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Trustees

Patricia Alexander

Patricia Alexander

Patricia has been Managing Director of Shared Interest since 2006. Prior to this, she was Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Quartz Group. Patricia is a member of the UK Fair Trade Leader's Forum, and a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD). Patricia is also Chair of Governors for Newcastle High School for Girls, a Foundation Governor at St Oswald's RC Primary School and a member of the Newcastle Business School Advisory Board.

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson

Richard is a chartered accountant and risk management professional with commercial and charity board experience. His career has principally been in financial services; unsecured and secured lending and his current role is Chief Risk Officer at Marston Holdings Limited (“Marston”). Richard joined Marston in 2016 as Group Legal and Compliance Director. Based in the North East, his role takes him across the UK and overseas to their Indian and Swedish subsidiaries.

Melissa Duncan

Melissa Duncan

Melissa has many years of experience in the ethical trade movement, including five years working for Traidcraft.  Melissa also served as a Trustee and Vice Chair of the UK Fairtrade Foundation for six years.   Prior to this Melissa completed an MBA at Cranfield University and spent 15 years in the corporate sector, including WHSmith plc, where she was Head of Communications.   After serving on the UK Fairtrade Board, Melissa was elected to the Fairtrade International Board serving as the Treasurer and then Vice Chair before taking up the role of Executive Director of Fairtrade International, which she currently holds. Having grown-up in the United States, Melissa worked in Southeast Asia for a number of years, before moving to the UK.


Mary Coyle

Mary Coyle

Mary is a trustee of Newcastle University staff pension plan, a Deputy Lieutenent for the County of Tyne and Wear. Mary is also Deputy Lay Chair for North Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. Previously Mary was the Regional Director of Common Purpose for ten years, and therefore has significant experience in leadership development. 

Dr Yvonne Gale

Dr Yvonne Gale

Yvonne is a Chartered Accountant and specialist in improving access to finance for small businesses to address economic inequality.  She is Chief Executive at NEL Fund Managers Limited, an MBA Advisory Board Member at Durham University Business School, and an Advisory and Decision Committee Member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund. Yvonne is also Non-Executive Director of the Government UK Small Business Commissioner’s Office, and Trustee and Chair of the investment committee for the Millfield House Foundation, a charity that promotes social change with the aim of reducing poverty and inequality.

Paul Valentin

Paul Valentin

Paul is a Dutch national who has lived and worked in East Africa, Asia, the US and has been a UK resident since 1993. A tropical agriculturist by training, he started his career as a volunteer working with smallholder farmers in Kenya and the Philippines and worked in international development for just over 40 years. After working as country representative in the Philippines and as Regional Manager for East Asia for Oxfam Great Britain, he was Vice President for Programs of Oxfam America in Boston for three years before joining Christian Aid in 2004 as International Director until his retirement in 2019. His previous Non-Executive roles include Vice Chair of Bond (the network of UK based development organisations) and member of Board and Executive Committee of the Geneva-based global ACT Alliance.

Cristina Talens

Cristina Talens

Cristina has been working with coffee, cocoa, and tea farmers across the globe for over 15 years.  She was Ethical Trading Manager at Taylors of Harrogate, before becoming Founder and Director of Source Climate Change Coffee. Cristina also works with the Wilberforce Institute at the University of Hull, to support companies to meet the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.  Through her work as International Programme Manager with the Lorna Young Foundation, Cristina helped launch Farmers’ Voice Radio, subsequently setting up radio programmes in the DRC, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.  Involved since its inception, Cristina continues to advise the team.