Keith Vaz is the Chair of the United Kingdom All Parliamentary Group for Diabetes and a British Labour Party politician. Keith has been a Member of the Parliament for Leicester East since the 1987 General Election, when he was the youngest Labour Member of Parliament. Keith was Britain’s Minister for Europe under Tony Blair and he served as Chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee between 2007 – 2016. He is the British Parliament’s longest-serving Asian MP. Sugarwise is a cause close to Keith’s heart as he was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes in 2007. Keith’s passion is to improve education about diabetes and to improve the availability and visibility of lower sugar alternatives, starting with the Tea Room in the House of Commons.
Rend has a First Class Honours Degree in Social Anthropology from Durham. After this at Cambridge, she served as President of the University Scientific Society and on its Advisory Board. Rend also worked as an expert on conflict resolution and negotiation. She has been on the boards of various organisations, including a 501(c)3 US non-profit. As a student Rend set up her first company in her college room and grew it to a quarter of a million turnover; she’s run global marketing campaigns and been a diplomat at the United Nations. Rend has been calling for a positive strategy improve the demand for, availability and visibility of healthier choices. She hopes by constructive dialogue and collaboration great strides will be made in making it easier for people to make the choices they want for themselves and their families. More about Rend here.
Vinicius Ferreira is a Cambridge University scientist with experience in biochemistry/biophysics research that unraveled molecular mechanisms behind the body’s response to hypoxic conditions and Alzheimer’s disease. He has a Master’s in Science in Chemistry from University of Pennsylvania. He is tasked with analyzing nutritional information and laboratory test results of products we certify to be Sugarwise. He ensures every product certified Sugarwise adheres to our strict standards regarding free sugar content. Furthermore, Vinicius liaises with our partners concerning other scientific matters as needed.
Dr Giles Yeo is the Director of Genomics & Transcriptomics at Cambridge University. Giles’ research and studies focuses on the genetics of severe human obesity and brain control of food intake and bodyweight. Giles offers us valuable insights and knowledge on the topics of obesity and low sugar diets. He was the first to report that mutations in the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) and in the neurotrophic receptor TRKB resulted in severe human obesity. Giles also presents science documentaries for the BBC. His critically acclaimed investigative piece ‘Clean eating – The dirty truth’, prompted an important national debate about dieting advice and evidence based science.
Bernard Shannon is a General Manager with significant Sales and Marketing experience in blue chip and private equity organisations, such as Energiser, where he worked in leadership sales and marketing roles for over 10 years. He is an international consumer goods expert with extensive commercial, sales & marketing and category management experience. Bernard has joined Sugarwise to advise on our overall management and strategic direction.
By profession, Rasik is an accountant, and came to Cambridge over 30 years ago to work for Philips. In 1998, Rasik started his own company, SecureSafe. Rasik has long been involved in voluntary and community ventures. He was on the Indian Community and Culture Association committee in Cambridge for over 20 years. Rasik has a keen interest in diabetes and obesity and recognises these as pressing problems for the Indian community. He joined Sugarwise as a trustee to offer advice and knowledge to us regarding our financial position, and how best to continue our pledge to increase the availability of low sugar products
Holly joined Sugarwise as the Head of Business and Digital Transformation after graduating from Cambridge University Judge Business School. With experience in business and leadership from the London Stock Exchange and Anthony Nolan, Holly focuses on the long term strategic growth of Sugarwise through managing projects, partnerships and communications with key stakeholders and members.
Luke has a Double First in Classics from Cambridge and a Merit in Intellectual History from the University of Sussex. After working in Japan as a research student, Luke was drawn to working for Sugarwise while practising a strict ketogenic diet. Interested in and enthused by policy issues around sugar consumption, Luke handles public affairs for Sugarwise.
Isabelle is a nutritionist and studied Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge University. Her research at the University of Cambridge looked at the impact of graphic warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages. Isabelle has joined Sugarwise to manage relationships with stakeholders.
Olivia is managing Sugarwise’s presence and further expansion into Europe. Olivia graduated from Cambridge with a triple first in Modern Languages. She has a strong interest and passion for working for a cause which will improve the health and livelihoods of people around the world. Olivia speaks and writes in French, Italian and Portuguese.
Nichola is a Registered Dietitian who works with Sugarwise to provide advice on our policies and public statements, as well as to produce delicious recipes with Sugarwise certified products. Nichola loves working with brands she believed in and is a well regarded dietician in the UK with numerous appearances on BBC Breakfast and itv, where she has been filming a National 8 part series, anticipated to increase her popularity yet further.
Alexa Segal graduated in Public Health and Global Studies from Temple University, afterwhich she pursued an MPhil in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. Alexa is passionate about deducing health policies aimed at decreasing childhood obesity incidence and developing governmental healthcare infrastructure more coherent to reduce healthcare costs. She has undertaken research in palliative care and childhood obesity prevention. For Sugarwise, Alexa prepares responses on public health policy implications related to sugar and sweeteners, presenting this information at conferences and talks on behalf of Sugarwise.
Sophia holds degrees in Physiology, Law & Business and has worked as a marketer/innovator within global Food & Drink companies (Mars, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Kraft/Mondelez). 10 years ago, Sophia felt a fundamental shift in consumer attitudes & behaviour towards food & drink and noticed also a worrying upswing in the incidence of diabetes and obesity. She tried to change things “from the inside” but the status quo was not quite ready for disruption. Sophia then took time out to qualify as a lawyer before returning as a global food and drink innovation consultant and impact entrepreneur. Sophia also co-launched an award-winning innovative healthy drinks brand, “Tg green tea” with a mission to “change what we drink, for the better”.
In 1989, Valerie joined hi-tech company Acorn, then BT. She then headed PSINet UK Limited, which grew from 1.25m to 42m in turn over. Valerie helped build Pipex, the UK’s first commercial Internet Service Provider. Before joining the tech sector Valerie managed corporate and financial teams at Burson-Marsteller Public Relations in London, advising UK and European corporations on acquisitions and US. In her final year with PSINet, turnover exceeded £42 million, employed over 260 staff, and had less than 3% overdue accounts.