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Meet the Committees

Alongside the BPS Birmingham Executive Team we have seven dedicated committees who plan, manage and deliver all of BPS Birmingham Future’s events, projects and initiatives. Meet the committees…


The BYPY committee has the unenviable task of making sure that, each year, we recognise and reward our membership’s rising stars.

This culminates in Birmingham Young Professional of the Year (BYPY) Awards, one of Future’s flagship events.

In addition to the night itself, the BYPY committee also prepares the nominations process, engages with previous finalists and winners, coaches future applicants, secures sponsors, organises the esteemed judging panel, and generally makes sure that the entire city is whipped up into a frenzy.

BYPY committee members are:


Kirn Dibra – Risk and Control Manager, Experian (Chair)

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

To have fun! Being part of a great group of people who have a lot of fun coming up with new ideas to put on an evening to celebrate the amazing talent we have in Birmingham. I have been part of this committee for two years and have met some fab people and made some amazing friends along the way.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

EVERYTHING! I love that Birmingham has everything that you will ever think of or need – brilliant sporting facilities, great universities, amazing shopping, the best bars and restaurants…. And most importantly for me, Birmingham is home, where my family and friends are.

Did you know…?

Outside of work, I love playing tennis and squash, and I am a member of the Edgbaston Priory Club… although my skills on court could be described as ‘in need of a lot of work’!

Lucy Gray – Trainee Solicitor, Shoosmiths LLP

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I’m new to Birmingham, but not so new that I didn’t get to attend BYPY 2018, which was such a fantastic celebration of young people, professional services and the West Midlands that I knew I wanted to be involved for 2019.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

Being part of a city that is going through such an exciting period of growth and investment; from HS2 to HSBC, and Digbeth to Paradise, this is a city buzzing with opportunity.

Did you know…?

As a native Geordie, I once had a cameo appearance in Byker Grove. Sadly the acting career didn’t take off so I had to turn to law instead… why aye pet!

Jordan Hollingsworth – Solicitor, Pinsent Masons LLP

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

To meet other people passionate about Birmingham, and to plan an amazing event to celebrate Birmingham

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

There’s always something new to experience.

Did you know…?

I love the outdoors – I go skiing at least twice a year, and love long walks in the countryside with my Irish Terrier.

Chandni Kotak – Construction Solicitor, Pinsent Masons LLP 

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

To be a part of one of the most iconic events in Birmingham, which is not only recognised in the Midlands but throughout the country. I know people who travel from London for the event! It’s also an opportunity to network with a set of individuals from various backgrounds who I wouldn’t usually get to meet.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

All the bars and restaurants! The city centre is very up and coming.

Did you know…?

I am bit of a thrill seeker and have zip lined through a fire circle!

Greta Geoghegan – Director of PR and Communications, Digital Glue

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I’ve always lived in Birmingham and have loved watching the city develop into the amazing place it is today. I want to be part of celebrating the fantastic talent we have here and telling everyone how great Brum is.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

There’s always something new to do. My list of restaurants and bars to visit is never-ending.

Did you know…?

As well as the day job and BYPY, I’m keeping myself busy learning Greek!

Nicola Storey-Wood – Solicitor, Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I was born and raised in Birmingham, I studied my law degree and LPC in Birmingham, and I am now building my career in Birmingham. I joined BYPY is because I am hugely passionate about the city and its future development. I enjoy networking with like-minded professionals and want to help continue the success of BYPY Awards.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

The diversity, the opportunities the city offers, and the vast amount of bars and restaurants – particularly the balti scene as I’m a curry fiend!

Did you know…?

I participate in an annual dragon boat charity race in aid of Help the Heroes. I am a very keen pool player and enjoy long walks in the countryside as well as baking and cooking.

Katy Paddock – Acting Projects Maker, Colmore Business District 

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I joined the BYPY committee as I love planning events in my day job, such as the Colmore Food Festival or lunchtime well-being sessions, and wanted to get involved in other events that are different to those that I do in my day job. What better event than Birmingham’s most prestigious business awards!

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

My favourite thing about Birmingham is that it’s still growing and developing, and it is great to be a part of that growth and development.

Did you know…?

I used to work in Cyprus!

Azeem Qadir – Audit Assistant Manager, BDO

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I always love throwing a good party!

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

The vast range of independent businesses that we now have in the city which are giving the larger chains a real run for their money.

Did you know…?

I was a world champion in Karate as a teenager, and almost didn’t go to University to train for the 2012 Olympics in Tae Kwando instead.


Gishan Abeyratne – Senior Associate, BCL Legal

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

Last year I won the award in the HR, Recruitment & Training category; and from start to finish including the judging day, meeting my fellow contestants, the awards evening itself, I really enjoyed the entire experience! Being a part of the committee this year means I can help this year’s finalists in their preparation for judging day, and I can help create an even more unforgettable experience for the next wave of future talent in Birmingham.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

Far too many to name just one! If I had to pick… the food and drink scene in Birmingham has gone through a massive evolution in the last few years and there is just so much choice and a plethora of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bakeries, street food pop-ups etc. to experience! As such, I have come to accept being built for comfort and not speed.

Did you know…?

I’m a drummer in a rock band! We’ve released three singles in 2018 all of which have made it into the top 10 of the UK Reverb Nation chart. We’ve also made it onto mainstream radio in the USA and Australia and we have an album coming out next year.

Jodie Tipper – Junior Account Executive, EAST VILLAGE.

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

I graduated last summer and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to meet other young professionals in the city.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

All the opportunities that are available for young people in the city!

Did you know…?

I love living in Birmingham, but when I get the chance I love driving back to Stoke for an oatcake or two!

Matt Cockett – Head of Creative, PSP (Presentation Service Providers) 

Why did you join the BYPY committee?

Having been involved in BYPY for the last 6 years on the technical side I thought it was about time I really get involved! I work with event organisers, from agencies to end users day in day out, so it’s great to have the shoe on the other foot.

What’s your favourite thing about Birmingham?

The variety of things to do in and around Birmingham is huge!

Did you know…?

I love a challenge or adventure, whether it be jumping out of a plane or taking on four wolf runs in a year.




The Development committee is here to help young professionals grow both professionally and personally through a targeted programme of events delivered on a regular basis, advising on key areas of professional development. Building skills and confidence is always at the core of what we offer.

They also take the lead on our prestigious Leadership Development Programme and the Digital Development Programme.

Development events are defined by high quality speakers delivering practical sessions, and have been specifically designed to enable our young professionals to cultivate the skills needed to ‘get ahead’ in their career. They also showcase some of the best external leadership courses in the city.

Sessions cover a wide range of key topics, catering for those just starting out on their professional journey to those who are a few years further into their career.

The Development committee is sponsored by Aston Business School.

Development committee members are:

Rachel Cox, Gately Plc- Deputy Chair

Pardeep Lagha, Gately Plc

Clare Halligan – Grant Thornton UK LLP

David Hewett – JW Hinks LLP

Mobeen Amin – Eversheds Sutherland

Michelle Chapman – Irwin Mitchell

Lucy Todd – Irwin Mitchell




The Engage committee gives Future members a platform to get involved with the wider Greater Birmingham community.

With Corporate Social Responsibility at its heart, the committee runs two key initiatives that aim to connect young people with the BPS sector:

Business Walks: An opportunity for students in local secondary schools to visit a number of workplaces of businesses in the BPS sector and explore career opportunities across the professions. This one-day event is designed to inspire and motivate students who wouldn’t ordinarily have access to those working in the BPS sector, and helps to proactively raise students’ aspirations.

Dragon’s Den: Future members can volunteer to take part in a one-day Dragon’s Den workshop where pupils in schools across Greater Birmingham create a business idea and pitch it to a panel of Dragons. The event aims to equip pupils with valuable group and communication skills, give them an insight into business processes, and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Addressing the Skills Agenda and talent retention, the Engage Committee also take the lead on Professional Services Week

Engage committee members are:

Katie Willems, Higgs and Sons (Co-Chair)

Hannah Green, Urban Communications (Co-Chair)

Raj Sanghera, HKA

Amy Whitehouse, Weightmans LLP

Eliza Hakes, Gowling WLG (Chair)


Rebecca Hawkins, Shoosmiths LLP

Rebecca Manders,  BDO LLP

Daniel Goddard, Trowers & Hamlins

Laura Thursfield, Mazars




Property & Infrastructure

The Property & Infrastructure Committee keeps its finger on the pulse of development and innovation in Greater Birmingham, delivering a programme of events that cover all the essential updates you need to know about the space and environment in which you work.

Their events include:
Member-only round table discussions
Regular #DiscoverBirmingham behind the scenes tours
Updates on key projects in the city; from Paradise to Arena Central

The committee loves anything that involves construction, regeneration, and the economy.

Property & Infrastructure committee members are:

Martin Prince-Parrott, Gensler (Chair)

Sophie Drake, Story Comms

Steve Townsend, Associated Architects

Bradley Roberts, Browne Jacobson

Dan Griffiths

Miles Drew, Avison Young

George Kearney-Bambridge, Envision

Ben Lolley, Turner & Townsend

Kuli Bajwa, RPS

Tom Moule, RLB

Dan Hill, Core Marketing




Introduced at the end of 2015, our Membership Committee promotes the opportunities available across Aspire, Future and Leaders to employers and employees working in the BPS sector.

The committee regularly presents to businesses across Greater Birmingham, showcasing the reasons why BPS Birmingham membership is a must. They also run regular ‘Meet BPS’ events, where you can meet members from across Aspire, Future and Leaders, whilst enjoying a free drink.

The Membership Committee is also there to ensure that members are getting the most out of their experience. This includes organising regular Speed Networking events, to help connect members; as well as organising member only shopping events. They are also the ones behind your exclusive Member Offers.

Membership committee members are:


Guy Revell, Bruntwood (Chair)

Cidonye Howell, Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Deanna Page, BPS Birmingham

Katherine Utton, Browne Jacobson

Helen Monro, Gowling

Tariva Thomas, Wright Hassall



Our Mentoring Committee runs our flagship Future Mentoring Academy, which was launched by 2015/16 Chair, Rebecca Simkiss.

The Future Mentoring Academy brings together Aspire Mentoring and Future Mentoring to partner aspiring, emerging and established leaders to learn from each other, inspire each other and provide support to each other.

Aspire Mentoring gives Future members the opportunity to mentor students aged 18-24 in higher education institutions across the region; drawing upon skills and experience that you’ve gained from working in the BPS sector.

Future Mentoring is for our members who wish to reap the rewards of being mentored by a successful professional from within the region, or who feel that they can offer their time and experience as a mentor.

To find out more visit the Mentoring page.

Mentoring committee members are:

Robbie Holden, Curium Solutions (Chair)

Ria Blagburn, GrowBeyond

Mo Khan, Mazars

Charlie Harris, DBK

Sonia Chopra, Macmilan Davies

Daniel Thomson, D4

Subhana Anhu, Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Hannah Short, Shoosmiths LLP

Hattie D’Souza, East Village

Charlotte Cannell, Shoosmiths LLP




The name says it all – the Social committee makes sure that Future members have some fun and get a little culture into their souls.

The team coordinates our seasonal get-togethers, monthly networking events, and anything else that takes their fancy.

Last year, they organised theatre trips, wine tasting, a charity poker night, and networking on Birmingham’s canals. They have the best connections in the city and arrange Future meet-ups at events like the Digbeth Dining Club and Birmingham Beer Bash!

Social committee members are:

Josh Howells, Gateley

Jamie Berry, Odysset Corporate Finance

Nicola Seymore, Pinsent Mason

Harriet Rogers, Squire Patton Bogss

Catriona Lindsay, Gowling WLG

Rebecca Kennedy, Pinsent Masons LLP



If you are keen to get involved in one of our committees, email us with the subject line ‘Future Committee’.