Skip to content

Memories #altc23

Well… it’s been quite a week, quite a conference and quite an end to my time as CEO of ALT. I’d previously blogged my love letter to ALT’s Annual Conference, and also my goodbye and thanks as CEO of ALT. I felt well prepared going into the conference week, but as it turned out, it was a lot more emotional and a lot more intense. So in this post I want to bring together at least some of the memories and moments that made it special for me, to help process what has been a wonderful if overwhelming time for me, and to capture the amazing and kind feedback and messages I received.

Conference opening (Image by Anne-Marie Scott)

It was a week packed with inspiration and joy, and I won’t be able to mention everything that’s happened, but suffice to say that this was a week to remember for our community, with a lot of firsts and a lot of milestones achieved!

Messages from Members

Thank you to everyone who sent me a message before and during the conference. It’s been incredible for me to have so much feedback, kind words and encouragement. I especially appreciate the cards that arrived by post which made for a nice surprise! It was so wonderful to see many former Trustees and staff at the conference and this picture with my predecessor Seb Schmoller really made me giggle – it’s definitely heartfelt 🙂

In addition to the messages on social media including Twitter and LinkedIn, many Members have added to this public card:

ALT AGM and CEO handover 2023

Handover at the AGM

The Board of Trustees of ALT and especially our Chair, Helen O’Sullivan, were both generous and kind in allowing me the exit I desired. I am mindful that not many people get to choose how to depart from a job, even a long-term role, and I appreciated it very much. It was a very emotional moment to sit at the AGM and listen to Helen read out feedback from the Trustees and Members, and a big highlight for me. I also received beautiful gifts, including this lovely set of CEO pens:

I am very fortunate that ALT’s new CEO Billy Smith is so gracious as a leader, and his support during these final days of handover has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition.

If you’d like to watch the actual handover, here is the recording.

Special Award

I was very touched to received a special award for my Outstanding Contribution to ALT at the Gala Dinner. The award was presented by my long-time colleague and friend, Jane Frankel, who has so capably managed ALT’s finances over much of my time as CEO. Jane’s words on stage and her heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the whole staff team mean a lot to me.

Award moment (Image by Anshul Lau)
Receiving my award (Image by Martin Hawksey)
Thanking everyone (Image by Fiona Jones)
Gala Dinner in best company (Image by Martin Weller): Left to right:David Hawkridge, Maren Deepwell, Martin Hawksey, Martin Weller, Scott Farrow, Steven Verjans, Jane Secker and Christ Morrison

The next morning dawned and with it the end of a very special week, a very special moment in my career: Thank you so much for making my last day so special. I am very touched.

Many people have asked me for my new contact details… get in touch with maren[@] or via my website. You can also subscribe to my podcast and monthly newsletter . I’ll be posting regular updates and resources on my blog, on LinkedIn and Instagram.