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Ben McEwen and Julian George appointed to Oxford Cultural Collective Trust

Ben McEwen and Julian George


30th June 2023

The OCC Trust, the registered charity that supports the educational objectives of the Oxford Cultural Collective, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben McEwen and Julian George as trustees.

The OCC Trust offers financial scholarships and awards, and provides mentoring support, for young people who are building their careers in areas related to food, drink and hospitality.

Commenting on the new appointments, founding trustee Ceri Butcher: “We are hugely grateful to Martin Holden-White, who has helped steer the OCC Trust through its formative period, as Chair. We’re delighted that despite stepping down from this position, due to work commitments, he will be staying on as a member of the board. Ben McEwen, who will serve as Chair, and Julian George, will bring particular skills and experience to the Trust that will help us fulfil our objectives. Ben has held a variety of senior positions in the hospitality industry, as well as having chaired another successful charity, and Julian is a much-admired entrepreneur, whose creativity will be invaluable. Both are committed to supporting young people by providing tailored support and opportunities for learning.”

Ben McEwen graduated with a degree in International Hospitality Management from Oxford Brookes University in 2008 and joined boutique caterer Lexington. Completing their graduate program, he progressed through the company, becoming General Manager of a blue chip site. In April 2011 Ben was appointed Project and Operations Manager for BaxterStorey at the Main Media Centre, operating the catering operation for the world’s press and broadcasters at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Following the Olympics, Ben moved into sales and became Business Development Manager for BaxterStorey in London, tasked with growing the business and retaining key accounts. Today, Ben is Head of Sales at Elior UK, with responsibility for the Lexington business as well as the Stadia, Universities and Leisure sectors. In addition to his role in Foodservice, Ben is a passionate advocate of the charity sector. He is a committee member at Walk for Wellbeing in support of Hospitality Action and involved with No5 Young People, a mental health organisation in Reading.

Julian George has worked at the intersection of TV, food, publishing and socially led projects for the last fifteen years. Creativity has always been at the core of his professional roles, which continues through his work as a director, producer, videographer, photographer and curator. Julian is the founder and Creative Director of Made by Humans, a creative agency that works with values-base clients to unearth their unique stories, and to communicate them through film, podcasts, books and images.

In 2021 Julian founded The Future Plate, which has become the highest profile platform for exploring, celebrating and showcasing contemporary interpretations of African and Caribbean cuisines. It brings together the leading Black chefs from the UK and beyond, providing them with a platform to develop as cultural leaders, changemakers and roles models, and in doing so is empowering a new generation of culinary professionals with shared cultural interests.

Trustees (from top left): Ben McEwen, Anna Klenert, Ceri Butcher, Jane Sunley, Julian George, Martin Holden-White, Chris Sheppardson, Pervin Todiwala and Lucy Tse-Mitchell.


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