Hosts, Speakers & Special Guests

Find out more about the inspiring people who will honour us in the Awards’ ceremony.


Julie Ward

Julie is a Labour and Co-operative Party Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, covering Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester. As such she is a member of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and, in turn, part of the second largest group in the European Parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

Julie serves on the Parliament’s Culture & Education Committee, the Regional Development Committee and the Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights. She is also a member of the Labour Party’s Policy Commission on Education and Children.

First elected in May 2014, Julie previously had a long career in the cultural sector, working with marginalised communities using arts as a tool for well-being, empowerment and social change. Prior to being elected as an MEP, Julie had been working with partners in the EU and beyond for more than a decade. For instance, she was involved in an international delegation to Belfast to participate in an all-party discussion about the role of the arts in peace-building processes.

Julie decided to go to university for the first time in 2009 and enrolled on a Masters’ course at Newcastle, studying Education and International Development. This meant learning about economics, human rights and poverty. She graduated in 2012 determined to use her new-found knowledge for the greater good.

Julie has extensive experience of frontline grassroots work, engaging with people from all walks of life as they try to do their best for their families and their communities often in very challenging circumstances.

(With information from Julie’s Ward website)


Wojciech Kolodziejczak

My name is Wojciech Kolodziejczak and I am Life Networker! Nowadays, the successful career and business development are based on building strong and trusted relationships. These social and business networks form the heart of your business, career and personal life.

My life has been all about networking and generating business since I was a teenager. My first business development experience goes back to 1997 when I helped my grandfather to close a very important Russian client for his textile business. Grandfather took me for a meeting with the client at a golf course in Poland and was astonished to see me having basic icebreaking conversation in Russian. I managed to build up rapport easily, open up the client, find out exactly what he needed, which really helped my grandfather to present him with a wide range of services and solutions.

I have graduated law from the University of Chester and after several years in legal practice, I decided to do what I really love which is networking! I have been working as a business development and marketing manager in a legal industry and my full-time job is to generate business via networking and other related activities. I believe that with financial, business and legal sectors striving to secure profitable contracts, business development and networking have been essential to open doors to many commercial opportunities.

I have been working in this field since 2011 and I am so excited to share my knowledge and experience with you!

(With information from Wojciech Kolodziejczak’s website)

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