Richard King (CHAIR)
Richard King was elected Chairman of the Trustees of ACRK in November 2014, having previously served as Vice Chairman. He became a Trustee (appointed by Kent County Council) in 1997. Richard King came to Kent as Regional Executive of the Independent Broadcasting Authority in 1982, where he was responsible for the development and control of the South East’s local television and radio services. He has played an increasingly active role in the public life of the County ever since. A former President of the Maidstone Chamber of Commerce, Richard was a Director of the Chamber from 1984 to 2001, and was a founder Director of the Kent Training and Enterprise Council and the Kent Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the Maidstone Enterprise Agency for 10 years. Retiring in 1993, he was elected to the Kent County Council in 1997 and held various positions including Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Chairman of the County Planning Committee for seven years. In 2012 he was elected Chairman of the County Council and retired as a KCC Member in 2013. He was made an Honorary Alderman of Kent in December 2013 and is a Kent Environmental Champion. He was also Vice Chairman of the South East England Tourist Board for eight years, is a Vice President of the Kent Association of Parish Councils and a former Chairman of the Weald of Kent Protection Society, on whose Council he still sits. He also plays an active part in the life of his local village of Egerton and is the Chairman of Egerton’s Parish Council. Richard has travelled the world widely, often in an old double decker bus!
Ron Butcher has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, as well as Kent local government, both at county and parish levels. He is currently an elected member of Westwell Parish Council, a member of the Executive Committee of KALC (Kent Association of Local Councils), representing 320 parish & town councils in his role as member of Kent Community Access Forum (holding the portfolio for disabled access). Now retired, his previous roles included the RAF (5 years), GCHQ (Cheltenham) and Senior master at a boys’ Grammar school, with responsibility for public exams; (20+ years) and as a development chemical engineer with Unilever. Ron is a qualified Civil Service Interpreter (Part 1), gained his B.Ed (Hons) from the University of London, was awarded an F deg. (Merit) CEG (Glos) and is Director & Life Vice-President of the Motor Cycling Club (1901) Ltd.
He is Chairman of ACRK Finance Subcommittee with responsibility for overseeing finances of the Charity.
Paul Venning took up his first role in the nonprofit sector in 2012. He is an experienced business advisor and Managing Director of VT Resourcing Ltd which specialises in mentoring, business marketing & development and strategic recruitment & retention, primarily in the consumer financial services, e-commerce, digital payments and professional services sectors. He is also a director of Investors in Technology which provide services to technology based start-ups and SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises). An entrepreneur with direct involvement in three start-ups, he has wide ranging blue chip international experience in commercial management, consultancy and sales & marketing at senior level including business development, marketing, human resource management and operations. His earlier career included American Express Europe, latterly as Director of their Multinational Europe/MidEast/Africa Team, Reed Elsevier/IPC Business Press and British Steel. Paul gained his MBA from London Business School and is a longstanding member of the institute of Directors. He Chairs the ACRK Marketing & Development Group.
Mick Burgess is highly experienced in the challenges and opportunities facing local government in Kent with particular knowledge of Kent’s rural communities. He is currently the Ashford Borough Councillor for the Isle of Oxney Ward; which includes among other responsibilities; representing the Council on seven outside bodies and as Chairman of the Ashford Borough Council Planning Committee. Now retired from the commercial world Mick built a highly successful career as a Transport Manager for Fuel distribution companies and sales organisations.Mick holds a Diploma in Business Management; CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) in Transport Management and a variety of solid, liquid and gases fuel diplomas, as well as his academic achievements. He is a member of the ACRK Marketing & Development Group.
Charlie Simkins is the Member of Kent County Council for Ashford Rural West Division. He sits on the ACRK management Committee as the KCC representative. He was previously an Investment Director of Fund Management Houses, including Ashcourt Asset Management where he was appointed as part of a drive to establish a dedicated charities team and recruit more charity clients. His top-level experience included managing complicated portfolios for major institutional clients. Before this he was at Gerrard where he was a member of the Global Asset Allocation Committee. He was previously Director of Henderson Pension Fund Management and Head of the North American Investment desk. Charlie is currently a Justice of the Peace
David Wood had a wide ranging career in industry,financial services and consulting specialising in management accounting and business and strategic planning. During this time he attended the Bradford University Management school where he obtained his post graduate business qualification.
David is active in his village where he is chairman of Barham Parish Council and a trustee of Barham Village Hall. He is a founding member of the village community shop and secretary of the local history society.
David has been a trustee since 2012 and is a member of the ACRK finance sub-committee and ACRK's Marketing and Development Group
Martin Round has expertise both in the private sector food world and the public sector .He currently sits on Maidstone Borough Council as the Elected Ward Member for Headcorn (4 Parishes), is a Parish Councillor for Headcorn and a Board Trustee with the Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board. He is also a member of KCC Youth Advisory Group and a member of the Headcorn Aerodrome Consultative Committee. Martin’s previous roles include Care Quality Commission “Expert” Inspector (2013-16), Food and Drink Writer/Consultant (2010-2015), Tutor, Projects and Education Manager: Mid Kent College (2001-2010), Principal Officer-Economic Development, Nottingham City Council (1994-2001), Sessional Lecturer: University of Nottingham (1992-2000) and with Notts County Council (1991-1993). Prior to this Martin worked in senior management in the private sector with Hillsdown plc and PepsiCo International. Martin is a Member of the Institute of Hospitality and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, as well as holding numerous Food, Management and Teaching certificates & diplomas. He is a member of the ACRK Accommodation Group Subcommittee.
Frank Cottee currently sits on Ash-cum-Ridley Parish Council representing the Hodsoll Street & Ridley ward and is an experienced village hall trustee – he chaired the Hodsoll Street & Ridley Village Hall Committee for five years from 2009, during which time he negotiated funding for a major refurbishment of the hall and more recently for a significant extension to the hall. During this period, he first became involved with ACRK, as they were critical to successfully developing the hall, and he also developed a keen awareness of the value of volunteers’ contribution to rural communities. Frank graduated from Nottingham University in 1968, with a degree and PhD in Chemistry. His career was spent in the pharmaceutical and agrichemical industries, based in SE London and Kent culminating in his appointment as Head of Analytical Chemistry at GSK’s (Glaxo Smith Klein) Tonbridge site. As well as his contribution to Rural Kent, Frank divides his time between his existing interests: music (French Horn), photography and gardening and developing new interests; flying (a lapsed PPL) and astronomy. Frank is Chairman of ACRK’s Village Hall Subcommittee.