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2022 BBBAwards Finalists

Read the Official 2022 Finalist Announcement Press Release
2022 BBBAwards Key Partner
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Arts and Media

Rising Star Finalists

Ola Christian

Casting Director and Producer at LEVILE 

Ola Christian, a London-born producer and casting director with Nigerian roots is a thriving social entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. He founded LEVILE, an agency that focuses on employing content creators as well as talent from all around world for the entertainment, tv and movie industries across genres. LEVILE boasts an impressive database of 10k+ creatives and Ola has leveraged the recent lockdown to foster relationships that inspired business growth and increased annual revenue to six figures.

Yinka Ilori 

Artist and Designer at Yinka Ilori Studio

Yinka Ilori is a London-based Nigerian artist who uses his Nigerian-British heritage to create new narratives through contemporary design. Drawing on parables and verbal traditions, he brings together themes that resonate with a global audience in ways they can understand. Often using cityscapes as his canvas, Yinka's artwork reimagines spaces to encourage a sense of community and invites his audience to engage within communities, causing impact at a societal level and evoking joy and optimism.

Natalie Morris

Journalist and Author 

Natalie is a journalist and author. In her previous role as Deputy Lifestyle Editor at , Natalie transformed the coverage of race and social justice issues by launching ground-breaking series including ‘The State f Racism’ and ‘Mixed Up’, which focuses on systemic inequality as well as interviews and exclusives with influential voices in Britain who are tackling these important topics head on. Her accomplishments include expanding and diversifying the audience. She is also a critically acclaimed author for receiving a nomination for Best Book of the Year in 2021 on her first published non-fiction book- Mixed/Other- exploring mixed-race and identity in the UK.

Arts and Media

Senior Leader Finalists

Suzann McLean

CEO and Artistic Director at Theatre Peckham

Suzann McLean is an award-winning creative artist, with 27 years’ industry experience as actor director and mentor and recognised for her impact with being selected as a torch bearer for the 2012 Olympics. She is recognised for building safe spaces where marginalised people can unapologetically experience and participate in theatre. Alongside her extensive career in the performing arts, she founded Young and Talented theatre company, which nurtures young talent on stage, on screen and in life. As CEO and Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham, she has been a driving force to ensure inclusion in offering more opportunities for underrepresented voices by championing and channelling local marginalised talent into a national and international focus.

Juanita Rosenior 

Managing Director of The Girl in the Red Glasses ('TGRG')

Juanita Rosenior is the Founder and Managing Director of The Girl in the Red Glasses ('TGRG'), a multidisciplinary boutique Marcomms, PR and Talent agency that connects unique visionaries with an interest to uplift, empower and inspire. The company services clients across different sectors including arts & heritage; social impact media health/wellbeing & social justice-- using bespoke strategies to connect high calibrators such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Alicia Garza and Dorothy Koomson with global brands such as Sky, Netflix among others.

Trix Worrell

Co-Founder of Distant Voices 

Award-winning writer, director, and academic. BAFTA nominee, British Comedy, and the Royal Television Society award winner. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Royal Television Society. First recipient of "Vantage", an award presented at BAFTA by Screen Nation. Honorary member of the British Comedy Academy in 2011.Voted one of the "100 Great Black Britons Throughout History" by the Daily Mail. He has written and produced for award-winning actors including Denzel Washington, Harvey Keitel, Thandiwe, Whoopi, Pam Greier, Viggo Mortensen, and Ridley Scot. Trix Worrell’s seminal moment was the creation of “Desmond’s”. After reading a vexing statistic during lockdown that only 3% of film graduates found work after graduating, Trix decided to form a holistic media company called Distant Voices Group Limited, with the aim of being a bridge into the industry and addressing the challenges faced by minority groups. Within 6 months of trading, the business amassed a turnover of +£1m.

Consumer and Luxury

Rising Star Finalists

Tahlia Gray

Founder and Director, Sheer Chemistry

Tahlia has built Sheer Chemistry from the ground up to empower people of colour and make them feel confident in their own skins. Since 2020, she strategically led the company to successfully launch this innovative brand into mainstream retail spaces resulting in an annual revenue increase of 128%. The brand is now available for purchase across 6 John Lewis stores plus 66 Waitrose branches nationwide.

Prince Chakanyuka

E-commerce Customer Supply Chain Manager, Procter and Gamble

Prince is the Amazon & Ocado Customer Supply Chain Manager at P&G and has extensive experience in Supply chain management. In 2020, he started managing the supply chain of one of the fast-growing businesses during the Covid-19/Brexit transition - Fairy dishwashing business $200M+. In just 10 months, this innovative thinker was given additional responsibilities which put him right near the top spot on one of Northern Europe's most complex schemes: electronics sales ($0 .5B+) alongside building expertise within distribution networks and working directly with the Finance Vice President/E&I sponsor, co-leading E&I recruitment partnerships for Northern Europe P&G.

Ephraim Onyegbule

Director, Eph The Barber Ltd

As a London-based celebrity hair stylist and barber, Ephraim has over 20 years of experience in the hair and beauty industry. His journey in this sector began in childhood and was passed down through a generational family-owned business. Over the years, he cultivated a personal love and passion for barbing and the quality of his craft has exposed him to many celebrities from across the world who have become loyal customers. This expanded network has enabled him to aim higher to achieve even greater heights. 

Consumer and Luxury

Senior Leader Finalists

Patrice Gordon

Director, Commercial Strategy Development, Virgin Atlantic

Patrice is an executive at Virgin Atlantic and she uses her leadership skills and experience to drive cross-functional initiatives that ensure they “build back better” post-pandemic. She is a thought leader when it comes to breaking down barriers, building belonging in the workplace and increasing representation at senior levels. She sits on both Steering Boards for Women in Aviation and Cochair for the Ethnic Committee focused on Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure. Her Post Reverse Mentoring ex-Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger led her path to conduct detailed research that has been recognised by the TED community, Brene Brown and several international businesses as an expert on implementing Reverse mentoring in a credible and sustainable manner.

Sharon McBean

Owner, Nia Ballerina

Sharon McBean founded Nia Ballerina in 2016, an international company set up with the goal of increasing the representation of black ballerinas. The company came about at her realisation that there were no music boxes for girls like her daughter.

The lack of diversity in ballet is still an issue and Sharon continues to work to improve representation by forging partnerships by collaborating with English National Ballet and Brown Girls Do Ballet in the USA to support aspiring young ballerinas in the performing arts, and has donated to schools in the UK, South Africa and Brazil.

Kené Umeasiegbu

Campaigns Director, Tesco

Kené has a 20+ year career in sustainability that spans across not-for-profit, consulting and corporations. He has ever-increasing responsibilities in sustainability roles for Cadbury, Carbon Trust and as the Head of Environment, leading Tesco’s sustainability agenda. Currently, he is a Director at Tesco, leading public and stakeholder engagement on health, climate, food waste, plastics and diets. He has worked across continents from Brazil, Estonia, Nigeria and The Netherlands, for AIESEC, a youth leadership organisation.  Kené is a trustee of Leaders Quest Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Foundation and is on the environment advisory panel of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.


Rising Star Finalists

Jessica Elliott

Talent Agent, Jessica Elliott Management

Jessica Elliott founded JE Management with one goal in mind - to create a diverse, forward-thinking agency that believes that representation matters. 15 years after off-shooting from J’s Dance Factory, a sister company established with only a dream, £200 and in a church hall, the agency continues to grow strong, creating an inclusive family where everyone feels welcome no matter their race, ethnicity, religion or background. JE Management is a talent factory that supplies a diverse range of talented stars to A-list global movie-stars directors and producers.

Fabio Ussumane Embaló

Chief Executive Officer, Viaduct Generation

Fabio's began his career at prestigious organizations, including Google and Mediacom but was surprised to find low representation within the industry after the murder of George Floyd. Passionate about making a difference, Fabio leveraged on an existing relationship with Search Metrics to partner and set up his company, Viaduct Generation, with a focus on offering AI powered technology at a fraction the price to underrepresented SMEs when he discovered that only 0.06% of the top 100 businesses in Great Britain were black-owned as of July 2021. Viaduct Generation has since expanded from a team of three employees to now 16 people total (56% are women and 43% are Black). The company also increased revenue of their  20 plus portfolio companies  by 300%, while surpassing its Year 1 forecast of £129,000 by 17%. 

Troy Johnson


Troy is an ambitious young entrepreneur who found inspiration in his own family's history of cooking and eating good food. Juici Jerk, which started out as just one small home-cooking new-age Caribbean restaurant in London was founded with his older brother Jarrell, with just a £500 savings in 2017. Today, Juici Jerk has exceeded over £1 million in turnover due to their diverse range of services including private and corporate catering as well as a nationwide meal kit service, a residency at Soho and a permanent site at Selfridges London.


Senior Leader Finalists

Connie Barrett

Owner and Director, Kids in Charge

Connie Barrett is a dynamic entrepreneur who has created leading Ofsted outstanding Breakfast, After School, and Holiday Clubs for children ages 3-12 years old. Her impact on the childcare industry in London is felt by over 300+ families who use her flexible childcare services across eight sites with sister company, RightStart Daycare in London. Connie achieves this excellence by investing time into developing her team of 40 multicultural staff to help them reach their full potential. She is also a firm believer in developing authentic and integrous investors and business owners which is why she invests her time in mentoring entrepreneurs by sharing her experiences through training within her business network.

Tommie Edwards

Founder and CEO, Tedbree

Tommie Edwards is an award-winning serial tech entrepreneur and one of the Financial Times Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders In TechUK. She is dedicated to digital transformation and the future of work. She founded Tedbree, a software engineering company that offers project delivery platform services across 5 countries while matching world-class talent teams up with innovative projects regardless of age, gender, location or religious background. Tommie’s dedication isn’t just limited to her business; she is also a G20 UK delegate, Business Advisor and executive board member as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Tommie continues on this change mission by cofounding Tech1M, to develop careers for the next one million tech talents that have impacted over 2 thousand people from across 3 continents to date.

Gori Yahaya

Founder and CEO, UpSkill Digital 

Gori is a serial entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of UpSkill Digital, a leading organisation empowering over 600,000 people in the world of Digital Education and Inclusion. The company has produced some of the world's largest award-winning digital skills, talent and inclusion programmes by partnering with organisations such as Google, Walmart and TikTok. He is a digital evangelist passionate about advocating and pushing the boundaries of digital learning and building equitable workplaces by creating equitable career pathways to progress diverse talent for the future. His purpose-driven organisation has achieved revenue growth of over 100% Year-on-year despite the pandemic, expanding its operations across 7 countries. He is a sought-after keynote speaker, delivering talks on Inclusion in tech from Saudi Arabia to South Korea and has been invited to No 10 Downing street to shape policy on Digital upskilling programmes for Black Communities.

Financial Services

Rising Star Finalists

Simeon Greaves

Associate Director, Wealth Manager, Coutts & Co

Simeon has built a long term specialism working with international clients, helping them bring long-lasting purpose to their wealth. Simeon also works cross-functionally alongside C-Suite executives on initiatives and projects spanning business development, employee culture, and risk appetite. Simeon was pivotal in forming a new risk framework for emerging industries, thereby streamlining the process with bank wide impact. Simeon has always been passionate about creating inclusive spaces for minority groups, working across intersections as a key member of the Coutts LGBTQ+ network and as the Head of Events and Campaigns for the Wealth Multicultural Network. He spearheaded the first Black History Month celebrations at Coutts in 2017 and subsequently not only turned this into an annual campaign, but alongside the team, created numerous events and campaigns over the years to raise awareness, educate, and inspire action. In 2021, Simeon and the team formed a working partnership with footballer, Marcus Rashford; hosted an interview with Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu; and worked in tandem with Coutts’ marketing teams to create the most successful social media content since the inception of Coutts’ Instagram account.

Tracey Ofori-Kumah

Equities Trading, Wells Fargo

Tracey has been working in the Financial Services industry for ten years, starting her career as a financial crime investigator. She quickly pivoted to become an equity trader at Wells Fargo where she is able to leverage her deep knowledge and extensive experience supporting clients while evidencing unwavering commitment to delivering results that are beyond expectations. As the EMEA Black Connections Communication Chair and member of the 2022 WF University Programme consortium, Tracy is championing initiatives to drive forward diversity in her industry. She has also created an attraction plan in collaboration with HR using diverse sourcing channels that will help improve hiring practices across Europe.

Natalie Ojevah MBE

Eagle Labs Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Barclays

Natalie's passion for business and community led her to create Barclays Black Founders Accelerator, a programme that she runs in partnership with Foundervine. The success of the programme has been overwhelming as it currently supports 65 Black founded businesses with an amazing net promoter score of 88. The 2022 cohort is set to be even bigger than last year and will support up to 115 black-owned businesses. Natalie's inspiring story of determination and commitment is evident in her accomplishment in becoming the youngest Black female to be awarded an MBE in 2022 for services to Diversity & Inclusion and Business Development as well as becoming the first Barclays apprentice to obtain a degree as part of the Barclays graduate programme.

Financial Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Adesuyi Agbede

Chief Data Officer, Wellington Management 

Ade is Wellington’s Chief Data Officer. In this role, he leads the data strategy that enables the firm to continually exceed the investment and service expectations of its clients. His remit includes overseeing an enterprise data team, data architecture, data operations, vendor management, analytics, and data governance. Ade partners with key stakeholders across the firm to achieve the critical objective of treating data as an asset.

Sean Alleyne

Chief Operating Officer, Credit Suisse International

Sean Alleyne is the Managing director and COO for Credit Suisse AG London Branch, which includes ensuring effective governance and oversight as well as driving a control culture. He also leads several important programs including a financial crime enhancement program; UK response to Covid-19, and continues his work on global booking model system implementation across Investment Bank entities. Sean has been instrumental in increasing the representation of black talent at his company and he holds several voluntary positions including acting as Trustee of Credit Suisse's EMEA Foundation, and as Senior Sponsor of the UK BAME Employee Network. He was recognised as a Culture Carrier at Credit Suisse, and mentors young professionals pursuing careers within and outside banking.

Tobi Rufus

Executive Director, Goldman Sachs

Tobi is an Executive Director covering Private Wealth Management EMEA clients at Goldman structuring and originating loans and assisting with Private Bank franchise growth. He has led teams in roles of increasing responsibilities from Senior Counsel in the Legal Division, to Senior Associate at law firm Allen & Overy where he specialised in General Lending & Leverage Finance working across major cities such as London, Abu-Dhabi, Amsterdam, Budapest, Lagos and Johannesburg. Tobi is passionate about access and social mobility and mentorship. He has sat on numerous diversity panels where he has shared his journey and was a steering committee of the Firmwide Black Network co-headed the GS Stephen Lawrence group supporting Black male undergraduates from low social-economic backgrounds. He leads the Private Bank’s diversity forum team. He serves as a school governor in East London, on the alumni development board of Hertford College, Oxford, Company secretary of Belsize Park Rugby Club, and is a fellow of the RSA and a non-practising solicitor.

Professional Services

Rising Star Finalists

Hanna Afolabi

Managing Director and Founder, Mood and Space

Hanna has a wealth of experience in development management for large-scale regeneration projects in urban areas.  She founded Mood and Space with the aim of helping clients develop their ideas into reality through managing processes efficiently to deliver great buildings. She managed a c.$860 million mixed-use scheme on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which includes 1 859 homes plus 20,000 sqft of non-residential area. Hanna's passion for racial and gender equality led to her founding  the Black Women in Real Estate (BWRE) in 2019, an organisation bringing together black women in property. She is also Vice Chair of the University of Greenwich’s Construction, Property and Surveying Practices Industry Advisory Board, where she previously guest lectured and she sits on the Diversity & Inclusion Content Advisory Panel of the Estates Gazette's, advocating for diverse representation in property.

Samuel Aluko

Manager, Business Risks & Controls – Financial Services, PwC

Sam is a Risk Professional who supports clients in the Financial Services industry with key areas of their business strategies, controls and operations. He also chairs PwC Black Network which serves to upskill colleagues as well as local communities through thought leadership workshops & knowledge-sharing events; one such initiative led by him included an event aimed at developing students' understanding of ESG challenges having a growth mindset and digital upskilling. Last year saw Sam lead "In My Shoes" I&D Virtual Reality experience, an immersive virtual reality experience created specifically for leaders tracking how inclusive behaviours could be implemented into everyday work life.

Macky O'Sullivan

Vincent Egunlae

Strategic Leadership Team, Assistant Manager, Grant Thornton 

Vincent is a qualified accountant working with the GTUK Strategic Leadership Team, and an inaugural Inclusion Advisory Board member at his firm to support inclusive decisions at the board level to create opportunities for diverse talent and representation. He advocates for greater diversity through a company he founded, Ethnicity Network, which comprises 600+ members that drove the creation of the Ethnicity Action Plan, an initiative designed to reduce the ethnicity pay gap, and increase ethnic minority representation. He is also a co-founder of The Open Private School, a charity that has connected state-school students with 60 experienced mentors in a 6-month comprehensive program. He is also a NED at Capital City College Group and a governor at Crowland’s Primary School.

Professional Services

Senior Leader Finalists

Raymond Evans

Owner and Managing Director, SRI Forensics Limited

As the multi-discipline academic co-founder and sole owner of SRi, Ray transformed the company which was founded in 2004 into an identification expert service trusted by both prosecution and defence teams, giving frequent evidence in court. Identifying a need and through his own initiative, he made the electronic evidence presentation application (EPE) available to the Morecambe Bay cockle-tragedy police investigation team with the help of a multimillion-dollar security company. Through his leadership, his company has developed large EPE applications for high profile criminal cases in the UK and the Hague. He is currently developing new software applications to simplify how evidence gets presented within our Criminal Justice System.

John McCalla-Leacy

Partner and UK Head of ESG, KPMG 

As KPMG’s UK Head of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), John is responsible for embedding ESG practices into the company’s UK strategy and leads the delivery of solutions, products or services to clients. As part of the Global ESG Steering Committee, he plays an integral role in implementing KPMG’s ambitious strategy that will invest $1 billion globally over three years. He is a seasoned ESG professional with 21 years of experience in ever-increasing senior roles at the UK, Regional and Global levels within KPMG. He is a former KPMG UK Board member and currently a KPMG Foundation Board member. As Vice Chair of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE) Inclusion Advisory Group, he is a strong external advocate for ESG, championing the ‘S’ in driving inclusion, diversity and equity.

Amaechi Nsofor

Non-Executive Director, Institute of Directors and Partner, Grant Thornton 

Amaechi is a seasoned financial advisor with over 20 years of service who has honed his skills in protecting the interests of businesses, creditors and government institutions. He serves as an experienced board member of a prominent organisation: The Institute of Directors (Audit & Risk Committee Member) - an influential body empowered under the royal charter to promote UK enterprise. Amaechi is instrumental in the performance stabilisation of the IoD, which reported a £2.6 million profit turnaround in 2021. Additionally, he continues serving on the Audit & Risk Committee after two terms with success. He also recovered $4 billion for creditors over 8 years while advising 75 matters across EMEA, successfully negotiating transactions worth $50 Billion. He is a highly sought-after expert in Restructuring and Insolvency having been featured as an Exceptional Expert and Power Player in Restructuring and Insolvency by Financier Worldwide. He was also conferred with 2 Private Equity Africa awards having led a charge on an African company's restructuring plan, a first of its kind for English courts.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Rising Star Finalists

Becky George-David

Product Head, Business Banking Partnerships, JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Becky George-David is an Executive Director, Product Head of Business Banking Partnerships at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Joining the firm in 2019, Becky sat in the Technology Operating Committee as a trusted adviser to the CIO/CTO on Release Engineering and Change Strategy, playing a critical role in the successful launch and scale-up of Chase digital bank in the UK and across Europe. She is a culture carrier and visible advocate for gender, racial equity and inclusion within the tech industry. She has been active in building an empowered community in the Black employee network, and has influenced firm strategy to increase the attraction and progression of black employees. Beyond this, she is committed to sharing success with peers and the next generation of Black leaders while mentoring/coaching other Black talent and women pursuing tech careers. She also lends a voice to black-centred organisations such as Black in Business at Bayes and the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers Conference.

Ivan Kayima

CEO, Spiela

Ivan is a tech business leader with over a decade of experience in product management, business development and entrepreneurship. He oversees the technical and non-technical delivery of two BACS payment projects for the NHS and DWPs universal credit projects. He also coaches his team on the agile methodology. His entrepreneurial work has provided him with a national platform and recently, he appeared on GB News for Nike’s Black Community Commitment Fund through which he judged 17 black-led organizations that were selected for funding by Nike London. He was also sponsored by OYW to host the Spiela Blue Borough Summit at Goldsmiths University in 2019 as a One World ambassador for Lewisham’s first youth summit designed to empower, inspire and celebrate the South Londoners through 4 themes: Arts, Tech, Youth and Culture.

Tolulope Oke

Global ID&E Customer Engagement Leader, Amazon Web Services

Tolu is a high-performing, multi-award-winning ID&E professional with an impressive track record. In the UK construction industry, she delivered 62 workshops to 1100 learners across Great Britain while building a network of 425 ambassadors 36 trainers and reaching 10k toolkit views. At Sainsbury's, she implemented customer-facing Black History Month campaigns across 225 stores. In 2020, she joined Amazon Web Services and made history by growing their ID&E programme performance exponentially across EMEA by a +235% growth rate within 30 countries and 177% growth in the learning programme in 2021. She is currently the Global ID&E Customer Engagement Leader, partnering with customers to deliver ID&E activations through co-innovation, executive leadership engagement, and community outreach.

Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology (STEM)

Senior Leader Finalists

Kunle Falodun

VP Distribution & Networks Africa, Sony Pictures Television

As Managing Director of Optima Sports Management International (OSMI) in the UK, Kunle

successfully managed the 2014 FIFA World Cup and subsequently co-founded Africa Sports Content Syndicate UK and Media Content Bureau Intl Nigeria, after leaving OSMI in 2014.

In 2016, Kunle began working with Econet Media’s Kwese as Head of Business Development where he was instrumental in acquiring and setting up Free TV channels in 8 African countries and setting up a network of affiliate broadcasters in 30 countries. In 2017, he joined Sony Pictures Television as Vice President Distribution and Network to spearhead its renewed focus on Africa. In this role. Kunle’s is focused on growing and expanding Sony’s business network towards new opportunities in the region.

Ike Olowoye

Senior Director, Late Oncology Global Portfolio and Project Management, AstraZeneca

As a medicine developer, Ike aims to deliver potentially curative treatments for patients and with her breadth of experience, she has contributed to the discovery of innovative drug candidates, early and late-stage clinical trials and regulatory filing for new drugs. She was awarded GSK’s highest scientific honour, a Transformational Medicine Award, for her contribution to the development of a precision cancer treatment and its application to a new medicine (Zejula) that helps extend both the life expectancy and quality of life for breast cancer patients. She is also a recipient of GSK’s President’s Award for her work in business development in the Oncology field, helping acquire innovative pipeline medicines to accelerate through development and reach patients sooner. She is living proof of what can be achieved through diverse representation in corporate leadership and as a role model, this inspires her to mentor and coach the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM.

Edmund Reid

Group Head of Corporate Development, Centrica

Edmund’s 25 years of experience in energy and infrastructure spans consultancy, investment banking and FTSE 100 corporates. It has given him an unparalleled understanding of how these sectors work and their future trajectory. He is currently Group Head at Centrica where he is responsible for shaping and executing Centrica’s transition to a net zero future. Previously, he was Head of Strategy for Centrica Business Solution (CBS) - responsible for the strategic shift towards renewable and flexible assets. Prior to that, Edmund held key leadership and advisory roles with notable companies and such as Managing Director at J.P.Morgan, covering pan-European energy and infrastructure and founding Partner at Lazarus Research, where he advised companies and investors on energy transition opportunities.

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