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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Our leadership team

Neil Carberry

Chief Executive

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Neil Carberry was appointed as Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation in June 2018 having been Managing Director at the Confederation of British Industry, leading the CBI’s work on the labour market, skills, energy and infrastructure. In 1999, Neil began his career in recruitment working for executive search firm Fraser Watson before doing a post-graduate degree in Human Resources at the London School of Economics and joining the CBI in 2004. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of the RSA. He is a member of the council of the conciliation service Acas and a former member of the Low Pay Commission, which recommends UK minimum wages. A three-time nominee to the SIA Staffing 100 in Europe, he is also on the board of the World Employment Confederation and a primary academy trust in Oxfordshire. Neil is an RFU qualified rugby coach and is one of the 8000 co-owners who made Heart of Midlothian the UK’s biggest fan-owned football club.

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Kate Shoesmith

Kate Shoesmith

Deputy CEO

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Kate has been with the REC since March 2013. She is responsible for the REC’s external engagement strategy and providing a leading voice for our industry. Kate is a spokesperson for the REC, regularly appearing in the UK media and speaking on platforms to talk about the jobs market, employment and skills.  

Kate’s background is in policy and public affairs. Prior to joining REC, she was Head of Policy & Corporate Affairs at City & Guilds. She has been a governor for two London further education colleges and an adviser to a number of external forums, including Business in the Community, UNESCO Education for All, Youth Employment UK and Women in Recruitment.

David Vallance

Director of Finance


David joined the REC in August 2001 as Head of Operations. Three years later he became part of the senior leadership team in 2004 as Director of Finance, taking on additional responsibilities as Company Secretary in 2010.

David’s career in finance spans over 25 years. He has worked for every type of organisation, from non-profits and SMEs to multinational companies. He is CIMA qualified and holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.

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Lorraine Laryea

Chief Standards Officer



Lorraine is a solicitor with a background in employment law who has been with the REC for 12 years. Lorraine has worked in different roles, initially as a legal and commercial adviser delivering legal advice to members, and supporting both the compliance and policy functions at the REC. More recently she managed the REC’s Legal Helpline function. Lorraine has developed a robust working knowledge of the legal and compliance issues that affect recruiters and is keen to support REC members to be compliant with industry legislation and best practice.

Maxine Bligh

Chief Membership & Innovation Officer



Maxine took up the role of Chief Membership & Innovation Officer on the REC Executive in June 2023, taking responsibility for the organisation’s account management, sales, and member services.

Maxine joined the REC following more than 12 years at a business representation organisation where she held a range of roles, most recently as Commercial Director leading on membership proposition and services, events and commercial partnerships. Maxine also established two new business lines – a successful economics consultancy and a leadership programmes business.  Prior to this Maxine was a consultant at SQW, specialising in regional economic regeneration.  


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Michael Kirchner

Sales Director



Michael joined the REC in 2018 as an Account Manager before becoming Key Account Manager South in 2021 and Sales Director in 2023. Prior to the REC, he has toured as an arts producer and director and worked in training and development.

Adam Bolton

Director of Member Services



Adam is a membership professional with over 20 years’ experience in sales and commercial roles as well as membership development and product and service delivery across a range of sectors. He has held a number of senior roles in professional bodies including the Institute of Directors, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institute of Leadership and Management, and the Association of MBAs. Previously he has been both Account Director - South and Sales Director at the REC.

He holds the IoD Diploma in Company Direction and is a Fellow of the ILM. Outside work he is a keen musician, beekeeper and trustee of a community lead arts charity in Margate.

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Shazia Ejaz

Director of Campaigns



Shazia came to the REC as a long-standing communications professional. Her experience in government comms as well as a range of business areas and political campaigns plays right into the comms and campaign work she informs as our Director of Campaigns.  

She  worked as part of the project team that developed the REC’s new brand and website and is keen to  move the needle on key campaigns for REC members using research and other content to capture the attention of the media, government and other stakeholders.

Gemma Reyes

Director of Marketing & Digital


Gemma joined the REC at the beginning of 2023. As Director of Marketing & Digital she is responsible for developing the REC brand, leading our marketing and communications strategy and for ensuring the REC delivers a digital-first experience for our members and key stakeholders.

With over 20 years’ marketing experience, including senior marketing positions within both the recruitment sector and professional membership bodies, Gemma brings a wealth of experience to her role at the REC and is passionate about driving world-class marketing strategies.

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Tracey Marshall

Director of HR



Tracey has been at the REC for 9 years and is responsible for the people strategy across the business, providing strategic guidance and leadership for all aspects of the human resources function.

Tracey has over 15 years of experience as a CIPD qualified HR professional, starting her career in the recruitment sector and then went on to work for another professional membership body, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society as an HR professional before joining the REC. She has a wealth of knowledge across all aspects of HR, is qualified as an ACAS mediator and has also volunteered her time on external remuneration committees.

Tracey has always been passionate about people and driving positive change through effective employee engagement as well as ensuring our people goals are aligned to the long-term business strategy.