CAREERS: How I Got Here - Stephen Woodford, chairman, Changing Faces

What was your first job? I began my career as a marketing trainee at Nestle, after graduating in economics from City University.

What is your current job? I am chief executive of WCRS, an advertising agency, as well as chairman of Changing Faces. My first project with Changing Faces was to develop an ad campaign, featuring four Changing Faces clients who had dealt with major disfigurements. With the help of a lottery grant, we are planning to move to a new centre. There is a great deal of funding yet to raise, but the outlook for Changing Faces and the people it serves is very promising.

Roughly outline your career path? After two years at Nestle, I decided that advertising was where I wanted to be and moved to my first agency job. I still find the job totally absorbing 20 years later, and I have spent the past 10 years at my current agency, WCRS. If I were to sum up what we do, it is solve business problems with communications ideas.

My involvement with Changing Faces came through a brainstorming evening with Dianne Thompson, chief executive of Camelot. She asked me to help, because the charity was considering a small-scale advertising campaign. Shortly after this, James Partridge, the charity's CEO, asked me to become chairman of the board of trustees.

What training has most enhanced your career? The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising's senior management programme, which involved days of immersion in the issues that confront managing directors.

What is your advice to people starting out in this sector? Choose a sector or charity that you feel a personal empathy with, with people you like and admire.

Are there any other charities you support financially or with time? I support the NSPCC and our village fete.

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