THE PLANT-BASED COMMUNITY COOKERY SCHOOL
Chair of Trustees
Jean is an associate chartered management accountant who for the last 10 years has been an independent consultant for financial and professional FTSE 250 firms to support large change and transformation programmes.
Growing up in Ireland, Jean came to the UK to read a BA in Economics at the University of Manchester and remaining in the UK; recently returned to education for an Executive MBA at London Business School.
Due to dietary health issues growing up, Jean developed a strong interest in healthy eating as a teenager. Becoming vegan 5 years ago; Jean delighted in attending the Holistic Caribbean Cruise in 2016, reaffirming her interest in whole food plant based diet, hearing speakers such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Michael Greger.
Jean enjoys cooking for friends and family and on recently moving to Wimbledon, has returned to gardening, bring back childhood memories of gardening with her late father.
Irina is a real estate finance professional specialising in acquisition, due diligence, bank financing and execution as well as overall asset management including finance and process streamlining. She has been with Queensway Group for over 7 years and grew strong relationship with the main JV partners Wellcome Trust, developing and operating 10 hotels under the Point A Hotel brand; and Clearbell in the Sloane Club Private Members club venture.
Previously Irina focused on real estate structured finance at Banca Imi investment bank following the completion of SDA Bocconi MBA. She started her career as Senior Analyst at Hilton Hotels Corporation with strong foundation in excel financial modelling after graduating Cum Laude in economics and accounting from University of California Los Angeles.
Growing up in California she has always been food and health conscious. Outside of work she is passionate about yoga, travel, photography and nutritious meals for the family.
Yasmin started out in International Development and her interest in sustainable global food systems combined with a touch of cosmic intervention led her to become one of Made in Hackney’s first Project Coordinators when the kitchen opened. With a heavy heart, she left in 2013 to complete her teacher training. She is currently Head of Government & Politics and Teacher of History at a school in East London. Her ongoing professional interest is in holistic education and Learning Outside the Classroom. She still loves cooking and learning more about ethical food choices. When she’s not teaching, she likes to stay active with yoga, swimming and travel, and has just started salsa lessons!
Tara Sukumar is originally from Toronto and a proud resident of Hackney. Tara started her career as a management consultant working in the Middle East, North and South Africa. After 4 years, she decided to pursue her MBA and make a career shift into the tech industry. She has been with BT for four years and set up the ‘Internet of Things’ Strategic Programme within BT Global Services. She is one of the key IoT Thinkers in BT Group, responsible for proposition development and strategic partnerships.
Tara stays connected her friends all over the world, and serves as Alumni Class Secretary for her MBA class at Dartmouth. An avid music lover, she dabbles in techno as an amateur DJ. With a passion for charitable giving, she has raised over £4000, cycling from London to Paris and Amsterdam, respectively.
Tara’s passion is sustainable living and she hopes to learn from and contribute to Made in Hackney.
Rowena is an independent consultant bringing over 15 years’ experience of tendering, managing and implementing international development and CSR projects in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Specifically Rowena provides strategic advice to organisations wishing to diversify and grow funding, and technical assistance to youth entrepreneurship and economic empowerment programmes.
Rowena is also a Certified Trainer with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and takes a keen interest in the growth and development of the plant-based food sector.
Rebecca has a passion for numbers and has been following an actuarial path for the last 12 years. She is a consultant actuary who specialises in financial modelling for life assurance, and has worked for a number of large banks, insurance and reinsurance companies. She also has a passion for food and health. She is a trained Ashtanga and AcroYoga teacher which supports her health focus. She is also a vegan and is passionate about educating people about a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Melissa is a passionate scientist currently working as a project manager within a specialist global consultancy, helping to drive and deliver challenging clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas from metabolic disease to oncology. To date, the focus of her clinical work has always been the patient; having started out researching and analysing health outcomes and quality of life of patients enrolled onto clinical trials, as well as focusing on the recruitment and retention of patients onto trials.
Additionally, she is a registered nutritionist with a particular passion for educating people to understand food and nutrients, with a particular interest surrounding the empowerment people via cookery skills and mastering the appreciation of good flavours. Melissa has been involved in various clinical nutritional intervention studies, investigating behavioural and lifestyle changes within different populations.
Melissa also works with food brands and eateries as a consultant, analysing menus and developing recipes, as well as experimenting with food styling and photography.
Ashley is a food sector specialist who currently leads the food team at Ayming, an R&D and Innovation consultancy based in London. She chose a path in food to positively influence the way that people eat and is passionate about people and their overall wellbeing.
After getting her BSc in Food Science and beginning her career in Food Product Development in Cape Town, South Africa, Ashley moved into exciting Innovation roles in the UK at both Lily’s Kitchen and the Belazu Ingredient Company. Ashley has worked on both private label and branded products across several food sectors, including Mediterranean ingredients, baking and pantry, herbs and spices, pet food as well as food packaging.
Ashley first encountered Made in Hackney when she moved to London in 2015 and lived in Hackney, attending a cooking class. She feels at home in the kitchen and when she’s not cooking for friends, she can be found running the parks and streets of London, doing yoga, reading books about food, enjoying wines of the world or exploring London’s vibrant food scene.
Amar is a partner in Agilia - a strategic and commercial consultancy supporting major infrastructure projects. He has spent 20 years developing and delivering infrastructure projects. In his previous roles, as Major Projects Director for Thames Water, he oversaw the delivery of over one billion pounds of capital investment. Prior to that, as Commercial Director for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, he led the team developing the innovative and ground breaking delivery model. He also led the procurement of the main construction contracts – the largest contacts to be let in the water sector.
He started his career in the City, with Allen & Overy, advising banks and sponsors on UK and international projects. He has also worked for HM Treasury where his role included was responsibility for developing and delivering the commercial and contractual framework for a £10billion programme of investment in waste infrastructure.
Adam Biddle has been at the forefront of media since 2009, launching the first-ever social agency for celebrities. In 2011, he was part of a small team that set up theAudience (the WME x Sean Parker social media agency) in the UK, going on to become the Managing Director of Vice Media Groups in-house social media agency, Edition. He is now the CEO and co-founder of GH05T, a social media and content production agency based in East London.
GH05T has an unprecedented client roster with an impressive portfolio of global celebrities, sports events, and multinational brands across a multitude of industries. All this has been achieved through zero marketing or PR, demonstrating how powerful the company’s content and results are.
Over the past 10 years, Adam has worked with over 500 Brands, celebrities, entertainment properties, sports events, HNWI and heads of states. Referred to by his peers as the ‘Banksy of Social Media’ due to his lack of online presence and media engagements, his influence on content and shaping conversations are unparalleled.