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We welcome Dianne Thompson CBE

Published: 12th July 2011

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NATIONAL Lottery chief Dianne Thompson has today (July 12) been installed as chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University in a celebratory ceremony at Manchester Town Hall.

Dianne is a former student and lecturer at the university and is now chief executive officer of the Camelot Group of Companies.

Accepting the privilege to become the university’s third figurehead, she spoke of the power of higher education to transform lives, society and the economy.

“Universities such as Manchester Metropolitan are engines of learning and enterprise for their region,” she said. “Over 40% of our students come from low-income households, so in giving these students a chance to succeed, Manchester Metropolitan transforms the lives of individuals and benefits the whole region.

“My links with the university and the city of Manchester stretch back almost 40 years and I’m incredibly proud and honoured to accept the role of chancellor.”

Business guests

Leading lights from the worlds of business and education gathered at Manchester Town Hall for the installation of Mrs Thompson, who started her career in the city as a marketing trainee at the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Dianne joined Camelot in 1997 and as chief executive has developed and driven Camelot’s strategy for responsible growth, which has seen National Lottery sales increase by more than 20% since 2002. More than £26 billion has been raised since the launch of the national Lottery in 1994 – with more than £550 million going to Manchester alone, awarded across 3,400 grants.

Dianne’s achievements in business and her commitment to supporting charitable organisations embody the values and style of the University and make her a perfect role model for students and young people in the city, it says.

Alan Benzie, chairman of the university board of governors, said: “The chancellor flies the flag for the University, locally, nationally and internationally, and in this respect, we could not have hoped for a better friend and ambassador than Dianne Thompson CBE.”

Student and lecturer

Dianne studied English and French at the then Manchester Polytechnic and taught marketing at the Business School for seven years in the 1980s, while simultaneously running her own advertising agency in the city.

“The university has had a very positive impact on me, both in terms of my learning and in my career progression.

She added: “The university has had a very positive impact on me, both in terms of my learning and in my career progression. I am very much looking forward to bringing all the experience I’ve gained during my career to this new role and helping to further MMU’s great work and reputation in every way I can.”

Dianne Thompson is the third chancellor of the Manchester Metropolitan University, and the first to have been a alumnus of the University.

Her two distinguished predecessors were:

– the Duke of Westminster (1993 – 2001)

– Dame Judge Janet Smith (2002 – 2010)

For further information, please contact:

Gareth Hollyman, press officer, Manchester Metropolitan University.

0161 247 3406 mob 07748 111322

A full biography of our new chancellor:

Dianne Thompson is CEO of Camelot Group of Companies, which is responsible for operating the UK National Lottery.

Dianne joined Camelot in 1997 as commercial operations director and took over as chief executive in December 2000 when Camelot was awarded the second licence to operate the National Lottery. Dianne has developed and driven Camelot’s strategy for responsible growth, and the company announced in March that it expected to achieve record ticket sales for the 2010/11 financial year. This approach has now seen total National Lottery sales increase by 17.9% since the start of the second lottery licence in 2002.

Dianne led the company in its successful bid to operate the National Lottery in the third licence period, which commenced on 01 February 2009 and runs until 2019.

Camelot’s Group CEO has a strong personal commitment to social impact, both inside and outside of the company.

Dianne is an executive committee Member of the European Lotteries Association (EL), World Lotteries Association (WLA), and in addition she chairs the EL’s Responsible Gaming Committee, and the WLA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee. Dianne also chairs Camelot’s Responsibility Board.

In a career spanning over 30 years, Dianne has worked in marketing for a variety of companies such as ICI Paints (1974-1979), Sterling Roncraft (1986-1988) and Signet Group (1994-1997). She was Director of Marketing at Woolworths (1992-1994), a lecturer at Manchester Polytechnic for seven years (1979-1986) – during which time she founded and ran her own advertising agency – and was managing director of Sandvik Saws and Tools (1988-1992). Dianne studied a degree in French and English at Manchester Polytechnic and started her career as a marketing trainee at the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Marketing Society, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Dianne is also a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors. Dianne has previously been awarded the titles of both Veuve Clicquot business woman of the year 2000 and marketer of the year by the Marketing Society in 2001.

In the 2006 New Year’s Honours Dianne received a CBE for services to business. She consistently features in the top 10 of Marketing magazine’s Power 100 list of the UK marketing community’s most influential players. In September 2006 she was awarded the Chartered Management Institute’s Gold Medal for her strategic direction and leadership.

Dianne is also the non-executive Chairman of RadioCentre, the industry body for commercial radio, a non-executive board member of the Home Office and a trustee of the Born Free Foundation.