Our Staff

Our Staff

NLC Administration

James North
Chief Executive


I am honoured by this chance to lead the dedicated team of staff who manage our historic building and provide services for our membership, now approaching 2,000. I join the Club after senior posts with Santander UK, helping to shape the bank’s international business offer and, most recently, with C|T Group, an international consultancy specialising in business intelligence and corporate research.

Most of my career, though, has been at the City of London Corporation, managing the Lord Mayor’s programme for nearly a decade till 2017 and latterly as the City’s ceremonial Swordbearer, helping to plan major royal and civic events at St Paul’s Cathedral, Guildhall and the Mansion House. Before that, I served as chief of staff at Birmingham City Council during the coalition leadership of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

Originally from Blackpool, I read History at the University of St Andrews before moving to London and becoming involved in ‘Clubland’ for more than a decade, as a member of several and Chair of the Lansdowne Club from 2017-19.

The founding Chair of the City of London Corporation’s LGBTQ network, City Pride, in 2016-17, I have also chaired a small London-based orchestra and choir, am a keen skier in winter, and a bad golfer in summer.

Vita Rakstyte
Finance Manager

email: vita@nlc.org.uk
tel: 020 7968 0911

Originally from Lithuania, I moved to London in 2003 and only planned to stay here a year, but fell in love with its architecture and multicultural population, so decided to make it my permanent home.

I’ve had a passion for numbers since a young age which led to me qualifying as an accountant. I am currently studying for CIMA
(Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), which I hope will see me one day a proud owner of the prized CIMA diploma.

I have mainly worked in the media sector (beauty and fashion). My last post was as Head of Finance for a major company offering services like location scouting, art buying, casting and logistics. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris and Rome, as well as London, this gave me the chance to travel and work with some of the most well-known designer brands in the world.

My main priority at the NLC has been to streamline and automate financial processes and bring the Club’s accounts into the 21st century. My time here hasn’t been without its challenges but I love the Club’s history, architecture and values and am very proud to be part of it.

In my spare time, my interests include snowboarding and reading strange facts.

Kristina Schmidt
Events Manager

Email: kristina@nlc.org.uk
Tel: 020 7968 0915

Growing up in southern Germany and Turkey sparked my desire to experience new countries and cultures, so I trained in hospitality in Germany and then launched my career in the UK, working as a food and beverage supervisor at a 5-star hotel in London before moving to Muscat, in the Sultanate of Oman. I spent two years there, immersing myself in the Omani culture and working as an Events executive within a multicultural team.

Moving back to England with my husband, I’ve had the great opportunity to work in unique venues and hotels in and around London, while gaining more experience in Events management. It’s a hugely varied and challenging field which, over the years, has included anything from organizing engagement picnics in a Middle Eastern desert to ELLE magazine’s Style awards and film premiere after-parties.

To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing people enjoying themselves, everyone connecting and sharing an experience, and knowing that you put this together and made it happen!

My work has also enabled me to continue my passion for travel. Exploring new destinations like Sri Lanka, Mexico, Vietnam and Cuba… often way off the main tourist trails.

Rosemary Tweddle
Membership Secretary

Email: membership@nlc.org.uk
Tel: 020 7968 0913

I joined the National Liberal Club in 2003 and began by assisting my predecessor, Mrs Jo Somerville, before becoming the Membership Secretary in 2004.

I enjoy the mixture of administrative work and meeting with members which this role entails. It is very stimulating meeting and talking with a wide variety of people and I have particularly enjoyed getting to know many members during my time here and assisting them with their membership.

Previously, I have worked in a variety of roles in a number of London clubs, including the Savile Club, The Athenæum, Royal Commonwealth Society and The Honourable Artillery Company.

I am a member of my local church and enjoy Hebrew/Jewish studies, walking, reading, history, classical music, singing and art.

Louisa Pooley
Events Assistant

Email: louisa@nlc.org.uk
Tel: 020 7968 0912

Elaine MacDonald
Events Assistant

Email: elaine@nlc.org.uk
Tel: 020 7968 0912

Judith Searle
Membership Assistant
Ellie Pearce
Office Coordinator

Email: ellie.pearce@nlc.org.uk

Tel: 020 7930 9871

Dining Room & Bar

Matteo Guardi
Dining Room Manager

Email: dining@nlc.org.uk
Tel: 020 7968 0924

Patrice Dore
Ivan Galev


Jon Oates
Head Chef

Email: jonathan.oates@nlc.org.uk

Originally from Epping in Essex, I cut my culinary teeth in fine dining at a restaurant in the Peak District after graduating in History from Sheffield Hallam University. I was then fortunate to make rapid progress through the ranks, gaining my first head chef position at the age of 24 across three Michelin-rated restaurants.

I moved back to the south in 2010, where I worked across London and Hertfordshire, again retaining Michelin Guide recognition and winning Hertfordshire’s best restaurant awards two years running.

Most recently, I spent several years at the Brocket Hall estate in Hertfordshire, where I worked closely with our new Operations
Manager, Matt Raven. I was responsible for all the food-led outlets: the stately home, private members’ golf club & the Auberge du Laq restaurant.

My ambition for the Club: I would like our food to reflect our eclectic and diverse membership base, which in turn replicates my cooking style. I like to keep menus fresh, fluid & seasonal, evolving constantly throughout the year.

I live in rural Hertfordshire with my wife, Ashley, and two young children, Archie & Isla. When I’m not working, I enjoy, football and golf among other sports, and I’m a season ticket holder at Arsenal FC.

James Bone
Sous Chef


Laura Simkute
Conference and Banqueting Manager (currently on maternity leave)
Roni Syaaf
Banqueting Manager

Email: banqueting@nlc.org.uk

Krzysztof Stroinski
Banqueting Operations Coordinator

Front Hall Staff

Luis Da Encarnacao
Front of House

 Tel: 020 7930 9871

Martinus Potgieter
Front of House

 Tel: 020 7930 9871