BMC Board member biographies

Find out who sits on the BMC's Board of Directors, and a little bit about their professional backgrounds and outdoor interests.

Lynn Robinson
Lynn Robinson – President & Director (2018-2021)

I’ve been a member of the BMC for about 30 years and an individual member for about 20. I’ve always loved hill walking and then I moved into scrambling. When I did harder and harder scrambles I thought it was about time I learnt how to use a rope, so I joined the local university mountaineering club, first as an under-graduate and then during my post-graduate studies when I became the first female president of the club.

My first ever climbs were on gritstone in the late 1980s. Since then I’ve rock climbed around the world, including Europe and America, and new routing and exploration in Egypt – mainly ‘trad’ rock climbing, but also bouldering and sport climbing. Even though I describe myself as a lower-grade climber, I do occasionally stray into onsights in the E-numbers! I enjoy climbing indoors and when at home visit my local walls in and around Nottingham. I’ve even taken part in numerous local bouldering competitions over the years. I have also mountaineered around the world, including trekking peaks in Nepal, volcanoes in Ecuador, Mount Elbrus and the European Alps, including Mont Blanc, and extensive winter climbing in the UK.

My real passion is in guidebook work, which I started in about 2000. I’ve been involved in all the new series BMC guidebooks, in one capacity or another, from Burbage, Millstone and Beyond to the current volumes, including being co-editor of Froggatt to Black Rocks. I currently sit on the BMC guidebook committee, and I have significantly helped other definitive guidebook producers, especially the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club.

I have been a regular attender and contributor at the BMC Peak Area meetings for 25 years and from 2010 to 2015 I was the area secretary. I am the co-chair of the Women’s Development Group which explores and supports initiatives to further encourage and support women’s involvement in climbing and hill walking and the work of the BMC. In 2017 I received the BMC George Band Award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering, something which I am incredibly proud of.

In my professional career I’ve had a wide range of experience starting as a trained nurse, then social work, public health and most recently NHS management. I’ve volunteered extensively outside of climbing, including a year in India helping public health initiatives in the Bangalore slums.

Paul Drew
Paul Drew – Senior Independent Director (2019-2022) & Acting Chair

Paul has been climbing for over 30 years, starting through his University mountaineering club.  He has climbed and skied extensively throughout the world but North Wales has always been his favourite location conveniently close to his home near Chester.

With rock climbing he switches between trad and sports depending upon the location and season, equally at home on the sea cliffs in the Outer Hebrides, new routing in the Anti-Atlas in Morocco or sport climbing in Spain, France, Greece or Italy. However many places he visits though, he finds it hard to beat the excitement of climbing on Main Cliff at Gogarth with the waves crashing beneath his feet.

He also has a lot of experience in mountaineering, in the Alps and further back in the Himalayas and Andes. More recently he has focused on longer rock routes in the Alps & Spain, being fortunate to have a place in the Ecrins with both granite and limestone crags in close vicinity (Tete d’Aval being a particular favourite), but also trips to the Dolomites, Picos de Europa, Chamonix, Bregalia, Uri etc. In the last 12 years he has ventured more into ski mountaineering, a more enjoyable way to ascend high mountains in the Alps than snow plodding in the summer, typically managing 2 or 3 weeks each winter.

In his professional career he spent 25 years working in the IT/Telecoms sector for a company called Metaswitch holding a variety of senior management positions. Since retiring from this he has focused on supporting start-ups in the IT sector mostly in and around Manchester, acting as a mentor to Ignite (as start-up incubator), an advisor and a non-exec director at 4 companies. He is also involved as a non-exec director at his local climbing wall, Boulder Hut in Ellesmere Port where has has learnt a lot about the indoor climbing industry.

Fiona Sanders – Council Nominated Director (2019-2022)

As a former president, vice president and secretary of the Climbers' Club (2005-2013), the largest BMC-affiliated club, Fiona dealt with a range of governance issues and brought a strategic direction to the club. In 2009 Fiona took the initiative in work that lead to the formation of the BMC Clubs’ Committee. After its inception, she helped set up and organise a training programme for club members and pushing for a FT club officer. As chair (2013-18), she inspired volunteers and staff alike, to co-ordinate their efforts on behalf of clubs.

Recently she became involved with the Lakes area as a National Council Representative where she has helped to introduce more effective communication and developing a co-ordinated approach to access and conservation. Alongside this Fiona has been integral to the Organisational Review and the Organisational Development Groups.

Fiona combines a passion for the outdoors with directly relevant knowledge & experience gained during a professional career in leadership development, performance management and executive coaching which also included being a Company Director and senior manager.

Fiona is still a regular climber in the mountains as well as at sports venues. She is a stalwart champion of all the different types of BMC members, striving to ensure that they are central to the BMC and that they are dealt with equitably within the BMC framework.   

Carl Spencer
Carl Spencer – Council Nominated Director (2020-2021)

Carl has been climbing, skiing and mountain biking for over 35 years with his early experiences in the mountains being provided by his local and university clubs. He has climbed extensively in Europe & North America with a preference towards big walls when possible or ski-touring with a split board in winter. He is currently an active climber both indoors and out and is happiest with the sun on his back, a jam crack ahead of him and a full rack of cams on his waist. Together with his partner Clare the last few years have been devoted to bringing up their two sons whom also climb and have both competed on the youth circuit for the past 10 years.

He first became involved with the BMC as a contributor to the Lancashire Rock guidebook in the mid-90’s and on the back of that has put up a handful new routes in the Lancashire quarries and elsewhere in the UK. He then went on to become more involved in BMC volunteering as Access Rep for the NW Area, Secretary of the NW Area, Chair of the NW Area and also President of the Preston Mountaineering Club.

Carl has 15+ years business experience in engineering, project management and risk management within the aerospace industry followed by a further 20+ years experience of running his own hybrid IT/software/marketing company employing 10 people. He is also passionate about the environment, climate change and the general ethics of business.

Peter Salenieks – Council Nominated Director (2020-2021)
Jonathan White
Jonathan White – Nominated Director (2019-2022)

Growing up beside Dartmoor, hills and mountains have been a big part of Jonathan’s life since school days: starting with Ten Tors and DofE. Long walks became the objective in themselves, then university brought frequent weekend club trips around the UK, an introduction to playing in the snow and ice, and the first in a succession of Alps trips. Expeditions followed, with adventures in Argentina, Greenland, Norway, Svalbard, Morocco and Iran. This was alongside mountain walking and climbing in the UK, plus parallel interests in mountain biking, skiing and ski-mountaineering.

Professionally he is a Chartered Civil Engineer working as a director of construction and services businesses. He brings a combined operational and commercial focus and extensive line management and risk experience, including from challenging corporate governance roles. He has worked in various aspects of infrastructure in the UK and abroad, specialising in business transformation in mobilisation, delivery and recovery.

Jonathan has been on the committees of four clubs, including a large university club, a small start-up club, and more recently the Alpine Club, so brings a breadth and depth to the clubs’ perspective, and much of what’s involved with running them. A BMC club member since 1991 and individual member since 1996, he’s been active with three Areas, a member of the Management Committee that pre-dated the Board, Chair of Training, and was a member of two organisational reviews. Recently he has supported the governance workstream of the current BMC review.

Jonny Dry
Jonny Dry – Nominated Director (2019-2022)

A hooked climber ever since his Dad took him and his brother up Flying Buttress, Jonny is also a longstanding competitive fell, cross-country and track athlete. Through his role as Membership Secretary for Kendal Athletics Club, voluntary Mountain Leader work, and his involvement with the BMC he is passionate about the culture of both mountaineering and running, and working to engage young and under-represent individuals in its history, environment and community.

Alongside his outdoor background, Jonny has a particular passion for arts and culture more broadly; be it literature, film or music. To this end he has directed and produced fictional films since 2012, with his latest project screening at UK film festivals, and further upcoming short films portraying remote communities and rural environments on screen. He also works as an assistant director on both short and feature length work, advising and running production logistics on-set and managing diverse teams of cast and crew.

Alongside this he has studied mountain and environmental literature at Lancaster University, and also worked as a freelance marketer and writer for a range of organisations; including the Mountain Heritage Trust, Mount Everest Foundation and Alpine Club.

Rosemary Yule
Rosemary Yule – Nominated Director (2020-2021)

Rosi Yule is a Nominated Director (Finance) and was co-opted to the Board in October 2020 from the Finance and Audit Committee.

Rosi is a qualified accountant and has over 35 years’ experience at a strategic finance level in the public sector - health, police, defence, central policy, local government, education, prisons -  both in executive and non-executive roles. She brings budgeting, risk management, audit and governance experience to the role and is looking forward to giving something back to the BMC, as a volunteer having been an active member of a London based mountaineering club for many years.

Rosi loves all aspects of climbing – trad rock, sport, ice, scrambling and hill walking and is happiest when away camping in the mountains somewhere. She climbs all over UK and abroad and is currently aiming to summit the high point in all 50 European countries with 14 left to go. The difficulty in some countries makes you appreciate the importance of our own access agreements and having an overall representative body. 

Dave Turnbull – CEO and Director

Dave has had overall responsibility for all aspects of the BMC since 2002. He was a BMC Access & Conservation Officer from 1997-2001 and worked in environmental consultancy prior to that. He's a chartered surveyor, with an MSc in Marine Science. He's originally from Northumberland but began climbing on Dartmoor and the south west sea cliffs while a student at Plymouth Polytechnic.

 



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