John Spence OBE is a Deputy Lieutenant of Essex. As well as being a pillar of the community, he is a Church Commissioner, a lay Canon and a champion for the disabled. Born in Edinburgh, with education there and in Dublin and Harvard, John enjoyed a career with Lloyds TSB spanning 32 years, from 1973 to 2005. Senior appointments included Managing Director of Business Banking, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland and Managing Director of Retail Distribution encompassing UK branch networks, ATMs, telephony and internet banking. Finally, he took responsibility for Policy and Risk, where he forged industry-wide solutions on key issues. John has been Deputy Chairman of Business in the Community since 2000.
In addition to being a Church Commissioner, he is Chairman of Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance and a trustee of St Paul's Cathedral Foundation. Registered blind in 1991, John chaired Action for Blind people and Vitalise until 2010. He is President of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and also chairs the Essex Community Foundation, Harlow Renaissance Ltd and the Spicerhaart Group. In 1999, he was awarded the MBE for services to the community and in 2006 the OBE for services to charity. He is honoured for his ongoing services to business, the Church and the community.
"Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for John Spence OBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Education.
John Spence OBE is Deputy Lieutenant of Essex.
As well as being a pillar of the community, he is a church commissioner, lay Canon and a champion for the disabled.
Born in Edinburgh in 1951, John was a true scholar. His education spanned George Watson's College, Edinburgh; Trinity College, Dublin; and Harvard Business School. His business school training prepared him for a top flight career in management and leadership within the banking sector.
He joined Lloyds TSB and excelled in every area of the business for a career that spanned 32 years, from 1973 to 2005.
Senior appointments he held during that time included Managing Director of Business Banking and Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland. As Managing Director of Retail Distribution his area of responsibility encompassed UK branch networks, ATMs, telephony and internet banking. He finally took charge of management of policy co-ordination and risk where he forged industry wide solutions on key issues.
John has been Deputy Chairman of Business in the Community since 2000.
Business in the Community is a membership organisation that mobilises business for good. It is one of The Prince's Charities which inspires, engages, supports and challenges its member companies to improve their impact on society. The organisation works across four impact areas - workplace, marketplace, environment and community. As Deputy Chairman of the organisation, John finds himself leading on two major campaigns: tackling climate change; and developing the talent and skills of the existing and future workforce.
On a more local level, John Spence also chairs Harlow Renaissance Limited which is developing innovative growth opportunities and renewal programmes for the town of Harlow.
In addition to his continuing role within business, he plays a major role within the church. As well as being a Church Commissioner, he is Finance Chairman at Chelmsford Cathedral and a Trustee of St Paul's Cathedral Foundation.
Registered blind in 1991, John has chosen not to slow the pace. Instead he has dedicated his boundless energy to chairing two charities now very close to his heart - Blind in Business and Vitalise.
Blind in Business is a charity which operates across the United Kingdom. It helps blind and partially sighted students into work by providing training and employment services. Its aim is to encourage the people it helps to make their careers fly to achieve their aims and ambitions.
Vitalise is a national charity providing much-needed short breaks and other services for disabled people, visually impaired people and carers. The organisation shares John's very strong belief that disabled people should have the same rights, freedoms, responsibilities and quality as life as those without disabilities.
The list of John's services to the voluntary sector is almost unending. He is also President of Enable Scotland, a charity that campaigns for a better life for children and adults with learning disabilities. It supports them and their families to live, work and take part in our communities.
He engages in the support of many other similar organisations.
In addition, to this very special focus, he also finds time to support other causes and interests.
He is President of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland which operates both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highlands Wildlife Charity Park. One of Scotland's foremost conservation and research charities, it combines providing continuing care to animals, with reaching out to schools and organisations throughout Scotland and implementing vital conservation projects across three continents of the world.
In 1999, he was awarded the MBE for services to the community, and in 2006 the OBE for services to charity.
For his unflagging services to business, the church and the community, we would like to honour him today. Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present John Spence OBE for the award of Doctor of Education, honoris causa."