CHARLES THOMPSON MBE
Chief Charles Thompson, the son of one the UK’s first African barristers, resides in London via Accra, Ghana and is a graduate of Film & TV Production Techniques, Arts and Media. His 20+ years experience in the international film & TV industry includes 3 years as an editor before commencing a career as a Film Producer with a commitment to new drama by black writers and directors. He has produced many multiple award winning narrative films in Europe, Africa and USA, with a number gaining long term distribution and has worked in producing on important black British dramas & TV magazine shows.
In 1996 Charles helped found Off the Grove, London’s first ever live screenplay reading event, a forerunner to the BFI’s highly rated Script Factory. Between 1999-2002 Charles co-founded and served as Festival Director for one of Europe’s premier black film showcases the annual bfm International Film Festival. In 2003 he created the Screen Nation Film & TV Awards (aka ‘the UK Black Oscars’) and takes the brand to Africa very soon. He is currently developing screen nation into an innovative web based media rights company. Future plans include a series of heritage events recognising the contribution black British film & TV practitioners have made to the UK industries since the early 1900’s
His commitment to black British filmmaking has seen him develop local training and screening programs across the UK. He consults and works as Exec Producer with new creative talent, gives talks and has put several feature/TV/online projects into development & production, including screennation.tv a global entertainment show featuring the best of the black Hollywood, European & African media scenes. In 2011Charles received an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List for his contribution to the British and global black film industry.
Charles is a former Chair of the Alliance of Black Media Professionals, a member of the Roundhouse Creative Centre Advisory Panel, a Millennium Awards Fellow, Chief judge of the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards (GUBA) and has been honoured twice by former London Mayor, Ken Livingston for his contribution to London life.
Entrepreneur| PR Guru | Author| Motivational Speaker
“Named as one of the most influential people in PR” – PR Power Book 2012.
Mavis Amankwah is an award winning entrepreneur, specialising in marketing, PR, diversity communications and business sustainability. Her vision began when she noticed that there was a major gap in the market where corporate and commercial organisations needed to tap into ethnic and diverse audiences but did not know how to fully engage with these communities.
Mavis is the Managing Director of Rich Visions, a communications, marketing and PR agency, which specialises in helping mainly corporate and commercial organisations to reach ethnic and diverse audiences across the UK. Mavis has steered the company to become one of the leading communications agencies targeting niche communities and audiences.
As Rich Visions approaches its 10th year with Mavis at the helm, the agency has become a multi-million pound agency. Rich Visions has worked and created campaigns with over 50 various commercial and corporate organisations such as Asda, Comic Relief, HMRC, Metropolitan Police, HSBC, Moneygram, COI (Central Office of Information) and quite recently won the contract to deliver a communications campaign aimed at niche audiences for the Digital UK TV switchover.
After discovering that small businesses were not consistently promoting their businesses/brands, in 2009 Mavis launched another arm of the agency; Rich Visions Small Business which has helped over 250 enterprises expand via business development, marketing and PR. Since the launch of Rich Visions Small Business, Mavis has also started other enterprises such as Colours Media (an ethnic advertising agency), Black TV Guide, Diva Visions (an online website dedicated to woman of colour) and Promotemy Biz (an exclusive PR membership club).
Mavis is a motivational speaker who has shared a platform at various conferences and seminars with high profile dignitaries and celebrities such as MP Diane Abbott, Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, Reggae Reggae sauce business entrepreneur Levi Roots and CEO of the MOBO Awards Kanya King. She has also been a keynote speaker at the prestigious Business 2012 event, alongside Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Richard Branson.She has actively worked to help business growth and sustainability within her local area of Stratford and across the borough of Newham and passed the second nomination of becoming a potential torch bearer for the 2012 Olympics. She also promotes entrepreneurship amongst women and young people through hosting networking events, speaking opportunities in schools and colleges, and also starting up a mentoring program for those who want business advice and help to start their own company. She has served her community faithfully for over 10 years, conceptualised by maintaining her thriving business in the heart of the community that she was born, bred and raised in.
Featuring in over 100 press titles ranging from the Guardian to PR Week and being named as one of, ‘The most influential people in PR,’ for 4 consecutive years in the PR Powerbook, she also got through to the second stage in the nomination to be an Olympic torch bearer and debuted as an author in September 2011.
“44 Ways to Grow Your Business or Brand” is a step-by-step guide to increase profits”. It is a guide to businesses, sole traders, social enterprises and charities on how to successfully plan, conduct and evaluate their marketing efforts. Mavis draws heavily on her formidable experience as a Managing Director and PR Guru listing 44 sharply observed nuggets of wisdom advising budding entrepreneurs on the fundamental marketing and promotional techniques they must use to sustain their business and increase profits.
Mavis is a full member of the Chartered Institute of PR (CIPR), she has won 3 awards including; winner of ‘Outstanding achievement in business,’ winner of the 2008 Black Business Awards – Innovation and winner of the Innovation 2007 GAB Awards – Media.
Mavis has also recently launched an exclusive business membership club, Promotemy Biz which is designed for small businesses to help them widen their reach and extend their profiles intensively to over 100 various media titles across the UK.
Sandra is a Director in the London arm of the US law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and is responsible for business development and advising on outsourcing and technology related matters. She is also a consultant for the UK law firm Stephenson Harwood advising on non-technology matters and business development.
Prior to that, Sandra was General Counsel at Unisys Ltd, and also the only Female youngest member of the Unisys UK board.
Sandra is a Barrister (Middle Temple) and was called in 1988. After pupillage, she commenced her career in information technology law at ICL (now Fujitsu). Sandra has advised on some of the largest outsourcing deals in the UK running into billions of pounds sterling, with institutions such as Lloyds TSB, Barclays, HSBC and Resolution Life. Sandra sits on the board of Sense, a charity for children born deaf and blind. She also sits on the board of Rare Ltd, a recruitment company specialising in the provision of top academic graduates and senior hires from ethnic backgrounds to major financial institutions, law firms and government bodies. Sandra is also a well-known public speaker and has spoken at several conferences (including conferences for the Bar) on IT law matters, women in business and diversity issues.