August 27, 2012

Transportation Leaders: Dai Powell, CEO of HCT Group

LEADERS - Dai Powell is the CEO of HCT Group, a large and growing UK social enterprise specializing in community transport. As a social enterprise, HCT Group takes the profit it earns from commercial contracts with the public sector and invests it back into socially necessary passenger transport and training. It operates in multiple locations in the UK and employes hundreds of people. Since becoming CEO of HCT Group in 1993, Dia Powell has taken the organization from a small local community transport that depended on charitable donations and unstable local council funding, to an award-winning and recognized leader in the third sector of the economy while remaining committed to their core work of providing wheelchair accessible community transport. He is a board member of the Big Society Capital and Social Enertprise UK, Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, and is former Chair of both the Community Transport Association and Social Enterprise Mark. He was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to disabled people. An outspoken and enthusiastic promoter of social enterprise, Powell's success with HCT has led to many speaking engagements such as the All Change! New Horizons for Local Government Conference shown in the videos below. As a youth he struggled with stammering. Getting involved in an organization that he believed in and working with others who shared his passion proved key to overcoming his stammer. That experience has given him a greater apprecation for the importance of inclusion in the work place and society. When asked about how he feels about public speaking, he says: "I love it now as a challenge because people are waiting for me to speak, not waiting for me to stammer".

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