Board of Trustees

Our Trustees are representatives of the industries and organisations in the County and include the Chairman of the County Council and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham. Many of our Trustees are former Scholars who continue to support the work of the Trust. Our Trustees are key in the selection of our Scholars and it is likely that at some point all applicants will be interviewed by them.



Mick Burrows

Mick has a long attachment and belief in programmes and projects that help individuals and organisations develop and fulfil their potential. His personal support has previously been to a wide range of organisations including The Princes Trust, Nottinghamshire Compact and the wider voluntary sector community. After retiring from being Chief Executive of the Nottinghamshire County Council in 2015 he joined the Board in April 2017. Mick believes the unique historical link between the County and the United States is more important today than ever before in the current climate of global turbulence.

Russ Blenkinsop Treasurer


Russ Blenkinsop (1983 Scholar)

Russ has worked as Finance Director for over three decades in the private, public and third sector. Starting out as a student apprentice with Courtaulds plc he started work in Nottingham, remained in the Textile industry and was seconded to Liberty Fabrics Inc for six years in the beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. He then worked for Bell Fruit Games in Lenton, Nottingham before working for two local Housing Associations (Acis Group based in Lincolnshire and Spirita based in Nottingham).
A keen sportsman, Russ was cofounder and chairman of Lowdham Colts Football Club, a thriving local junior football club. He is also a regular team player at Magdala Lawn Tennis Club and was until recently a part time sailor at Notts County Sailing Club. Russ lives in Lowdham with his wife Liz who he met through the scholarship in 1983. His children, Alex and Rhian, now both live in Boston. 

Sheridan Chilvers

Fundraising Officer

Sheridan Chilvers (2011 Scholar)

Sheridan Chilvers is currently the Big Bang Executive Officer at Learn By Design and Founder of Creative-Dimensions, a 3D printing and Scanning company.

Sheridan is a 2011 Scholar and travelled to the USA to research the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Upon his return to Nottingham he was appointed a new post of Entrepreneur-In-Residence at New College Nottingham.

Gareth Bartsch

Website Manager

Gareth Bartsch (2012 Scholar)

Gareth was working in the family business Bartsch Inns when he became one of the 2012 scholars studying the training and development of hospitality students in the USA. He is now a Senior Facilities Manager Consultant at Gleeds in Nottingham. Gareth is a keen rugby player and lives in Bingham. Gareth’s intention is to help the scholarship grow and reach a new audience to ensure that it continues to offer the great opportunities that he received.

Our Trustees

Ed Attenborough
Ed Attenborough

Ed is MD of Attenborough Dental a family owned lab formed 100 years ago, he is a board member of the ADDE (Association of Dental Dealers Europe), represents the dental sector for UK Trade and Investment, is on the Life Sciences Sector steering committee of Innovate UK, is past president of the BDTA, and has served on the GDC Education Committee. Ed holds a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds and has over 20 years industry experience in major ICT projects. He has been responsible for the development and management of a variety of large projects in organisations throughout Europe including NATO, the European Space Agency and financial institutions. Ed pioneered CAD-CAM with the UKs first in-house scanning and manufacturing facility. He led a team which undertook R+D in the application of additive manufacturing techniques to dental technology. In 2006 Attenborough won the prestigious EMDA Medilink New Technology Award for the results of the revolutionary Daedalus Project. Ed has numerous articles published on Digital Dentistry and is a regular speaker at all the major UK dental conferences and exhibitions.


Councillor Merlita Bryan
Councillor Merlita Bryan

Merlita Bryan became a Trustee when she was the Lord Mayor of Nottingham in 2013. Since then she has continued in her role as Trustee while remaining a councillor for the Arboretum Ward. Merlita went to the Ellis Guilford school in Basford, now lives in Canning Circus. Merlita founded and is organising this year’s Black Achievers Awards at NTU .

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council – Councillor John Handley

John was born in the town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire famous for its sweets. His father worked down the mines for the whole of his working life. John qualified as a teacher in 1970 and got his first teaching post at Bicester School Oxfordshire. While working there he met Margaret and they married in 1973. In 1975 John moved to a school in Langley Mill Derbyshire and remained there until 1993 when he moved to be an advisory teacher for Derbyshire County Council. In 1994 he became the assistant head at a large comprehensive school in Chesterfield.
Margaret and John have two grown up children, David who is married to Fiona and Sian, both of whom live and work abroad.
John became involved in politics when he joined Greasley Parish Council in 2005. He was elected onto the County Council in 2013 for the Beauvale division and was re-elected in the recent elections for new division of Greasley with Brinsley. In 2015 he was elected onto Broxtowe Borough Council to represent Brinsley and he is also a member of Brinsley Parish Council.
Having worked in education all his life, John is particularly keen to work with and support young people and he is a school governor.
In their spare time, John and Margaret enjoy travelling (in particular cruises), entertaining friends (as Margaret is an excellent cook) and watching cricket (as they are both members of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club).



Councillor Yvonne Woodhead

Born and raised in Blidworth, Yvonne was first elected to Nottinghamshire County Council in June 2000 and represents the Blidworth division including Rainworth and Haywood Oaks.
Yvonne is a Blidworth Parish Councillor and has been a Newark and Sherwood District Councillor since 1995, representing the Blidworth ward.
Her public service experience includes roles as Vice-Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care Committee. She is a current Member of the Adult Social Care and Health, Personnel and Planning and Licensing Committees. Yvonne is also a member of the Economic Development and Planning Committees at Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Yvonne is a great advocate for young people and supports local sports clubs. Yvonne has supported a number of voluntary organisations for many years.

Jenny Leggott
Jenny Leggott

Jenny became a Trustee in November 2014 when she retired as Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals after 39 years. During her time at NUH Jenny forged a special link with the Roosevelt Scholarship and the League of Friends resulting in many NUH personnel becoming scholars.

Lord Mayor of Nottingham – Councillor Michael Edwards

Michael has lived in Nottingham since 1983 and was elected in 1993 as a Labour party member to Nottinghamshire County Council and as a City Councillor in 1998 and during this time held responsibility for finance, sustainability and transport.
He currently represents the Meadows, the (original) City centre and Castle Marina. Previously he has represented Mapperley Hill, Mapperley Park, the Wells, Thorneywood and East Sherwood and has served on many Committees including Planning, the Tram development board and Enviroenergy.
He has also been the Chair of the local secondary school for 12 years and at a Welfare Advice Group for 2.
Michael worked for British Rail as a programmer, a system designer and project manager; has been a staff representative at work and a member of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, where he played football for Real Madrid, sorry Rail Madrid. He studied physics at Birmingham University, and was then unemployed for 16 months.
He has run a blog for many years on news and political views, and during his Civic year he will be writing up the historical stories of Nottingham. Also during his year he will be supporting the Women’s Refuge, In Bloom and the Meadows Friends of Libraries
Michael was born in Hanwoodbank (near Shrewsbury) the son of Eddie, a locomotive engineer and Aud, a post office counter clerk. His father was a Rural District Councillor and Chair of the Parish Council. Michael still supports Shrewsbury Town Football Club.

Gabriel Strauss

Gabriel is a director of Capatex Ltd a Nottingham based company specialising in industrial and technical textiles and medical products. Gabriel was educated at Nottingham High School followed by Nottingham University where he studied Industrial Economics.

Gabriel has spent much time in the USA both for business and leisure, and extended visits in his late teens and early 20s were formative. Whilst not having been a scholar, his experiences & fondness for the USA have given him a great affinity to the scholarship and its objective of personal development and building bridges between Nottingham and the US.


Keith Taylor
Keith Taylor (1959 Scholar)

Keith Taylor is our US based representative on the Board. He has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the past 3 years and is the first Scholar to represent NRMTS on the ground in America. Keith was a divisional manager at Raleigh Industries and lived first, in the City (The Park) and then the County of Nottingham (Kinoulton). He spent 20 years at Board level in UK manufacturing industry, particularly global automotive components, followed by 20 years as a management consultant working primarily for Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies. For his National Service, he was commissioned into the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and served in Korea (1951) and then the Parachute Regiment (TA). He has numerous military connections and is currently Chairman of the British Army Benevolent Fund America (BABFA). His third book was published in 2009 ( and is the illustrated diary of his 1959 Scholarship trip, the first by car (17300 miles in 4 months!), including photographs of Mrs Roosevelt taken at Valkill Cottage, Hyde Park. Father of three adult children and grandfather of six, he met his partner, Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle, on his Scholarship in San Francisco in 1959. They will be glad to welcome and assist future Scholars to the United States.