Donkey pulling cart with woman walking
Donkey pulling cart with woman walking

Our trustees

SPANA’s trustees are responsible for ensuring our charity is pursuing its long-term goals, effectively managing its finances and successfully fulfilling its charitable obligations, while operating in line with all legal requirements and the wishes of our supporters.

SPANA trustee Dr Mary-Lorraine Hughes

Dr Mary-Lorraine Hughes – Chair

Mary-Lorraine brings extensive experience of both the charity sector and the business world to her role as SPANA’s Chair of Trustees, having spent her career serving as Chief Executive for such organisations as Portmeirion Potteries PLC, Pilkington’s Tiles Group PLC and Twycross Zoo. A keen animal lover and long-standing SPANA supporter, Mary-Lorraine has been a Trustee of SPANA since January 2017 and became our Chair of Trustees in February 2021. She is also a member of our Finance and Audit Committee, our People Committee and our Centenary Committee.

SPANA Trustee Marianne Davies

Marianne Davies

Marianne is Global Head of People Services with GSK, where she has spent much of her executive career. She is also a Trustee of the Youth Action Alliance, and an Independent Committee Member on the Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Committee at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Marianne brings a wealth of HR and Change management experience from her career. She also has a strong interest in animal welfare and, having visited many of the countries where SPANA works, is keen to contribute to improving the lives and communities of working animals. Marianne joined SPANA’s Board of Trustees in September 2021 and is also a member of SPANA’s People Committee and our Centenary Committee.

SPANA Trustee Adam Firby

Adam Firby

A senior Human Resources Director, with additional experience in general management and property, Adam is Human Resources Director for Molson Coors Beverage Company in Western Europe. He has previously held roles across Marks and Spencer, Britvic Soft Drinks and Royal Mail Group. Adam joined SPANA’s Board of Trustees in December 2021 and is also a member of our Fundraising and Marketing Committee.

SPANA Trustee Janet Hunter

Janet Hunter

An experienced chartered management accountant, Janet forged a career in manufacturing and consultancy before choosing to use her skills and knowledge in the not-for-profit sector. In recent years she has worked for organisations including Voluntary Service Overseas, EducAid, Relief International and Angkor Hospital for Children, contributing to global projects driving improvement and change across such countries as Malawi, Sudan, Sierra Leone and Cambodia. Janet is currently a Trustee and Treasurer for Citizens Advice Wirral. A great animal lover, Janet lives with her partner and Cambodian cat in the countryside of North Wales. Since joining SPANA as a Trustee in March 2023, Janet has also served as a member of SPANA’s Finance and Audit Committee.

SPANA Trustee Morgan Lance with a brown horse

Morgan Lance

Morgan has spent the last two decades helping animal welfare and children’s charities and not-for-profit organisations raise funds, tell their stories and improve lives. She currently works as Chief Executive of OneSky for all children, while her previous roles include Executive Director of the Daraja Education Fund. Prior to starting her NGO career, Morgan earned a teaching credential and worked in Humane Education, teaching both children and adults about the needs of animals. Morgan lives in the US with her husband, their equestrian daughter, a rescued dog and cats, and their retired horse, Gracie. Morgan joined SPANA’s Board of Trustees in March 2023 and is also a member of our Global Animal Welfare and Global Fundraising & Communications Committees.

Melissa Liszewski

Melissa has worked on community-based animal welfare initiatives in more than 30 countries around the world since 2005. Currently leading the global Community Engagement Program at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and previously leading the global Community Development team at Brooke, she is experienced in developing sustainable animal health and husbandry systems, as well as community-led approaches to disaster risk reduction and wildlife conservation. Melissa holds a master’s degree in animal science with specialisations in international development and social science. In addition to her Trustee duties at SPANA, Melissa is a member of our Services Committee.

SPANA Trustee Daniella Dos Santos

Daniella Dos Santos

Daniella graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Royal Veterinary College in 2012 and has been in small animal and exotic pet practice in a range of clinics across south-east England since graduating. She is also a past Chair of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) Ethics and Welfare Panel, and past BVA President (2019-2020). In 2021, Daniella was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for Meritorious Contributions to the Profession, as well as being awarded the 2021 Inspiration Award. Daniella lives in Buckinghamshire with her partner and rescue spaniel, Bridget Bones. In addition to her work as a Trustee, Daniella is a member of SPANA’s Fundraising & Marketing Committee and our Centenary Committee.

Sarah Shanks

An experienced equine vet and public health practitioner, Sarah has worked in Africa, Australia and Europe. She currently works as a Consultant in Public Health Medicine at Public Health England, following her earlier work as Veterinary Advisor to the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). During her career, Sarah has seen first-hand how working animals provide vital support to communities in developing countries. As part of her work as a Trustee, Sarah is a member of our Services Committee and is also represents the SPANA Board in our whistleblowing policy.

SPANA Trustee Spencer Simmons

Spencer Simmons

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Spencer was a Partner in Haslers Chartered Accountants. He has supported organisations as a volunteer for Accounting for International Development. In addition to serving on SPANA’s Board of Trustees since March 2023, Spencer is a member of our Finance and Audit Committee.