Meet our 2020 Finalists

2019 WINNERS & FINALISTS

Download the 2019 Finalist Announcement Press Release
Download the 2019 Winners Announcement Press Release

Arts and Media

Rising Star Finalists

Sarah Nelson

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

2019 Arts and Media Rising Star Winner

Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene are Co-authors of the bestselling book ‘Slay In Your Lane’, Elizabeth and Yomi provide a guide in life to empower, educate and inspire. From education, to work and dating, the book recognises and celebrates the strides black women have already made, while providing practical advice for those who want to do the same and forge a better and visible future.

Christina Okorocha, Ruby Aryiku and Rumbi Mupindu

Christina Okorocha, Ruby Aryiku and Rumbi Mupindu

Christina Okorocha, Ruby Aryiku and Rumbi Mupindu are the Co-founders of VAMP, a social marketing agency focused on showcasing the under-represented groups, including BAME and Women of Colour, in beauty, fashion and entertainment. Over the past three years, VAMP has worked with a diverse range of clientele including large corporations such as Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Sony Music and more.

Fiona Rutherford

Fiona Rutherford

Fiona Rutherford is the Social Editor of TicToc, part of Bloomberg News. Powered by Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists and analysts in 120 countries, TicToc provides 24/7 live streaming coverage of breaking news, live events, top stories and trending general interest news around the globe. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Fiona was a reporter at BuzzFeed News and a science writer for the New Statesman magazine.

Arts and Media

Senior Leader Finalists

Colin Gillespie

Colin Gillespie

Colin Gillespie is the Chief Strategy Officer at All Response Media. The agency ranks as a top 15 UK buying point using Nielsen metrics, but are number one in the customer acquisition specialism. Colin’s current position puts him at the heart of agency innovation and business development. His core belief system is fuelled off “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it”.

Dorothy Koomson

Dorothy Koomson

2019 Image Award Winner

Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author of 15 books. Dorothy’s novels include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Friend, That Girl from Nowhere, The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before, The Chocolate Run, The Cupid Effect and My Best Friend’s Girl. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone. She is currently Britain’s biggest selling black author of adult fiction.

Sharon Watson

Sharon Watson

2019 Arts and Media Senior Leader Winner

Sharon Watson is the Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre, the UK’s longest standing contemporary dance company outside London. Since 2009, Sharon has choreographed Fast Lane, Melt, Never 2 Still, Repetition of Change, TearFall and Windrush: Movement of the People. Sharon is committed to supporting the voices of the underrepresented within the Arts and Culture sector and brining contemporary dance to new audiences.

Consumer and Luxury

Rising Star Finalists

Jamela Acheampong

Jamela Acheampong

Jamela Acheampong is Founder and Brand Director of Kahmune, a luxury marketplace for skin tone footwear and fashion. Frustrated with the lack of quality, affordable options for her skin tone, Jamela Acheampong set out to create products for women of all complections. With nearly 1000 customers across the globe, Kahmune currently offer the most extensive range of skin tone footwear on the maket.

Deborah Ajaja

Deborah Ajaja

Deborah Ajaja is Founder and Director of Baby of Colour Milestones, a luxury gifting company which helps the BAME community raise awareness and celebrate the milestones and achievements of Babies of Colour. Baby of Colour Milestones is a concept which includes 30 original illustrated cards including all developmental milestones from a variety of cultures and heritages.

Uzo Okwuosa

Uzo Okwuosa

2019 Consumer and Luxury Rising Star Winner

Uzo Okwuosa is the deisgner at Frank Horn, a brand that offers a wide selection of luxury handmade leather goods with an emphasis on quality, functionality and timelessness. In a short space of time Uzo has received recognition and built a collection that has been shown at Design Week, Kew Garden’s Handmade in Britain, and some of London’s prestigious design and craft exhibitions.

Consumer and Luxury

Senior Leader Finalists

Laura Battley

Laura Battley

Laura Battley is Group General Counsel and Company Secretary at New Look. Having spent over 6 years at ‘magic circle’ law firm Slaughter and May. Laura later moved to KPMG, where she joined New Look initially on secondment and then later returned in a permanent role as General Counsel to head up the legal function. In her current role, Laura is responsible for the Group legal and secretariat function globally. Laura is also responsible for the wider group compliance function.

Aicha Mckenzie

Aicha McKenzie

2019 Consumer and Luxury Senior Leader Winner

Aicha Mckenzie is CEO and Director at AMCK Models, AMCK Dance and AMCK FIT. AMCK DANCE is an award-winning agency representing the best choreographers and dancers across Europe, having supplied dancers to artists sich as Madonna, Rihanna and Beyonce. AMCK MODELS was London’s first male only high fashion model agency, bringing diversity to the heart of fashion for the past 10 years. Finally, AMCK FIT is a fitness and wellness concierge company that brings bespoke yoga, breathing and meditation directly to her clients.

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson is Head of Logistics Finance at Sainsbury’s and is just two levels away from the Operating Board. A standout achievement in Sarah’s career to date has been successfully stepping out of her functional area of Finance into an operational role where she led north London’s Convenience store operations.

Entrepreneur

Rising Star Finalists

Jamelia Donaldson

Jamelia Donaldson

2019 Entrepreneur Rising Star Winner

Jamelia Donaldson is Founder of Treasure Tree, Europe and the Middle East’s first monthly product discovery box for women and girls with textured hair. Jamelia states that what makes her most proud is “knowing that I have contributed to building a community of black women who can now look after their Kinky/Curly hair in the conventional fashion they have always deserved”.

Samuel Mensah

Samuel Mensah

Samuel Mensah is Owner and Director of Uncle Johns Bakery, a Ghanaian Specialist Bakery established over 25 years ago making bread and cakes just the way it was done in Ghana 100’s of years ago. Over the past 5 years Uncle Johns Bakery has grown to become a staple household name within the Afro-Caribbean community, the customer reach has gone up and down the country as far as the midlands and Scotland, as well as European countries such as Belgium, France and Germany.

Jamie Tavares and Jen Scott

Jen Scott and Jamie Tavares

Jamie Tavares and Jen Scott are Director’s and Owners of Hustle & Heels Ltd, a networking event series where women can meet other like-minded people. From a small table of 10, to over 1000 guests and 30 events in less than 5 years, H&H have become the go-to brand for black, female founders in London. They design, develop and deliver engaging initiatives that cater to the marginalised, equipping those who attend the events with the knowledge and tools necessary to launch and grow a successful business.

Entrepreneur

Senior Leader Finalists

Born Barikor

Born Barikor

2019 Entrepreneur Senior Leader Winner

Born Barikor is the CEO and Founder of Our Parks, providing free fitness sessions in parks across London and the UK. Our Parks delivers over 300 hours per week of outdoor group exercise classes, with the aim is to provide everyone of all age groups, experiences and backgrounds with the opportunity to exercise, improve their health and socialise. Since its inception in 2014, the Our Parks programme has encouraged over 100,000 Parkers (users) to get involved in community exercise.

Professor Hanif Kara

Hanif Kara

Professor Hanif Kara is a Design Director and one the founders of AKT II – a progressive, design-led structural and civil engineering firm, with current and complete projects in 44 countries worldwide. Projects range from large new build developments to complicated refurbishments of listed buildings. Hanif additionally works in the research and education of design, notably as a Professor of Architectural Technology at Harvard University.

Joshua Umoren and Sena Mortoo

Joshua Umoren and Sena Mortoo

Joshua Umoren and Sena Mortoo are Co-Founders of Morts and More, a lifestyle brand specialising in tailoring. They spotted a link between the way people present themselves and confidence – so since 2011 they have been sourcing the best fabric, finest tailors and creating from scratch, perfectly fitted and designed suits and shirts, bespoke to their clients’ needs. They believe tailoring should be a fun, expressive and enjoyable process. So, they decided to bring a fresh and energetic tailoring experience to a new audience.

Financial Services

Rising Star Finalists

Abisola Barber

Abisola Barber

Abisola Barber is a Trading Business Manager at Barclays Bank PLC. From Internship to Graduate Scheme and subsequent successful promotions, Abisola currently works within the Markets Division of Barclays’ Investment Bank, responsible for bespoke Trading desks of various expertise. As an empowered delegate for the Business Head, she shapes and executes long-term strategic change and economic decision-making whilst balancing Regulatory and Operational requirements.

Olusiji Sanya

Olusiji Sanya

2019 Financial Services Rising Star Winner

Olusiji Sanya is Director, Co-founder and CFO at Tranzfar, the world’s first Nigeria-Only money transfer service, currently focused on one-way money transfers from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. Olusiji and his business partner are driven by the need to financially connect people in the African diaspora with their friends, family, and counterparts in Nigeria. In 2019 Tranzfar are expanding to cover a total of 30 African countries.

Zabrina Smith

Zabrina Smith

Zabrina Smith is a Senior Vice President within Northern Trust’s Market Advocacy & Innovation Research (MA&IR). Her current responsibilities include representing Northern Trust within the industry in order to positively influence market change in line with Northern’s strategic direction; conducting strategic industry research to capture and inform partners on market developments, opportunities and impacts to Northern Trust; and providing strategic innovation leadership in relation to the sponsorship and execution of strategic business initiatives that leverage emerging technology innovations.

Financial Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Sophia Aluko

Sophia Aluko

Sophia Aluko is currently the Head of Service Delivery at Barclays. She manages the service management function and is responsible for overseeing the delivery of 150 middle and back office services that Barclays provides to banks in Africa and Europe. Sophia was appointed as an Ex officio in Feb 2019, as a recognition of her leadership capabilities and significant contribution to the divestment from Africa.

Justin Onuekwusi

Justin Onuekwusi

Justin Onuekwusi is Fund Manager & Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds at Legal & General Investment Management. A multiple award winning financial professional, Justin Onuekwusi is one of less than 1% of black fund managers in the UK. He joined LGIM in 2013, and in his five-year tenure has been responsible for a range of multi-asset funds, becoming one of the most popular and high profile fund managers in the UK.

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu

2019 Financial Services Senior Leader Winner

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu is the EMEA Head Payments & Receivables at Citigroup. Ireti has had a 31 year career at Citi working in 3 countries (Nigeria, UK & South Africa) performing 10 roles over a 31 year time span. As part of her current role, Ireti is responsible for the P&L, Product development and Solutions utilised by financial institutions, corporates and public sector customers. She has been the leading voice for the institution on open banking, following Citi’s announcement that it was the first corporate bank to enrol as a Payment Initiation Service Provider. Ireti is a champion for diversity initiatives having cofounded Citi’s Sapphire Leadership Programme for women in Africa and the Citi Momentum Programme in the UK.

Professional Services

Rising Star Finalists

Roy Appiah

Roy Appiah

Roy Appiah is a Senior Associate within the Litigation team at Clifford Chance. He predominantly works on high profile, high value, complex litigation and contentious regulatory investigations. Other positions of responsibility within the firm include being a co-founder and co-chair of the firm’s London BAME network; a member of the firm’s Gender Pay Gap Working Group; and one of 14 Inclusion Advocates..

Dara Kirton

Dara Kirton

Dara Kirton is Senior Manager at PwC, having worked on many large multidisciplinary transformations, Dara has been able to drive whole organisation change. For example, Dara is now leading a cultural change movement across Consulting to modernise ways of working for the digital age. Dara is primarily coaching senior partners to be more innovative, human centred, collaborative and agile.

Macky O'Sullivan

Macky O'Sullivan

2019 Professional Services Rising Star Winner

Macky O’Sullivan is a Senior Associate at King & Spalding. His roles include advising sovereign wealth funds, asset managers, multi-laterals in connection with their fund formation, capital raising and co-investment activities across different geographies and asset classes. As an Africa specialist, he has advised on several of the firm’s landmark transactions, sits on the global steering committee of the firm’s Africa Group and is responsible for helping implement the firm’s Africa strategy.

Professional Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Richard Iferenta

Richard Iferenta

Richard Iferenta is a partner at KMPG LLP within the Tax department. Richard leads KPMG's financial services indirect tax practice and advise some of the largest financial institutions in the world. In addition, Richard is leading the development of cutting edge technology which uses artificial intelligence to improve accuracy and have less reliance on scarce specialist expertise.

Teresa Owusu-Adjei

Teresa Owusu-Adjei

2019 Professional Services Senior Leader Winner

Teresa Owusu-Adjei was PwC UK’s first black female partner and has progressed to be in the top quartile of their partners by seniority. Her current roles include being an elected member of the Supervisory Board, Chair of the Partner Affairs Committee of the Supervisory Board, Clients and Markets leader of our Financial Services tax practice in London and client partner specialising in providing tax advice to global asset managers and their investment products.

Darren Roiser

Darren Roiser

Darren Roiser is London Managing Partner at King & Wood Mallesons. As Managing Partner, Darren has supervised a doubling of the size of the London office, managed a move from serviced offices into the Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street, instigated fully flexible working and ensured that recruitment shortlists are 50% female. Darren is one of the youngest Managing Partners in London and one of a limited number of BAME Partners in the City.  He was named in The Lawyer's Hot 100 for 2018.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Rising Star Finalists

Biko Agozino

Biko Agozino

Biko Agozino is an analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase. Biko is part of the team responsible for Automated Trading and Algorithmic Execution, across Foreign Exchange and E-Commerce, which has driven J.P. Morgan Chase's growth to become the number one Global FX Franchise. Biko engineers the technology and optimises the quantitative models that drive the low-latency and high-throughput automated trading system for FX.

Tobi Babalola

Tobi Babalola

Tobi Babalola is the Smart Electric Vehicle Manager at Kaluza, an OVO company with a mission to securely connect customers to an intelligent zero carbon grid. The successes in Tobi’s career have revolved around playing a central role in facilitating a cleaner, greener and sustainable environment. For example, Tobi consulted on and facilitated the electric power supply for Europe’s first large fleet of 50 electric vans for logistics company UPS’s Kentish Town depot.

Kayisha Payne

Kayisha Payne

2019 STEM Rising Star Winner

Kayisha Payne is Associate Scientist at AstraZeneca PLC, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, operating in over 100 countries globally. Kayisha works within the Process Engineering and Packaging group and her responsibilities include understanding the degradation pathways of their drugs and subsequently designing the large-scale manufacturing facilities to produce the drugs.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Rising Star Finalists

Gisela Abbam

Gisela Abbam

2019 BBBAwards Business Person of the Year

Gisela Abbam is the Chair of the British Science Association and also a Global Director of Strategic Partnerships and Company Officer at Abt Associates. Previously the first Head of Government Affairs for UK General Electric Healthcare, Gisela created over £1 billion in business opportunities over a 5-year period. In 2016, Gisela and her team successfully negotiated trade policy at World Trade Organization level, on the elimination of tariffs on key medical devices to enable increased access for patients in 80 countries. Gisela has written over 45 white papers for governments which has improved global public policy and understanding of medical technologies and early diagnosis.

David Germain

David Germain

David Germain is the Group Chief Information and Technology Officer at RSA, a global insurance company which offers both commercial insurance and personal lines cover. David is responsible for transforming the way technology is used to improve the business and customer experience, supporting 12,200 staff around the world. As evidence of his achievements David was awarded a Fellowship from the British Computer Society and in 2019 he was gained the title Chartered IT Professional.

Sharon Lee

Sharon Lee

2019 STEM Senior Leader Winner

Sharon Lee is an Associate Director at Arup, helping lead the Rail Business within Arup’s Project and Programme Management team. Sharon has played a significant role in growing the business, increasing revenue from £1m to nearly £10m per annum since joining. Sharon’s portfolio includes previously working on High Speed 1, helping form their Parliamentary Bill and created the geotechnical works for Stratford International Station and the railway between Fawkham Junction and Medway Viaduct. Additionally, Sharon has worked for Network Rail where she managed 4 routes, a £75m annual budget and monitoring efficiency, budget and progress.

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