Our Pioneers are the award-winning, recruitment leaders and entrepreneurs who are investing their time, skills and money to make OPERA possible.

Darren Ryemill
Opus Professional Services Group CEO

"Life is all about opportunity. It's about taking those that are given to us, but more importantly it's about creating opportunities for others. For me, Opera embodies that spirit. Giving young people a chance, young people that need hope and the opportunity to improve their lives through work. I cannot start to describe how proud I am to be a Founding Pioneer."

Tom Glanfield
CEO, LHi Group

"Tom founded his first business, Lawrence Harvey, in 2002 with a modest graduate loan and the goal of becoming one of the leading recruitment brands across the UK. Now, LHi Group (encompassing four non-competing specialist brands) is an international, award winning company. Tom, RI’s Entrepreneur of The Year 2015 and 2016, continues to grow his business with the same passion he had as a graduate. Becoming a Founding Pioneer of Opera is realising one of his dreams, to give other young people the opportunity and support to achieve great things."

Simon La Fosse
Founder & CEO, La Fosse Associates

"Prior to setting up my own company I was part of the executive team that grew a technology recruitment business from a team of 30 to a listed, international business of over 500 people with a market cap at peak of £250M. In 2007 I left to start La Fosse Associates to fulfill a long held belief that there was a need in the market for a full service, values based technology, digital, and change recruiter working at all levels from the board down, on a permanent, contract, interim and executive search basis."

Logan Naidu
CEO Dartmouth Partners

"Founder and CEO of Dartmouth Partners. A notable track record in recruiting across financial services but with a particular focus on M&A and Private Equity. Whilst running the firm from a strategic perspective, I continue to be very actively involved in execution."

Mark Baker
MD, Claremont Consulting

"I have a passion for trying to help young people either find or keep themselves in employment. I'm a volunteer Enterprise Adviser for the Mayor of London's Careers & Enterprise programme and becoming a founder member of Opera was a natural extension to this."

Chris Hunter
CEO, Ringham Hunter

"We believe in people fulfilling their true potential. Opera allows us to share our skills and experience to shape the future of the next generation regardless of background, giving them a platform and the opportunity to succeed."

Phil Ridgwell
MD, Core Atlantic

"My goal at work is to help. To help people find work, to help clients find staff. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason I can't help elsewhere too. This is why I do it."

Michael Whitfield
Co-Founder & CEO, Thomson Online Benefits

“I founded Thomsons Online Benefits 17 years ago and today it is the world’s leading employee engagement software company, servicing the needs of the world’s biggest companies and best known brands. To get us to where we are today, we have consistently hired, nurtured and grown young talent to help them maximise their ability and potential. There is no doubt in my mind that recruiting young talent can significantly improve company performance, and that is why I want to support Esther and her Opera team with their exciting vision”

Jason Uppal
Co-Founder, TeacherActive

Paul Huntingdon
Co-Founder, Serocor Solutions

I am a firm believer that any body can achieve anything in life with the right attitude, support and conviction. Opera is a fantastic charity that provides exactly this and truly helps to kick start people's lives. It is a pleasure and an honour to be associated with such a wonderful organisation