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 sponsored graduate 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. 

Sam Lux (2019 Scholar)

Sam Lux was awarded the Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship in 2019 and studied urban sustainability across 11 US cities. She currently works on green economy policy at a development bank, having previously served as a net zero policy advisor in government, where she helped deliver a national small business campaign ahead of COP26.
In May 2023, Sam was elected as a councillor to represent Castle ward in Nottingham. She is vice chair of the city’s planning committee and sits on the health and wellbeing board.
Sam was selected to join edie’s 30 under 30 programme for future sustainability leaders in 2020.

Councillor Merlita Bryan
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 .

Megan Powell Vreeswijk

Megan Powell Vreeswijk is the newly appointed chief executive officer for Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (MNG). She brings over two decades of business expertise and was previously the head of enterprise at Nottingham Trent University she spearheaded the launch of the Dryden Enterprise Centre in 2021.

Beyond her role at NTU, Powell Vreeswijk has recently held the position of vice-chair on the It’s in Nottingham (formerly Nottingham BID) board, providing valuable support to the city centre’s business community.

Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council – Councillor John Ogle

Councillor John Ogle was born in the village of Headon near Retford, where he still lives with his wife Sally. They have three sons; Thomas, Henry and Alistair. He has been Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Tuxford since 2013, a District Councillor for East Markham and past Chairman of Bassetlaw Conservative Association.

Aside from his duties as a councillor, John is an arable farmer who grows wheat, barley, oilseed, and peas. He has a passion for the environment – winning the Wilkinson’s Wildlife Award in 2010, which demonstrates the highest standards achieved for environmental farming. He is a champion of sustainability, and his farm produces its own electricity from a mix of wind turbines and solar panels.

In his spare time John has a keen interest in many sports and nature.

The Chairman’s chosen charity is the NSPCC. The charity helps children who have been abused to rebuild their lives, they protect those at risk and find the best ways of preventing abuse from happening. All funds raised will go directly to helping children and young people in Nottinghamshire.



Lord Mayor of Nottingham – Councillor Carole McCulloch

The Lord Mayor is the first citizen of Nottingham. They preside over the meetings of the Council (full Council) as prescribed in the Local Government Act 1972, receive members of the Royal Family and other important visitors to the city, act as a symbolic figurehead for Core City activity and host visits by Lord Mayors, councillors and officers from those cities and represent the City Council at traditional civic events such as the Legal Service, Remembrance Sunday the Civic Service etc

Mark Goldby

Mark Goldby has nearly 30 years of experience in the High-Tech Electronics industry, initially with corporate giants GPT & Siemens and until March 2019 as co-founder and part-owner of SMS Electronics and SMS Product Services – two successful award winning, Nottinghamshire-based companies.

Mark is a board member of Marketing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and is also Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Manufacturing Network, which was established in 2013 to champion the strength and diversity of Manufacturers from the City and County. He also sits on a number of regional and local advisory boards supporting the manufacturing sector. Mark is also Trustee of several charitable organisations in Nottinghamshire such as the Nottingham Community Foundation (NCF) and The Karen Green Foundation. Mark also leads the Nottinghamshire Lieutenancy engagement with businesses and promoting and securing the Kings Award for Enterprise.


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 13 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.

Richard Donovan

Richard spent 18 years in communications and brand-related roles, working in management roles for Egg, Captial One, EY, and Citibank. He joined Experian in 2012 to lead the internal communications function in the UK & Ireland, with his team being awarded in-house team of the year at the 2014 Institute of Internal Communications (IOIC) awards. In 2016 Richard was given additional responsibility to lead the Corporate Responsibility agenda for the UK, and in 2018 he shed his internal communications role to combine his CR activities with leading Experian’s global Social Innovation programme.

Nottingham born and bred, Richard is an avid Notts County fan and, having previously sat on the Board of Governors at Young Enterprise East Midlands and Nottingham College, he is presently a Governor at the Nottingham Growth Board. He holds a BSc in Communication and Media Studies from Loughborough, an MBA from the University of Derby and is a qualified MBTI practitioner and level 2 football coach. Additionally he is a fellow of the IOIC.

Our thanks go to all previous trustees and supporters. Thank you goes to Sheridan Chilvers and Gabriel Strauss, who have recently stepped down after years of support for the scholarship.

Our Patrons

Lord Mayor of Nottingham

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

See the Chairman’s biography here.

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

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”.