Getting to the Top - A Winning Mindset

Patrick Clarke OBE, Director of Network Operations at UK Power NetworksPatrick Clarke OBE
Director of Network Operations at UK Power Networks

Patrick has risen from an Apprentice to the Executive team of UK Power Networks (formerly EDF Energy).

As Operations Director he reports to the CEO and has day to day responsibility for managing the distribution of electricity to 8 million customers in East Anglia, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey (part), Sussex and London. This impacts about 25% of the UK population.

Patrick has undertaken a number of significant engineering and commercial roles including overall responsibility for the design and build of the power distribution network on the Olympic Park.
Patrick is also a qualified HR practitioner and was formerly the HR & Communications Director in EDF Energy. However, his quest to personally develop has seen him move from being an Engineer professional, to HR professional, to senior executive leadership roles.
He is responsible for about £600m of spend on engineering project each year and directly employs 3000 people plus 2000 contractor.  Patrick has placed a strong emphasis on community investment over the last 30 years.

In 2005 he co-authored “Made in Britain” a book majoring on inspirational role models from British BAME communities (almost 10,000 copies sold).  In 2008 he was Prince Charles’s ambassador for London (for leadership and diversity).

Denise Rawls
Chief Press Officer and owner of Strange Fruit Greeting Cards

Strange Fruit Denise RawlsDenise has what she likes to call a portfolio career.  She mixes running her own business with a running a busy high profile press office.  After thinking that she didn't have enough time, money or experience to start her own business Denise changed her mind during her wedding reception in October 2010.  She wrote a business plan and got ready to launch a diverse greeting card company to fill the gap in the market. The business was literally started on a shoestring; Denise sold two pairs of designer shoes on eBay to fund her first print run.  Two years later Strange Fruit has been featured in two books and the cards are sold in a growing number of independent stores, the Mary Portas at House of Fraser shops and have recently launched in the US and Canada.

Angela Arnold
Partner at BH Solicitors and Board Member of Carers Lewisham

Angela Arnold is currently a Partner at a South London Firm and heads the Commercial, Employment and Litigation departments.  Angela has a diverse experience in area of commercial and residential property, civil and commercial litigation and employment. She has strategised various community partnerships with law Firms over the past 8 years and encourages local businesses to become part of the community to make a change. She is currently an active mentor for London Borough of Brent and Harrow Education Department. Angela has a degree in Law with International Human Resource Management and postgraduate in law.

Angela has worked initially as an analyst for London Underground at the commencement of the Jubilee Line project but decided for a turnaround career and had a keen interest in education standards for the youth generation in the UK, which subsequently led to her enrolling to assist the Brent and Harrow Educational Authority, acting as a mentor, and has over the last couple of years promoted the essential importance of work experience ethics and value of knowing what students can gain from insightful experience in the area or industry of their chosen profession or vocation.

Angela is also acts as a consultant solicitor at various niche regional law firms, specialising in commercial property matters.

Joanna AbeyieJoanna Abeyie
Entertainment Journalist and Founder of Shine Media social enterprise

Joanna’s first break in journalism came aged just 16 when she secured work experience at Now! magazine. While there she decided upon a career as a journalist.

From the age of 17 to 21 Joanna interned, free-lanced and worked for over 30 publications including newspapers, magazines, online publications and even a few American titles. She has now had her features, news stories, fashion and beauty stories published in publications such as Cosmopolitan, Sky magazine, Heat, More!, The Mirror, The Voice, The Guardian,  Mail Online as well as, Radio Times.

Whilst studying English and Sociology at Reading University, she freelanced  and launched two community based magazines. Branching into PR she helped with PR for the likes of Kelly Rowland and did placements at BBC Radio 1Xtra and Colourful Radio where she would report showbiz news.

During her time at the Radio Time sshe covered shows like The Peckham Finishing School for Girls, Radio 1Xtra live and profiling BBC’s ethnic broadcasters and successfully increased the participation of ethnic minorities at BBC Magazines through various initiatives including the first BBC worldwide student careers event, and the first internal celebration of Black History Month.

Joanna was a founding member of the student led charity Elevation Networks Charitable Trust and subsequently founded Shine Media which is a social enterprise that aims to increase diversity in the journalism industry.  It aims to provide young people from ethnic minority groups between the ages of 16 – 24 with work experience, mentors, annual careers events and funding for journalism training.

Joanna is currently a staff writer on Virgin Media Magazine and  recently launched her own showbiz news website Flashing Lights. On a recent trip to New York Joanna managed to get the opportunity to spend time with Tinie Tempah on tour, and also interviewed Hollywood actor Stephan Baldwin, UK talent Jessie J and Graffiti 6.

She also won GUBA Award for Best Print Journalist and is a member of the SOLA Foundation Management Board.

Hosted by Sheryl Nwosu

Sheryl is a Barrister practising from one of the largest specialist criminal sets in the country.

Called to the Bar in 2000 and gaining a tenancy in her first set of Chambers in early 2001 she then built up a busy practice at the Bar both defending and prosecuting in the full catalogue of criminal cases including murder.

Her decision to become an advocate or Barrister was motivated in part by some of the social injustices she observed and perceived whilst growing up on what was described as a “socially and economically deprived” housing estate in North West London; having been told that even if she did pass the “notoriously difficult” Bar entrance exams that the Bar was a difficult profession for a woman she decided that this was the profession for her; she always states that she has never thought of her background, sex or colour as a bar to her ambitions or to what she knew she was going to achieve.

Having been a lawyer for 12 years she cites one of her greatest achievements as being told by young people, who she encounters through her work and other activities such as mentoring, that she is an inspiration to them.

Sheryl now solely defends in criminal cases and remains passionate about being an advocate for those who may find themselves at times without a voice.