Raymond Michael Sutherland, the third child of Captain and Mrs Charles Sutherland, grew up in Leicester. Ray was educated at Leicester’s Burlington House and DeMontfort High School and intended to follow his father and brother (who was also a captain by his mid-twenties) in a career in the Navy. His love of the sea came from travelling with his family on board his father’s ship during school holidays when they visited local continental ports such as Hamburg, Bremen and Antwerp. He also visited countries further afield, with the last trip in 1961 being through the Kiel Canal into the Baltic to Gdynia in Poland.
His initial employment was to be at the Head Office of Joseph Frisby Ltd, a Multiple Footwear Retailer, based in Leicester. Ray started as trainee, in all
areas of the business covering complaints, shoe buying, administration, display and advertising. He progressed through a number of executive positions including Display and Advertising Manager based at head office, Area Sales Manager for Devon and Cornwall and subsequently for the Midland and Northwest. During his time with the company Ray had opportunities to study and develop his business knowledge and skills and attended many management training courses including residential courses at Ashridge Management College.
While working at Head office Ray met his future wife Frances whilst he was holidaying in Jersey. They married in 1977 and Ray was offered a change in career after 15 years at head office and moved with Frisbys to manage the Devon and Cornwall Area. In 1980 he was offered a move to run the larger Midlands and Northwest division which meant a move to Derrington. Ray stayed with the company after it was acquired in 1983 by Ward White plc. but the business closed in
1986. With redundancy, Ray decided to try his hand at other careers including his own retail business, and property
Finance was an area Ray had always been interested and in 1991 he decided to return to employed work as he missed the employed working environment. Within a few years of joining Reliance Mutual Assurance Company at its business centre in Walsall, Ray had an excellent understanding of the business including governance issues and was promoted to a Business Centre Development Manager in Salford,
Manchester. He also became part of a specialised team moving into
business centres where there were issues with Compliance, Training and
In 1999 Ray decided to open Beresford Sutherland Associates an Independent Financial Advisory business which, after developing, he sold and subsequently retired in 2005.
He is actively involved in the village of Derrington and has supported many local charities utilising his business life skills to advantage. He served as
Chairman of Derrington Social Club for ten years, as Treasurer of Derrington Village Hall for nine years and continues as a Holding Trustee.
He was elected as a Borough Councillor in 2003 and has served on numerous Borough Council Committees and external boards, holding the position of Chairman of the Planning Committee for four years and most recently completing seven years as Chairman of the Sow and Penk Internal Drainage Board.
Ray has a son and a daughter, 3 granddaughters and 4 great grandchildren and likes nothing better than spending time with his family.
Ray is looking forward to playing an active role as Mayor of Stafford Borough in this 400th anniversary year.
This year the Mayor's Charity Appeal will be in support of Katharine House, Stone and Stafford Guide Dogs for the Blind and SSAFA.
Frances Anne Sutherland SRN; SCM; RHV; BSc (Hons); Post Grad cert; the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs John Allison comes from Buckinghamshire.
Frances trained to be a nurse in Jersey in the 1970s and was awarded their “Nurse of the Year” in 1975. It was in Jersey that she met Ray whilst he was on holiday. After completing her general nurse training Frances followed Ray to Leicester where she undertook her midwifery training. Frances married Ray in 1977 just before he was moved by his company down to the West Country. Whilst there Frances was offered a post in a small community hospital where she could utilise all her skills - delivering babies, stitching up wounds and looking after a ward of patients all at the same time! They don’t have hospitals like that these days!
Frances moved with Ray from Devon to Stafford in 1980 where she worked at Burton House as a midwife. It was at this local midwifery unit that she delivered many Stafford babies! In 1982 she decided to undertake her health visitor training at Keele University. After a few years working as a health visitor in Cannock, Frances was offered a job closer to home in Stafford and worked with local families for the next 20 years. Whilst working full time she studied for her BSc in Primary Healthcare at Wolverhampton University.
In the NHS reorganisation of 1999 and with the development of local commissioning, Frances became the nursing representative on the local Primary Care Group and then in 2002 on the Professional Executive Committee, and eventually was appointed to the Board of South Western Staffordshire Primary Care Trust. In 2003, Frances was awarded a “Queens Nursing Institute Award for Innovation” by creating, with another local nurse, a service to help people cope with anxiety and depression.
Frances’ next move in the NHS was into management where she provided expert advice regarding health visiting and then became the manager of district nurses in the Stafford and Stone area. With further reorganisation in the NHS in 2007, Frances was given the opportunity to move into commissioning. This move required more study and Frances attained a post graduate certificate in commissioning at the Thames Valley University in 2008. This role, whilst still in Staffordshire, was working with GPs in Lichfield and Tamworth. She presently holds the position of Head of Transformation for South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsula Clinical Commissioning Group.
Frances is passionate about her work and with her long career in the NHS, spanning over 42 years, has no intention of retiring soon.
In her free time she enjoys walking their three dogs and spending time with Ray and their family.