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Member and Event Testimonials

You can now also view our testimonial video at

You can join/register and opt in for your 2 free events via the platform.

"The network works! After running my own business I joined the Chairman's Network when I needed a new role. Caroline immediately started introducing me to appropriate members and I went along to some of the coffee meetings - in Bristol, in London, and one in Solihull. There were always interesting and relevant people. As well as lively and illuminating discussions it was clear that in due course any number of participants would themselves have a suitable role for me. However, the network isn't just the people you meet at events: it's all the people they know. One guest at a meeting introduced me to another contact of his, who - it turned out - was looking for someone like me right then. Within three months of joining the Chairman's Network I'd started my new position - with a VC investing in start-up businesses. And I'm pleased to say that I was able to make a few introductions from my own contacts to help other members in return. My only regret is that while I get up to speed on my new responsibilities I'm unable to attend further C.N. meetings!"

Thanks again for all the help and let's talk again soon. Best wishes,

Nic Pillow, Member. September 2019

 "I have enjoyed meeting such a variety of senior people with interesting and informed points of view at Chairman’s Network events. This range of people and ideas is stimulating and invaluable for my Executive Coaching practice and my advisory and non-executive work. On an absolutely practical level, I am now working with a Chairman’s Network contact on two fascinating projects."

Harry Rich, Executive Coach and non-executive director, August 2019

“A very big thank-you to Caroline and the Chairman’s network.  An introduction from Caroline to a Private Equity Head Hunter led to me securing an Interim Operating Partner role for a top tier Private Equity Firm.  For me the Chairman’s Network is a powerful network that really works”.

Karen Thomas Bland, Chairman, July 2019 

The Power of the Chairman’s Network

I joined Chairman’s Network three years ago and have found it to be a most collaborative, connected and useful network full of talented, interested and interesting individuals.   I have always believed in the benefit of networks but this one has led to a dream opportunity for me.  I mentioned in the early 2019 meeting about Focus and Goals, that I would be interested in being a Trustee for a charity and wanted to work for one close to my heart, which is Age UK.   After the meeting a couple of attendees introduced me to their networks and I must thank Karen Thomas-Bland for recommending that I speak to a contact of hers which then led me to another contact and on to another.  Before long I was interviewing with one of the Age UK branches in London and I am delighted to say that I have been appointed as a Trustee there.   Nothing is a greater example of the power of focus and the power of networking.

Liz Baran, Member , London 2019

 "Was great to attend the Chairman's Network Ltd on Wednesday at the always beautiful Hotel du Vin Bristol City Centre. Thank you to Caroline Hayward for your invite and the hospitality you showed me whilst there. A big thank you to all those who attended and imparted your words of wisdom too. Your input in relation to some of my current challenges was sincerely appreciated! thankfulness network hotel businessnetworking"

CEO | 3 Trees Community Support Ltd

“I have joined several Networking Groups recently, but the Chairman’s Network in particular is truly excellent. The topics are interesting, the people are from a raft of different backgrounds, and the commercial approach and regular meetings are focused, but in a relaxed and informal manner. I would thoroughly recommend anyone who wishes to extend their professional reach to join.”

Eliot Charles Heilpern, Member, Parthenon Communications Limited;  June 2019 

"Another excellent group of people, and serious discussion to address the problems brought to the meeting."

Nic Pillow, Member June 2019

 I just wanted to say it was great to meet you today and be welcomed by you all. I really enjoyed it and thought everyone was very open, interesting, bright and engaged. 

I will definitely come again and look at joining. Please can you just remind me of the pricing etc. It was great too to see everyone so engaged in hearing more about Couplepreneurs.

With thanks again

Tricia Bacon, CEO/Founder. June 2019

 “I’ve been a member of The Chairman’s Network for just a year.  It’s been a useful experience; just hearing the views of others is fascinating in itself and then we have had true insights from those who understand a subject in real depth.  I have just renewed my membership and look forward to what the next year brings.”

Professor Khalid Aziz LVO DL FRSA, Chairman, AZIZ CORPORATE , April 2019

"Just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed being part of your network. Sadly, I am an infrequent attendee, but the various coffee morning that I have been to have been full of interesting people to talk to.

I have been to two or three of your seminars and each has been extremely informative in their own way and there has always been lively and interesting debate at the end of them."

Stephen Kimbell, Greenspire Advisors Limited, Director

Member, London, April 2019

“We partnered with the Chairman’s Network to provide a special subscription deal to our online legal platform (Sparqa Legal) to members of the network. Caroline was extremely helpful by publicising the offer to the network and we managed to obtain dozens of new subscriptions as a result!”

 Dan Mitchell (C.C.O, Sparqa Legal) March 2019

"A really interesting meeting well worth attending always meet new people"

Geoff Bennett, Member, Midlands Group, March 2019

"A good interactive session, and lively discussion on an important topic" - Electric Car Round Table

Simon Enoch, Chairman, February 2019, London

As always the round-table gathers members with a common interest so not only is the presentation informative but the networking opportunity is extremely useful.- Electric Car Round Table

Graham Sadd, Chairman, February 2019, London 

I attended as a guest and was very impressed with the way the meeting was managed and the quality of the attendees. I had to leave just as the conversation got going but heard enough to convince me that this is a group that has a lot to offer

Andrew Wyborn, February 2019, London

"I have been involved with the Bristol Chairman's Network since its inception and have enjoyed London meetings too.  The relaxed nature of the meetings promotes proper discussion and understanding.  I have made some great business contacts through the network and it has been a pleasure helping members with IP issues."
John Dean, Bristol, host and Member, January 2019

"The Chairman's Network proved its value almost immediately. I was approached with an opportunity via a fellow member on my second event, which lead to a successful engagement with an innovative digital company. Moreover, the high calibre and depth represented by the members, and the sheer fun of the exchange of ideas, makes this network easily my favourite."

Pete Everett, Member , January 2019, London

"I enjoyed the small group discussion and format of the meetup. Interesting mix of participants and perfect informal setting to encourage participation and informality"

Susie C , November 2018, London

"First class calibre of members fabulous topics and very open and authentic. Great meeting. Thank you"

Veronica Leigh, November 2018, London

"A great group, with high synergy and talent. Easy and relaxed atmosphere"

Joanna Parnell, November 2018- Manchester

"The Business of Sport was an excellent and informative round table highlighting, amongst other matters, the challenges faced in monetizing sport in the digital era"

John Busby, Chairman/Fellow, November 2018

Having exited a business at the end of the summer and with time on my hands I decided to joined the Chairman's Network to expand my horizons and network of people, I am so glad I did, I am now a regular at the coffee mornings and have attended various other talks and events and have not been disappointed. The events are well organised in great locations and I have had the chance to meet all sorts of wonderful people and to expand my network. What I like is it all very relaxed quite informal and there is no hard sell. The coffee mornings have always been very engaging, sharing of experiences, informative and often quite a diverse range of subject matters discussed, the events have been very interesting and thought provoking and on a number of different topics. Highly recommend and please I joined.
Simon Smith, November 2018, London


A huge thank you for allowing me to be a guest at yesterday's event. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all and hearing about the groups' experiences both in business and in the NED world. What a lovely, and interesting, group of ladies! And what a great forum you provide for people to meet and network!

Hope to cross paths again soon.

Thanks so much again,

Helen Bradshaw, London

The Chairman’s Network was instrumental recently in supporting some fundamental research into Directors’ legal position in the event of civil litigation - both obligations and possible protections - being led by Professor Terry McNulty of the University of Liverpool. Prof. McNulty was keen to extend the scope of his data collection to include, specifically, company chairs. As a Chartered Director I had previously participated in a focus group but thought that the Network was a natural home for experienced chairs who could add value to Prof. McNulty’s work. With Caroline’s help a “Member event” was created and publicised to the Network. The response was encouraging, allowing a further research focus group session and Prof. McNulty was pleased and grateful for the support. 

I think this example illustrates how the Network works effectively to help members get value from other members and how it can contribute to advancing the knowledge and understanding of board governance in practice, something I hope we all aspire to supporting. 

Neil Britten, Chairman/Fellow, October 2018

October 2018

"It may be of interest to the legend of the Chairman's Network that through the Chairman's Network and your sponsor at the time Nortons, I went on to both give Andrew a one-time tax assignment in the Pharma. company we were incorporating, and also then became a regular member of Andrew’s local business breakfast club, which is where I met and have known from that time the ex-Jon Lewis Head of E-commerce Marketing. Which is why as I build the strategic Web business of Closet London  I can immediately reach out and get that top gun guy and his Team in to drive our E-commerce planned expansion.

The Chairman's Network contact relationship network works!

Have a good weekend"

Steve Bennett, Chairman/Fellow, October 2018

Further to my post of February 2017, the Chairman’s Network, under the leadership of Caroline Hayward, has grown from strength to strength. In addition to the networking opportunities there are some excellent coffee mornings, events, seminars and round-tables on topical subjects Furthermore, I have met a number of people with whom I am actively engaged in business conversations as well as developing some other opportunities. All of which combine to make a healthy return on investment for the annual fee. How about coming along to the next coffee morning as a foretaste? You will be made most welcome.

John Busby, October 2018, London

I decided to join the Chairman’s Network earlier this year and am so pleased I did.  Caroline and the other hosts at the coffee mornings I have attended have been most welcoming.  I especially like that the numbers are limited for each of the coffee meetings which really gives everyone in attendance the opportunity to introduce themselves to the entire group and from that conservations, new ideas and sharing of experiences sparks off.  After the introductions, there’s usually a current topic interest which is discussed in more depth.  The meetings are informal, collaborative, inclusive and the diversity of people in attendance is wide ranging and interesting.  To date, I’ve attended meetings in Solihull and London and have very much enjoyed meeting other members in a relaxed and friendly environment.  For me, personally, it’s been a great confidence boost! 

Sandy Hearn, August 2018, Solihull

I joined The Chairman’s Network in the spring of 2018 and have found the organisation a most exhilarating and interesting one. At the various weekly coffee mornings, I have met business people from a raft of different backgrounds; and the networking opportunities to connect with other likeminded individuals, and share different experiences and ideas, has been excellent. The atmosphere at the various meetings is relaxed and engaging, and I would thoroughly recommend the organisation to anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons and enter new fields.

I attended a recent lecture on “Government and Politics: A User’s Guide” in the City of London at an event hosted by The Chairman’s Network in partnership with Investec. This was both thought provoking and stimulating.

Caroline Hayward has excelled in establishing a great “brand” and enabling others to directly involve themselves in an environment that is both positive and collegiate.

Eliot Charles Heilpern, August 2018, London

I wanted to let you know that I got the Government Legal Department Ned role. It's their People and Change Lead. I am so thrilled and cannot tell you how helpful the Chairman's Network has been in all sorts of ways in helping me get to this place. I will update my profile when I get back and my next year's subscription must be due soon. Many thanks and see you at an event soon.

Catherine Berney, August 2018, London

"Hi Caroline,

Just a quick note to say thanks for my invitation as a guest to today's coffee event in London. Really enjoyed a stimulating conversation with like-minded people.Looking forward to attending another in September.

David Regler-now a Member, July 2018, London

July 2018

"I just wanted to write and express my thanks and appreciation for the very kind invitation to join you at The Chairman’s Network breakfast event yesterday morning at the Harvey Nash offices.  I certainly found the event well organised and the topic certainly created some positive and constructive debates through the morning; however, the overriding output for me was the quality of the audience, definitely an extremely senior, relevant and engaged group. 

 Thank you for the opportunity to attend the breakfast and I look forward to attending your future events."

Kevin Paterson, July 2018, London

"The Chairman's Network has become a primary networking group for both of us. In fact, finding such a strong complementary fit in both experience and character, the two of us are considering becoming business partners in the near future. Thank you, Caroline"

Andy Trott and John Bickell, Members, July 2018, London

’ The Chairman’s Network has proven to be the ideal networking forum for me since I joined a few months ago. The events are of the right frequency, cover a good range of topics and are attended by a wonderfully diverse range of experienced execs/directors in the right numbers - each event is round table and fully interactive. The additional possibility of positions being advertised through the web site is also attractive. More than anything else being a member has proven to be very enjoyable and good fun’.

Best Regards,

Clive John, June 2018, London

 “I joined Chairman’s Network a few months ago and have attended a number of meetings of the CEO group.  The membership is very diverse and I’ve certainly met interesting people I would probably never have encountered otherwise.   I’ve learned quite a lot from the meetings, made some good contacts which have led to some interesting business/career ideas.   It’s so far delivered more for me than I had expected, I guess through the diversity of the membership and the intelligent curating of the meetings.”

As ever, David Landsman, June 2018, London

I joined the Chairman’s Network only a few months ago and have attended perhaps 4 or 5 events. However, on those relatively few occasions I have made interesting contacts. These have given rise to quite a few meetings which promise to be fruitful relationships. I find the atmosphere of the events and my fellow participants both relaxed and stimulating. The organization seems to me a very comfortable and effective way to network.


James Calvert, Managing Partner, Regent Partners LLP-Corporate Finance Services- Technology, Media , Telecoms. Member, June 2018, London

“There is great value in networking at a senior level. I was so impressed by the Chairman’s Network events in Bristol and London,  that I joined up promptly and now am involved  directly  by supporting Caroline and co-hosting in Bristol whenever possible.”  

John Dean IP consultant, and NED and Host Bristol .May 2018

Having attended Chairman’s network meetings now in 3 different locations I have been impressed with the calibre and experience of the fellow attendees which has certainly enhanced my network and presented opportunities to do business.


Chris Finch,Director,Total Intelligence Ltd, Member,May 2018

“ The Chairman's Network provided invaluable in helping me identify and approach a senior Executive for a Company that I am advising. I met Peter at a Coffee Morning. We had a general catch-up after that and as a result of these two interactions plus a conversation with Caroline – I approached Peter for an opportunity that he has now taken up. I cant think of another networking forum that I have been to where it has been so easy and conducive to develop valuable contacts. Many thanks”

Shaun Orpen, Member, April 2018

Dear Caroline

I wanted to say thank your for inviting me to join the Chairman's Network. I’ve found all of the sessions I’ve attended beneficial. 


From the small informal groups like the women’s network or the larger round table events, the calibre of the  content and discussion is always informative, useful and relevant as well as being enjoyable networking opportunities.


Thank you for creating such an engaging environment.


Jackie Kavanagh-ward, Owner J.K.W. Comms Ltd, April 2018


The Chairman's Network is a wonderful network of Board Directors, CEO's and Chairs who can share freely about their issues with little or no ego in the room.  A minor miracle!  Reflecting the skill, expertise and altruism of its wonderful founder Caroline who is motivated by the honest exchange and supportive networking.   I hugely recommend joining if you haven't already.


Catherine Berney, Member,March 2018

Dear Caroline,

"I’ve always considered a high quality network to be a significant commercial asset. Over the last 25 years I’ve seen a number come and go, but very few that are well managed, operate under appropriate rules of engagement and deliver value. The Chairman’s Network is a shining exception.

Around 10 years ago I was introduced to Caroline and she invited along to a meeting. After attending a few more, it became a regular forum to engage with. It retains its appeal and value still. Why? Excellent and relevant topic-based seminars with high-end speakers. Topics are carefully chosen to reflect current business thinking and issues. A good mix of c-level executives, professional advisers and subject matter experts. The quality and depth of the interaction between the attendees, plus the potential for networking before and after are very powerful. It’s a place where you’re really challenged and made to think – I usually come away a bit smarter than when I went in!

On that basis, I can thoroughly recommend the Chairman's Network to all high-level professionals seeking an effective forum for networking, learning and sharing thoughts and ideas.”

I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Warmest wishes,

Harry Cruickshank, March 2018

Dear Caroline,

The round table this week was BRILLIANT!  I love your network.

Have a good weekend.


Alpa Shingadia / Director, March 2018

Hi Caroline, 

I think you have done a great job of establishing and growing the Chairman’s network.  Every meeting I have been to is intimate enough that people really do talk and understand how they can help each other.  The discussions are always focused and great at stimulating debate. I always walk away with new contacts and ideas.  Having volunteered to lead the women’s group I hope we can extend the success and grow the network of female and indeed male members who want to press for progress on having more women in Board roles and more women Entrepreneurs and Investors. 

Congratulations on starting to change the game on the way we network.

Kind regards,

Karen Thomas-Bland, Member, Women's Group Host, 
March 2018

I have only just joined the Chairman’s Network, which I came to hear about thanks to Caroline making contact with me through Linked-in, and I am delighted to have become part of it. The coffee meetings work really well because great people attend and the discussions (and connections) which ensue are excellent. By keeping the meeting numbers tight Caroline has created great networking opportunities and a really cooperative environment where members are keen to help each other if they possibly can. 

Alistair Darby, March 2018


Having fallen out with ‘networking’ I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Caroline Hayward at a conference and instantly saw the benefit of being part of such a collaborative venture with like-minded people.  Since joining the Chairman’s Network in 2017, I have not been disappointed and now support Caroline in rolling out the coffee meetings for the Midlands promoting my particular area of expertise in Manufacturing and Engineering.  The Chairman’s Network has indeed reignited my passion for being part of a collaborative organisation and having met some very inspiring leaders, facilitated topical and interesting discussions where challenges have been aired, I am sure the Network will go from strength to strength.  I am an active member of the Group and, as a business leader, look forward to engaging with others outside of the day to day operation of Search & Selection. 

Alison Poole, BA (Hons) C.I.P.D., CEO ASP Search & Selection Group, Midlands Host, March 2018

Testimonial- The Chairman’s Network.


I was looking for a discreet and professional networking group of people who could make things happen within the NED sphere and I found what has proved to be a stunning organisation in The Chairman’s Network.

I started attending the Coffee Meetings and found the level of discussion and input from members of these small groups both stimulating and addictive. Great debate, everyone wanting to help with others issues and offering real concern. The connections I have made have been really helpful and are ongoing.

I joined late in 2017 with a belief that something good will come out of it and it has.

Real professional organisation to be involved with.


Egan O’Callaghan, NED/Chairman/Mentor...February 2018


"Having spent the last 15 years building my network in the Professional Audio Industry, I was very keen to expand my contacts beyond my existing network. But after joining a few other organisations which delivered very little, I was recommended to join The Chairman's Network, which I did in November 2017. This has turned out to be a tremendous recommendation.

So far, I have attended a few coffee mornings and a couple of focused events and I have to say that these meetings absolutely excellent. Listening to the views of other peers, leaders and senior executives regarding a wide range of subjects really helps to challenge my thinking and refine my ideas. The quality of members and guests attending the meetings are superb and contribute a diverse range of experience and opinions.

I would highly recommend The Chairman's Network to any senior leaders wishing to widen their network, exchange ideas, learn from like minded professionals and expand their thinking regarding leadership."

Andy Trott, Member, 
February 2018

“I joined the Chairman’s Network in 2017 primarily because I was looking for a gentle networking environment for self development and to meet like-minded Board members.

I enjoy the networking events with a real diversity of talent – and the Board effectiveness workshops have helped to reinforce best practice whilst also highlighting alternate approaches to running a Board.

High energy enthusiastic people help to make this network most enjoyable"


Nikki Cole B.Sc. C.Eng. FIET. FIoD.

Member of Strategic Industry Advisory Board, Canterbury  Christ Church University”

"I joined The Chairman’s Network in 2017 and have subsequently attended a number of their coffee mornings in London and the Midlands. Caroline is very welcoming and inclusive and we have gone on to make a number of new contacts, two of which we have recently appointed to our advisory board. The increasing membership numbers and open and friendly nature of the communication on coffee mornings make it an effective investment of time”


Andy Raymond, Director - HRedline Executive Ltd 


"Thank you for another great interactive meeting. Good company and topics"

See you soon

best wishes

Jonathan Hebbes, Member

Hi Caroline,

"Having been to a number of Chairman's Network events, I am pleased to commend you to others.

Your coffee mornings are a good introduction to an interesting range of SME chairs, NED's and high level consultants through small groups. It works well for me to meet others in a pleasant and informal environment.

The two events that I have attended have been relevant, well presented and of good length to gain appropriate knowledge and to provide a further networking opportunity

I look forward to seeing you again soon"

John Bickell, SME Chair, NED and Consultant , Member and Host Digital Group, London

Hi Caroline,

"I enjoyed the event last week, the speaker was very good, excellent topic so important to many businesses and good content" 


 Andrew Blatherwick, CEO, a2b4p, Chairman/Fellow, London

Hi Caroline,

"I met a number of people and have set up three meetings already and so that speaks volumes about how valuable I found it!

Re: the event, I really liked the content of the presentation by Shirlaws. I don’t think it matters if the presentation time takes up even 30 minutes, provided the subject matter is interesting. Perhaps a presentation on the Envestry platform and a view of the financial outlook from an Investec perspective would be some things to consider for another time.

All-in-all, though, very worthwhile!"


 John Busby, Member- Event, February 2017, London

 Hi Caroline

"Sorry for hopeless delay in replying to your email – I’ve been travelling extensively and somewhat overwhelmed.

Anyway, just to let you know that I thought the coffee morning was extremely useful.  I’ve made contact with a couple of the other delegates already so it must be good!"

Phil Lowe, Director, Symphony, February 2017

"Yes, I think that the coffee morning last week was a great success with, as you say elsewhere, an interesting diverse mix of people!

I am sure that the relaxed, comfortable lounge setting is good – if that can be in a semi-informal annex of a lounge setting, all well and good.

The Group last week naturally broke into two types – those on a fact-find exercise to see what this grey, imprecise, world of NED Chairman type work is all about, and the other type being the experienced NED who has just about fathomed out what this management froth is all about.

Access to your network of expertise professional services people in my mind is also highly relevant, not just the one on one of NED:NED contact"

Best regards,

Steve Bennett, Chairman, November 2016, London

Hi Caroline
"Great seeing you again today.
I thought the venue was spot on, the  choice of relaxed atmosphere lounge area conducive to more open and frank discussions and the discussion points relevant to what I wanted out of it.
I struck up a great conversation with Shaun and Stephen after you left which may progress well, I'll keep you posted.
Count me in for the next one ..."
Thanks again

Nicholas St John, November 2016, London

 "Caroline – many thanks for yesterday. Caroline. I have to say I thought it was an excellent “meetup”, really great and interesting people. Absolutely spot on. Many thanks. Look forward to seeing the next set of dates"


Shaun Orpen, November 2016, London

You can now also view our testimonial video at

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Chairmen docs

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Event documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Climate Change Event Link  more ] Administration 17/06/2019
Climate Change Event Link  more ] Administration 17/06/2019

Member documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
AspiringNXD DOC (50.5 KB) Administration 13/06/2016
Board Diversity DOCX (30.56 KB) Administration 13/06/2016
Cyber Security: Board Perspectives PDF (322.36 KB) J. Madelin 20/06/2017
Cybersecurity Checklist PDF (238.31 KB)  more ] C. Hayward 05/06/2017
Cybersecurity Essentials PDF (26.25 KB)  more ] C. Hayward 05/06/2017
Flexibility for the Digital Boardroom Link C. Hayward 23/05/2017
GDPR Overview Jim Sneddon PDF (4.8 MB)  more ] C. Hayward 05/06/2017