Team Bios

 

The Christian Business Leaders Board

Consists of six members including the following:-

James Shand FCA CF

James Shand is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 22 years of commercial experience, who has worked with entrepreneurial SME owners and managers as Finance Director for the last 17 years, enabling them to achieve successful growth.

Up until 2003, James career was going well with post qualification roles in a multinational group, as well as FD level roles in automotive engineering, a venture capital backed service business and an AIM listed technology Plc.  After a traumatic redundancy in 2003, James set out to build his own business from scratch, experiencing tremendous support from Christian friends, which helped bring him back to a much closer walk with Christ.  Setting up your own business is stressful, and the potential to go off the rails very real.  With other Christians sharing the same values, James set up Christian Business Leaders to support and equip Christians in Business leadership to make the right decisions and to honour God in our business practices.

Often we do not understand God’s plans, until we have the benefit of reflecting with hindsight.  This was certainly true for James, as he would not be in his own business now (and loving it) had it not been for the painful redundancy experienced in 2003.

James is happily married with 3 daughters and lives near Oxford.

Harvey Leach

Harvey Leach is a Chartered Engineer and Certified Management Consultant who works with clients in private and public sector organizations to improve their performance by engaging all employees in the improvement process.

Harvey spent the first 27 years of his career in the motor industry, joining what was then British Leyland and staying with it through a complete transformation and changes of ownership before finally leaving after a two year stint in BMW headquarters in Germany and ending helping to prepare the MINI factory in Oxford for a new model and a significant increase in production.  In 2004, Harvey decided to start a new career as a management consultant with a view to applying his experiences to help a wider range of organizations improve what they do.

Harvey became a Christian in 1986 following a traumatic period in his personal life and the direct support of a Christian colleague at work.  From that point on, he has been regularly involved in Christian groups in his workplace, and is a firm believer that our Christian faith should impact every aspect of our lives.  The Bible is our guide in everything we do and is, he believes, the best book on leadership and transformation ever written!  Not only that, but God will present us with opportunities to share our faith in a wide variety of circumstances.  Harvey was delighted to connect with Christian Business Leaders soon after it was established, and is now working to make a wider range of resources available to support members in their work situations.

Harvey is happily married with three daughters and lives in Witney, near Oxford.

Charles Zealey

Charles Zealey is a Member of the British Computer Society and a Chartered Engineer.   He graduated in Mathematics from Sidney Sussex College Cambridge in 1979 joining ICL working in software engineering.  In the subsequent seventeen years he worked in a number of roles including engineering management, marketing, legal and commercial and business development.

As Vice President, Dialogue Manager Business he left ICL in 1997 to found ITSolve Ltd.  ITSolve works with small and medium sized businesses in the Thames Valley providing them with expert advice on IT and giving support in the operation of their IT Systems.

Having become a Christian in his early teens he opted to work in business rather than in his initial intention of full-time Christian Ministry, and believes that expressing his faith in a business context is a powerful endorsement of the message of the Gospel.  Married with three grown up children he is an active member of St Nicolas Church, Newbury, having been a Churchwarden for six years, and is a current member of the PCC.  In his spare time he has an interest in gardening, vintage and classic cars, and food and wine.

Ian Smith

Ian is Executive Director for RZIM Europe and the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA). He is also involved in the broader strategy of RZIM internationally. Key tasks include strategic planning, financial and general management, developing and managing strategic partnerships, the European associates programme, day-to-day management and coordination with European based staff.

Prior to joining RZIM, Ian was a senior executive involved in building materials, the water industry and facilities management. He coordinates the OCCA’s business programme and enjoys encouraging and mentoring Christians who have a calling to the marketplace. Ian has also completed the University of Oxford Diploma in Biblical and Theological Studies.

Ian is married to Rosemary and they have two sons. Steve, married to Hayley, has a doctorate in Physics from London University and works for the Committee on Climate Change. Chris, married to Charlotte, has a doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and works for Johnson Matthey near Cambridge.

Gary Robinson BA FCA

Gary made a decision to follow Jesus after reading the New Testament in his teenage years.

After a degree in Business Studies, he trained with a medium sized accountancy practice where he gained his Chartered Accountancy qualifications. After that he went on to a smaller practice where he blossomed by lifting quality control, overseeing technical issues as well as running the office and managing an interesting client mix for and with the senior partner.

He set up Alpha Accountancy Evesham Limited on his own in 2000 and learnt to rely on God to bring in new clients and work.

During 2004 he joined an MBO, at a specialist insurance brokers, organising both the deal to buy the business and the eventual sale in 2008.

In 2008 he went back to Alpha Accountancy which then had a very low client base and relied on God to build it up again.

 

Paul Silcock        John Tranter