Character File: Jennie Price
After six years heading up the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), Jennie Price has decided to turn her talents to shaping the country at Sport England. She reflects on her time at WRAP for Resource readers.
Name: Jennie Price
Occupation: Chief Executive, WRAP
Lives: Gaydon, Warwickshire
Education: Newport Girls High School; Law degree (LLB) Kings College, London; Bar finals, Inns of Court School of Law; now a Visiting Fellow at the Cranfield School of Management.
Route to present job: Fifteen years in the construction industry, initially as a lawyer, latterly as a public affairs specialist and trade association Chief Executive. Immediately before joining WRAP as Chief Executive at the end of 2000, I was Chief Executive of the Major Contractors Group, which represented the top 20 construction companies to government, and then Chief Executive of the Construction Confederation, which represented contractors of all sizes. Not a conventional route into recycling, but I had had plenty of experience of working to change a fairly conventional industry, and had undertaken some very complex commercial negotiations. I had also worked closely with Defra, because it was the sponsoring department for construction for a number of years.
Main benefit of job: The chance to be involved in a key area of the environmental agenda at a time when it is going through such a fundamental change, and working with some great people.
Main disadvantage: Apart from the long hours (which is mostly my own fault) and a few torrid moments with the national press, I honestly can’t think of one.
Future hopes and ambitions: I am very happy working in that slightly grey area between the public and private sectors, and can’t imagine going back into a purely commercial environment. I would like whatever I do in the future to have some sort of social and/or environmental benefit. I would also really like to work abroad at some stage in my career.
Advice to others: One of the best pieces of advice I was given when I got my first CEO’s job was that the people who work for you will watch you all the time, and take their lead from how you behave, as much as from what you say. It took a while for me to appreciate just how right he was.