Ambassadors

ELLIE DOOHAN – Founder, Ellie Doohan & Associates – Executive Coaching and Leadership and Interim General Counsel services

After a corporate career at the highest levels, Ellie recently struck out to fulfil her dream of running her own portfolio business– Ellie Doohan & Associates.  Through Ellie Doohan & Associates, she provides Executive and Leadership Coaching and interim senior legal support.

The foundation of Ellie’s business comes from her 17-year career at Asda and Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer.  Ellie was on the Executive board of Asda for many years and then more recently was responsible for launching a global compliance and ethics programme across Wal-Mart’s operations in Europe, Africa and Canada.  With a team of over 250 people across 3 continents, as you would expect, Ellie has got great leadership and coaching skills and understands cultural nuance well.  She has worked with many of the retail legends and has superb business as well as legal acumen.

Passionate about development, Ellie also helped build Asda’s reputation as a people-led business with a strong coaching culture.  She was voted an Everywoman Retail Ambassador,  was one of the founder members of Asda’s diversity steering group and was instrumental in starting the relationship between Girls Out Loud and Asda.

Ellie grew up in Stockport and went to Harrytown High School and Aquinas College. Although she now lives in central London. We will be tapping into Ellie’s connections to help us develop our corporate relationships and enable us to bring Girls Out Loud to even more schools.

PENNI PENNINGTON – Director & Co-Owner of ConnectIn

Penni is the Director and Co-Owner of ConnectIn Events in Manchester. ConnectIn are the ‘go to’ team for dynamic, value-added and brand led events with a passion for supporting good causes and the leading provider of high profile conferences and award programmes in the UK Housing sector.

Penni’s great strength is building & maintaining effective relationships. Her repeat business rate is high and together with her Co-Founder David Ward she has over 20 years’ experience in communications, selling and event management. Her warmth, ‘I can’ attitude and attention to brand values and financial planning ensures her reputation for delivering awesome events that wow and we are delighted to have her on board to lead our charity event – The Shining Stars Ball on 29 September 2017.

Penni says ‘ I am so glad I grew up when I did, the statistics Jane shared with us at the recent Women In Housing Awards night relating to teenage girls and their mental health, self-harming, suicides, eating disorders, bullying and lack of aspiration was truly mind blowing. I am pleased to be supporting Jane and her team and the amazing work they are doing to empower girls and help them navigate such a challenging landscape.’

SONIA BATE – Managing Director of EDIT Development

Sonia Bate is the Managing Director of EDIT Development. EDIT Development is a global people development business with three main practices: Leadership Development, Coaching and Diversity & Inclusion.

She is a business leader with over fourteen years’ experience in leadership. Sonia has also has held senior leadership positions in both retail and the financial services sector so brings broad commercial and operational experience to the companies she works with. Her expertise spans selection and assessment, talent management, leadership development, executive coaching and working with organisations to deliver a diverse business and an inclusive environment.

Sonia is passionate about building talented pipelines of diverse talent and enabling young women to fulfil their potential. She is a big believer in lift and climb and is excited to be an Ambassador of the great work Girls Out Loud are leading as this is aligned to the work her company does with businesses and education around the world.

NATASCHA COX – Fashion, Beauty, Travel & Yahoo Style Blogger

Mother to three children, including two girls, Natascha was born an Army baby and has lived in Germany, Sweden and the UK. After getting pregnant at a young age, it took Natascha a while to be able to find the right path for herself whilst trying to work around the constraints of being a mother and a single one at that.

Natascha decided to go back to school at the age of 21 and studied BA Hons in Video Production & Media Studies. After graduating Natascha pursued a career as a child model agent and went on to run her own successful agency.

Three years in and two children later, Natascha realised that she had always wanted to work around fashion and media so decided to start a blog. The fashion, beauty and travel blog, nataschacox.com quickly gained popularity and currently attracts over 48000 visitors each month. Natascha tries to promote positive body image and has appeared in Now magazine, and various publications as a body image champion. You will also find Natascha’s articles over on Yahoo, as she regularly contributes to their Style section.

Trying to change the way the media perceive bloggers and beauty in general, Natascha wants to help young girls to see themselves as beautiful too and make positive life choices along the way.

Natascha says “I really want girls to have somewhere or someone to turn to that they feel comfortable talking to and can be honest with. Sometimes there is a lot going on and as a teenage girl it’s very difficult to talk to your parents about the kinds of things going on around you.

Girls Out Loud help girls to appreciate themselves and their worth and encourage them to take part in positive activities which is great as there is just so much out there for them. I especially want to see girls in the UK being taught that teenage pregnancy is not the way to go and to really show them what life is like when you have children so young and the struggles young single mothers face. Girls Out Loud programmes and Big Sister mentors are so important for girls as they help to navigate the challenges of their teen years and can really make a difference.”

SARAH NEWTON – Author, Speaker and Youth Coach

Sarah Newton has shared her innovative wisdom with millions who have tuned into her TV and Radio shows, followed her writing and listened to her unconventional talks.

She has been described as a catalyst, daring all she meets to break out from social norms and follow their own path. She has worked in girl’s empowerment for over 30 years, first as a police officer and then eventually running her own business, via a stint at Disney World in Florida.

Sarah has a no-nonsense, down-to-earth approach to solving most youth-associated problems, based on tactics that work, not rhetoric out of a book. She is often the only one in the room to stand by her viewpoint and tends to think the opposite to everyone else.

Star of ITV’s My Teen’s A Nightmare, I’m Moving Out! and author of Help! My Teenager is an Alien – the everyday situation guide for parents, Sarah has just teamed up with her daughter to write a novel to help girls with their body image issues. Sarah has written for The Guardian, The Huffington Post and the Daily Mail.

Sarah believes the old paradigms and thinkings about female empowerment are flawed, and in order to create original thinkers and extraordinary female future leaders, we need to re-imagine all we are doing.

Sarah says ‘I remember the first time I saw the amazing work Girls Out Loud do and being so impressed. I thought I need to be a part of that. A lot of girls are in pain and are suffering and they need supportive programmes like those Girls Out Loud offers. I was delighted when I was asked to be an ambassador and support the incredible work Jane and her team have done and continue to do.’

TRACEY JONES – Director for North Wales Dragons Ltd, Director for the Jamie Carragher Foundation, Business mentor for Princes Trust

Tracey knows a thing or two about female empowerment, having spent the past 25 years working in the male dominated environment of the football sector including 9 years as the Founder and MD of the award winning Rhyl Football in the community programme.

In 2015 Tracey decided to launch her own consultancy business supporting other football clubs across North Wales to develop community programmes. Tracey has been married for 35 years and has 2 children and 2 beautiful Granddaughters, believing that family is everything, but knowing not everyone has what she has, she is very keen to support our young women to create fulfilling, independent lives.

Tracey currently is a Business mentor for Princes Trust, a Director for North Wales Dragons Ltd, and has recently been appointed Director for the Jamie Carragher Foundation. Tracey’s experience comes with life and if she can help and support others to not make some of the mistakes she has then that’s a winner for her!

Tracey recently became a Big Sister at a school in Rhyl and pledges to take Girls Out Loud with her on her travels through North Wales and the North West. Tracey says ‘To be asked to be an Ambassador for this amazing organisation is truly an honour. ‘

KAREN TURTON – UK Operations Director, Turtle Bay

Karen Turton has built a career within the hospitality industry that has so far spanned over 25 years. She started at a grass roots level running nightclubs and pubs before moving into the Learning and Development arena where she became the Group Training Manager for Choice Hotels Europe. During this role she was awarded one of the Caterer and Hotelkeeper prestigious 30 under 30 awards that then led her to move back into pubs into a more operational position.

The next decade saw her gain credibility as an operations manager and she further enhanced her skill set with a move into marketing where she headed up the value food brands as the Concept Manager. In 2005 Karen was named as one of the 6 finalists for business woman of the year at the Publican awards.

Following a successful career in pubs that saw her named as a finalist in the ALMR operations manager of the year awards she was headhunted by Nandos to be their first ever appointed female Regional Director where she remained for over 2 years before becoming UK Operations Director at Turtle Bay.

Karen, known as KT by her colleagues, has a passion for leadership that she combines with learning. In 2013 she successfully gained her Masters in Multi Unit leadership after spending time researching the millennial generation and leadership impacts. This year she will continue her personal development journey by starting a PHd where she will set about to undertake some unique research specifically focussed around diversity and females. Karen is really clear that her purpose is to help the females she comes into contact with be the best they can be and help them step forward. This is what has brought her to Girls Out Loud.

Karen was introduced to Jane’s work through a colleague and the superb work immediately resonated with her own purpose and as such she is keen to support and help Jane grow the Girls Out Loud brand to ensure that as many impressionable girls are reached as soon as possible in their formative years to help them step forward into being whatever they choose to be.

JO WHITFIELD – CEO Co-op Food Group

We are delighted to welcome Jo Whitfield to our team of Ambassadors. Jo has been a fan and advocate of our cause for the past few years ensuring we have been talked about in all the right places and being an amazing Big Sister for 3 years running at Oldham Oasis Academy.

Jo moved to the Co-op as FD/CFO of Retail in April 2016 and within a year was promoted to CEO of Food. The first female CEO of a UK food retailer. Prior to this move Jo was with the Asda business for 8 years having been FD for George, VP for George Operations, International and Strategy and finally VP for Asda General Merchandise, Money and Mobile.

Jo’s experience and Industry sector background is varied. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant having trained with Ernst & Young and subsequently moved into Industry. Throughout her career she has held Finance, Strategy and Commercial leadership roles with businesses such as Northern Foods, GE Capital and Matalan.

Jo is a member of the Critical Eye Network and Women in Retail group. She was also recently featured in the “Inspiring Women Leaders “ book by Lee Travers.

Jo enjoys spending her personal time at the beach with her husband and two young sons and is passionate about inspiring young girls to harness their confidence in order to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities they are now presented with in the workplace.

Her Ambassador role will be to continue to promote our work within the Co-op and open more doors within the retail sector utilising her connections and profile.

HATTIE PEARSON – Presenter on Key 103, DJ, Artist Manager & Voiceover Artist

Hattie is a presenter, DJ, artist manager and voiceover artist.

Since moving to Manchester almost a decade ago Hattie has been involved in the music scene in various forms. Whether it’s promoting live gigs whilst at Uni, interviewing bands for her YouTube channel Matter of Sound or DJing her weekly club night, GIRLS ON FILM at The Deaf Institute.
She started out in the media as a freelancer for BBC Breakfast, BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio Manchester. In 2013 she landed the night shift presenting on Radio X (formerly XFM) before moving to Key 103 in February this year.

Most recently Hattie has started presenting for the online music platform, Vevo. She is also proud to play second bassoon (albeit not very well) in Manchester Wind Orchestra.

Hattie first got involved with Girls Out Loud in 2013, taking part in the Discovery days and the Role Model Relay events and after stepping up to be a Big Sister she knew for sure, Girls Out Loud would hold a very special place in her heart for a very long time!

Hattie says ‘I am fortunate enough to have had a privileged upbringing with a supportive and loving family and growing up it’s not always easy to appreciate that. Upon moving to Manchester for Uni when I was 19 I became aware of a whole new world that was miles away from home in so many senses. I’m proud to have just bought my first home in Salford, I love the city and I care for the local community. Girls Out Loud opened my eyes to the difficulties teenage girls face and I want to be a part of helping make that change. I don’t often see my 16 year old sister and although I don’t want to replace her I do love being around young women, their ability to tell it how it is can be refreshing and the personal development I’ve achieved from the my involvement has been so rewarding.’

As an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud, Hattie will bring her knowledge, passion and contacts from the media industry to the table. Her aim is to help young women realise their dreams whether they may be aspiring journalists, camera operators, presenters, technicians or producers by connecting them with creative, professional women.

Hattie is high energy and much loved addition to our growing team of Ambassadors and amongst her many talents she helps to keep us all on trend so we are very pleased to welcome her on board!

Find out more about Hattie at www.hattiepearson.co.uk and follow her on twitter @hattiepearson

VANESSA VALLELY – Founder of www.wearethecity.comand well respected female champion

Vanessa Vallely is a recognized expert in person-to-person business networking, online branding and a sought after motivational speaker. She is regarded as one of the most well networked women in and out of the City of London and is passionate about sharing her know-how and experiences with others.

In 2008, Vanessa started the networking site: www.wearethecity.com (WATC) as a vehicle to help other Women connect and grow both personally and professionally.  Today, WeAreTheCity experiences over 5 million hits per month and an average of 260,000 unique visitors.

Vanessa works tirelessly to furthering the Diversity Agenda.  To this end, Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF), recognized her achievements with the ‘2011 Women’s Champion Award’.  In 2009, Vanessa co-founded the citywide diversity forum, The Networks of Networks (TNON). The TNON includes the Diversity heads and heads of women’s networks from 48 firms.

As testimony to the success of the knowledge she shares with others, Vanessa is on every watch list following top women in the City, and her latest achievement is being cited as 1 of 50 Women of Influence by UK’s leading magazine, Good Housekeeping (Nov 2013).

Vanessa has recently released her first book, “Heels of Steel” which tracks her amazing career climb to the C-suite.  As well as being an autobiography, the book also imparts 13 chapters of tips and advice aimed at helping the next generation to achieve career success.

Vanessa is committed to community work, and alongside her role as an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud she also serves as a Non Executive for Prostate Cancer UK and is the Pearly Queen of the City of London, which represents a fundamental aspect of London’s heritage.

She says ‘I am proud to support Girls Out Loud as I truly believe we all need to give back to future generations of girls who need our support to ensure they have the best possible start in life.’

Here, here Vanessa, welcome on board!

TRACEY THOMAS – Founder This Lady Loves one of the UK’s leading event portals for women

Tracey lives in Cheshire with her husband Ray & two children Megan & Nathan, who are both now at University.

Tracey’s background is in HR & Recruitment and she spent many years in retail with a well-known high street store. Following maternity leave, Tracey wanted to work more directly with developing and nurturing staff and undertook new challenges in the recruitment sector, eventually specialising in the care industry. It was at this time she decided the time was right to use her experience and skills in setting up her own business.

She identified a niche opportunity to recruit and supply professional Housekeepers and Domestic staff to both corporates and individuals alike; Tracey built the business and successfully sold it with a team of 40 staff. Since getting the entrepreneur bug, Tracey has set up several business ventures and now concentrates on her main project This Lady Loves.

Tracey works with businesses who target women, she’s helped launched, and worked with 100s of small businesses. She has built up a big following on social media and is great for helping to get Girls Out Loud out there.

Tracey now works across the country supporting women with businesses and is always on the lookout for a good business opportunity. Tracey is also working with young entrepreneurs and students offering business advice and helping them to start up low cost businesses. Tracey says “it comes from my heart, I love helping people and will encourage everyone to start a business”.

Tracey has been a fan and an advocate of Girls Out Loud right from the start and is helping us to spread the word via her network and supporting our fund raising efforts, so we thought it was about time we made it official and welcomed her to the Ambassador posse!

NINA LOCKWOOD – Founder & Director, Intuitive Interim & Executive Search

With a successful career spanning the Corporate world, independent management consultancy and SME business growth, Nina launched her own Executive Search company in January 2013.

As an Ambassador for Girls Out Loud, Nina’s main objective is to ensure that her clients in the Transport Sector are aware of the amazing work being done with young girls, and are given the opportunity to support us in whatever way they can. The Rail Sector in particular needs to attract more females in to the industry, and so Girls Out Loud is a great fit with the diversity aims of the sector.

Nina is passionate about working with, developing and support people to be the very best they can be, whatever their starting point … She firmly believes that every one has the capacity to achieve amazing things, and that everyone deserves the support to help them reach for their dreams.

Nina is an eternal optimist, lover of beach walks, books and inspirational people – and her favourite place in the world is in the company of her family and friends.

To find out more about Nina visit www.intuitiverecruitment.com or follow her on twitter @ninalockwood

CLAIRE YOUNG – Founder of School Speakers, young enterprise champion and media personality

Claire Young, 34 is the straight talking, no-nonsense sales woman who infuriated, then won over 11 million viewers to reach the final in series 4 of BBC1’s The Apprentice (2008). Since then she has worked non-stop setting up numerous business ventures including www.schoolspeakers.org.uk  and is passionate about entrepreneurship, enterprise and influencing the next generation. In 2012 she also became the President of the Young Chamber.

Claire was instrumental in co founding Girls Out Loud in 2010 after a chance meeting with Jane Kenyon and for the first 18 months supported its fast growth at a strategic level alongside co delivering several programmes in schools. In 2012, after the birth of Eva Mary Rainbow, her first child she made the tough decision to step back operationally and resign as a Director due to work commitments and a pretty life changing experience!

However Claire’s passion for our cause is as strong as ever and in recognition of her continued support and advocacy we have appointed her as our first Ambassador. Claire will be carrying the Girls Out Loud flag with her on her travels to schools, educators, corporates and government and we are all the better for it!

Find out more about Claire www.claireyoung.co.uk. Follow her on twitter @ClaireLYoung

MICHELLE GREGG – Director of Housing Services, Yorkshire Housing Group

Michelle was born in Yorkshire and has recently returned to her roots , albeit partially, by taking up a new role at a Leeds based housing group while still living in Manchester. Her teams provide services to over 25 thousand  customers, support to older people and adults with learning disabilities and community, employment and business enterprise development across Yorkshire.

Living and working on either side of the Pennines means Michelle now has less time to give to Girls Out Loud and so has moved from the Advisory Board to an Ambassador role.

She has worked in housing for 30 years since graduating from Newcastle University and along the way has picked up Postgraduate diploma’s in housing and leadership. Recognition that girls and young women living in social housing are less likely to succeed in education or employment meant Michelle saw the huge benefits  offered by the Girls Out Loud programmes which are often centred in schools and communities where social housing dominates.

“I believe passionately in making sure that girls and young women in all of our communities understand the options and choices they have in life and feel able to make the best decisions for themselves”

Michelle’s involvement with us will continue to focus on utilising her connections in the housing sector to identify partnership opportunities and help us to expand our geographical reach.