Founders4Schools is proud to be led by a diverse board of dedicated trustees from a variety of industries. We are also led by a board of Advisers with a wealth of experience in various sectors including maths, technology and education.

Our Trustees

Sherry Coutu CBE - Executive Chairman and Founder of Founders4Schools

Sherry has decades of experience in the technology and education sectors which include serving as a non-executive member of the University of Cambridge where she chairs the Financial Strategy Advisory Group and is a member of the Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press boards and chair of their Remuneration Committee.

Other boards, she currently serves on include Raspberry Pi Foundation, The Royal Society (Science, Industry & Translation Committee), Zoopla and the London Stock Exchange plc, Chesterton Community College, (Cambridge).

Previous Non-executive roles in the education sector include teaching at London Business School, serving as a Trustee for NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and serving RM plc as a NED where she chaired the Remuneration Committee and was the Senior Independent Director.

As an entrepreneur, Sherry founded a number of businesses and charities in the past. As a philanthropist, in addition to Founders4Schools, she is a supporter of the Crick Institute. Sherry was honoured with a CBE for “services to entrepreneurship”, from HM Queen in 2013, serves as an ambassador for London and the YourLife Campaign and is the author of ‘The Scale-up Report’ on UK economic growth.

Janet Coyle - Managing Director of Business at London & Partners

Janet is the Managing Director Business at London & Partners, London's international Trade, Investment and Promotion agency.

She supports international companies and events to invest in London and helps London's innovative companies to scale and expand internationally through a number of business and innovation programmes. Janet was formerly a Diplomat for the UK government and also led London's business programme during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Joanne Hannaford - Head of EMEA Technology & Global Head of Quality Assurance Engineering

Jo is a partner within the Engineering Division at Goldman Sachs, joining the firm in 1997, she was named managing director in 2008 and partner in 2014. During her time at the firm, Jo has held a number of roles across Technology both in New York and London, predominantly focusing on the buildout of all functions related to data architecture, software engineering, workflow, runtime management software change and development practices.

Jonathan Pearl - Civil Mediator, Advisory Board Chairman, IMB Board Member, and Non-Executive Director

Jonathan is a (non-practicing) solicitor with senior management experience gained at two major brands (Sony and Apple) in Europe, USA and Asia. Jonathan's 30+ year career spans working as a private practice solicitor in the City, and managing an international in-house corporate and compliance function of 100+ people.

In 2018, having left full-time corporate life, Jonathan established himself as an independent Civil Mediator. He is CEDR-Accredited (2002) and a Member of the Civil Mediation Council. In 2019 Jonathan was appointed by the Ministry of Justice to be an Independent Monitoring Board member of HM Prisons. When not mediating, Jonathan spends his time working as a Non-Executive Director of, and advisor to, technology start-up companies.

John Mushriqui - CEO and Founder of Tego Texi Tectum, Validity and Swiffix 

John is a serial entrepreneur,  angel investor, and non-executive director based in London, UK. He loves building digital businesses that make an impact on how we live our everyday lives. 

As an Entrepreneur John was the CEO and Founder of three different businesses Tego Texi Tectum, Validity and Swiffix. Most recently he was an Entrepreneur in Residence with bp where he was helping build and scale renewable digital businesses. He is know building his fourth business which is in Stealth Mode. 

Russ Shaw - Founder of Tech London Advocates (TLA) and Global Tech Advocates

Russ is the Founder of Tech London Advocates (TLA) and Global Tech Advocates, private sector led groups of leaders promoting tech ecosystems and addressing the issues on the horizon.

The groups are not-for-profit communities of individuals with aspirations to build and promote tech hubs globally. He has been appointed as a London Tech Ambassador by the Mayor of London's Office and is part of the London Technology Week steering group, a member of the Digital Skills Partnership, a trustee of Modern Muse, and advisor to Founders4Schools, Teen Tech, the Creative Industries Federation, E2Exchange, Growth Enabler.

Claire Valoti - Vice President of the International Business at Snap Inc

As the VP of International Business at Snap Inc, Claire is leading growth and revenue across four continents, including key markets: UK, France, Germany, Nordics + Netherlands, Canada, Australia and MENA. Her priority is to unlock the potential of International markets while continuing to scale those that are already realized.

Prior to joining Snap in 2016, Claire was the Director of Agency Partnerships at Facebook UK; Media Director at Weve, and Managing Director of Weve’s predecessor, O2 Media. Claire began her career agency- side, spending more than 11 years at Mindshare across world-class brands.

Lauren von Stackelberg - Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Tate & Lyle and Founder The WealthiHer Network

Lauren von Stackelberg is an entrepreneurial Equity Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) leader, founder and charity board chair with experience across six continents in Consumer, Technology, Travel and Financial Services.

She is one of the youngest women to join the C Suite of a FTSE 250 company. Lauren is Tate & Lyle's first Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer where she leverages their purpose, Improving Lives for Generations, as a platform to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace and to drive equitable health and nutrition outcomes for their communities and customers. Prior to this, Lauren was Expedia Group’s first Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity and J.P. Morgan’s first and founding Head of Client Diversity Strategy. She founded collaborative networks and movements to drive progress and change at an industry level in both Finance (The WealthiHer Network) and Travel (CEO Action Inclusive Travel Group). Lauren is the Founder of a micro-fund in Ghana, Trustee of Founders4Schools, and Chair of the Executive Board of Foreign Sisters within Cancer Research UK. She is a regular public speaker, avid reader, and force for social change with recognition from Forbes 30 under 30, Forbes All Star Alumni, the UK’s Most Influential D&I Leaders, and Management Today’s 35 under 35.

Gori Yahaya - CEO and Founder of UpSkill Digital 

Gori Yahaya, serial entrepreneur, is the CEO and founder of UpSkill Digital, a leading organisation in the world of digital education and inclusion. He has over a decade of experience building and implementing award-winning digital learning and social impact programs for the likes of Google, Samsung, Lloyds Bank and BT.

An evangelical advocate for diversity and inclusion with a mission to support people of minority ethnic backgrounds to boost progression and develop relevant skills for the future workplace, his expertise has been critical to the development and continued success of many global learning programmes covering regions across Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Gary HansonGary Hanson - Mentor, board advisor, investor and non-executive director

Gary is writing chapter 3 of his life working with his extensive network and experience to help people and companies thrive and achieve their potential in a world that continues to grow and evolve at an ever-faster pace.  He opened and developed two new offices at BDO during a 33 year career, while working with a wide range of clients, mainly in the tech space and all with international reach and ambitions, particularly in the US.

Gary's roles included creating and developing the relationship between the BDO UK and US firms during a period of significant growth for both, building pathways for collaboration and work flows and establishing a vital network of quality conversations.  He was also elected to the partnership's oversight board for two terms totalling 8 years during which time he was involved in reviewing strategy, partner recruitment and promotion as well as governance and fairness.

Senior Management Team

Michaela Eschbach - Managing Director 

Michaela is our Managing Director at Founders4Schools. She has more than 20 years experience in relationship, project, and contract management. Michaela has previously set up and managed a social enterprise running student-employer encounters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        .

Laurena Robinson - Director of Fundraising and Partnerships

A member of the Senior Management Team, Laurena offers more than 15 years of experience as a professional fundraising strategist, predominantly building partnerships with STEM businesses and institutions. As a mum to two young boys, Laurena is particularly passionate about our work at F4S and is registered as a volunteer on our platform.

Sam Shoyinka - Head of Projects and Business Analyst

Prior to F4S, Sam has worked as a resourceful and hands-on Business Analyst/Project manager with various financial institutions (Barclays, RBS, Nationwide, Link Asset Management) and local authority. Sam has experience of full project life cycle working within Agile (Scrum) and Waterfall environments. He is adept at business process evaluation, analysis and modelling. Sam has excellent project and stakeholder management skills and good requirements elicitation, analysis, documentation and management skills.