Our trustees

The role of the UNA Exchange Board of Trustees is to ensure the good governance of the organisation and delivery of our charitable objects for public benefit. As a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registered no. 1158106), UNA Exchange is regulated by the Charities Commission.


Tracy Kearns

Chair of trustees

— appointed May 2017

Tracy has an MBA from Cardiff University and holds chartered status as both a management accountant and a HR professional and is currently Vice-Chair of the South Wales branch of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and part of the rapidly growing finance team at Transport for Wales.

UNA Exchange is the third welsh-based charity that Tracy has been part of. She was previously a trustee and Treasurer of Women’s Arts Association and was a trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Audiences Wales.

Although proud of her Yorkshire roots, Tracy is passionate about Wales and loves everything it has to offer in terms of stunning landscapes, music, theatre, rich cultural heritage, great cheeses and a world class rugby team.


Martin Pollard

Vice Chair

— appointed November 2018

Martin is Chief Executive of the Learned Society of Wales, the national academy for arts and sciences. The Society has a Fellowship of over 500 experts across all academic disciplines and beyond, and works closely with universities in Wales.

Martin was previously Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), which he led through an unprecedented period of strategic development and growth. This included establishing the Wales for Peace and Hub Cymru Africa programmes, as well as coordinating the WCIA’s schools work and public events.

Having initially qualified as a teacher, Martin has a strong educational background and has worked directly with thousands of teachers and learners. His past roles include Chair of the Wales Alliance for Global Learning, international sector representative at the Third Sector Partnership Council, trustee of Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and member of the Climate Change Commission for Wales.

In his spare time, Martin is a volunteer DJ on Radio Cardiff.


Kate Oprava


— appointed November 2018

Kate qualified as a Chartered Accountant with one of the Big Four accountancy firms in London before moving to KPMG’s corporate finance department in Cardiff. Since then she has worked for a number of organisations in both finance and IT roles. She has worked for several voluntary sector organisations and is currently working as Finance and Systems Manager for Cymorth Cymru, the umbrella body for providers of homelessness, housing related support and social care services in Wales.

Kate has a keen interest in the environment and in her spare time enjoys cleaning up rivers with a local community group. She also enjoys the arts and volunteers at Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre.


Samuel Rees


— appointed March 2019

Sam works for executive search business Goodson Thomas. Through his work, he specialises in promoting Wales as a place to live and work, attracting a world-wide range of diverse talent on behalf of major Welsh brands, organisations and charities.

Prior to joining Goodson Thomas, Sam worked for recruitment business Hanover Fox International, working to appoint senior managers and trustees to high-profile charities including Help for Heroes, Riding for the Disabled and the Welcome Trust.

Before entering the recruitment sector, Sam worked for multiple Members of Parliament and political campaigns, including the 2015 general election and the Scottish independence campaign. He progressed to become a Senior Policy Researcher within the National Assembly for Wales, focusing on legislative areas including education, deprivation and climate change.

Sam has an MA in Public Policy from Swansea University and outside of work is a keen rugby player.


Lisa Charles


— appointed April 2019

Lisa qualified as a Solicitor in 2005, following qualification she worked in litigation, firstly at a high-street practice and more recently at a large national company where she was a team manager.

Now non-practicing she works with new and established law firms with risk and compliance. This involves helping new law firms to set up including drafting the application documents and advising on the risks and practicalities, auditing firms for compliance with rules and regulation, regular compliance meetings with firms and file reviews. Lisa enjoys working with a variety of different firms and hopefully helps the managers have a good night’s sleep!

Lisa is a fluent Welsh speaker and is passionate about Wales. She has two young kids currently in nursery and primary school, when time (and they!) allow she enjoys travelling.