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.
Alex is currently part of the global senior leadership team, heading sales for Europe and Americas working at Kuoni Group travel services. Previous to Kuoni he spent 20 years within the transport and logistics industry holding various senior operational and commercial roles. He has a masters degree in Strategic Management and some of his core strengths are: leadership, sales, change management, business improvement through lean six sigma, coaching, Budgeting and forecasting. He has been lucky in that all his roles have taken him around the world, which has given him the opportunity to experience many different countries and their respective cultures.
He enjoys spending most of his spare time with his wife and two boys, going to the cinema, go carting, city breaks, beach holidays and eating out. He also enjoys going to the gym and reading at least one book a week.
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.
Anna is a Chartered Health Psychologist experienced in public health research, policy and commissioning. Currently, she works at Public Health England managing a programme of work to improve health outcomes across maternity and the early years. Her prior roles include commissioning mental health services for children and families in Camden, national childhood obesity prevention and developing the early years health services in Hackney. Additionally, a range of research roles have focused on maternal and childhood obesity including at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has specialist knowledge of behaviour change techniques and evaluating lifestyle interventions.
Anna has a passion for finding innovative ways to enable people to take control over, and improve, their health and wellbeing whilst endeavouring to make healthy living fun and appealing to everyone. She has enjoyed living in and around Hackney for nearly ten years, appreciating its vibrancy, creativeness, outdoor spaces, canals and live performances.
Damien has spent the last decade primarily working on social change projects for some of the UK’s biggest NGO’s and brands. He is the co-founder of Vevolution an events and media startup showcasing the world's most inspiring plant-based thinkers. He is also a widely published writer whose work can be found on the Guardian and Huffington Post and Vegan Life Magazine. In 2016 he co-created SWINE, a short film exposing the rise of antibiotic resistance in factory farms.
Outside of work Damien likes to play guitar and read, he has ran two marathons and keeps threatening to run a third.
Jessie is a New Zealand qualified lawyer and is passionate about personal, and public health and wellbeing. She’s lived in Hackney for five years, working in dispute resolution and financial service investigations in both private practise and as an in-house lawyer. She specialises in risk, governance, investigations and negotiation.
In NZ, she worked as an employment lawyer at a commercial law firm, working for listed companies, individuals and non-for-profit organisations. She has a well stamped passport, having been privileged enough to explore Europe and a bit further afield too. What she loves the most is to dance around in her kitchen experimenting with delicious new foods to share with her friends over a couple of glasses of wine.
Radhika Bhagat is a change management and organisation development professional with experience in leadership development, capacity building, behavioural change assessments, and designing impact evaluations of large-scale organisational change programmes across Europe, US, Asia and Africa. She has extensive experience designing and delivering capability enhancement programmes and measuring the impact of change initiatives.
Radhika is a Director of The Stabilisation and Recovery Network (TSRN), a social enterprise focussing on peace-building, gender equality, counter extremism, good governance and post-conflict reconciliation.
Rowena is an independent consultant bringing over 12 years’ experience of tendering, designing, managing and implementing international development and CSR projects in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Specifically Rowena focuses on youth entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on women, helping them to start and grow businesses and create jobs.
Alongside Rowena's consultancy practice she runs her own healthy eating business. Through private classes, supper clubs and dining experiences she empowers people to make healthy, delicious food choices for life. She is a Certified Trainer with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and is also studying Human Nutrition BSc at the University of Greenwich.
Rowena is a keen runner, triathlete and enjoys the outdoors. She has lived abroad for many years and loves to travel and experience new cultures and importantly love to try new foods!
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.
Tara is a Hackney resident originally from New York. She is currently a senior associate at Ashurst LLP, advising clients on a range of corporate and financing transactions, with a focus on the digital economy. She earned her Master of Laws in European Law from Paris II - Pantheon-Assas and her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. Tara also volunteers at the Toynbee Hall Free Legal Advice Clinic.
Tara is passionate about music, dance, art and food. She is an avid street art collector and enjoys cooking and travelling.
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!