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Our people

Passionate about the Sunflower

 

Our people are the driving force behind the success of Hidden Disabilities Sunflower and they are all passionate and dedicated about delivering our purpose to support people with hidden disabilities. We believe that everyone has a really important part to play and are an extremely collaborative team, constantly sharing ideas and experience.

How to get in touch

Whether you want to ask a question, enquire about your order or discuss joining the scheme, find out the best way to get it done by selecting the type of query it relates to below:

           

Become a global partner

We are always seeking global partners to manage the Sunflower in their country. If you are a disability advocate and activist and have the drive, determination and imagination to deliver the Sunflower in your region, we would love to hear from you:

  

 


Meet our people

 

Chantal Boyle

Chantal Boyle

Chantal is the Communications Manager at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower with responsibility for our social media channels. Chantal is also the Brand and Project Manager for the Please give me space initiative, a social distance awareness campaign created by Hidden Disabilities and the RNIB.

Prior to working at Hidden Disabilities, Chantal was a Corporate Responsibility Executive where she managed community and staff engagement for the shopping centre landlord, intu.

Giving a voice to people who aren’t always heard or seen by everyone, is important to Chantal. “Many of us can’t imagine what a day in the life of someone with a disability is like – through the work we're doing, here at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, we are educating both ourselves and others while increasing public awareness about the challenges that some people face.”

When Chantal isn't working she enjoys being with friends and family; dancing, smiling and laughing. Chantal is also a bit of a yogi!

Annette Cmela

Annette Cmela

Annette is the Head of Brand Marketing at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower. Annette is instrumental in the global development of the Sunflower brand and for the strategy behind our Sunflower marketing.  

Prior to Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, Annette served as Head of Brand and Design at Canaccord Genuity, a global financial services company.

Annette believes that thw world we live in should be accessible to everyne so that we can all fully participate and contribute without social, virtual, or environmental barriers. "Little things like an offer of help when you need it can make a huge difference and start to help break down obstacles to being able to pursue your dreams."

Outside of work, Annette enjoys spending time with her family and going for walks.

 


Kees Hoekstra

Kees Hoekstra 

Kees is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower representative for the Netherlands and Belgium.

Prior to working at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, Kees worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for 39 years. During his time there, Kees worked on several projects for people with ASD, the most notable being “Flying with autism”, an award-winning project to improve the procedures at airports and airlines for people with autism.

As a Senior Customer Care agent, Kees was confronted with the barriers people with non-visible disabilities face every day. In 2019 Kees introduced the Sunflower lanyard to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport and then to museums, public transport, supermarkets and other public places in the Netherlands. 

When Kees isn't working he loves to spend time with his two daughters, one of whom is diagnosed with ASD. Kees also enjoys walking and doing creative things with his daughters, like singing and drawing.

 

Rob Kelly

Rob Kelly

Rob is the Operations Manager at Hidden Disabilities and manages the company’s finances, operational systems and customer service desk.

Rob previously held management positions within the hospitality industry until eight years ago when he began working in finance, administration, and operations.

Being a part of the Hidden Disabilities team is important to Rob who firmly believes that people should not only be treated equally but given the opportunity and assistance needed to be equal. No one should be left out regardless of ability, gender, race, or culture.

When he's not keeping us up and running, Rob enjoys wild camping and playing sports including: rugby, football and golf. 

 


Stine Ringvig Marsal

Stine Ringvig Marsal

Stine is the regional Director and represents the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower in Denmark.

Stine introduced the Sunflower lanyard into Denmark in January 2020 when working as the Service Excellence Director for Copenhagen Airport.

Alongside Stine's work to spread awareness of the Sunflower in Denmark, she is an expert in Experience Management and service design. She owns the company, CXOmatic, which helps both large and small organisations optimise their customer experience. Stine is also director of the Experience Management Community, an online professional community.

Rebecca Mears

Rebecca Mears

Rebecca is the Customer Services Executive at Hidden Disabilities and deals with all of our customer enquiries ensuring queries, questions or issues are resolved.

Rebecca previously worked for a leading IT company in the escalations department. She has also worked in large businesses in the private sector handling a wide range of account, technical and legal queries.

Supporting people with non-visible disabilities is important to Rebecca as she has friends and family with hidden conditions which has caused her to appreciate the daily challenges they face. From a young age, Rebecca has helped support her mum who has a non-visible disability.

Outside of work Rebecca absolutely loves cooking for her friends, family and partner. Rebecca also enjoys walking in the countryside with her dog Toby, exploring and finding new and exciting places.


Ruth Rabet

Ruth Rabet 

Ruth Rabét is the Business Development Director at Hidden Disabilities. Her role is to raise Sunflower awareness among businesses and other organisations throughout the UK. Ruth is also responsible for the growing network of global airports that have adopted the Sunflower.

Prior to joining the Hidden Disabilities team, Ruth spent 35 years working in Aviation holding various roles in Airline Operations. Her final 5 years were spent managing the Assistance Team at Gatwick Airport, a role that would see her play an integral part in creating the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

Ruth recognises that having a hidden disability dramatically affects how people perform in everyday life and the nature of the disability makes it difficult for other people to recognise them. Therefore, the work that the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is doing, is so important to her.

When Ruth isn't banging the Hidden Disabilities drum, she can be found walking her dog Mille, or enjoying a meal out.

 

Paul Shriever

Paul Shriever

Paul Shriever is the Production and Moving Image Designer at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

Paul is the creator behind both our animations, which can be found across our social media channels and our training videos that we provide to organisations when they join the scheme. Paul is also the host and producer of the Sunflower Stories and Conversations. Paul previously worked at a number of award-winning brand consultancies Wolff Olins and The Clearing to name a few.

Working as part of the Sunflower team is important to Paul to improve public awareness and understanding of people living with non-visible disabilities.

When Paul isn't animating he can often be found cycling the Essex countryside and frequenting local coffee shops.

 


Rachel Solomon

Rachel Solomon 

Rachel Solomon is a PR and Communications Consultant. At Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Rachel looks after our media enquiries, copywriting, and marketing campaigns.

Before she was a freelance consultant, Rachel spent her marketing career working in the financial services sector for several large financial institutions.

Working as part of the Sunflower team is important to Rachel as she'd like to improve public perception and understanding that not all disabilities are visible, in fact, 80% are hidden. By improving public awareness and empathy, we can hopefully create a kinder society.

When Rachel isn't working she can often be found running along the banks of the Thames. Rachel is also an avid netball player.

 

Paul White

Paul White

Paul, CEO at Hidden Disabilities Sunflower, was part of the original team that founded the Sunflower back in 2016 and helped to create a thriving business from this simple, yet effective, idea.

Paul has a genuine desire to ensure that the wearers of the Sunflower receive the patience, care and understanding they may need throughout their day, by whoever they meet, wherever they may travel. Paul is passionate about raising awareness of the Sunflower on a global level.

Paul is also Managing Director of Tabbers Green, a printing and related services business based in the UK.

When Paul isn't working you can find him either cycling or watching his beloved Tottenham Hotspurs.