Board Info

Yorkshire 2019 Board

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Chris Pilling (Chair)

Chris was appointed Chairman of Yorkshire 2019 Ltd, in April 2017. Prior to this he had been CEO of the Yorkshire Building Society, the UK’s 2nd largest & one of Yorkshire’s best known companies. He joined YBS from HSBC where he held several senior executive roles including CEO of Leeds based first direct. After early years in Marketing at Procter & Gamble & British Airways, he moved to Yorkshire with his young family in 2002 when appointed the Marketing & Customer Service Director of ASDA.

Chris has also been a Non Executive Director for 15 years, serving on the boards of The Yorkshire Tourist Board (now Welcome to Yorkshire), The Department of Health for 6 years & in the last 2 years has been on the board of Musgrave Group plc (Ireland’s No.1 retailer) & Barclays Bank UK Ltd. Chris is also a keen cyclist & in 2018 completed a 9 day 981 mile charity ride from Lands End to John O’Groats.

Richard Flinton (Local Authority appointed representative)

Richard has been Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council since July 2010. He has recently celebrated 30 years of working for NYCC and has held in many roles within the council. Richard first joined as a Trainee Trading Standard Officer, becoming Assistant Head of Trading Standards before using his background in economics to lead the Council’s Economic Development Team. Richard became Assistant Chief Executive in 2005 and then Director of Business and Environmental Services. As Chief Executive Richard has covered the statutory roles of Director of Children and Young Peoples service and Health and Adult Services at different times during the last 7 years and has a detailed knowledge of the Council and North Yorkshire. Richard chairs the North Yorkshire Chief Executives group, the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and in 2014 chaired the Local Authority Delivery Group which co-ordinated the delivery of the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire.  Since the inception of the Tour de Yorkshire Richard has also been a member of the TdY Steering Group. North Yorkshire County Council is the largest geographical county in the country, employing in the region of 23,000 staff and with a strong record of service delivery. Richard is married with 2 children and lives in Ryedale.

Malgorzata Grzyb

Malgorzata Grzyb has a professional background in commercial partnerships in the sports sector. Her previous roles include Director of Business Development at the British Olympic Association and Commercial Manager for the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Malgorzata runs a consultancy business for sports organisations providing commercial advisory services, and currently has roles with the Invictus Games Foundation and the British Judo Association.

Julie Harrington (British Cycling appointed representative)

Julie Harrington was announced as British Cycling’s new chief executive in March 2017.

Before her current role, Julie amassed almost 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in a sports environment. In her former role as group operations director at the Football Association, Julie was responsible for running both Wembley Stadium and St George's Park, in addition to women's and development team games away from Wembley.

Julie, also a non-executive director of the British Horseracing Authority, joined the FA in 2011 as managing director of St George's Park, tasked with the final stage of construction and launch of a £100m elite training centre, home to the 24 England teams. She was also responsible for developing the strategy for the centre and its commercial performance against its business plan.

Since joining British Cycling, Julie has overseen the implementation of the organisation’s action plan following the Cycling Independent Review, as well as widespread changes to allow the governing body to comply with the government’s new Code for Sports Governance.

Sarah Isted

Sarah Isted is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She leads the UK Financial Services Risk and Regulation practice and supports clients in dealing with their governance, accountability and cultural challenges. Previous roles within PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have included being a member of the UK Assurance Executive as Head of People and leading the Government and Public Sector Assurance practice in London. Outside work, Sarah is a keen runner and mountain trekker and undertakes challenges each year to raise money for charity.

Denise Jagger

Denise is a partner with international law firm Eversheds Sutherland.  She started her career as a corporate finance lawyer in the City before becoming Company Secretary and General Counsel for Asda Wal-Mart.  She has broad management experience having headed up insurance and risk, pensions, share schemes, CSR, public and corporate affairs as well as legal and company secretarial.  At Eversheds Sutherland she drives innovation in client services and works on international business development. Denise pursues her commercial interests through a number of non-executive roles including the boards of housebuilder Bellway plc and terrorism risk reinsurance company Pool Re,  as Chairman of St Giles Trust, Pro Chancellor of the University of York and Senior Independent Director of Y2019 Ltd.  Denise has also been recognised nationally for her work promoting women in business and in the law for which she has won a number of awards.

Simon Morton (UK Sport appointed representative)

Simon Morton joined UK Sport in 2005, and was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2015 to support the Chief Executive and lead UK Sport’s Major Events, Governance, International Relations and Integrity responsibilities. UK Sport is the government agency responsible for co-ordinating and supporting the hosting of major international sporting events across the UK, and works with its partners to provide strategic, financial and technical support so that events are delivered to a world-leading standard. Simon has sat on the Organising Committees of many World and European Championships, and is currently a Board Member of Yorkshire 2019 Ltd. Through its Governance Team, UK Sport drives and supports world-leading standards of professional, organisational and ethical conduct in the National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Simon also leads UK Sport’s International Relations Team, which ensures that the UK has a strong, respected and supportive voice in international sport, and supports National Governing Bodies to develop their International Relations strategies. Prior to joining UK Sport, Simon worked for the International Badminton Federation (IBF) for six years, fulfilling a number of roles including Head of Marketing, where he was responsible for overseeing the sport’s event bidding processes, and its global television and sponsorship operations and rights distribution.

Dee Paterson

A finance professional with previous roles in a variety of sectors, including CFO in Aerospace, Dee Paterson brings experience and expertise from a range of sectors to Yorkshire 2019. She also draws on expertise within sport as an active coach and current board member for British Canoeing. Her coaching experience ranges from grass roots to those competing internationally, including at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. Paterson has also represented GB internationally at European and World level in a variety of paddle sports and will be representing Great Britain at the World Championships later this year. She is also a qualified UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) educator.

Nick Pontefract (DCMS appointed representative)

Nick joined Sport England as Chief Operating Officer in 2018. He is a former Senior Civil Servant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport where he worked since 2005. At DCMS, he held a number of roles, including Head of Arts, Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State, Head of Sport and, most recently, leading the government's work to support Birmingham's successful bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Nick was involved in the bid to bring the UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire in 2019.

Craig Spence

Craig is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at the International Paralympic Committee. He joined the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in September 2010 and has overseen the Paralympic Movement’s biggest growth spurt in terms of media coverage and awareness. He is responsible for media relations, corporate PR, crisis management, digital media, media operations, engagement and branding functions for the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. He also acts as the IPC’s official spokesperson, acts as advisor to the IPC President and oversees a full-time team of 17 people. During his time at the IPC, he has worked on four Paralympic Games and multiple World and regional Championships.  He has also built relationships with global media and broadcasters, Organising Committees, partners and other key stakeholders. His work has helped reposition Paralympic sport as high performance sport, whilst the Paralympics are now regarded as the world’s number one sport event for driving social inclusion. efore joining the IPC, he worked from 2007-2010 as Communications Manager at the Rugby Football League. From 2004-2007 Craig worked for Ptarmigan PR as Senior Account Manager as well as PR Executive for Yorkshire Water from 2001-2004.

Sir Gary Verity DL (Welcome to Yorkshire appointed representative)

Sir Gary is the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. He led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014 and was instrumental in the entire process from start to finish. The county’s successful hosting of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, which generated £102 million economic benefit, has now been followed up with Yorkshire’s very own international stage race: the Tour de Yorkshire. In September 2016 Sir Gary spearheaded Welcome to Yorkshire’s successful bid to bring the UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire in 2019 in partnership with the UK Government, UK Sport and British Cycling.

Sir Gary has been recognised for his contribution to the county he loves including being knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to Tourism and the Tour De France Grand Départ 2014.  In April 2017, he was awarded a top honour by the French Government, a chevalier medal in the Ordre National du Mérite. He has also been named Yorkshire’s Man of the Year in 2014, Yorkshire and Humber IoD Director of the Year 2014 and received Yorkshire and Humber IoD’s Lifetime Achievement award. In 2018 Sir Gary was delighted to receive the honour of being appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

Since his appointment as Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in October 2008 he has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire at a regional, national and international level. Welcome to Yorkshire has won various national and international awards for its marketing campaigns. Sir Gary is the Chair of the Great Exhibition of the North Board 2018, former Regional Chair of Yorkshire & Humberside Heritage Lottery Fund and also chaired the Olympics for Yorkshire Committee. His love of sport extends into his work; he’s a former President of the world’s oldest cricket festival at Scarborough and he was also on the Board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. A passionate Yorkshireman, in his spare time Sir Gary is a keen cyclist, an award-winning Dales sheep farmer and lives on a working farm near Leyburn.

Paul Williamson

Paul has worked on many major sports events over the last twenty years, including the London 2012 Olympics, Rugby World Cups, Cricket World Cup and the World Track Cycling Championships. He now runs his own business, Sports Ink Ltd. Paul presided over a ticketing operation at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which sold 99.9 per cent of its available stock online, with key marketing decisions encouraging a full take-up of tickets even for sports not widely popular in the host nation, such as handball, where the entire complement of 250,000 was sold.