Meet the Board

Have a look at our 2019 board members:

President:

Ellen Walker

Ellen Walker
Occupation: Associate Solicitor at Hall Brown Family Law
Biggest personal or professional achievement:
I’m really proud that I was one of the earliest members to join Hall Brown and I’m now part of a team which, in only two years, has been ranked in Tier 1 of the Legal 500 and named by the Times as one of the top 200 law firms to work for, out of a pool of 10k. At only 2 years’ qualified, I was promoted to Associate and now act in some of the largest and most high profile family law cases in the country, dealing with A-list celebrities, world famous sports people and entrepreneurs with assets in excess of £100m.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, ambitious and caring
Describe JCI in 3 words: Fun, Leadership, Challenging

Deputy President:

Rachael Shah

Rachael Shah
Occupation: Project manager at Reason Digital
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I won the JCI Manchester Young Talent Awards (MYTAs) two years in a row for being the most outstanding digital professional.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Fun, caring and determined
Describe JCI in 3 words: Development, networking and learning

Immediate Past President:

Jake Holland

Jake Holland
Occupation: Financial Planner, NJH Wealth Management
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I am delighted to be helping to run a family financial advice practise. Myself, my brother and my Dad can all sit in an office together every day and be family & colleagues, I’m very proud to be part of that.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Determined and Loyal
Describe JCI in 3 words: Opportunities, Leaders, Positivity

Finance Director:

Erin Berry

Erin Berry
Occupation: Deal Advisory (Due Diligence) Executive at Mazars
Describe yourself in 3 words: Tenacious, Personable, Enthusiastic
Describe JCI in 3 words: Engaging, Supportive, Approachable


Marketing Director:

Hannah Matthewman

Hannah Matthewman
Occupation: Business Owner
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I am really proud that at a young age I was in charge of a team of 6 people at an award winning social media marketing agency. Most recently I am also proud that I have decided to setup my own brand and business this year.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Dedicated, fun and ambitious
Describe JCI in 3 words: Friendly, Opportunities and Development

Marketing Director:

Mara Polansky

Mara Polansky
Occupation: Sales and Marketing Manager, Creative Spark
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I completed a management training program in the sales and marketing industry working with various charities. The programme was something that only 1% of participants completed. Working with various big organisations, it was inspiring and enlightening to work with so many different types of people and I gained skills in team management, marketing, business strategy and sales. Not only did I serve as a branch director for over a year, but I was awarded the 'Brand Ambassador' Award out of 500 people. Before I decided to leave the sales industry for more experience in events and marketing on the agency side, I had helped raise over half a million for various charities between me and the team I trained.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Determined, enthusiastic and outgoing.
Describe JCI in 3 words: Development, opportunity and unifying.





Marketing Director:

Cheryl Hill

Cheryl Hill
Occupation: Event Producer ‐ Ninth Events and Managing Director ‐ We Are Chill
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I have loved being a part of JCI for the last four years. I’ve been on both the local board and National board, engaging with members to help them get the best out of their JCI experience. Throughout my time I’ve improved my public speaking and debating skills, as well as delivering national training programmes. JCI has supported me through setting up my company last year, We Are Chill, which delivers all your digital and social marketing needs. As well as my partnership with Ninth Events where we can provide every event need from small to large, corporate to personal and more. My confidence in my professional capability has benefitted from my JCI membership, particularly when I took part in the European Academy in Sweden in 2017. European Academy is an intense weekend that helps you develop your leadership skills. I would highly recommend it.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Enthusiastic, Dreamer, Passionate
Describe JCI in 3 words: Engaging, Challenging, Opportunity



Charity Director:

Melissa O'Brien

Melissa O'Brien
Occupation: Associate Corporate Solicitor at Freeman Fisher LLP
Biggest personal or professional achievement: Qualifying as a corporate solicitor and moving to a brand new city in September 2017 were probably two of the scariest leaps I’ve ever made in my career, maybe even my life. But, I sure am glad that I made them. I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that I’d be lucky enough to be involved in the deals which I’ve been exposed to over the last 15 months, which the largest being in excess of £60 million. But my biggest achievements this year by far have been being promoted to an Associate at 14 months qualified and heading my first transaction, which I successfully completed in November 2018.
Oh, and I’m planning my wedding of course, which is by no means an easy
task, so any tips are welcomed…
Describe yourself in 3 words: Focused, Driven and Thankful.
Describe JCI in 3 words: Friendships, Opportunities and Challenges.


Charity Director:

Emma Godefroy

Emma Godefroy
Occupation: Solicitor at Hall Brown Family Law
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I was very pleased to be head-hunted to join an award winning law firm like Hall Brown. Since joining, I am proud to have helped build our children team which specialises in complex international children disputes. I also advise and represent clients on all aspects of divorce and dissolution and associated high value financial settlement. I have written for the highly acclaimed Resolution’s ‘Gazette’ and have contributed to the latest book by the organisation ‘Only mums and dads’, which is to be published early this year. Despite only being 18 months qualified, I am committed to building connections by being involved in networks such as ‘Women in the Law’ and am delighted to be part of JCI this year.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Ambitious, personable and outgoing.
Describe JCI in 3 words: Fun, interactive and challenging.




Social Director:

Steph Peña

 Steph Peña
Occupation: Construction Paralegal at Clarke Willmott LLP
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I have wanted to practise Law from a young age, but I completed an undergraduate degree in Classics before embarking on the conversion to Law. Classics involves the study of the Greco‐Roman world and although I had studied Classical Latin through to A‐Level, I essentially had to ‘pick‐up’ Ancient Greek to obtain my degree. It was an incredibly steep learning curve, but only served to reinforce my love of the Ancient World’s languages, art, philosophy, history and literature. I believe that studying Classics has helped me to develop significantly as a person as I have learnt to be a lot more analytical and disciplined through the study of the languages in particular. I managed to obtain a First in my dissertation ‐ a grammatical analysis of a section of Virgil’s Aeneid – which was a great way to end my degree.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Confident, driven, perceptive
Describe JCI in 3 words: Inclusive, community, development


Training and Development Director:

Kim Le

Kim Le
Occupation: CRM Manager at CurrentBody
Biggest personal or professional achievement: My biggest professional and personal achievement was where I spent 2 years working as an email marketing specialist for the British Red Cross. I’d helped shaped and developed the email marketing strategy for the education department, assisted the department through a challenging email service provider migration and the GDPR requirements and supported the team through times of extreme humanitarian crisis such as the attacks of 2017. Being a data‐driven self‐confessed geek by day, by night, I love to paint and have my own art blog (www.brushedwithlovexo.com) and art instagram (@brushedwithlovexo). For the Manchester attacks, I painted a scene of Manchester at night and donated the painting to be auctioned off in a charity art auction. The painting made over £200 for the British Red Cross. I also took part in a hike up Mount Snowden for the charity which is something completely out of my comfort zone.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Creative, Ambitious, Out‐going
Describe JCI in 3 words: Inspirational, Motivational, opens opportunities

Membership Director:

Joe Sapcote

Joe Sapcote
Occupation: Assistant Relationship Manager at Allied Irish Bank (GB)
Biggest personal or professional achievement: In 2017, I took part in a charity singing competition called talent in a teepee, singing with the band The Ragamuffins. The event was held in the teepees at The Oast House and was an event to raise funds for two charities, Cash for Kids and Brainwave. I ended up winning the event and also raised c£1000 for the charities.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Friendly, Welcoming, Competitive
Describe JCI in 3 words: Engaging, Inclusive, Opportunity.


General Director:

Ruby Riaz

Ruby Riaz
Occupation: Management Accountant at Sedulo
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I’m really proud that I received a scholarship from ICAEW to study Accountancy at the University of Manchester and also completed the Manchester Leadership Programme before leaving university. I now work as Management Accountant at an award‐winning firm called Sedulo.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Friendly, Ambitious, Hard‐working.
Describe JCI in 3 words: Social, Inclusive, Challenging.


Membership Director:

Dan Shidlow

Dan Shidlow
Occupation: Community Manager, All Work & Social, Allied London
Describe yourself in 3 words: Social, caring and fun
Describe JCI in 3 words: Exciting, inspiring and creative

General Director :

Cicley Ward

Cicley Ward
Occupation: Operations Manager at Embryo Digital
Biggest personal or professional achievement: I was recently shortlisted for the Marketing Professional of the Year 2019 at the Made in Manchester Awards which was an honour to be in a category with such outstanding achievers.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Caring, Organised and Ambitious.
Describe JCI in 3 words: Friendly, Opportunity and Supportive.