BritWeek Logo


Platinum Sponsor Jaguar

BritWeek2012 Board of Directors

Meet our dynamic Board of Directors, who work tirelessly to plan and oversee BritWeek’s myriad of activities.

Click names to read bios

Honorary Board

Bob PeirceBOB PEIRCE (Chairman) served as British Consul General in Los Angeles from June 2005 until July 2009. Prior to this appointment, he was head of the Political and Public Affairs sections of the British Embassy in Washington.

Raised in Britain and South Africa, Bob Peirce was educated at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University, where he earned a BA and MA in Modern History. Subsequently he studied Chinese at Cambridge University.

Bob joined the British Diplomatic Service in 1977 and has worked in a number of key positions, serving in China and Hong Kong, at the United Nations in New York and in Uganda. He was Private Secretary to three British Foreign Secretaries (equivalent of the US Secretary of State): Sir Geoffrey Howe, Sir John Major and Lord Douglas Hurd.

Twice a member of the Hong Kong Government (in the 1980s and again in the 1990s), from 1993 to 1997 Bob was the Secretary responsible for Hong Kong's external affairs under Governor Chris Patten. For most of the period from 1979 to 1997, he was directly involved in the negotiations with China that culminated in the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

Under Chris Patten's chairmanship, Bob Peirce was the Chief Executive of the 1998 Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland. He drafted the 1999 report, which formed the basis of policing reforms in Northern Ireland following the 1998 peace agreement. It has been hailed by policing experts around the world as a seminal document for policing in a democratic society as well as a template for policing in divided societies.

In 1999, Bob became head of Political and Public Affairs at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. While in that position, Bob introduced a number of initiatives, including the development of close links between police departments in the UK and the US, sharing best practice exchanges on all aspects of policing, from forensic DNA to public order policing to counter-terrorism.

In 2006, Bob organized the first ever visit by a British Prime Minister to Los Angeles, which included a historic agreement on clean energy between the UK and California governments, signed by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2007, together with Nigel Lythgoe, Bob Peirce introduced BritWeek to Los Angeles.

Back to top

Fiona FrancoisFIONA FRANCOIS is the Consul and Director for the West Coast of the UK Trade and Investment US Network. Based at the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles, Fiona manages the Trade and Investment teams in Los Angeles and San Francisco. These teams advise US companies looking to expand their operations in Europe and support UK companies doing business in the US, focusing on Biopharma, Clean Technology, Information Technology, Financial Services, Aerospace and Creative Industries sectors.

Prior to joining the British Consulate-General, Fiona worked for a number of Government Departments in London and Edinburgh, including The Department for Business Innovation and Skills, HM Treasury, and the Scottish Executive. She has an extensive policy background in research funding, trade policy, and environmental legislation.

Fiona holds a BA (Honours) in Social Sciences (Economics, Politics and Sociology) from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. She is originally from North Yorkshire, England and is accompanied in LA by her husband Eric and son Harry.

Back to top

Christopher Guy HarrisonInternationally renowned furnishings designer and manufacturer CHRISTOPHER GUY HARRISON was born in Britain, raised in Spain and France, and now resides mainly in Singapore. Britweek 2012 sees the exciting opening of two major Christopher Guy stores in LA and NY, adding to a long global list that stretches from Shanghai to Moscow, Sydney to Milan, and Paris to London’s famous Harrods department store.

Christopher’s eye for details, passion for design and ability to capture and reflect a distinctively classic yet contemporary mood has ensured that the Christopher Guy brand remains at the forefront of luxury furnishings. The core values of elegance, sophistication and refinement are encapsulated in each uniquely hand-carved decorative piece, redefining trends and appealing to international audiences. Christopher Guy furnishings have graced the residences of countless Hollywood celebrities, major film sets, and the lobbies of luxury hotels and resorts around the globe, and remains a proud associate of the Anglo-American Britweek community in LA.

Back to top

Michael KryclerMICHAEL J. KRYCLER (Treasurer) is a Certified Public Accountant and a Founding Partner of Krycler, Ervin, Taubman & Walheim in Sherman Oaks, California. Educated in London, England at the City of London College, he was licensed as a Chartered Accountant in 1974. He has been licensed as a CPA in California since 1981.

The firm of Krycler, Ervin, Taubman & Walheim offers all accounting services and specializes in litigation support matters, including family law. They also provide appraisal of tangible and intangible business assets, expert witness services and full-service corporate accounting.

A public speaker and author of articles relating to litigation support, forensic accounting and tax matters, Michael Krycler often appears as an expert appraiser and witness before the Superior Court in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Bernardino Counties. He has been involved in over 1,000 litigation and family law matters, including appointments as joint and §730 Expert.

Michael Krycler is a Board Member of the British American Business Council, Los Angeles, and an Associate member of The Beverly Hills, San Fernando Valley and Los Angles County Bar Associations.

Krycler, Ervin, Schreiber & Walheim are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (including their SEC Practice Section and Taxation Division) as well as the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. They are also the official sponsors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association.

Back to top

Danny Lopez DANNY LOPEZ is British Consul-General, New York and Director-General, Trade & Investment USA. He was appointed Consul-General in July 2011 and has responsibility for promoting the UK’s economic profile, foreign policy and national security priorities in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut's Fairfield County. He is on the Board of UK Trade & Investment, the foreign commercial arm of the UK Government, and leads its operations across the USA.

Prior to joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Danny enjoyed a varied career in the UK’s public and private sectors. From 2009 to 2011, he worked for the London Development Agency, the Mayor of London’s economic development arm, as Group Director for Business Support and Promotion. During this time, he was responsible for creating London & Partners, the UK capital’s promotional agency for business, visitors and students, and was its inaugural CEO.

From 2006 to 2009, Danny was Managing Director, Marketing & Communications at UK Trade & Investment, where he was responsible for delivering a new marketing strategy to promote and showcase the UK economy internationally. Previously, he worked for ten years at Barclays Bank, where he held a number of senior international positions, including Director of Business Banking USA in New York, Head of Inward Investment in London and Business Development Director in India.

Danny holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and a Masters in International Economics and Finance from the University of Essex. He is recently engaged to his Australian fiancee Susan and is a big fan of running, tennis, football (soccer!) and Formula 1.

Back to top

Sharon Harroun PeirceSHARON HARROUN PEIRCE has extensive experience in business development, leadership education, post-conflict reconciliation, event management and fund-raising.

Educated in Virginia and Georgia, Sharon began her career as a teacher and also worked in the fashion industry. In 1982, she co-founded an award winning advertising and public relations agency, where for fifteen years she took the lead on business development and handling client relationships. Later, she helped the City of Londonderry in Northern Ireland with its business development objectives in the US, and also worked with UK-based Churchill Leadership, a company headed by Winston Churchill's granddaughter.

For sixteen years, Sharon was actively involved with the Children's Friendship Project for Northern Ireland (a non-profit organization that brought together teens from two factions of a divided country), serving as a board member, regional coordinator, host parent and from 2002 to 2004 as Chairman. Committed to peace building in Northern Ireland, she also took an active role in networking with national and local governments, politicians, officials, community and business leaders, academics, non-profits and other organizations in the US, UK, Ireland and Northern Ireland. She was on the organizing committee of the 1998 Vital Voices conference in Belfast, which promoted the role of women in leadership, and in 1999 brokered a training partnership between the Marriott Corporation and the Northern Ireland Department of Training and Labour. In 2007, she was a featured speaker at a University of Southern California conference, which focused on the role of unofficial diplomacy in building peace in Northern Ireland.

In 2000, in recognition of her contributions in Northern Ireland, Sharon was one of only 32 recipients of the US State Department's Millennium International Volunteer Award for outstanding achievement in the voluntary sector. Sharon's other voluntary work has included founding and directing an ESL (English as a Second Language) program in Herndon, Virginia. A longtime active member of the Rotary Club, in 2005 she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship of Rotary for her extraordinary contribution to community work in that state.

Since her husband's 2005 appointment as British Consul General in Los Angeles, Sharon has played an active role in Southern California business, charitable and youth programs, coordinating numerous business development, fundraising and other events for the Consulate and other organizations. She is a governing board member of LA's BEST, an after school program for 30,000 school children in the most challenged neighborhoods of Greater Los Angeles. She has been instrumental in involving many British and American companies, organizations and celebrities in the work of LA's BEST.

Back to top

Neil Stiles As President of Variety, Inc.,NEIL STILES is responsible for the global business operations of the Variety franchise, including Variety, Daily Variety, Daily Variety Gotham and Additionally, he oversees MarketCast, the leading provider of marketing research for the film and television industries.

A native of Great Britain, Neil has more than 30 years of experience in the magazine industry, beginning as a music industry journalist in the mid-1970s and moving into sales management positions throughout the 1980s.

Before joining the Variety team in 2008, Neil played a large role in the success of sister company Reed Business Information- UK. As Division Managing Director, he oversaw a number of online initiatives, including eMedia, an online marketing business, and XpertHR, the UK’s leading online human resources tool. In addition, he managed the print and electronic portfolios of more than two dozen products including Personnel Today, Hairdressers Journal, Travel Weekly, Commercial Motor, Motor Transport, Truck and Driver and Utility Week. He also served as Chief Revenue Officer and was responsible for pricing consulting internally, as well as launching the division’s digital advertising network.

Since moving to Los Angeles almost two years ago, Neil has joined the Boards of LA’s BEST, an after school enrichment program, and BritWeek, a charitable organization celebrating British contributions to the Los Angeles community. He has a judged a number of awards including the One Show Awards, a celebration of product integration within programming, and the LARC Awards, a recognition of innovation within the Los Angeles Urban landscape. He speaks frequently at conferences on the issues of changing revenue models in democratized distribution channels and pricing in the online space. Neil is also a member of British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles.

Back to top

Barry WaldoBARRY WALDO is a tenured global brand management and entertainment executive with broad experience in creating, expanding and marketing brands through innovative strategic partnerships, social media and content creation. He has held leadership positions at the world's best brand marketing companies, including Procter & Gamble, The Walt Disney Company and Mattel, Inc.

As Mattel's Vice President and Executive Producer of Worldwide Entertainment, Barry was responsible for a variety of programs extending multiple brands worldwide, as well as into feature films and television animation. During his tenure, he managed multi-million dollar deals and world-class partners, propelling top-rated brand Barbie to twelve number one charted movies, the first-ever Barbie Live touring stage show and top charted album releases.

Prior to joining Mattel, Barry was Director of Global Marketing for Disney Consumer Products, responsible for powerful television properties such as ESPN, X Games, Lizzie McGuire and Power Rangers, as well as infant and preschool brands, including Winnie the Pooh, Disney's largest worldwide franchise. Previously, he was Vice President of the internet startup, where he was responsible for marketing, advertising and consumer research. His post-MBA career began at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, where he was in brand and retail management for several beauty and healthcare brands.

Barry graduated from the prestigious University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA concentrating in international marketing, cross cultural relationship management and economics, and also attended The Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden. He is a CPA and was a consultant for Ernst & Young prior to graduate school. He proudly serves as a governing board member of LA's Best, the afterschool enrichment program dedicated to improving the lives of school children in Los Angeles.

Back to top

Paul J. Wright, Esq.PAUL J. WRIGHT, ESQ. (General Consul) is an English Barrister and California Attorney. In 1990, he formed Paul J. Wright & Associates, a law firm specializing in domestic and international transactional and litigation matters. He has successfully represented many companies and individuals in the business, entertainment and real estate communities.

In 2001, Paul was appointed as a Special Master by the State Bar of California and in 2002 was appointed Judge Pro Tempore by the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 2003, he founded the Malibu-based International Mediation and Arbitration Center (IMAC) and formed an association with London-based A Commercial Initiative for Dispute Resolution in order to provide a panel of international mediators and arbitrators.

Paul was the Chair and Moderator of the 2007 British American Business Council Transatlantic Conference on the Future of the Entertainment and New Media Industries. In 2008 he formed InternationalEsq, which co-presents the Variety Media & Entertainment Law Series featuring Round Table discussions on cutting edge legal and entertainment-related issues.

The former President and Chairman of the British American Business Council Los Angeles, Paul currently serves on its Board. He is on the Faculty of Touro University, is extensively consulted on legal and business matters and has been a speaker in a number of distinguished international forums.

Back to top

Simon WrightSIMON WRIGHT, a founding member and director of BritWeek, hails from Cambridge, England and is the former Chief Executive Officer for Virgin Entertainment Group International based in North America. More recently he has set up his own business in Los Angeles focusing on UK and US market entry planning for international brands and retail start ups investments with clients across the UK, USA and Australia.

Simon was with the Virgin Group of Companies for twenty years, holding a variety of senior positions, including Managing Director of Virgin Retail UK and Group CFO for Virgin Entertainment International before becoming Chief Executive. In addition, he was Chairman of Virgin Cinemas in both the UK and Japan. Since the late nineties, he has been a regular visitor to Los Angeles and California, and from 2006 it has been his home town.

Simon's record in the retail and music sectors is impressive. The former President of GERA (Global Entertainment Retailers Association), he has also been a member of the UK Government Retail Task Force. He is a member of the UK Music Hall of Fame Committee, has served on the Board of The Official Charts Company (the organization responsible for compiling The Official Music Charts in the UK) and has also held a number of non-executive directorships.

Back to top

Nigel LythgoeBritish-born NIGEL LYTHGOE (Founder) is one of the most respected talents in the World of Television. He has a host of major credits, including executive producer of the acclaimed American Idol.

Nigel began his career as a dancer in 1968 with the British song and dance group The Young Generation, and in 1971 became its choreographer. In this capacity he choreographed over 500 shows in the UK and Europe, working with such stars as Bing Crosby, Chita Rivera, Ben Vereen, Cyd Charisse, the Muppets and the incredible Gene Kelly.

In 1989, Nigel became a television Producer/Director and brought American Gladiators to the UK. The show soon became a major success for London Weekend Television, for which Nigel became Controller of Entertainment and Comedy in 1996. In 2000, he produced and became a Judge on the British version of Popstars, and was so tough with the contestants that the tabloid press named him Nasty Nigel!

In 2001, Nigel was invited to join Simon Fuller's 19 Television as President to develop Fuller's concept of Idol. The show became an instant hit on British television and later around the World. In 2007, a charity spin-off Idol Gives Back raised $76M for charities both here and in Africa, and won the Governors Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Nigel went on to co-create and exec-produce So You Think You Can Dance, returning in front of the cameras as a resident judge. The show has picked up 3 Emmy Awards for its Choreography. In 2007, he created BritWeek to celebrate British talent here in Los Angeles. He is Chairman of BAFTA/LA and is also a board member of LA's Best, the Mayor's after school enrichment program. Nigel has two sons and four grandchildren.

Back to top

Peter AsherLondon-born PETER ASHER was educated at Westminster School in London and at Kings College, London University, where he studied philosophy. He first entered the world of performing arts in 1952, when at age eight he starred opposite Claudette Colbert and Jack Hawkins in The Planter's Wife. He went on to act extensively in various film, TV, radio and stage productions.

Peter Asher's legendary music career began in 1964 as one-half of the singing duo Peter & Gordon, who amassed nine Top 20 records (three of them Gold) during their career. In 1968, he became head of A&R for the Beatles newly formed record company, Apple Records, where he worked closely with the Beatles and also discovered James Taylor. Asher became a key figure in the revolution of The Sixties, and also founded Indica, the book shop and art gallery where John and Yoko met and where Allen Ginsberg and William Boroughs visited.

In 1971, Peter moved to the US and founded Peter Asher Management, representing James Taylor. This company became one of the most successful Artist Management firms in the US, subsequently handling numerous recording artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman and Carole King.

In February 1995, Peter Asher was named Senior Vice President, Sony Music Entertainment, and in 2002 returned full time to managing artists' careers as co-President (and later President) of Sanctuary Artist Management. In 2007, he joined forces with his good friend Simon Renshaw at Strategic Artist Management. Strategic has grown into a dominant force in the entertainment industry, managing major artists in music and many other fields of endeavor.

As a producer, Peter has worked with such diverse artists as James Taylor, 10,000 Maniacs, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt, Cher, Morrissey, Robin Williams, Robbie Williams, Elvis Costello, Jane Monheit, Kenny Loggins, Dan Fogelberg, Heart, The Dixie Chicks and Billy Joel, among many others. He has been awarded 37 RIAA-certified Gold Albums and 22 Platinum Albums in the US, and many more internationally. He has produced twelve Grammy Award-winning recordings and was honored with the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year in 1977 and 1989. He has also received various international awards, is a member of Mensa, and has been a frequent keynote speaker at industry events.

After a 37 year gap, Peter & Gordon reunited in New York for a benefit concert in 2005. They performed together again with pleasure on special occasions until Gordon's passing in July, 2009.