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What people say about John


John is quite simply an inspiration. He has been responsible for improving the life chances of a vast number of young people who might otherwise have missed out on the chance to build a career for themselves. He is affable, committed and always positive and enthused about his role which makes working with him a very rewarding partnership.

Alan Thornburrow FRSA
Scotland Director at Business in the Community

John has been an outstanding S-G of the International Award Foundation, rebuilding its team and transforming the operating culture of the Award family around the world. He combines clear vision with determination and diplomacy, and is a passionate advocate of the Award’s work as a leader in shaping the non-formal education of young people.

Paul Bell
Principal at Bell Communications Consulting

John is an exceptional person. I never stop being surprised with his energy, vitality and determination with which he carries his massive responsibility. I am honoured to be associated with the Award Program and it gives me a great satisfaction to be able to work with John as its leader.

Jiri Zrust
Senior Managing Director at Macquarie Group

John May is not just my Secretary General but an inspiration, role model, motivator, friend, teacher – the list could go on. In my role with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, I have been afforded a front row seat to witness his out of the box leadership skills fuelled by a passion to be excellent at all he does. One day when it is noted in the history books about how John impacted young peoples lives for the better, I will smile with pride and tell those around me that I got the rare privilege to witness this extraordinary gentleman in action!

Twaambo Chikoye,
Zambia International Church of Christ Minister & National Director at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-Zambia

John is an outstanding personality, full of energy, enthusiasm and wit, who sets extremely high standards and always delivers on his promises. His passion for lifelong learning and long experience of working with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds make him a skilled and sensitive coach and manager. John is a natural and visionary leader who inspires others and helps them achieve their full potential.

Jacqueline Collier Jespersen, BSc, MA, MBA
Helping Businesses Build Valuable Brands

I have worked with John over a number of years on a variety of projects that require tact, diplomacy, cooperative working and just good old fashioned passion. John is engaging, positive and has a great desire to get things done. He has the ability to challenge the status quo in a positive and constructive manner. John is sensitive to differing cultures and customs and values those who offer left field solutions to established challenges

Simon Carter
Head of Media Relations and Internal Communications at the Scout Association

John is an inspiration, a strong leader and a world class expert in his field with a passion for non formal education and seeing the potential in young people. It has been a pleasure to have known and worked with John in a voluntary and professional capacity over a number of years. His ability to connect with people of all ages, from all walks of life makes him very special. A true gentlemen, he speaks from the heart and I always feel refreshed and re-invigorated after meeting him.

Caroline Ledger
Strategic Communications at Macmillan Cancer Support

I have always found John to be a person of passion and inspiration in the area of maximising potential. He is friendly, a strong communicator yet has a steely determination for achieving what is right for the development of others.  He has a partnership approach to his work and i was happy to utilise my own skills and expertise to help him achieve his vision for the work we were involved in and would be more than happy to do so again. I wholeheartedly recommend John to any individual or business!

Joel Blake OBE
Business Growth Strategist.

John May is a passionate, experienced, visionary leader. He has dedicated his career to helping others and making our world better. His work has positively impacted millions of young people around the world. It has been an honour to work with John.

Steve Kent
Chief Administrative Officer – City of Mount Pearl; community leader, volunteer, entrepreneur; former Deputy Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

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