Ruth Spellman : Votes For 85.04% / Against 14.96% - Elected

Occupation: Chief Executive, Workers’ Educational Association Trade: Food, Insurance, Travel

agm2015 results ruth-spellman Elect me because I will uphold your ethos and values. I’ve successfully led three high profile membership organisations, including the Workers’ Educational Association, which grew out of the Co-operative Movement.

I am a hard working wife and mother. Women make 75% of consumer choices and actively prefer to deal with organisations with the right values. I would serve the Co-op as a loyal team member and I would be 100% committed to your success.

Election address Elect me because I believe in mutual values and over the past 18 years I have led four high profile and publicly accountable organisations, raising profile, increasing membership and improving the membership offer.

At Investors in People (IIP) I enabled many businesses and public bodies to improve their performance by investing in their people. IIP became a recognised business brand and a standard of best practice. At the Institute of Mechanical Engineers I increased our impact on government policies such as energy and transport, making the case for reducing carbon emissions, and gave young engineers a chance to influence decisions.

Whilst at Chartered Management Institute we promoted ethical and responsible business behaviours and my book ‘Managers and Leaders Who Can’ was published in 2011. It captures the key skills of effective leaders and managers and contributed to my honorary doctorate from Cranfield School of Business.

At the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) I have built on our history of democratic engagement, improved the courses we offer and made changes to the way we run the business. Over the last 3 years we have strengthened the WEA Council. The evidence shows that we are reaching new learners, adding value to our members and engaging more funders and supporters. We have also pursued partnerships with like-minded organisations such as the Open University (OU) and The Co-op to widen access to learning, to overcome disadvantage and the financial barriers to further and higher education. I am also a member of the OU Council.

Elect me because I will listen to your concerns, stimulate practical action and help The Co-operative Group achieve its commercial and wider social objectives. I would also encourage a culture of openness, transparency and accountability, act as an ambassador for The Co-operative Group and be a critical friend in board meetings. I would also encourage the board to use technology to share key information within the business to engage, motivate and energise staff and to keep members informed. As a board member I would also contribute to developing community partnerships and support initiatives which make The Co-op an employer of choice and protect the consumer.

Finally I am an experienced executive and non-executive, a volunteer and well known public speaker. I can hold my own in the board room and have made a significant contribution to the success of private, public and voluntary organisations. I bring a variety of perspectives and insights to this role. I don’t want to join any company board. I want to join this one.