YGAM appoints a new independent Chair

YGAM appoints a new independent Chair

YGAM are delighted to announce the appointment of Mike Wojcik as its new independent Chair. Mike has a distinguished career in Higher Education. He is currently employed as Chief Executive of Queen Mary, University of London Student Union, and Managing Director its trading subsidiary company, which has a group turnover of £7m; such financial and commercial acumen will also serve YGAM well. QMUL is a world-class research-intensive Russell Group university, pioneers in widening participation and pathways into education, with its distinctive undergraduate student profile, drawn from over 160 nationalities. Mike is also an active mentor for senior leaders in the sector, a governance and property consultant to a language school, leading on the development of Community Interest Company (CIC) in sport, and supporting a ground breaking internship partnership for children with learning disabilities.

Mike joined the YGAM board in October 2017 where he was Deputy Chair of Trustees and Chair of the People & Transformation Committee. Mike brings considerable experience around Higher Education, governance and change management to YGAM.

Lee Willows, Chief Executive, YGAM said ‘Following in the footsteps of legendary Dan Waugh, Rachel Jones became our Chair for a short period but had to step down due to family illness and a new job. Mike has been supporting YGAM for over a year now as a trustee and is well versed in our social purpose and had demonstrated exemplar leadership. Therefore, I was thrilled when Mike agreed to become Deputy Chair and even more thrilled when the board confirmed Mike as Chair in the summer.

Ambitious businesses that survive the start-up phase do sometimes transition to the scale-up phase and that is where YGAM currently is. Taking the leap to generate revenues in excess of £1m annually is quite a leap, especially considering YGAM had a starting base of zero only a couple of years ago. Our customers, the teachers and practitioners, love our authentic social purpose as a charity and the educational rigour of our products. They are keen to engage and take our education products forward in their school, colleague or community group. Seeing our programmes delivered is without doubt one of the highlights of my role. Our supporters, principally from the regulated gambling sector also love our authentic social purpose. We have been fortunate to amass significant support from this sector via Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnerships framed around safer gaming, increased awareness and the building of digital resilience among young and vulnerable people. Mike will help us scale our reach further, particularly among the 160 universities in the UK and through his leadership will support our board to epitomise 21st Century Charity Board values. I am personally hugely grateful to Mike for offering to do this voluntary role, on top of his very full-time job.

Mike Wojcik, Chair, YGAM said ‘YGAM is ahead of its time, pioneering in a social purpose space with significant momentum, credibility and integrity. I’m in awe of the incredible journey, impact and commitment of the YGAM founders, particularly Lee, Anne and Keith. Taking on the role as YGAM chair was a relatively straightforward decision, as I get an immense sense of satisfaction leading and enabling change, especially where I’m fired up with conviction, and fits into my values framework. We are committed to teaching not preaching, helping people make informed decisions, awareness around the risks of social gaming and gambling, providing learning tools to better digital resilience, mental health and well-being. We have some great talent in the YGAM team, the Board, ambassadors and volunteers and I’m confident our reach and impact will be significant in the months and years to follow.

In early 2017 YGAM’s governance partners, Peridot Partners, completed a strategic review of board membership and since then the charity have sought to refocus the skills of its Trustee Board as YGAM moves from a start-up to a charity. To support this planned growth, YGAM are now seeking to further extend the skills mix and talents of the board of Trustees and the charities trading company Board to support YGAM as it implements its new national strategy. Please do take a look at the trustee or non-executive director roles we have available and do get in touch if you think you might be able to help us on our journey: http://www.peridotportal.co.uk/ygamboard/index.php