Trustee Board

Trustee Board

Guiding your union

Our Trustee Board monitors, guide and ultimately takes responsibility for the way that the students' union operates. Our trustees are made up of the full-time members of our elected Officer Team, appointed current students (or 'student trustees') and appointed external trustees who bring a wealth and breadth of experience. Together, they help form the strategic direction of De Montfort Students' Union (DSU), ensuring we meet the needs of all of our members at De Montfort University (DMU).

External Trustees

De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Geoff Kershaw

Geoff Kershaw

SME and Large Corporates Professional

Chair of the Board

With over 25 years of experience working in SME’s and large corporates, Geoff brings a wealth of commercial, change management and leadership experience to the board. He has worked in the UK and internationally for Walgreen Boots Alliance (formerly The Boots Company), as part of the strategy development team at Barclays Bank and latterly as Managing Director or Thorntons Retail, part of the Ferrero UK Group.


Currently Geoff runs his own business as an SME mentor and consultant, he is co-founder of a Dubai based Retail and Wholesale business and a Non-Executive Director of The Retail Summer School Ltd.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Phil Gilks

Phil Gilks

Higher Education Professional

Phil has developed a career within the sector that spans both universities and students’ unions. Currently the Chief Executive of City University of London Students’ Union and the co-chair of the City, University of London Race Equality Charter Self-Assessment Team. Phil started his journey in students’ unions as a student staff member before being elected President of Brighton Students’ Union. He has since worked for the University of Chichester Students’ Union and both the students’ Union and University at Queen Mary University of London.


Phil has joined DSU as an External Trustee to give something back to the sector and help DSU in the next steps along its journey. Phil is particularly interested in supporting DSU to develop and implement its new strategy, ensuring future success.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Laura Arends

Laura Arends

CEO, Big Difference Company

Laura is Chief Executive of Big Difference Company, the charity that produces Leicester Comedy Festival, and has a background in arts marketing.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Beverley Shears

Beverley Shears

Beverley Shears was appointed as an independent governor in August 2020. She Chairs the People and Culture Committee and is a member of the Remuneration Committee.


Beverley’s career has seen her carrying out a number of leadership and HR-related roles, including Head of Customer Experience for the Olympic Delivery Authority, Director of Offender Management East Midlands at the National Offender Management Service, Group HR Director for the Ministry of Justice and Department of Constitutional Affairs, and Deputy Managing Director and HR Director for Stagecoach South West Trains Ltd. More recently, Beverley has founded her own change consultancy, Blue Amaranth Consultancy Ltd, which provides advice on coaching, service transformation, organisational development, and people engagement strategies.


Beverley has non-executive experience on the board of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, the British Transport Police Authority, and the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust.

Student Trustees

De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Luke Martin

Luke Martin

BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Luke made to decision to become a student trustee to be part of helping the SU bounce back from the pandemic as well as he could. He is eager to continue to explore some of the great work going on to make this happen.


DMU gave him the opportunity to study after the A Levels controversy of 2020 left Luke ineligible for his first choice of Uni. He is grateful to be a student of DMU and is glad he came, as the opportunities that have been made available to him have been much more impressive than those he is aware of from other Universities.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Mehul Parekh

Mehul Parekh

PhD Law 2nd Year

Mehul became a student trustee to better serve his fellow students at the university by helping to make sure that decisions made within the union are within good faith and for the collective betterment for all students.


He chose DMU as his place to study as he loves the vibrant and diverse student and academic community which identifies and celebrates the individual success and abilities, whilst working towards the common goal of personal development through education.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Youssef Labib

Youssef Labib

LLM Legal Practice

Having graduated from DMU last year with a first class honours in law (LLB), Youssef has secured a training contract at a leading Firm of Solicitors in Northamptonshire, due to qualify as a Solicitor in 2024.


Over his four years of university, Youssef has worked in a range of elected and appointed positions across the University and the Students’ Union, he sought to increase transparency and help to represent his fellow students.


Youssef during his time as a Student Trustee has seen the Union being reshaped in both executive and governance levels, helping him to understand how to be a part of a board managing a charity organisation consisting of students, elected executives and industry professionals, and the impact that Students’ Union has on University students.


Youssef is passionate about the student experience and future opportunities and hopes to be able to continue supporting the University and Students Union in the future as part of his career.

Executive Officer Trustees

De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Joanna Dine-Hart

Joanna Dine-Hart

Union Development Executive

Deputy Chair of the Board

Joanna is a second term officer, graduating from Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation, elected as DSU’s Union Development Executive for 2020/21 and 2021/22.


Prior to her role as Union Development Executive, Joanna was Chair of Student Council. Alongside participating in several student groups from Acapella to Pole Fitness and taking on a Frontrunners internship during her study, Joanna has witnessed many different sides of student life and feels this equipped her for her role within the Students’ Union.


The best part of being an Executive Officer for her is making change even if it’s only making one student smile throughout the day. Dedicated and enthusiastic Joanna loves her role at DSU and the challenges it brings every week.


De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Nyashadzashe Gnuwo

Nyashadzashe Gnuwo

Academic Executive

Nyashadzashe is a first term officer and 2nd year student of Advertising and Marketing Communications, elected as DSU’s Academic Executive for 2021/22..


Heavily involved with activities in the union and a student ambassador for university, Nyasha has also become an on-campus brand ambassador for GSK. Nyasha has a desire to make a positive impact during his time at DMU, assisting students to have a memorable experience.


Nyasha’s goal is to bring more awareness to students about what the union and university can do for them, and the services available for students to access. Making sure the student voice is heard to make positive change within the union and university.


He has a love of meeting new people, socialising, watching and playing sport, especially rugby. Nyasha will return to his studies on conclusion of his time as Academic Executive Officer.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Puja Subramanian

Puja Subramanian

Equality & Diversity Executive

Puja Subramanian is a first term officer and International Business Graduate, elected as DSU’s Equality and Diversity Executive for 2021/22.


She has been an International Student at DMU for four years prior to her post as E&D Officer, taking pleasure in representing the diverse student body, amplifying their voice and enriching the student experience.


As a trustee, she feels incredible to have a say in the way the organisation operates, helping make impactful change towards the goals of DSU. She is a motivated individual who is passionate about working with students, for students.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Aashni Sawjani

Aashni Sawjani

Opportunities & Engagement Executive

Aashni is a first term officer and MA Advertising and PR Management student, elected as DSU’s Opportunities & Engagement Officer for 2021/22.


Also, a Graduate of BA LLB Law, MA Investigative Journalism and MA LLM Legal Practice Course, Aashni has a wealth of student experience and professional knowledge. Being involved with the union, through her time on society committees, MyUniPal rep and Student Ambassador, she has fully seen the impact the union has had on the university experience.


To Aashni, being an exec means having access to staff and facilities she may not have as a student, being able to form those networks allows her to utilise everything to make a true difference. To be able to celebrate diversity in a space that allows everyone to make mistakes, grow and achieve success is what drives Aashni to better the student experience for all


When not dancing, find Aashni dancing or on a road trip, she is all laughs, discussions, food and music. Aashni will return to her studies on conclusion of her time as Opportunities & Engagement Officer.
De Montfort Students' Union Trustee - Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith

Welfare Executive

Ben is a second term officer and BSc Mathematics student, elected as DSU’s Welfare Executive for 2020/21 and 2021/22.


As Welfare Executive inside the DSU, Ben has been involved in numerous campaigns, projects and events, working to improve student mental wellbeing, supporting students throughout the pandemic.


When he is not in the office, you might find Ben at the football being an avid fan of Derby County FC. He is a big fan of animals, with 3 cats at his family home including a new kitten this Autumn.


Ben will return to his studies upon the conclusion of his time as Executive Officer.

Trustee Board Minutes

Trustee Board Minutes