Patrons and Trustees

Our 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

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

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.

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 Sue Saddington

Councillor Sue Saddington has been a County Councillor since 2005 and a district councillor at Newark and Sherwood District Council since 1999. Sue grew up in North Muskham with her family who had lived in the village since the 1940s. After leaving boarding school, she returned home for a year and joined the Young Conservatives, the local Operatic Society and the Young Farmers, before moving to Manchester to train as a home economist. Sue travelled widely during the 1970s and returned to live in North Muskham with husband Barry since 1984, when Sue set up a catering business called ‘Bon Appetit’. After 21 happy years, Sue closed the business when she became a County Councillor. The couple have a daughter Caroline, a paediatric diabetes specialist nurse who works at the Queen’s Medical Centre, and a grandson, William.



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.

Lord Mayor of Nottingham – Councillor Liaqat Ali

Liaqat was born in Chakswari, Panyam in the Didtrict Mirpur in Azad Jammu Kashmir and moved to Nottingham in 1983, at the age of 12, with his family. He became an elected Member for the Radford & Park ward in 2011 and is currently Chair of the Arboretum, Dunkirk and Lenton, Radford and Park Area Committee. He is, or has previously been, involved with The Trusts and Charities Committee; Licensing Committee; Corporate Parenting Board; Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority and Planning Committee.

Liaqat was educated at the Old Sandfield Secondary School in Lenton and he later went to the Old Forest Field College on Carlton Road. After leaving College, he started his working life at a family run petrol station. For a while after he worked in Boots’ Beeston Warehouse. From there he went on to work as a taxi driver, and he currently now works in the call centre at a Nottingham Cars Ltd.

Liaqat is really interested in helping to improve the education in Nottingham. He also enjoys fund raising for charity, has a keen interest in educational matters (he is a school governor of two local primary schools – Bentick and Mellors Primary Schools) and enjoys meeting different people from all walks of life. In addition to speaking English, Liaqat also speaks Urdu, Mirpuri and Punjabi.

In his leisure time, Liaqat enjoys sport, especially cricket, likes to travel and has recently enjoyed time in Saudi Arabia. Liaqat is married to Robina Parveen, who will be his Lady Mayoress for the year. She was also born in the District of Mirpur in Azad Jammu Kashmir and they have one child together. 

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.

Susan Hallam MBE
Susan Hallam MBE

Born in Philadelphia, Susan has lived and worked in Nottingham since 1985. She is the Founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency Hallam based in Nottingham city centre. She is a Trustee of Nottingham Castle, and serves on the boards of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and MarketingNG.

Fomerly at Senior Lecturer in Computing at Nottingham Trent University, Susan has also held senior marketing roles at Capital One and BT.

She was awarded an MBE for enterprise in innovation, and is a Freeman of the City of London.

Our Patrons

Lord Mayor of Nottingham – Councillor Liquat Ali

See the Lord Mayor’s Biography here. (

The City Council has maintained its support since the inception of the scheme more than half a century ago

Chairman Nottinghamshire County Council – Councillor Sue Saddington

See the Chairman’s biography here. (

Haven Roosevelt

The late FDR’s grandson, and graduate of Harvard College (’62) and Harvard Law School (’66), Haven Roosevelt is admitted to practice in the courts of New York and the Federal District Courts for the Southern District of New York the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of Alabama, the Second, Sixth and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the United States Supreme Court. He was an associate with the New York law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft from 1966 through 1975, a partner with that firm from 1975 through 1995 and Counsel with that firm from 1995 through 1997. At Cadwalader, he concentrated in the fields of antitrust, commercial litigation and construction litigation involving major capital intensive projects. He has appeared before federal and state administrative bodies.

Our Vice Patron

Sir Paul Smith

Both commercially successful and highly respected within the fashion industry, Sir Paul’s reputation is founded upon his menswear and his signature stripe in his menswear, women’s wear and accessories is famous worldwide.”Travel is still definitely my greatest source of inspiration and as I am travelling for many months of the year, I can say with experience that the scholarship is extremely worthwhile and will be very rewarding for the recipient”.