Ambassadors

Ken Davy

A successful businessman and entrepreneur, Ken Davy has lived and worked in Huddersfield since the early 60’s.  During that time he has built four different businesses from scratch and employed well over a thousand staff.  As of the end of April 2021, Ken takes on the role of Deputy Chairman of Fintel PLC, an AIM listed technology and people business based in Huddersfield which provides support to the financial services sector. In addition to having founded Fintel, he also served as Chairman from 2002 until 2021.

Ken has been Chairman of the Huddersfield Giants since 1996 and is Life President of Huddersfield Town, having been Chairman for 7 years after rescuing the club in 2003.

He is active in the community and charity fields and has worked with Sir John Harman on various initiatives, including Huddersfield Unlimited and the establishment of the Huddersfield Community Foundation, of which the Davy Fund was a founding endowment. He also worked with Barry Sheerman MP on the Huddersfield Commission.  In 2007 he founded the Huddersfield Giants Community Trust which, as well as working with schools across the area, runs The Zone helping thousands of children and young people every year, Have Fun and Get Fit.

A Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship and Honorary Doctor of Business Administration at the University of Huddersfield, Ken takes a keen interest in the encouragement and mentoring of new businesses.   He was married to Jennifer for 53 years until her passing in 2017 and their four daughters all now live in Huddersfield.

Professor Graham Leslie CBE

Graham Leslie is Huddersfield’s best known entrepreneur, investing in and mentoring a wide portfolio of local companies, and nurturing a new generation as Resident Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of Huddersfield.

He came up the hard way. After leaving school in Middlesbrough at 15, he worked as a hairdresser – a profession in which his creative business drive was already evident. From formulating and selling hair products he built up Galpharm, the largest store brand Pharmaceuticals company in the UK, on the principle of providing key medicines at affordable prices. As Chairman of Huddersfield Town FC in the early ’90s he led the successful switch to the new stadium and was the founder chairman of KSDL, the partnership company which built and still operates it.

As well as his continuing business activity, Graham supports a number of charities, chairs the Leslie Sports Foundation, and is pursung his passion for music, collaborating with his brother Hugh and the songwriter Eliot Kennedy in his latest project.

Richard Paxman is the CEO of Paxman Coolers Limited Huddersfield

Richard Paxman

Richard Paxman is the CEO of Paxman Coolers Limited, an innovative Huddersfield-based business that’s helping improve the lives of cancer patients throughout the world who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Paxman are the undisputed global market leader in scalp cooling and produce a device that helps prevent hair loss – a distressing side effect of chemotherapy. Paxman was founded as a family business by Glenn Paxman following his wife Sue Paxman’s hair loss in connection with chemotherapy treatment for cancer.

Richard studied management science at Manchester’s UMIST and joined Paxman in 2009. Since then the business has had international success and Richard is passionate about improving scalp cooling efficacy, ensuring that everyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment keeps their hair. Presently, the system is available at a large number of cancer centers in Europe, North- and South America, Asia and Australia. It is Richard’s vision to ensure that every applicable cancer patient, no matter where in the World, has the opportunity to maintain their privacy and sense of normality by keeping their hair. Investment in people, biological research, clinical trials for both regulatory and marketing reasons, plus product development, is the key to future growth.

In 2017 Richard led the company to a successful FDA clearance in the USA as well as undertaking an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the First North Nasdaq Stock Exchange in Sweden.  The company has seen impressive growth over the last 3 years and is now employing 50 people.

Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL CMgr CCMI FREng, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive – University of Huddersfield

Professor Bob Cryan CBE DL CMgr CCMI FREng

Professor Bob Cyran CBE DL CMgr CCMI FREng is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at The University of Huddersfield.

Professor Bob Cryan CBE was appointed to his first Professorial Chair at the age of 30 and at the time he was the youngest Professor of Engineering in the UK. He then went on to become the youngest Vice-Chancellor in the UK when he took up his post at his hometown University, the University of Huddersfield, in January 2007.

Bob holds two first class honours degrees (Engineering, Mathematics), an MBA and two doctorates (PhD, DSc) and he is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Bob is a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire and in 2013 he was awarded The Guardian Inspiring Leader Award. In 2014 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and made a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

In 2015 he received The Daily Telegraph Educate North Inspiring Leader Award and was included in the group of 50 World leading Engineers appointed as Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2020 he was appointed Deputy President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET).