Business Clinic: A.A.Dhand - Author of 'Street Of Darkness'


A.A.Dhand was raised in Bradford and spent his youth observing the city from behind the counter of a small convenience store. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he worked in London and travelled extensively before returning to Bradford to start his own business and begin writing.

The history, diversity and darkness of the city have inspired his Harry Virdee novels.

Recently, A.A.Dhand has seen huge success with his novel ‘Streets of Darkness’, with the TV rights being sold to FilmWave, the producers behind the recent adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy for the BBC and HBO. A.A.Dhand has also received coverage from many local and national press outlets, including The Guardian, Yorkshire Post, The Times, The Observer, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, The National (UAE), Bradford Review and Telegraph & Argus

He’s also given interviews on BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio 5 Live, BCB Bradford Radio

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BEF Funding Panel - Andy Chaffer

Andy Chaffer

Business Development Manager | BEF (Business Enterprise Fund)

Andy qualified as a Chartered Banker with Yorkshire Bank before moving to work in retail for American Express. In 2002 he joined UK Steel Enterprise, the CSR division of TATA Steels, working at the newly-launched South Yorkshire Investment Fund. He later worked for both Connect Yorkshire & Finance Yorkshire.

He holds an honours degree in Business & Enterprise from Edinburgh Napier University. Andy is working on strategies to further develop the BEF business, as well as being a part-time coach at Leeds University Business School.

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Bradfords New Direction - Andy Welsh

Andy Welsh

Chief Executive Officer | Bradford College Group
Director and Trustee | Bradford College Education Trust
Director and Deputy Chair | UNIPOL Student Homes

Andy became Chief Executive Officer of the Bradford College Group in August 2014. The Group consists of several associated or subsidiary companies, including City Training Services, Inprint and Design, Beacon Recruitment and Bradford College Education Trust.

Andy took up the position after working for Bradford College for more than ten years as Chief Operating Officer, responsibility for building services, facilities, environmental issues, human resources, technology and library services. Andy was also the ‘Project Sponsor’ and man behind Bradford College’s Accommodation Strategy, which involves an exciting series of large capital projects aimed at making the campus an excellent centre for teaching and learning in the 21st century.

This began with the development of the Trinity Green Campus in 2008, The David Hockney Building in September 2014 and the new Advanced Technologies Centre in September 2015. The new buildings have been tailor made for interactive and innovative ways of learning, giving the students at Bradford College the very best chance of success, with the very best of facilities. The new campuses will continue the College’s ongoing commitment to positively contribute to the regeneration of Bradford, its people and its industries.

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Bradfords New Direction - Ben Fletcher

Ben Fletcher

Managing Director | Boots Opticians
Board Member | British Retail Consortium

Ben Fletcher was appointed Managing Director, Boots Opticians in October 2013 and is responsible for leading the Boots Opticians Business across 640 stores and 5,000 colleagues. Boots Opticians has been formed from the merger of Dollond & Aitchison and Boots Opticians in May 2009.

Ben was previously Finance Director of Boots UK & Ireland and joined Boots UK as Commercial Finance Director in July 2011.

Prior to this, he was Finance Director for the global Salon Professional division at Procter and Gamble (P&G). During his 12 years at P&G, Ben worked in a variety of finance roles in the UK and Western Europe.

Ben is a board member of the British Retail Consortium and chairs the Audit & Risk Committee.

In a little over a year Ben has brought Boots Opticians into a partnership with the National Literacy Trust, which includes committing 90,000 hours of volunteering, publishing a children’s book to help screened undiagnosed eye problems and optician colleagues across the country have both fundraised and visited hundreds of schools. The partnership is built around our shared aims: reaching the estimated 1 million children with undiagnosed eye problems and by doing so enabling them to learn and gain the skills and opportunities they deserve.

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Big Data Week Clinic - Carl Chalfont

Carl Chalfont

Cloud Evangelist | Alscient

Carl has many years’ experience as a consultant working with some of the world’s best known cloud platforms. He uses this knowledge to recommend the approach and solution that will offer the best return on investment. As a cloud evangelist Carl takes every opportunity to talk to customers about the benefits a migration to the cloud can bring.

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - Caroline Towers

Caroline Towers

Board Member | JCI Bradford
Marketing Director | JCI Bradford
Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur

Starting work in her family’s bike shop, Pennine Cycles, at 14 years old, Caroline always wanted to run her own business but to begin with lacked the confidence to do this. After school she worked for a variety of companies from a mortgage company to working for Social Services. Aged 19, Caroline trained as a Personal Trainer, this including fitness training, massage and nutrition. Looking for an escape from the 9-5 in 2011 she received her BA (hons) degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from Bradford University.

Upon graduating and not wanting to return to working for somebody else, Caroline did what she always wanted to do and started her own business. This was an online business in direct sales. This ignited a passion for business, she now owns and operates multiple businesses.

Caroline has been nominated three times at the Yorkshire Women of Achievement Awards, in 2012 for Young Woman of the Year and 2013 and 2016 for Business Woman of the Year.

In 2013 Caroline created the women’s lifestyle blog Conversations with Caroline. As a creative person to begin with it began as a hobby and a place to share her business journey. Over time this developed into a business of its own. She now shares travel, business, personal experiences and blogging tips. In 2016 she launched the successful Trigger Your Blog blogging course to help other bloggers from around the world grow their confidence.

Caroline is also the co-founder of the sport and fitness site Voltage Sport. As well, as offering blogging and social media coaching to small businesses and bloggers.

Caroline’s is passionate about helping young people find their own path. She is a mentor to young people stating out in business and feels strongly about following your dreams – No matter how big they are.

Caroline sits on the board of JCI Bradford as the Marketing Director and is proud to be from Bradford.

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BEF Funding Panel - Colin Whitehead

Colin Whitehead

Partner | Naylor Wintersgill
Treasurer | Bradford Hockey Club
Committee Member | ICAEW
Committee Member | West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants

Colin Whitehead is a Partner at Naylor Wintersgill Chartered Accountants in Bradford.  He qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) in 2005 and is currently the President of the Bradford Society of Chartered Accountants. Colin manages a growing portfolio of owner-managed businesses and has a particular interest in online accounting.

He has a keen interest in encouraging enterprise having worked as an accountancy mentor for the New Enterprise Allowance – a scheme helping long term unemployed people get into self-employment or start up their own business. He has also worked with 16-18 year olds at Woodhouse Grove School as a Young Enterprise Leader and was a regular Finance Lecturer on the Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses Programme administered by Leeds University Business School.

Outside of work, Colin is a keen hockey player and is currently Treasurer of the Bradford Hockey Club

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Galaxy Coms Clinic - Craig Hawes

Craig Hawes

Director | Galaxy Coms
Managing Director | Prestige IT Support
Managing Director | Prestige Project Services

Craig spent 12 years in the Royal Air Force, initially as a Propulsion Specialist. His role changed towards the end of his Air Force career as he became involved in developing and supporting IT infrastructure and communications for a number of Royal Air Force bases across the UK.

After leaving the Royal Air Force, Craig’s first civilian job was as the IT Manager for RST Accountants. Craig managed a team of in-house IT specialists covering 19 offices across the north of England and southern Scotland.

His next role was as UK IT Manager for Thule, a multinational automotive company. Initially responsible for 3 sites in the UK, he was promoted to Divisional IT Manager with his responsibilities increased to include sites in Sweden and Poland.

In 2008, he founded Prestige IT Support. Based in Bradford, Prestige IT Support provide IT services and consultancy to customers ranging from sole traders to multinational companies across the UK and Europe. The company expanded into the African continent, being particularly successful in Nigeria. Due to this expansion Craig set up a separate Ltd company (Prestige Project Services) in Nigeria to deal with the growing customer base.

Due to continued growth in the communications side of the business, Galaxy Comms was formed to deal specifically with B2B IT Communications. Galaxy specialise in voice (SIP and VoIP) systems and providing broadband services such as ADSL, Fibre and Leased Lines across the UK.

Craig is a lifelong Bradford City fan and his dream is to be successful enough to buy Bradford City and get them back into the Premiership

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DIT Export Clinic - Donna Prior

Donna Prior

International Trade Adviser Manager | Department for International Trade in Yorkshire & Humber (formerly UKTI)

Donna works with SMEs to develop international trade, advising on strategy development and implementation, providing access to market/sector specialists, funding, training, general guidance on all aspects of international trade.

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - Ellie MacDonald

Ellie MacDonald

Founder | MacComms

Ellie is a West Yorkshire businesswoman, entrepreneur and founder of PR-led marketing and communications firm, MacComms.

Ellie comes from one of the fastest growing marketing and PR agencies in West Yorkshire, where she worked as account manager, responsible for managing around a dozen accounts at any one time to enhance the profile and promotion of a range of businesses.

Prior to this position, Ellie worked for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as marketing manager. Responsible for delivering the Chamber’s marketing and communications strategy, Ellie took an active role in implementing an active schedule of PR and communications.

Ellie has vast social media management experience, having developed a number of social media accounts for a range of sub brands at the Chamber.
This experience put Ellie in good stead to form MacComms, which has experience substantial growth within 18 months. With offices in Huddersfield and Leeds, and a growing team behind her, Ellie is dedicated to supporting and promoting local businesses. MacComms helps to raise the profile and credibility of firms through press coverage, award entries and marketing, social media and event management support.

Following the success of MacComms business PR offer, Ellie has formed MacComms’ subsidiary, The Wedding PR Specialists, dedicated to helping wedding businesses to grow through increasing their exposure. A dedicated brand, website and social media platforms are in development to launch the wedding offer, with a number of wedding suppliers already on board as clients

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The Business of Sport - Gerry Sutcliffe

Gerry Sutcliffe

Director | Sutcliffe Swales Consultants
Member of Parliament for Bradford South (Former)
Minister for Sport and Tourism (Former)

Gerry Sutcliffe is a British Labour Party politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Bradford South from 1994 to 2015, and was the Minister for Sport and Tourism in the Brown Government. Prior to being elected to Parliament Gerry served as a Councillor on Bradford Council from 1980 to 1994, serving as Leader of Council between 1992 and 1994.

Gerry did stints at the Treasury and Whip’s office before he became Consumer Affairs Minister at the Department for Trade & Industry. Gerry then worked at the Home Office and Ministry for Justice until he was promoted in June 2007 to succeed Richard Caborn as Sports Minister. High on the political career ladder, his determination to build a better Bradford remains as strong as ever.

In 2014, Gerry stepped downed as MP of Bradford South and was succeded by Judith Cummins. He has been invloved in several YEN networking events over the past two years speaking on behalf of IMAS and on topics such as devloution in Yorkshire. He is also a patron for the Yorkshire Enterprise Network and will chair this exciting panel session.

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - Haigh Simpson

Haigh Simpson

Managing Director | Festival Publications Ltd

Haigh is the owner and managing director of Festival Publications Ltd. a print and digital publishing company based in Bradford. After graduating with a first class degree in Journalism in 2012, Haigh joined hibu (formerly Yell Global) and was the company’s first UK editor, managing four magazines and leading a pilot to introduce a series of community magazines to the UK.

In 2014 Haigh formed Festival Publications and launched the Saltaire Review magazine. Over the past two years the company has gone on to launch three more magazine titles (the Bradford Review, the Bingley Review and the Harrogate Review), a food and drink guide and several contract publications including the programme for the British Science Festival in 2015.

The business has also expanded into digital marketing in the past year, offering social media support, campaign management and video content.

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Bradfords New Direction - Ian Ward

Ian Ward

General Manager | The Broadway, Bradford
Board of Trustees | Alder Hey RMHC

Ian Ward has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail sector, beginning with leading fashion and food brands Marks & Spencer and Safeway.

He joined Land Securities in 2008 managing the Stratford Centre in East London, guiding the scheme through a major operational transformation to reduce crime levels and improve the shopping environment for both customers and staff.

Ian returned to the North in 2010, taking on the role of centre director at St Johns Shopping Centre, Liverpool. He managed the shopping centre throughout a period of huge transition. St Johns was sold to InfraRed Capital Partners and Ian oversaw a multimillion pound redevelopment, throughout which the centre remained fully operational. Footfall at St Johns grew year on year under Ian’s leadership, against the backdrop of building works and the toughest economic climate seen in a generation.

Ian’s time in Liverpool saw him take up high profile roles elsewhere in the city. He led the way on developing strategic partnerships with local organisations, both as a non-executive director at St George’s Quarter and chairman of Liverpool City Central BID executive board, representing more than 630 businesses in Liverpool City Centre.

Ian’s appointment as Chairman of the BID followed his efforts to bring the UK’s very first privately funded city centre police station to Liverpool. When government funding cutbacks threatened the level of visible policing in the city, Ian worked with City Central BID and Merseyside Police to fund and fit out a police station within St Johns.

Ian maintains his place on the Board of Trustees at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital’s Ronald McDonald House. Here, as well as assisting in large scale fundraising, he offers an advisory voice to the charity on capital expenditure and management of building works.

In 2016, Ian crossed the Pennines to become general manager of The Broadway, Bradford. The hotly anticipated £260m Westfield development opened just months before his arrival. Ian brings his vast experience to the scheme as he works to cement The Broadway’s position as the heart and soul of Bradford.

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - James Whitfield

James Whitfield

Managing Director | Vanacci

Co-founder of Vanacci, a renegade fashion start-up disrupting the everyday accessories that have dampened the design landscape with repetitive design and a lack of innovation.

Prior to Vanacci, James was involved in a number of design businesses including founding a design consultancy and an innovation branch of BMC which successfully brought a number of products to market. In 2014 he co-founded Vanacci with the aim to control the full process from product concept to creation ensuring quality sourced local materials and UK production

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Bradfords New Direction - Julian Jackson

Julian Jackson

Assistant Director of Regeneration for Planning, Transportation and Highways | City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Julian Jackson is Assistant Director of Regeneration for Planning, Transportation and Highways at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council and as such is a member of the Regeneration Department’s Management Team. He has been in post since March 2009. Before coming to Bradford he was Head of Development Services at London Borough of Enfield and prior to that worked for the London Boroughs of Hackney and Southwark.

Julian is originally from Wakefield and gained his degree in Town Planning from Leeds Metropolitan University. In addition to his Planning degree Julian attained a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Westminster. He is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Julian has a wealth of planning experience working on large scale residential, commercial and mixed use schemes which have contributed to the urban regeneration of town and city centres. His planning experience has predominantly been in the capital working in inner city environments as well as the more suburban areas of London.

Julian’s 25 years of diverse planning experience has ranged from overseeing of commercial schemes of significant scale in the City fringe area of London to Premiership standard sports facilities in the Green Belt. He has also worked on master plans for the regeneration of areas in east London including involvement in the Olympic proposals for regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley. He was responsible for co-ordinating Hackney’s handling of the Olympics proposals at outline application stage. Julian worked in partnership with the Greater London Authority and English Heritage on producing one of the very first Area Action Plans in London. In his management roles Julian has a successful track record in service improvement.

Since his arrival in Bradford Julian has been committed to ensuring that the Planning, Transportation and Highways Service contributes fully to the Council’s transformational plan and supporting its key priorities of regeneration, education and skills. Julian has taken a lead role in ensuring that the Planning and Transportation Service plays a key role in delivering regeneration schemes in Bradford including the award winning City Park, the Broadway Westfield shopping centre and the introduction of Local Listed Building Consents in the historic Little Germany area of the City.

Julian takes a lead role in West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region, working closely with the Combined Authority on Regeneration, Planning and Transportation issues and he currently chairs the Leeds City Region Heads of Planning group and is a member of the West Yorkshire Local Transport Board.

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - Matt Lemont

Matt Lamont

Director and Designer | Foxduo Design
Director | Assembly Bradford
Treasurer, Designer and Director | Chapel Street Studio

Matt achieved a First Class Honours in 2011 and has since worked in a variety of design companies and set up his own business as well as been a director of two others.

Matts main role is as both director and design at Foxduo Design, which provides a range of design services, specialising in brand and print design. Working with a range of clients, in a variety of sectors such as Bradford Council, The Arts Council, Kala Sangam, Bradford College and UnLtd, Matt has been able to both grow his reputation as a designer as well as providing a specialsed service from Bradford City Centre.

As well as working as designer Matt also offers and teaches workshops about Design History. He has worked with design agencies providing inspirational talks, using his extensive design collection and also helped organisations such as ArtWorks, where we taught people who has previously been homeless, digital design and assisted an awareness campaign for Homelessness.

Matt is also one of the Directors of Assembly Bradford, a new coworking space in Bradford, which offers cost effective desk hire and facilities for creatives. The space houses his library of over 1,000 design books and design ephemera.

Matt also is both a treasurer and director of Chapel Street Studio which is a creative consortium cooperative, which offer a range of communication services from a group of specialist members who are experts in their fields. From animation to brand specialists, Chapel Street Studio has worked with clients such as The Southbank Centre, The British Science Association and Bradford Council.

As well as design, Matt’s interests are in teaching and researching. His future plans include starting a social enterprise, which offers design experience for young people wanting to start in the field by working with local charities, who do not have the budget to work with a professional design agency. He also plans to host exhibitions and teaching design part time.

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BEF Funding Panel - Melissa Liburd

Melissa Liburd

Project Manager | West Yorkshire Combined Authority

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Bradfords New Direction - Nasser Malik

Nasser Malik

Chief Executive | NMC Galaxy
Chairman | Malik House Business Centres
Chairman | Yorkshire Enterprise Network

Nasser is Chief Executive of NMC Galaxy, specialists in retail consumer credit, retail financial services, FCA compliance, data management, and all aspects of BPO (on-shore and off-shore).

Previously he was Financial Services Director at Express Gifts Ltd (main trading business of Findel Plc), responsible for Credit Management, Risk, Collections, Debt Recovery, Financial Products & Services, Customer Operations, including all Call Centres in the UK and abroad; and Back-Office operations.

Nasser’s previous roles include:

• Head of Credit for Orange and Hutchison Telecom, with responsibility for Group credit/FS Operations (UK, France, and Germany)
• Head of Credit at Grattan Plc (Otto UK) with responsibility for all aspects of Credit, Risk, Collections, and Debt Management/Recovery
• Empire Stores Plc (now Redcats) with responsibilities for Statistical modelling and Risk Assessment systems
• Extensive experience of BPO strategy and operations (onshore and offshore)
• Speaker at conferences across UK and Europe, including Guernsey, Sweden and Germany

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The Business of Sport - Nigel Harrison

Nigel Harrison

Chief Executive Officer | Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Nigel has over 20 years of experience of working within the sports industry initially relating to sports facility management before a move towards sports development. Nigel was pivotal in creating an alliance between South Yorkshire Sport and West Yorkshire Sport under a single non-for-profit charitable organisation that started in January 2013.

He has extensive experience in drawing up strategic plans in sport making a major contribution to the sports strategies in each of South Yorkshire’s Districts. Prior to joining the West Yorkshire Sports Company he was the first employee of West Yorkshire Sport in 2001 and worked at Calderdale Council in various roles including Sports Development Manager. His first jobs were with North Warwickshire Borough Council managing sports centres.

Nigel is currently taking a national lead on behalf of the CSP network in England relating to its work with National Governing Bodies.

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BEF Funding Panel - Pamela Goodison

Pamela Goodison

Business Growth Enabler | NatWest Bank

Pam has worked for the RBS/Natwest group for 27 years & has been heavily involved with business lending for trading and property investment. She is accredited through the Chartered Institute of Bankers in The Certificate in Business Banking Practice II. She is involved with the women in business ambassador programme as well as working with the Princes Trust.

As a Business Growth Enabler she is involved with setting up event days that cover different issues facing small businesses, from how to pitch products and services, accounting, recruitment and even more specialist topics like how to protect from cyber fraud.

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The Business of Sport - Paul Porter

Paul Porter

Chief Executive Officer | Boxing England

Paul was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of England Boxing in September 2015 has more than 30 years experience in boxing at every level of the sport from competing and working in grassroots development to managing and delivering boxing events at major international competitions and multi-sport events.

He was the Boxing Field of Play Manager at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Technical Operations Manager for Boxing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Boxing Competition Manager at the 2015 European Games in Baku.

For the last seven years Paul has worked as a Sports Academy Manager at Bradford College which includes the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy. Prior this he spent two years as a Boxing Development Officer at the Amateur Boxing Association of England (the previous name of England Boxing) where he was responsible for growing participation in the sport within South Yorkshire.

Paul also runs his own boxing fitness and coaching business as Managing Director of Dark Star Sports Limited

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Young Entrepreneurs Panel - Philip Cockayne

Philip Cockayne

Chairman | Yorkshire Group of Junior Chambers (JCI)
Management Consultant | Good Governance Institute
Acting President | JCI Bradford
Board Member | Get Out More CIC
Leadership Group member | Bradford Chamber of Commerce

Philip is a Chairman, Board Member and Management Consultant – all at the ripe age of 25.

After graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) in 2012 with a degree in Contemporary History, Philip joined a Bradford-based IT firm (Cloud2) as it’s first dedicated Business Development resource.

Is late 2013, Philip decided to take control of his own personal and professional development and focus in his attention in aligning his management and strategic thinking outside of his day job. It was at this stage that he joined JCI Bradford as Deputy President. Throughout 2014, Philip supported the growth of the chamber, a sleepy organisation with little exposure and very few partners and transformed it into a vibrant, growing, engaged and innovative organisation that supports it’s members in taking control of their own self development for the betterment of their careers and lives.

Philip was appointed to the National Board of JCI UK as Chairman of the Yorkshire Region (voted in by Yorkshire’s Presidents) to co-ordinate the chambers of the region and lead strategic conversations and initiatives across the Yorkshire Region.

Philip also sits on the board of a Keighley-based social enterprise (Get Out More CIC) which runs outdoor activities and workshops for children and corporates to improve health and well-being.

Philip is also a Management Consultant working with the Good Governance Institute (GGI) and specialises in provide Corporate Governance and Organisational Development support at Board-level in the health, education and third sector.

Philip is passionate about young people taking ownership of their own development needs by testing their experiences and skills outside of work in a voluntary capacity. This culminates in taking recognised leadership posts which will support people in getting leadership, management and strategic and elevates them in their career development (be that within an organisation or through their own business and enterprising interests)

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The Business of Sport - Richard Cramer

Richard Cramer

Partner | FrontRow Legal

Richard obtained an LLB Honours Law degree from Leeds Metropolitan University and an LLM in Advanced Litigation at Nottingham University.

Richard has over 25 years of legal experience having qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and formed Cramer Richards solicitors in 2002. He regularly appears in regional and national media as a recognised figure in Sports Law and is a frequent guest on Radio Leeds, providing expert advice to its listeners.

Richard specialises in Dispute Resolution and all aspects of Sport, Media and Communications Law. He acts for both individuals and companies in contentious and non-contentious issues including a number of high-profile clients.

He is recognised at Legal 500 as one of the country’s leading sports lawyers and has extensive experience in sports related disputes.

Richard is a Registered Lawyer with The Football Association and acts as an agent in both Rugby League, Rugby Union and Cricket.

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BEF Funding Panel - Richard Doyle

Richard Doyle

Principal | Radish Investments
Partner | CareFree Flora
Non Executive Director | NYnet
Non Executive Director & Investor | Numecent
Non Executive Chairman | Blue Logic Computer Systems Ltd

Richard founded Esteem Systems in 1985 which he grew to a £30m IT infrastructure & Managed Services business. He sold Esteem to a BI/MBO team backed by Primary Capital. Since then Richard has immersed himself in a variety of voluntary and commercial roles. He has been in the IT industry for 30+ years and now has various property and commercial interests including: NED/Investor Numecent (Cloud Paging software), NED of NYnet (Broadband), NED Chair of Blue Logic (IT Services) and NED of Ampleforth Abbey Trading (trading arm of Ampleforth Abbey Trust)

Richard has held a number of other NED roles in recent years including, NED Chair of Connect Yorkshire where he remains an Entrepreneur in Residence, NED Chair of and investor in Liquid Accounts where he still retains an investment, NED/Investor in the Arena Group which doubled turnover and profits during his tenure and NED Chair of Total Commerce Management which was sold in September 2010. He is also a former member of the CBI Council for Yorkshire & the Humber, a former Town Councillor and a former governor of two of the region’s leading independent schools

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The Business of Sport - Rick Parry

Rick Parry

Chief Executive (Former) | Liverpool Football Club
Head (Former) | FA Premier League

Rick Parry is the former chief executive of Liverpool Football Club, and the former head of the FA Premier League. He is currently on the board of directors at New York Cosmos (2010).

Rick Parry was educated at Ellesmere Port Grammar School and the University of Liverpool. Upon obtaining his degree, in Maths as a trainee Chartered Accountant in 1976, qualifying three years later. Having spent a number of years in the leisure industry in financial controller positions, he rejoined his former firm (by then known as Arthur Young) in 1983 as a management consultant.

An unashamed Liverpool fan, Parry was recruited from his position as a senior management consultant with leading UK firm Ernst & Young in 1991 to assist in planning the new Premier League. Appointed Chief Executive in February 1992, the competition was officially ratified just seven days later by The Football Association, allowing Parry to proceed with negotiations for a television deal which was eventually awarded to BSkyB and the BBC for a then record bid of £214 million over five years.

As Chief Executive, Parry oversaw the development of The Premier League into one of the top professional football competitions in the world, with major investment in new stadiums, increased attendances and an influx of major international stars. During his last twelve months at Lancaster Gate he brokered the biggest ever television deal in the history of UK sport, with BSkyB and the BBC offering a package in excess of £700m for Premier League broadcasting rights.

Parry’s experience is not confined solely to football, having prepared Manchester’s bid for the 1992 Olympic Games in 1985 and later advised the Birmingham Olympic Games Council on financial matters. In the following year, he spent six months on a major assignment for The Football League before assuming the role of Chief Executive to the Manchester Phoenix Initiative, a major urban regeneration project which culminated in the establishment of the Central Manchester Development Corporation.

When Manchester secured the British nomination to bid for the 1996 Olympic Games, Parry was seconded to the bid committee for two and a half years as full-time Director supervising, amongst other responsibilities, the planning of a £750 million Olympic Centre.

Parry was appointed as chief executive at Liverpool in July 1998, by then chairman David Moores.

Parry remained as chief executive of Liverpool Football Club until the end of the 2008-9 season.

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Bradfords New Direction - Sandy Needham

Sandy Needham

Chief Executive | West and North Yorkshire Chamber

Sandy Needham is the Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber, the leading business organisation for the Bradford, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire, offering lobbying and a large range of business services. In the last ten years the Chamber has created a fund to lend to companies, built managed offices and industrial units for growing businesses and created networks for specific sectors and areas of work e.g. manufacturing alliances.

Earlier roles include working as a Company Secretary in a small company, Regional Manager with TV-am and Yorkshire Television, Regional Manager with NCH/Action for Children, Regional Director of Common Purpose and Chief Executive of Chamber Management Services Ltd and the Bradford Chamber.

Sandy is a Trustee of the John Speak Foreign Languages Foundation and a non-executive director of Business Enterprise Finance Ltd, a community development finance institution lending to businesses. Other roles include being a member of the Bradford Producer City Board and the Prosperity Board and of the Leeds Business Improvement District. Sandy is a member of the National Women’s Two Percent Club.

Hobbies include skiing, cycling, film and reading thrillers in German.

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BEF Funding Panel - Stephen Waud

Stephen Waud

Chief Executive | BEF (Business Enterprise Fund)

Steve has been working in the Finance Sector at a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise since 2004. BEF has grown tenfold in that period. The business is now going through a further period of growth. The successful completion and running of BEFs City Hub incubator is only part of that success.

He has been an advisor to recent governments on Access to Finance and provided input into the commission for banking standards. He is a previous chair & vice chair of the CDFA and continues to lobby actively within the sector. He also is a member of the Ecology Building Society’s lending committee. He was pleased to be nominated to fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his contribution to social enterprise.

He has worked very successfully across a variety of sectors ranging from precision engineering, Plastics, Automotive, Brand Marketing and oddly enough Signage. Initially training as a design engineer he has worked in precision engineering for 18 years. Working within the SME world has given him a clear understanding of the needs of those businesses.

He is a strong communicator and decisive leader and has lead all those SMEs to strong growth and clear profitability.

He trained later in life to become a Barrister specialising in Company Law, Employment Law, Intellectual Property Law as well as Contract Law. These seemed to fit most comfortably with his commercial experience as well as add value to the work he does for SMEs.

His strong financial, legal and technical skills are well placed to assist businesses and this is borne out through his non-executive director functions in a variety of businesses.

Steve continues in his role as one of the presenters of the Business Matters show for BCB radio (a little more Jeremy Paxman than Chris Evans). This is a specialist business programme looking at current concerns in the business community for West Yorkshire providing insights and commentary.

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The Business of Sport - Wayne Jabobs

Wayne Jacobs

Bradford City Legend
Co-Founder and Chief Executive | One in a Million

Wayne is Co-founder of One In A Million, a charity which creates pathways in life for youngsters who have faced difficulties, motivating them to take control, be more confident and achieve their full potential.

Wayne enjoyed 26 memorable years in professional football, both as a player and manager spanning all tiers of English football including Premier League, Championship, League 1 & 2 and the National League. He is now Chair of Active Bradford, a partnership of organisations that helps formulate the strategy for Sport and Physical Activity in the Bradford District. His connection with Bradford City is still as strong today, as the club is a community partner of One In A Million, alongside Bradford Bulls and Yorkshire Cricket Community Foundation.

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