Testimonials

“Keith is a man of outstanding professional stature, ability, intelligence, experience, determination and displays tremendous intuition throughout. His integrity, both on a professional and personal level, is breathtakingly refreshing and reassuring in every respect!”

John Simmons – Chairman, Peterborough Diocesan Family Care Ltd.


“… In the short time available to him Keith grasped the essential drivers of our business and produced a report and governance structure which we have embraced and are currently in the process of implementing.  Keith has excellent skills of analysis and for us he identified the main issues and provided a practical and workable business solution”.

Anna Spriggs – Senior Partner, Hunt & Coombs Solicitors LLP.


“I was chairman of Forest YMCA for seven years. When I took the post, the organisation was struggling and staff morale was low. We needed an interim CEO to turn the whole company around. We interviewed 14 candidates, from which we chose Keith, because of a strong interview and excellent track record. Keith worked fast to bring about the painful but necessary change. The result was a huge surplus which was spent on improving facilities, including a new gym, sauna/jacuzzi, restaurant and reception. The whole place was really transformed and staff morale greatly improved. I would recommend Keith wholeheartedly to anyone needing a fast, efficient turnaround.“

Terry Chimes – Chairman, Forest YMCA.


“Keith joined us at a time when DMWS was undergoing major organizational change, with some elements of management and operations working below optimal level. Keith demonstrated considerable skill and objectivity in identifying and prioritizing the corrective actions. These were implemented across a widely dispersed workforce and in the face of not inconsiderable resistance in some quarters. The net result was a substantial improvement in the overall functioning of DMWS, with tangible benefits in terms of stability, staff retention and more robust financial management. All of these improvements resulted in benefits within DMWS but also in the standing and credibility of the organization with the Ministry of Defence in the context of our contract as a provider of medical welfare services.“

Gordon Paterson OBE – Chairman, Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS).


“Keith has handled two interim assignments for Ashton Penney – as interim CEO of the Defence Medical Welfare Service and, more recently as a Centre Manager for Action for Children. He has a wealth of experience, put to excellent use in both assignments, giving the client far more advice and assistance than they had expected.”

Bill Penney – Director at Ashton Penney Resourcing Ltd, Hon Chaplain at Worshipful Company of Management Consultants.


“The HR Director at YMCA (Forest) asked Russam GMS to conduct a market wide search for a top of the line interim “turnaround” CEO to rapidly improve the performance of the Forest operation. We completed a comprehensive search and Keith came out as our preferred candidate to do the job (and the YMCA board/HR director agreed unanimously and quickly brought him in). Keith stayed with the organisation for three years and ended up improving all areas – turnover, capacity, operating cost base, new buildings and infrastructure. The assignment was a total success and Keith left with a very engaged and focused team of staff; and in a position for long-term and sustained growth. I would strongly recommend Keith for future general management roles both in the NfP sector and other business sectors. I’m happy to elaborate on this endorsement if contacted directly.”

Jason Atkinson, Chairman at Interim Management Association (IMA), Managing Director – Private Sector Interim Management at Russam GMS.


“I have known Keith for over twenty years, since our early days at the University of Sydney. I was first struck by the strength of both his intellect and his character. His formidable intellect has always impressed me with its ability to cut through the noise, frequently bringing a refreshing clarity and simplicity to apparently complex and insoluble problems. I have always been amazed at how he can bring that intellect to bear so productively on a wide variety of intellectual and practical business challenges. 
Keith’s strength of character has been most evident when responding to the big issues in life, personal and business. Often have I seen his good humour, resilience and dogged determination turn adversity into opportunity. He has a particular knack for tackling inertia born of organisational dysfunction. He creates momentum with an irresistible energy and a compelling argument for change. The passion with which Keith articulates his vision makes it hard to resist and easy to accede to. At the same time he is at pains to ensure the needs, drivers, and legitimate concerns of all stakeholders are taken into account.
 I still have the privilege of spending time with Keith when I’m in London, and it is not at all surprising to those who know him well, that he has gone from growing-up on a council estate in Sydney to be an established resident of Mayfair in London’s West End. This is typical of Keith’s ability to succeed despite the challenges that present themselves along the way. I consider Keith to be one of a handful of people in my life who have been truly inspirational and have had a lasting impact on the way I conduct myself in the world. Accordingly, I wholeheartedly recommend Keith to those who are looking for passionate and inspirational leadership and to those who are sincere in their wish to cut through the ‘noise’ in order to attain their business goals”.

Paul Goddard – Actor | Composer | Corporate Coach.         


“I had the privilege of working with Keith, and found him to be a focused strategist, motivational leader, and inspirational businessman. Working with Keith gave me inspiration to make changes to my own business, and I would recommend Keith to any business owner or company requiring motivation or direction. If you want your business to be run efficiently, co-ordinate profitable sales and marketing campaigns, and become successful, speak to Keith!“

Luigi Moccia: Director – Calashock Marketing Ltd.


“I came to Forest YMCA in August 2005 as interim HR Director providing maternity cover. Four years later I am still here… Within my first week I was told that “You’ve never seen anything like this place” and it soon became clear that … … we did not have a sustainable business model, and everyone knew something had to be done, but they didn’t know what, or if they did, didn’t want to do it.… the previous chief executive, knew that “strong medicine” was necessary and had the honesty and courage to see that that this was something she did not want to do, and decided to try something different… …when provided a short list of qualified applicants, we immediately knew that Keith Drew was our man. Keith had impressed us at interview notwithstanding he had been up all the previous night trading the Australian stock exchange. One of his replies to our questions was “Whatever you want doing, I can do it for you”, and he has.  Originally retained on a holding brief in preparation for a possible merger with another YMCA, it became clear how much trouble we were in and the merger was off. It took Keith three months just to size the problem – including at one stage locking the Finance Director, Finance Controller, and previous Chief Executive in an office an not letting them out until they had agreed on the figures! It took a further three months to plan and consult on the reorganisation, which unfortunately led to a number of people leaving.

And then the builders moved in. The facilities for residents were improved with their own entrance to their own home and improved recreation facilities. The public areas were refurbished. Our stakeholders gave us longer contracts. People who previously would not have considered working for the YMCA joined us and made their mark. Perhaps more importantly, people with long lengths of service who were able to embrace the changes and get on board found their careers rapidly advancing. Local property developers approached us wanting to do business. Regulators supported us financially having previously ignored us. Two years of heavy deficit turned into two years of substantial surplus. All under Keith’s guiding hand and determination, not least dealing with those who resisted change who should have embraced it.

Forest YMCA has a secure future and a sound base from which to launch further sustainable growth and profitability, enabling us to invest in our service users and employees. This has been so much more than a turnaround, more a re-engineering. Too often “company doctors” come in and the cure kills the patient, or the patient loses its heart and soul, becoming an empty shell with the inevitable demise merely postponed. Not so in our case. The patient is cured and ready and hungry for action. So Keith, thank you for what you have done for us. Your talents will now be skilfully deployed elsewhere.”

Charles Stokes: Interim HR & Performance Director, Forest YMCA


“On behalf of the Family & Childcare team I would like to thank you… … for all your hard work over the last few years. When you first came to work with us we were at rock bottom not only financially but also with regard to staff morale. As we had been made promises in the past that never came to fruition I am afraid we were ‘doubting thomases’ when it came to your capability of turning the organisation around. Well I am glad to say we were most definitely wrong. Once again thank you for all your support and hard work in helping us reach the place we are at today. You will be greatly missed.”  

Alison Andrews: Family & Childcare Manager, Forest YMCA


“To speak about finance, on a personal note, I have to mention our Chief Executive Officer who single-handed turned the company around from deficit to a healthy surplus in the past two years. The Finance department has already seen significant improvement during the last few months under his proper management. As you all know Keith is leaving and therefore, I really hope all of you to join me to wish him all the best in the future and thanks for his remarkable contributions towards Forest YMCA.”

Ken Kwok – Head of Finance, Forest YMCA