

 

Robyn joined the team in January 2021. She graduated with a BA in American and Modern History from the University of East Anglia, and went on to work as a Cultural Representative at Walt Disney World. Before joining The Talent Foundry, Robyn trained to teach English as a foreign language, as well as volunteering for a  number of fundraising and outreach projects which honed her passion for educational equality.

Maria Matei

Programme Admin Officer

 

Maria joined the team in June 2021. Maria graduated with a first-class honours degree in Media Arts from Royal Holloway, University of London, and worked as a freelance short-film producer. Alongside this, she worked for a local tuition centre and passionately volunteered at food banks and with animal welfare charities. More recently, she volunteered with Mind, where she created, coordinated, and presented a series of Anger Management and Awareness workshops for young people.

Aron Tennant

Schools Liaison Officer

 

Aron joined the team in September 2021. Originally from South Yorkshire, he graduated with a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield before relocating to obtain an MA in Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London. Before joining The Talent Foundry he worked as a manager for another not-for-profit organisation, supporting school leavers and students. He now strives to minimise the gap in educational inequality and also spends time working on his own creative play and screen projects.