We are privileged to have some of the Region’s most influential leaders and individuals on the committee of Legacy Awards. They bring along an array of knowledge and expertise that enhances this award and allows it to be relevant yesterday, today and tomorrow. Media to entrepreneurs the skill set held within the membership is phenomenal and essential for the Legacy Awards to continue its growth. The committee reflects the diverse communities we are celebrating and therefore have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the importance of such an Award to applaud all those who ordinarily may not be recognised for their huge accomplishments reflecting positively on themselves, their community their city and region at large.
Heather Nelson
CEO BHI/National Director BME Cancer Voice/Magistrate
Heather first and foremost is a mother. She is the Chief Executive of charity which is based in Leeds and works regionally and nationally and has an extensive background and working knowledge of Equality and Diversity with the overall aim of Inclusion within the Education, Health and Social Care 3rd Sector.
Heather also holds the position of the National Director of BME Cancer Voice, the only UK wide cancer programme having membership of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities who have a lived experience of cancer.With over 25 years’ experience of working within the 3rd Sector Heather has built a phenomenal reputation amongst the partners she has worked with in both the Private and Public sectors. Heather’s success is based around her recognised and successful effective community engagement and ability to reach and understand the complexities within culturally diverse cities. The ability to liaise and extrapolate information from within marginalised communities to reconcile with local joint strategic need assessments policies and services. Heather also presides over Adult Crime in the criminal courts in West Yorkshire as a Magistrate
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Sanjiv Buttoo
Sanjiv Buttoo is Managing Editor with BBC Radio Leeds. He’s had a varied and successful career starting out as a presenter with BBC Radio Leeds before becoming North of England reporter and then South Asia correspondent with the BBC Asian Network, working as a producer with Radio 5 and as an investigative reporter with Radio 4’s flagship programme File on Four. Sanjiv has worked for BBC World
Service living and working in India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Before taking up his current role he was Managing Editor at BBC Radio York and Deputy Editor with BBC Radio Lancashire. Sanjiv was born and brought up in West Yorkshire and still lives in the county. Previous to his career in journalism he served time in the British Army before becoming a sales and marketing director with a fashion company working with designer brands and high street chains. He is passionate about diversity in all its forms and has worked hard to improve Radio Leeds’ output and it’s team to better reflect all of West Yorkshire’s communities.
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Rachel Beverley Stevenson

Rachel Beverley-Stevenson is the co-founder and Chief Executive of OneMedicalGroup, a nationally recognised and award-winning health and wellbeing organisation, working within, and alongside, the NHS. The Group was co-founded by Rachel in 2004 starting with delivering patient centred primary care estates. Since then, Rachel has inspired and led OneMedicalGroup’s

impressive growth, developing the group into a leading player in the provision of quality, innovative, flexible healthcare and wellbeing services and solutions delivering care to over 500k patient contacts a year and having built over 60,000m2.of quality healthcare estate. Rachel’s vision is to drive growth by using innovation and quality in all areas of the group, to improve the lives of all; staff, individuals, families and wider communities.
Rachel challenges the norm, embracing technology and innovation as well as championing creative thinking daily; she empowers colleagues to do the same to deliver positive and effective change. She is a visible and participative leader, valuing the input of her 250-strong team and peers under her direction. She is also a strong believer in using business as a force for good to improve the patient journey and actively supports several third sector organisations.
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Professor Udy Archibong

Uduak Archibong MBE is Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford, UK, where she directs the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity and provides strategic oversight for equality, diversity and inclusion across the institution. Uduak has been recognised by the British Government and the Queen for her services to Higher Education and Equality. She was awarded MBE in the 2015 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

She is a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing. Uduak is recognised as a thought leader in inclusion and diversity and currently leading in setting agenda to drive research, learning and knowledge exchange activities internationally. Uduak’s academic and professional work has major impacts locally, nationally and globally. Key among these impacts is that the body of her research work has provided a robust understanding of the challenges of applying diversity interventions in enhancing workforce diversity and inclusive service delivery. She is leading the development and promotion of a movement to forge community unity against dementia in Nigeria and has founded AFfIH to help her determination to make Nigeria a Dementia Responsive Country. She has recently led to completion a major multi-million EC funded project, GENOVATE, across 7 European Universities and is currently involved in a multi-million Horizon 2020 project, RRING, along with 22 international partners in Europe, China, Africa, India, Japan, North America and South America. She is also involved in a national research study ‘Cracking the Concrete Ceiling’ which seeks to explore the impact of the ‘Diversifying Leadership’ programme of the Leadership Foundation [now part of Advance HE] on UK Black and Minority Ethnic Academic staff. This study is in collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of East London and the Equality Challenge Unit [now part of Advance HE] A multi-award winner, Uduak has featured in the Northern Power Women List in 2019. She has been honoured as one of the top 100 Nigerians in the UK to receive a Centenary Award, one of the top 50 Inspirational Women in Healthcare in the UK, and a Distinguished Nurse Leader in 21st century in Nigeria. She was listed in the Black WHO’S WHO in the Millennium in recognition of her outstanding achievements. She has been celebrated with triple high chief titles in Nigeria and an Ecumenical Canon of the Bradford Cathedral in the UK.
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Dr. Sharon Watson

Sharon Watson is the 7th Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre. Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, she was one of the first female Principal Dancers invited to join the all-male award winning Phoenix Dance Company, touring with the company from 1989 to 1997 where she choreographed Never Still and Shaded Limits. Having left Phoenix to pursue

a number of other ventures including setting up her own company ABCD, Sharon returned in 2009 as the new Artistic Director. Since then Sharon has choreographed Fast Lane, Melt, Never 2 Still, Repetition of Change, TearFall and Windrush: Movement of the People During her tenure at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sharon has received a number of awards and accolades: In 2010, she was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s ‘Women to Watch’, a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK. She was awarded The Sue Ryder ‘Yorkshire Women of Achievement in Business Award’ and named ‘Yorkshire Woman of the Year’ in 2016. She recently received the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’ Companionship Award from Sir Paul McCartney, and was recognised as one of ‘100 faces of a vibrant economy 2017’ by Grant Thornton. Acknowledged at the 2017 Northern Power Women Awards as part of the very first ‘Top 50 Power List’ and in 2018 Sharon the First English Woman’s Award 2018 for Arts and Culture and was presented with a Honorary Fellowship by Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Sharon’s recognitions are testament to her continued passion and drive to contribute to the local and national creative industries through the medium of dance. Sharon is a trustee of The Place, London, Leeds Playhouse, and an artistic advisor for Central School of Ballet. She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and BAME artists.
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Alex Simmons

In life I wear a few hats… Head of Diversity at IMA leading the vision both internally and externally for global marketing agency IMA. IMA formally Intermarketing agency started in Leeds over 30 years ago and now have offices around the world in Manchester, London, New York, Munich, Sydney, Cape Town, Amsterdam as well as our brand new state of the art HQ on the docks in Leeds city centre.

Other hats I wear include Founder and TV presenter of Rugby AM an independent media brand showcasing the great game of Rugby League, myself and Jamie Jones-Buchanan also own RAM Films a production company that produces TV, Corporate films and documentaries. My most unique hat is joint operations director alongside Jason Robinson taking the Jamaican National Rugby League team to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup a role that although challenging I feel is so important to the Caribbean community on both sides of the world in terms of inspiring next generation athletes and lastly by far my most important hat of all… dad to four amazing kids Athena, Rocco, Beau and Theo. As a person I’m driven, passionate and a leader.
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Sharon Needle
Sharon Sakinah Needle was admitted to the bar in Malaysia where she practiced for a number of years and in 1998 cross-qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales. With a legal career spanning 25 years, Sharon has advised on numerous corporate transactions and disputes both nationally and internationally acting for individuals, companies both private and listed,
governments and banks and other financial institutions. She brings to each transaction or problem legal and commercial experience and the ability to find clarity through the inevitable obstacles. Having worked for a number of large international law firms both in England an Asia Sharon set up her own practice, Needle Partners Limited (Needle), in 2007. Using Needle as a base Sharon has trained many young lawyers from different communities, some of whom who did not have the opportunity to obtain training contracts at larger firms. Many have, after being trained by Needle, gone on to work in London and elsewhere although they still stay in touch. Despite remaining a boutique firm and working with start-ups and smaller clients Sharon has led a number of high-value transactions and successful disputes including last year an international shareholders dispute with a value of £360 Million which went to the court of appeal and a global sale of a business worth over £50 Million. The needle also assists in pro bono work including assisting the claimant in a racial disclination employment claim successfully in January 2019. In 2017 Sharon was a finalist in the Law Society’s Woman Lawyer of the year category. She has also won Forward Ladies “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Northeast as well as being shortlisted as a finalist by the Institute of Directors in 2018 for her work in diversity. Sharon is fluent in Malay/Indonesian and has a working knowledge of Arabic.
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Nick Wayne
Born in Leeds some time ago; studied 3-dimensional Design and Theatre Design in Nottingham and then moved down to London to seek his fortune in the pop music industry. Opened a recording studio and booking agency in Whitechapel, East London. Made demo tapes, records,
promoted tours, music publishing and started a record label. Forced to close by unsavoury characters based in the East End. Joined Britain’s leading pop concert promoters, Harvey Goldsmith as Tour Manager, touring with artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Yes, Genesis, Phil Collins, Black Sabbath, Roxy Music, Cat Stevens and many others. After a short period of time became advertising manager as well. 1976 moved back to Leeds and worked for Richard Branson in the fledgling, Virgin Records. Then into the advertising industry as media manager, production manager and finally account executive with a couple of Yorkshire based advertising agencies. Now, a seasoned Marketing, Advertising and Design specialist with over 35 years’ experience of owning and running Marketing Agencies; Nick put into motion his ‘exit strategy’ in December 2017 and has been even busier with the Realistic Business Consortium, which helps Third Sector organisations with their strategic business thinking, and other business interests ever since.With a passion for helping Third Sector organisations, he is a Trustee of the Yorkshire College of Music & Drama, a Trustee of Leeds Youth Opera, Patron of Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal, an Ambassador for Leeds Trinity University, on the Advisory Board of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association amongst a number of other activities.
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Judith Blake, Baroness Blake of Leeds

“I am delighted and proud to be the Patron of the Legacy Awards here in my home city of Leeds. The Legacy Awards ceremony has grown  year on year and has become a significant event in the annual calendar of events in Leeds. The Legacy Awards gives us an opportunity to celebrate the

achievements and contributions of so many who have given so much to their communities and to our great city and beyond – and most importantly an opportunity to say thank you. Many award winners have achieved national and international recognition for their work and it is only fitting that we have the opportunity to  ensure that they have the recognition they so richly deserve from the city of Leeds”.
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