Meet Our New Board Members

The New Year Celebration & Annual General Meeting on 30th January saw the election of five new members to St. George’s Society’s Board of Directors

Furthermore, three standing Directors, Marc Walby, David Drinkwater and Cliff Franklin were elected to serve as Officers on the Executive Committee and Philip Warner OBE was appointed President for an additional year.

Mike Alltoft

Mike is the founder of Axiom3, a consulting company aimed at client business improvement from collaboration on strategy, operational excellence, complex projects, transformation or individual mentoring. His focus is on rapid end to end assessment and insight, enabling improvement programs to be defined and executed.

Prior to this, Mike spent considerable time in biopharmaceuticals manufacturing and R&D, operating in Europe, Asia and North America.

An Engineering & Applied Science graduate of Sussex University, with postgraduate study in Advanced Manufacturing Systems at Brunel University and a registered engineer, Mike also holds various professional certifications.

Originally from Kent in England, Mike is a keen cyclist, mountain biker, skier and golfer.

Why did you join St George's Society? I joined at the suggestion of the British Consulate for networking opportunities after returning to NYC in 2015. It’s a remarkable British community but I was hooked on the historical significance of the Society and its philanthropic focus. Joining the Board entering its 250th year is an honor.

What are you looking forward to as a Board member?  My first priority is engaging with Board members and Society leadership to understand the environment and issues the Society faces. Moving forward I am looking forward to exploring new ideas and being part of steering the Society on its continued journey.

What brought you to New York City? We moved to NYC in November 2000 for a work transfer. We lived in Manhattan and then the suburbs. Manhattan easily wins but cycling and golf were a lot easier in the suburbs! Other moves took us away before we returned in 2015.

Where’s your favorite place to take visitors in New York? Probably a British history tour of lower Manhattan followed by brunch. On a nice day, a walk through lesser known parts of Central Park or a walk down The High Line. A wet day is probably the NY Library, Grand Central and Guggenheim Museum.

What’s your favorite St. George’s Society event? My favorite event has to be the Scavenger Hunt because I created it with the team at Wildgoose.

Peter Bates

As President & Founder of Strategic Vision, Peter Bates designs and implements targeted campaigns to build the profile and revenue for luxury brand leaders.

Throughout his global sales and marketing career, Peter has served in a variety of roles, including senior executive and board positions with Cunard Line in the U.S., Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Hong Kong and the Savoy Group of Hotels in London. He was responsible for the re-branding of over 100 hotels throughout the U.K. under the Thistle Hotels brand and, earlier in his career, re-launched Scotland’s famous Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.

Based in New York, Peter consults throughout the world with many well-known brands in the luxury marketplace, including publications, hotels, resorts and destinations. He is sought after for providing strategic business solutions, repositioning brands to meet today’s marketplace, and facilitating change to drive sales.

Why did you join St. George’s Society? I was looking to the next step in my spare time having served on the Vestry of our local church for the past six years.

What are you looking forward to as a Board Member? Making the 250th Anniversary in 2020 a huge success and assisting to build the profile of the Society using this important anniversary as a foundation.

What brought you to New York City? Work. I was asked to come to New York to head up the cruise line Cunard for three years. That was 24 years ago!

Where’s your favorite place to take visitors/tourists in New York? A walk down Fifth Avenue late at night when the traffic is light and you can admire the buildings. It still sends shivers down my spine. When I first arrived my office was at 46th and Fifth. The avenue is important to me and I am not a retailer!

What’s your favorite St. George’s Society event? I haven’t quite decided yet.

Wendy Mendenhall

Wendy is a senior business executive who served as Global Executive in Charge and Managing Director for BritishAmerican Business (BAB). She was part of the executive management team who founded BAB in 2000 after a merger of two organizations. During her tenure of almost 18 years, she held various leadership roles at BAB, managing all aspects of operations, business development, strategic partnerships, membership, marketing and communications and fundraising in addition to advising B2B and B2C Fortune-500 corporations and start-ups on strategic marketing, business intelligence, and regulatory advisory services.

Currently, she is President of Grandview Advisors, Inc and consults for foundations, non-profit organizations and small businesses. Ms. Mendenhall also serves on the Board of the Women’s Forum of New York and actively participates in OUT Leadership’s Quorum.

Wendy holds a B.S. in Business and Organizational Communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. When not in New York, London or elsewhere, you can find Wendy enjoying the magnificent Rocky Mountains in Big Sky, Montana.

Why did you join St. George’s Society? For the past 249 years St. George's Society has made a deep and lasting impact, helping those who really need it; whether it be money towards bills or educational assistance. The Society has a volunteer core with a big big heart. Their generosity is contagious.

What are you looking forward to as a Board Member? Serving alongside an esteemed group of fellow Board Members and bringing my passion to seeing the Society grow and thrive, especially as we are preparing for our 250th Anniversary.

What brought you to New York City? Growing up in rural Pennsylvania then having gone to college in Boston and Los Angeles, I decided I needed to try out New York City. I arrived in 1993 and have stayed ever since!

Where’s your favorite place to take visitors/tourists in New York?The Rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum--in warmer weather of course.

What’s your favorite St. George’s Society event? The British Bash!

Jean Savage

Jean is retired from Cox Reps as an Accounting Manager. Her nonprofit volunteer experiences include being a past Vice President of The Church Club of New York and Co-Chair of their annual dinner for the last 6 years. She is a Commander in The Order of St. John Priory in the US and has co-chaired the last two investitures in New York and worked on the New York Regional Committee. She is also a member of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, where she serves as the Soup Kitchen's Food Coordinator and Manager of the bookstore and gift shop.

Why did you join St. George’s Society? I joined St. George’s Society 16 years ago because members of other organizations I belonged to were also involved. I liked that the Society was an old established organization as well as its mission and many events.

What are you looking forward to as a Board Member? I am looking forward to helping make the Society's 250th anniversary a success.

What brought you to New York City? The company I worked for in San Francisco moved my position and department back to their corporate office in New York. Having worked in New York previously and growing up in the suburbs, I decided to return to the city to find new opportunities.

Where’s your favorite place to take visitors in New York? My favorite place to take visitors is to downtown Manhattan.

What’s your favorite St. George’s Society event? There are many great events but my favorites are the Societies' Garden Party and the English Ball.


Alastair Standing

Alastair was born in Manchester and grew up in the Thames Valley before attending architectural schools in London. The late Dame Zaha Hadid was his teacher and later an employer. Curiosity brought him to NYC over 30 years ago. He is registered to practice architecture in the UK and the US and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects, respectively. Alastair founded Standing Architecture in the nineties, an award-winning practice with work published around the world. He taught architecture for 10 years while developing the business and raising his first son. He has just become a father once more.

Why did you join St. George’s Society? After spending a short lifetime assimilating here I wanted to spend more time immersed in my native culture. I had heard that St Georges Society attracted Brits (which it does) and so far it has been a very rewarding experience.

What are you looking forward to as a Board Member? I’m looking forward to contributing to the Society in a broader way and to getting to know more of our community.

What brought you to New York City? As a curious 20-something, I was looking for somewhere more gritty and dangerous than London in the mid-eighties. I was not disappointed... although NYC has become more benign since then thankfully.

Where’s your favorite place to take visitors in New York? Central Park. It is an incredible piece of design who’s inspiration came from the English Landscape Painting movement of the 18th century and the gardens of Capability Brown.

What’s your favorite St. George’s Society event? It's hard to choose. I went to nearly all the events in my first year as a member and I enjoy the way the varied events attract different groups of the community. But if I had to pick one, it would be the English Ball.