Our people

Our executives

Dr Sabine Dembkowski

Founder and Managing Partner

Dr Sabine Dembkowski is a trusted board advisor who has worked with and alongside companies listed on the FTSE and DAX, global organisations and leading Private Equity and Professional Service firms. Her research into board effectiveness has been peer-reviewed and published internationally.

With a PhD in business management Dr Sabine has established two successful businesses, The Coaching Centre and Better Boards. Alongside her academic qualifications and business acumen, Sabine is also a trained Executive Coach and certified to perform a wide range of psychometric tests.

In her own words she is “Driven by a passion to get down to the nuts and bolts and create real, long-lasting change in organisations”

Alan Connolly

Chief Product Technology Officer (CPTO)

Alan Connolly is an experienced leader in product and technology development. With over 18 years experience in the sector, he has helped grow businesses from start-ups to global groups. This enabled him to work across multiple markets including the UK, Germany, Australia and US, with different local approaches.

His previous posts have also exposed him to multiple technologies and software languages, enabling him to develop quick problem solving skills and the ability to lead large, agile, multi discipline development teams, resulting in user focused software products.

Alan strongly believes that simple and intuitive technology is the key to building successful businesses and keeping customers happy. Which is precisely what he aims to deliver for Better Boards.

Our advisory board

Carolyn Ferguson FCIS

Non-Executive Director

Carolyn Ferguson is Group Company Secretary of The Go-Ahead Group plc, with over 19 years of board governance and pensions experience. She became a Non-Executive Director of Better Boards due to her belief in the unique data-driven approach of Better Boards, that puts development of the board at the heart of the process and equips them to deal with whatever challenges they may face.

Carolyn has a proven track record of working with boards to the highest of ethical and professional standards, supported by robust corporate governance principles.

A qualified coach and mentor, Carolyn is also a member of ICSA’s Mentoring Community, where she supports students as they go through their professional qualifications

Mike Mahoney

Mike Mahoney is an experienced advisor to Non-Executive Directors and C-Suite executives in the United States and Europe.

For 10 years he served as a partner at Tapestry Networks, where he developed and led the highest-rated programs for Non-Executive Directors of the largest US and European companies. He conceived and delivered a large-scale research project on the realities of leading European audit committees that was praised by the European Commission and European regulators. He co-authored with the University College Berkeley and a leading law firm a breakthrough framework to improve board capabilities in cybersecurity oversight.

Mike plans to leverage his skills in aligning leaders for effective corporate governance and improved relationships with key stakeholders to optimize board performance, solidify board leadership and strengthen board culture through the widespread adoption of the Better Boards platform.

Swantje Conrad

Swantje Conrad is a former investment banking executive with a corporate finance and capital markets background. Her NED portfolio spans public and private equity owned companies, large cap and mid-sized organisations in specialist finance and engineering in the U.K., Germany and Spain. She also held trustee positions with charitable visual arts organisations and the J.P. Morgan Chase EMEA foundation.

Swantje spent close to 30 years in client-facing roles at J.P. Morgan in London and Frankfurt across corporate finance/M&A, equity research and global capital markets, engaging at the C-suite level with corporates and investment management companies.

She brings to Better Boards her experience as an active board member with a strong focus on governance and efficient processes.

Chris Low

Chris Low is a leader in international banking, digital transformation, and risk management. With over 30 years of proven strategic delivery, he holds a Chartered Accountancy qualification and has worked in the UK, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Alongside his Advisory seat with Better Boards, Chris also advises HM Government on engaging with the UK banking sector in promoting trade and investment.

Currently he also sits on the board of Tier 1 Kenyan Bank and alongside several early-stage FinTechs advises them on strategy.

Chris aims to add value to Better Boards through transformational growth strategy, digital disruption, good governance, culture change and top team development.

Mark Runacres

Mark Runacres is an experienced businessman and diplomat who brings a wealth of experience in boards from both the public and private sectors.

His diplomatic career took him to New Delhi, Paris, and New York as well as several posts in London such as that with the Department of Trade and Industry.

Currently he serves as Non-executive Chair at the Sustainability Advisors, a partner at The Hearth Education Advisory and an Associate at The Ambassador Partnership. He is also serving as a Non-Executive Director and on the Advisory Boards of several other companies.

With this storied career Mark sees the essential nature of board evaluations and the advantage that Better Boards’ approach brings.

Our revolutionary approach to board evaluations works.