Virginia Isaac

Chief Executive

Virginia is the Chief Executive of Inspiring Futures. Since her appointment in 2013 she has done much to promote the importance and value of quality careers education, advice and guidance and how this can help prepare people for life and work after they leave school.  She is also the current President of the Career Development Institute (CDI). 2017 has been named ‘The Year of Advocacy’.

An entrepreneur with a strong sense of social mission, Virginia has had a varied career in education and business. Originally a teacher in secondary schools, she then practised self-sufficient farming in Wales and was a Founder and Director of Brecon Waters. Prior to taking up her position at Inspiring Futures, Virginia was Director of Business Development and Interim Chief Executive at UCAS and also Executive Director of UCAS Media. She also worked for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the government sponsored database, ECCTIS. She is a Board Member of Careers England and chairs The Quality Task Group. She also sits on the Fair Education Alliance Careers Task Group.

Virginia was formerly a Council Member of Cheltenham College; a trustee of Cheltenham Festivals and a governor of the University of Wales: Trinity St David where she chaired the Student Experience Committee.  She was also a trustee of the Student Union.

Virginia is a graduate from the University of East Anglia and has a PGCE from the University of Swansea and a postgraduate certificate in marketing.

Emma-Marie Fry

Area Director, London & South East

Emma has 15 years' experience of Careers Guidance and Careers Education within schools, colleges and higher education. She has also worked in IT and Television. As a qualified guidance practitioner, Emma has worked with undergraduates and postgraduates in a range of university faculties, as well as managing teams within the field of Careers Guidance. Emma has a degree in Anthropology and History and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance joining Inspiring Futures in 2010.

Margaret Graham

Scottish Director

Margaret started working as a Careers Adviser in Stirling in 1991 and over the next18 years moved within the Careers Service as it went through various re-organisations, including the creation of a national service (Careers Scotland) in 2002. Her career developed to include the management of national products and services including the Exam Results Helpline. A project which involved partnership working with a range of bodies including UCAS, BBC and the SQA. Margaret has a Masters in History and Sociology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance joining IF in 2010.

Mark Smith

South West and International Area Director

Mark has worked as a careers adviser and manager. Starting as a Careers Adviser in Hull, before becoming an Assistant Area Manager for Lincolnshire & Rutland Connexions. He also spent time on projects in Peterborough, Bedfordshire, Hull and Lincolnshire where he had management responsibilities for a Government Pilot Project. Mark has also worked for Pearson plc as a School Liaison Executive in the South West. Mark studied Business in Newcastle and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Careers Guidance, joining Inspiring Futures in 2013.

Sarah Frend

Area Director North, East and Wales

Sarah has taught adults in Further Education Colleges, been Head of Careers in an independent school and worked in careers services for Solihull, Wiltshire, Kent and Dorset LEAs. She has specialised with both special needs and academically able students. Sarah has a degree in Philosophy and Psychology, a diploma in Careers Guidance and a Further Education Teaching Certificate. Sarah has worked for Inspiring Futures since 2002.