Meet our 2021 finalists!

2021 FINALISTS

Read the Official 2021 Finalist Announcement Press Release

Arts and Media

Rising Star Finalists

Ahava-Shaffra Gray-Read

Senior Reputation Manager of KFC UK and Ireland
 

Shaffra Gray-Read is the Senior Reputation Manager at KFC UK&I, responsible for driving business change and building reputation with stakeholders, communities and media. With over ten years’ experience, Shaffra has advised large and international organisations on developing and delivering strategic communications. Shaffra combines her expertise in media relations, corporate affairs, stakeholder engagement and social impat to help people and brands solve problems and implement their vision, with data-driven insight, colourful ideas and an impassioned approach. She has experience in advising board-level stakeholders, managing crisis and leading international communications teams. Prior to KFC, Shaffra worked in the Corporate and Public Affairs team at Weber Shandwick, as well as at the UK Home Office, leading the department’s EU Exit communications strategy.

Chanelle Harrigan

Data Strategy Associate Director at Essence
 

Chanelle is Data Strategy Associate Director at Essence and has worked across New York and London for over 9 years supporting brands such as Disney, Levi’s and Mercedes-Benz with their advertising and data strategies. She delivers data and technology solutions to accelerate her clients’ digital transformation ambitions across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Chanelle’s work has won several awards including a 2019 Drum Digital Advertising Europe award for her Avengers: Infinity War campaign data strategy. Chanelle was named as a 2020 Campaign Media Week 30 under 30 winner - this annual talent search recognises rising stars working in UK commercial media. She began mentoring and highlighting the authentic need for diversity within the advertising industry in 2019. Chanelle is also a co-founder of Nyammin', a start-up that celebrates all things Caribbean. Nyammin’ was founded by 3 British Virgin Islanders who aim to enhance Caribbean awareness.

Hannah Chukwu

Assistant Editor, Penguin Random House

Hannah Chukwu is an award-winning Assistant Editor at Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House UK, where she works on literary fiction and non-fiction, working with authors such as Bernardine Evaristo, Zadie Smith and Arundhati Roy. She is an editor for Five Dials magazine, and the series editor for Black Britain: Writing Back. She is also Policy and Campaigns Consultant for the campaign ‘Lit in Colour’; run by PRH and the Runnymede Trust, the campaign aims to diversify the English GCSE curriculum. She co-founded the theatre production company Chucked Up Theatre in 2016, is a Trustee at education equality charity The Brilliant Club and a Board Member of Creative UK. In 2021 she won the LBF Trailblazer Award and was named on the EMpower Ethnic Minority Future Leader list.

Arts and Media

Senior Leader Finalists

Taponeswa Mavunga

Director of Africa, Sony Music UK

Taponeswa started her career, spanning over two decades, as a receptionist at Warner Music UK.  She worked her way into the publicity department first at East West Records, then Atlantic Records, and over 12 years worked with a plethora of international and homegrown talent spearheading award-winning campaigns for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Puff Daddy, Estelle, Jay Z, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul, Rudimental and Wiley. She then went on to head up the publicity department at Columbia Records, overseeing a roster of formidable talent including Calvin Harris, Koffee, Davido, George Ezra, Rag n Bone Man, and Wizkid. In November last year she was promoted to the role Director of Africa Sony Music UK. In 2018, she was a was a recipient of the Black Magic Award for Influence voted for by a panel of industry peers across music, TV and entertainment. In addition, she was included in the 2018 BBC Woman’s Hour Power list – “Women in Music”. 

Liara Barussi

Artistic Director and Founder, Jukebox Collective

Liara Barussi is the founder and Artistic Director of Jukebox Collective. Liara has worked cross-culturally and cross-disciplinary in a variety of environments. Highlights of her career include creating Jukebox Juniors, an under 16s dance crew who enjoyed considerable TV fame in 2010. This was the beginning of a new journey that inspired the creation of new strands that shaped the current offering of the company. As a consultant, Liara has worked on many high profile projects, collaborating with fashion and lifestyle brands, music labels, creative agencies, cultural institutions and underground arts collectives to create innovative work at the forefront of youth culture. Some projects include; Stormzy x Adidas Launch - ‘Homegrown Talent’; acting as a mentor and judge on BBC Young Dancer and Hip Hop International and directing a performance piece at the opening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Miya Knights

Global Content Strategist, poq commerce

Miya is an enterprise retail technology writer, expert and commentator, with regular international and national print, TV and radio experience, most recently including C4’s Inside John Lewis: Trouble at the Tills programme. Miya has over 23 years’ experience as a journalist, editor, publisher, analyst, research director, consultant, and currently, global content strategist for mobile shopping app platform provider, poq Commerce.

She has co-authored two best-selling books, ‘Amazon: How the world’s most revolutionary retailer…,’ which has been translated into 17 languages, and will be followed by a second edition this November; and, ‘Omnichannel Retail,’ co-written with the CEO of loyalty software provider, Eagle Eye and former deputy CEO of Tesco who launched Clubcard, Tim Mason. Miya is a Retail Influencer Network and Customer Strategy Network member; regularly contributes to industry awards and rankings as a judge and advisor; and, has this year been ranked as a Top 100 Retail Influencer 2021 and Top 50 Retail Technology Influencer 2021.

Consumer and Luxury

Rising Star Finalists

Vese Aghoghovbia

Founder & Creator-in-Chief, Philly & Friends

Vese Aghoghovbia is the founder of Philly & Friends, a Children's Author, Diversity in the Playroom Advocate, Speaker and Serial Entrepreneur. Her debut book, titled, Who Do I See in the Mirror?, was selected by Hello! Magazine and Indy Best as one of the best children's books on diversity. Also featured on BBC, Metro, Huffington Post, The Strategist UK, Mother Mag. It was selected by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, as one of the books to read on her YouTube channel, Storytime with Fergie.

Since launching Philly & Friends, she has been involved in multiple conversations about Diversity in the Playroom, raising confident children through the power of representation, parenting & entrepreneurship, speaking on various platforms, including BBC. She is also a contributor to Parenting Magazines such as HuffPost Parent, Mother Mag, Absolutely Mama. She is a Start-up ambassador for Start-Up Loans UK and Small Business Inspirator for Holly & Co. She is a Chartered Engineer and has over 10 years of work experience in Strategy, Operations and Customer Experience working for FTSE-100 Engineering and Technology firms. Together with her three sisters, she also co-founded DVees, a food & drinks start-up. She is passionate about raising confident and wholesome kids. She lives in London with her lovely husband and two kids, a fearless 4-year-old girl and a determined 2-year-old boy.

Simone Sargeant

Commercial Director EMEA, McCormick

Simone is currently the Commercial Director at McCormick covering the EMEA region. At McCormick, the global food manufacturer which owns several recognisable brands - Frank's RedHot Sauce and Schwartz Herbs and Spices , she is responsible for leading a high-profile team. At 30, Simone is one of the youngest directors in the entire global workforce, consisting of over 14,500 and the only Black female director within Europe. She has played a leading role in defining and executing the commercial strategy for a $100m+ turnover business unit. Simone is unapologetically driven, striving towards being CEO of a FTSE 100 company. She wants to inspire more people of colour into senior leadership positions as well as driving diversity in ideas, products, and people. To elevate others within the community Simone has set up an initiative to coach minority and young female entrepreneurs.

Samantha Newell and Alesha Bailey

Co-Founders, YARD + PARISH 
 

Samantha and Alesha are cousins, and the Founders of YARD + PARISH, the UK’s first sustainable luxury discovery platform for Independent Black-owned brands. The duo work with a carefully chosen portfolio of globally recognised brands such as Black Girl Sunscreen, Afro Hair & Skin Co., and Sheer Chemistry, with an overarching mission to redefine luxury & create bespoke retail experiences for the African Diaspora. Through their curated offerings of eco-luxury products across fashion, beauty, wellness, and homeware, the lifestyle brand is inspired by a minimalist island lifestyle and powered by a growing community of over 40 independent, sustainable Black-owned businesses. Yard + Parish is set to become a household name in British retail, known for reimagining the industry’s cultural landscape by creating spaces for independent product and service-based businesses of the African diaspora to thrive. Driven by the motto, “Discover the Diaspora”, Yard + Parish strives to encourage exploration and investment into Black culture and business now and forever.

 

Consumer and Luxury

Senior Leader Finalists

Alexandria Dauley

Creative Director, Dauley Designs

Alexandria is a residential Interior Designer and owner of Dauley Design, a multidisciplinary design and build practice based in South London and Surrey. Alexandria creates homes with a contemporary, modern design aesthetic, coupled with an appreciation for traditional architecture and detail driven service, Dauley Design creates considered interiors designed to stand the test of time. Passionate about increasing opportunities and access to creative industries for under-represented ethic minority groups, Alexandria is also tackling the issues of diversity as co-founder of charitable organisation United in Design.

Salome Ahenkora 

CEO, Chigwell Tours & Visits and Concept Consulting RMT

Salome is an award winning entrepreneur, leader and manager with over 30 years’ experience – in private and public sectors (UK), internationally, and one year consultancy for the World Bank. Launched in 2012, Chigwell Tours has grown from a local tour of 1 hour to a national tour operator providing 35 unique tour experiences and 13 day winter tour to Ghana. As managing director, Salome has developed graduate internships programmes for university students at UEL,UCL, Kent and St Marys Twickenham. Salome is also a professional mentor for UEL and St Marys Twickenham students, having started out as a teacher.  Some may think having a visual impairment is a limitation, but Salome appreciates the more important aspects of humanity.

 

Silika Shellie

Head of Future Brands, Sainsbury's

Silika is an experienced commercial leader in the Consumer Goods Industry. She has a proven track record in  leading strategic vision and innovation in food and drink , with a strong focus on the consumer , to drive sustainable growth . She has a strong passion and commitment for  developing high performing and inclusive  commercial teams. Silika’s 20+ year career has provided her opportunities to work in businesses such as Nestle, Mars Wrigley , The Walt Disney Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises, where she has held a variety of positions and  leadership roles.  

Silika is currently the Head of Future Brands at Sainsbury's where she leads the  team who is primarily dedicated to discovering the latest innovative brands across food, drink, beauty and gifting. The team often works with smaller suppliers, supporting  them  to nurture and develop their younger & distinctive brands, providing the opportunity to showcase their products to customers nationwide as they’re stocked exclusively in Sainsbury’s stores and online.

Entrepreneur

Rising Star Finalists

Alessandra Madubunyi

Director, We are COCO

Alessandra Madubunyi, affectionately known as the new “James Bond of Fashion”, has pioneered a career in retail consultancy and brand development. With a degree in Global Fashion Marketing and Communications, Alessandra worked across various sectors of communications including Hospitality, Tourism and Renewable Energy in London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. Her passion for emerging brands and retail stem from her foundational years at the British Fashion Council, where she held a position in International Communications and Buyer Accreditation for London Fashion Week.

Alessandra supported the early development of iconic British brands like, Erdem, Christopher Kane, Peter Piloto and Mary Katranzou. In 2016 she established the COCONAUTICAL Showroom, as a one-stop-shop for buyers looking for emerging brands. Recognizing a need to help young designers and retailers navigate the dynamic challenges of running a start-up fashion business, WE are COCO was born. She established WE are COCO in 2018 as the consultancy arm of the showroom COCONAUTICAL. Which today connects global retailers to the best emerging brands and experienced consultants in fashion through mentorship, consultancy, collaboration and product development.

Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe

Doctor/Company Director, SKNDOCTOR

A powerhouse within the field of skincare and aesthetics, Dr Ewoma, also known as the SKN Doctor is an award-winning skin expert with a pioneering approach to beauty. Having graduated from the renowned University of Liverpool Medical School with a degree in Medicine and Surgery, Dr Ewoma has since become one of the most exciting names within beauty and skin. Adopting a multi-faceted approach to aesthetics, her expert opinion has quickly become one of the most sought after in the beauty sphere. Dr Ewoma has garnered a nod of approval from some of the most prestigious publications in the world; Vogue, I-D and BBC to name but a few.

Earning a regular spot at Women’s Health as their resident skincare columnist has ensured her coveted pockets of beauty wisdom are shared on a wider scale. Drawing on her wealth of knowledge and experience, Dr Ewoma has worked closely with a number of beauty juggernauts such as Glossier, L’Oreal, La Roche Posay and NARS. The ultimate partner for skincare brands, she has recently become a brand ambassador for Augstinus Bader, sharing her expert advice, opinions and tutorials with their new and existing customers 

Dr Opemiposi Adegbulu and Taiwo Adegbulu

Co-founders, Omolola Jewellery 

Dr Opemiposi and Taiwo are sisters and cofounders of Omolola Jewellery, a rapidly growing branded e-commerce that specialises in West African inspired jewellery. The business has been featured in British Vogue, Cosmopolitan UK, Glam Africa and Guap Magazine, and in a number of BBC and Channel 4 documentaries. Its revenue has grown by over a 1000% in the last year and has been seen on activists and celebrities such as Seyi Shay, Julie Adenuga and Melissa Wardrobe. It has also been featured in Tiktok’s small business ads as well as Tiktok’s SMB success stories. The sisters grow their following by educating followers about the history of West African jewellery and by offering quick tutorials on how to make certain pieces. They also use their platforms to educate followers on Black history and contribution throughout the Diaspora, with a particular focus on Black women in Africa.

Entrepreneur

Senior Leader Finalists

Claudine Reid MBE

Director, PJs Community Services Ltd 

Claudine Reid MBE, Former Cabinet Office Social Enterprise Ambassador, Forbes Contributor & Leadership coach, with over 20 years experience running a multi-award social enterprise , operating across key sectors including care, education, enterprise support, personal development. Actively involved in community transformation, Claudine’s experience spans, contributing and leading the governing body for schools & colleges, advisor to the DTI, DWP & Prime Ministers Nomination Panel for Social Enterprise, media commentator , TV presenter and national faith community advisor. Leading international conferences in line with the United Nation 17 Sustainable Development Goals to create and sustain a better future for everyone, Claudine is passionate about promoting economic empowerment, personal development, leadership development using the vehicle of social enterprise. Claudine was recently appointed to Chair the Lloyds Banking Group Black Business Owners Advisory Committee to support the group in understanding the experience of Black Entrepreneurs.

Edgar Chibaka & Jamal Tahlil

Co-Founders and Directors, First Response Group Ltd

Edgar and Jamal are co-founders of First Response Group Ltd, an integrated facilities management company headquartered in Leeds with offices across the UK, and employing over 500 people. Both African immigrants, they started the company in May 2007 from nothing, but now report over £25m sales turnover for July 2021. In the process, they have made two successful acquisitions. The company is profitable and counts AXA insurance among their top blue chip customers. The company is highly accredited and is a headline sponsor for the Security & Fire Excellence Awards to cement its position in the market sector.  First Response was in December 2020 named by the Sunday Times Ones To Watch. Jamal is a father and husband who is well experienced in facilities managements, construction, real estate and insurance risk managements. Edgar serves as Executive Board Chairman of the UK Malawi Business Group that fosters bilateral business between the UK and Malawi.

Michael Khouri-Bent

Managing Director, Metropolitan Care Solutions

Until December 2014 Mike was co-owner of Pathway Care Solutions Ltd which specialised in the provision of residential care services to children and young people. At the point of sale the company owned 14 residential homes and employed over of 200 people. The company was IIP GOLD accredited, featured in several business magazines and was largest black-led provider of children’s residential care services in the East Midlands. At the point of sale the company had emerged in the sector as a premier-provider; formally recognised by a number of Local Authorities as either Lead or Preferred provider. After selling PCS (Dec’ 14), Mike developed a property investment & management company (LETS Move – Nottingham Ltd). LMN owns and manages a property portfolio comprising a selection of residential & commercial property. In 2018 Mike returned to the residential care sector and now owns a company (Metropolitan Care Solutions) employing some 60 people.

Financial Services

Rising Star Finalists

Jordon Clarke

GCM/Syndicate Global Ops Project Lead, Morgan Stanley

Jordon Clarke is an Executive Director in Trading Operations for the Institutional Securities Group, at Morgan Stanley. He is responsible for the Global Capital Markets and Syndicate Global Change Programme. In addition, Jordon is the operational lead for Digital Assets. Prior to his current roles, he was Head of European Exchange Traded Products (ETP) Operations, where he had a leading role launching the firm’s successful European ETP business.

Before accepting an opportunity with Morgan Stanley, in 2014, Jordon worked in Equity Derivative Operations at Goldman Sachs and UK Credit Sales at HSBC. Jordon is committed to creating a more equitable workplace in his role as the Co-Chair of Morgan Stanley’s African and Caribbean Business Alliance (ACBA) and as a key member of the Operations Diversity & Inclusion council and The Race to Action Council.

Jordon graduated from Loughborough University in 2010 with a degree in Information, Management & Business Studies (BSc). In his spare time Jordon enjoys playing Basketball and has Jordon launched an education app, which currently has over 1 million downloads.

Ash-Lee James

Managing Director, Weystone Financial

Ash-Lee has been dramatically rising to the top of the financial services industry over the last 10 years. From humble beginnings working full-time at McDonald's, to an entry level job into the industry, Ash-Lee has never looked back. He used the opportunity to accelerate his career with his drive, determination to increase his knowledge of the insurance market. His talent was highlighted as he was headhunted for being one of the top salesmen and influencers, he eventually felt the next level up would be if he owned his own firm. In 2017, he founded and became the director of Weystone Financial. In the midst of a pandemic, Ash-Lee helped Weystone to secure 2 Finalist nominations to the prestigious Moneyfacts Awards in 2020 and 2021, making him not only one of the youngest directors to make the finals, but one of the only 100% black owned business owners in its history.

Janet Onyia

Project & Programme Manager, Accenture

Janet is a technology delivery leader with a proven track record of successfully leading complex, large-scale transformation projects and programmes. Her delivery experience spans multiple Financial Services (FS) clients including Banking, Wealth, Life, Pensions & Insurance covering both technical and functional teams. She specialises in shaping and delivering industry-relevant technology that enables value for organisations and customers alike. Her delivery portfolio centres on safely implementing systems, platforms and organisational change, that are all central to the administration of the core FS products that are key to everyday life. This also includes regulatory change with the FCA, HMRC and international financial bodies. Janet is a passionate advocate for historically under-represented people in Technology and the Financial Services (Race, Gender and Social Mobility). As a result, she founded the Accenture Scotland Women in Technology Community and the Accenture African Caribbean Network in Scotland.

Financial Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Alwin E. Swales

Partner, PwC

Alwin Swales is a Consulting Partner at PwC, responsible for transforming and modernising Insurance Finance Functions. Prior to this, he spent 13 years building 2 start-up Consulting businesses for sale; Intellient (SA) to EOH Ltd, and Paragon Consulting (UK) to PwC. His colleagues, clients and friends speak of his absolute passion and energy for creating environments that equalise the experience for all irrespective of skin colour, culture, or roots. From leading the Black Managers Forum at 22, to launching ColourBrave in PwC Consulting, to joining the Chartered Management Consulting Oversight Board, Alwin continues to coach and support junior staff to board members on diversity and inclusion.    
Alwin graduated with BSc in Computer Science, Mathematical Statistics from Natal University (SA). His career journey to Partner at PwC UK is seen as an inspiration to many who know him.

Lara Oyesanya

Group General Counsel, WorldRemit

Group General Counsel at WorldRemit. Lara is an experienced solicitor in the financial services - digital payments sector that is skilled in regulatory, payments, enterprise risk management, consumer protection, small-medium enterprises, retail and commercial banking. She is an external co-opted Member, Committee on Benefactions External and Legal Affairs (CBELA), University of Cambridge, a non-Executive Director, Plan International UK, and The Shaw Trust. She is a Contributing Editor, LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Banking Law, and a Member, Consulting Editorial Board, LexisPSL. A Fellow of The RSA and 'Business Woman of the Year' & 'Corporate Leader', 2018 FL National Awards. Ranked in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021 and in the 50 Must-Follow Black Female Leaders 2020. Formerly, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at Contis, legal director at Klarna, senior legal counsel at Barclays and BAE Systems, a divisional counsel at RAC, a legal director at HBOS (Lloyds Banking Group), and Group Head of Legal at Lex (Lex Autolease). Lara is also a barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and a law graduate (LL.B Hons) of the University of Lagos with an LL.M in Comparative Company Law.

Kyle Williams

Managing Director & Senior Counsel, Goldman Sachs

Kyle is a Managing Director and head of the EMEA Consumer & Digital Finance Legal group, providing legal advice to businesses in the Consumer & Wealth Management Division such as Marcus Savings and (coming soon!) Marcus Invest, and to our Global Markets Division to businesses such as the Private Investor Products Group for structured investments and our new Digital Assets team. Kyle is Co-Chair of the Structured Investments Products Committee and the Firmwide Black Network EMEA.

Kyle went to law school in Missouri at Washington University School of Law where is now a member of the Board of Advisors and Chair of the Nomination & Membership Committee. Born in California, Kyle lives in London with his Wife Brenda Zelin, and two children Abigail and Elliot. Internally at Goldman Sachs, Kyle provides leadership and role-modeling to the EMEA Firmwide Black Network, a diverse & inclusive collection of Goldman Sachs people dedicated to making the firm work for all its people, but especially those for whom their personal journeys are different and challenging. Externally, Kyle is very active in the justice and access areas of the London non-profit world, partnering Goldman Sachs with the likes of Mentivity in the City to provide COVID-era mentoring, support and positivity to at-risk youth--not just financial resources, but ideas, volunteers, technology, legal and budgeting support.

Professional Services

Rising Star Finalists

Jason Raeburn

Senior Associate (Partner Elect), Baker McKenzie

Jason is a technology litigator whose practice comprises complex disputes relating to trade secrets, software, artificial intelligence, the misuse of data, the delivery of technology projects and services and reputational threats. His core focus is on clients who are operating at the forefront of new technologies. Jason acts as trusted advisor, helping them to navigate business critical, and often entirely novel, legal questions raised by their rapidly evolving digital business models.

Jason is an accomplished advocate in court, having obtained a number of public successes including appearing in a precedent case on the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to hear "second appeals". He also lectures trainee patent attorneys on litigation procedure - guiding the next generation of technology litigators.

Josh Olomolaiye

Senior Manager, Banking Audit, KPMG LLP

Josh is a Senior Manager in KPMG’s assurance team with 9 years of experience delivering large banking projects from statutory audits to regulatory assurance. In his current role, he is responsible for the growth of the FS assurance business with a particular focus on ESG. Most recently, he led KPMG’s involvement in a multi-year assurance programme, central to the UK Government’s economic response to COVID-19. The programme relates to government guaranteed loans that amount to over £80 billion to support businesses throughout the UK. 

He has a seat on the Black Heritage Working Group for Audit which oversees and directs the implementation of the firm wide BlackLives Action Plan for 5,500 colleagues in Audit. Also, one of his proudest moments was when he was appointed as the Treasurer for a charity, whose mission is to bring hope to the people of East London.

Macky O'Sullivan

Samuel Lawrence

Vice President, EMEA , JLL Technologies 

Samuel is a Vice President of JLL Technologies, with responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He is an experienced sales professional in his field and has held leadership positions in large organisations including the Altus Group, CBRE and Proptech where he consistently exceeded targets to find simple but effective solutions. At Altus, he was central to the growth of the business and helped seal the firm’s largest consulting deal. Passionate about supporting the next generation, Samuel is a Purpose Mentor for young Black people in the UK with a focus on personal wealth, finance and career progression. 

 

 

 

Professional Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Akima Paul-Lambert

Litigation Partner, Hogan Lovells

Akima Paul Lambert is a dispute resolution lawyer at Hogan Lovells who works on complex commercial disputes for some of the world’s largest clients. She works across a number of sectors and industries on a range of litigation and arbitration matters. She was recently promoted to partner at Hogan Lovells, and is the firm’s first black partner.

Akima is the co-founder of Creating Pathways, a cross-firm mentoring programme for black lawyers, focussing on pairing up and coming associate talent with senior partner mentors to address the problem of attrition at the mid-senior level. The programme is in its fifth year and has mentored more than one hundred junior lawyers across the City.

Akima is also a diplomat and is the State of Grenada’s Representative to the Holy See.  She was previously a CARICOM (Caribbean Community Youth Ambassador) and was one of the youngest ever awardees of the UN’s Global 500 Award for her advocacy on environmental issues.

David Frederick

Managing Director and Founder, Marcus Bishop Associates

David is currently President of the Association of Accounting Technicians with 130,000 members and students in over 100 countries. He is a specialist ICAEW authorised Probate Chartered Certified Accountant and the Managing Director of Marcus Bishop Associates Chartered Certified Accountants which he established in June 1995. David used Marcus Bishop Associates, to provide access into the profession for numerous members of the next generation of accountants and he continues to mentor others at different stages of their accountancy journey. For 10 years he was the Accounting Chief Examiner for the Chartered Governance Institute and external examiner at several universities in SE England. David has authored six accounting and business textbooks and delivered accounting and business training across the globe. He is a regular speaker and contributor at business and accounting forums; and since 2010, David has been a financial columnist for SE Magazines (SE21 and SE22) monthly magazines.

Lindsey N. Stewart

Head of Stakeholder Engagement Financial Reporting Council

Lindsey is the Head of Stakeholder Engagement at the Financial Reporting Council, the UK’s audit and accounting regulator. In his role, Lindsey ensures that the organisation is well informed of the views of institutional investors and other key stakeholders in business and government. Starting his career at leading investor relations consultancy firm Makinson Cowell, Lindsey was previously a Senior Investor Engagement Manager in KPMG’s UK Audit practice, where he led the development of best practice in financial reporting, corporate governance and investment stewardship.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Rising Star Finalists

Nnamdi Emelifeonwu

CEO, Define

Nnamdi started his career as a solicitor at Magic Circle law firm Freshfields where he was selected in the inaugural EMpower Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List in 2017. At Freshfields, he met his cofounder, who was one of the few registered blind lawyers practicing as a solicitor in the City. Together, they set out to discover a way to increase the accessibility of legal documents to those with visual impairments and realised their innovation had a much broader use case for anyone reading legal contracts, not just the visually impaired. Since launching in 2019, Define has signed some of the world’s largest professional services firms and financial institutions as customers and raised over £3.5m in funding from prominent investors such as Google and Moonpig founder/former Dragons' Den investor Nick Jenkins. In 2021, Define was selected as one of the 10 most exciting early-stage scaleups in the UK by influential growth platform Tech Nation.

Esther Odekunle, PhD

Senior Scientist Antibody Engineer, GlaxoSmithKline

Esther Odekunle is a Senior Scientist at GSK with experience in Antibody Selections and Engineering. She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences (Neurobiology) and her published research has been featured in news outlets such as The Independent. Esther’s commitment to communicating science and public engagement through social media has enabled her to amass a vast online audience and be recognised as a role model within the online scientific community. She has created engaging scientific content, shared insights into her scientific journey, and highlighted underrepresented professionals in STEM. Consequently, her content has been shared in schools internationally, she’s been featured in a published book, and has received social media sponsorship. Additionally, Esther is a prominent advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the scientific community and has written articles published in scientific journals on how we can dismantle systemic racism.

Nina Nduwayo

Data Scientist, Ravelin Technology Ltd

Nina is a Data Scientist with 7 years' experience in the industry. She specialises in using machine learning, data analysis to advise & enable global brands to make smarter data-driven decisions. She learnt how to code through meet-up groups and online courses where she was first introduced to data science. Nina now enjoys using data to solve complex challenges and mature her clients business intelligence capabilities. As the Director of Outreach for Black in Data, Nina is keen to use her experience to raise awareness of career opportunities in data and encourage students to enter this field.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Senior Leader Finalists

Gareth Dauley

Executive Vice President, Pacific Green Technologies

Gareth Dauley is Executive Vice President at Pacific Green Technology where he is committed to creating a greener world and giving future generations more time and an improved environment. Have both started and grown energy start-ups, and renewable energy projects, Gareth’s energy projects are rolled out across developed and emerging countries bringing green electricity and a better quality of life. Through his ongoing work with private industry and governments in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, Gareth provides financeable renewable energy solutions via solar and Energy storage. Gareth has played a leading role in the rollout of out over 1 gigawatt of projects that have supplied the equivalent of 4 million households with clean energy globally. Always eager to pass on his extensive knowledge to the next generation, he has mentored and guided young people working with the London Youth Mentor scheme. Gareth now independently mentors young black/ethnic minority energy professionals, helping them to network, build confidence and focus on career progression.

Gnilane Gueye-Turpin

Executive Director, J.P. Morgan

Gnilane is a Technology Leader with 20 years of experience delivering complex and innovative solutions. She is a mother of two with a passion for cooking Senegalese inspired fusion cuisine. She holds a major in Telecommunications Engineering from EPF, former Ecole Polytechnique Féminine, founded in 1925.

Gnilane started her career at JP Morgan London in 2000, the only black graduate in a cohort of 60. Gnilane became the only female member of an application support team aligned to the Fixed Income Trading desk. Through her career at JP Morgan Gnilane has held roles ranging from Developer, Business Analyst and Project Manager while growing in seniority and stature. Since 2019 Gnilane has been leading a multi-year technology transformation program.

Uzoamaka Nwamarah

Adviser, Climate Change at the Commonwealth Secretariat

Uzoamaka Nwamarah is a climate change adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat. She provides strategic leadership and technical oversight to support the coordination and implementation of the Secretariat’s Climate Change Programme, including its flagship Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub. She is the Secretariat’s lead on the Nationally Determined Contributions Partnership Climate Action Enhancement Package which is providing technical advisory services to support member countries implement their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In her work, she strives to ensure climate finance works for women and young people with the consideration of them as equal participants in decision-making and beneficiaries of climate action. Uzoamaka’s international experience spans across the globe where she has worked with national governments, regional bodies and international financial institutions, advising and supporting them in designing and implementing low carbon and climate resilient policies, strategies, programmes and projects, together with climate finance resource mobilisation.

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