Founder and Co Chairman
Ross has strong roots in N.I. from his home town of Larne where he spent his youth and young adulthood growing up in a local council estate, moving to England to complete his honours degree in Management and financial services. The last 20 plus years has been within the London Insurance market. A career that started as a junior claims broker to becoming class underwriter at one of the main Lloyd’s of London’s syndicates, now Founder and Group CEO of Landmark Holding Group.
Ross has overcome his early diagnoses of dyslexia, which has not held his own career path back and has seen this as a blessing throughout his life. He enjoys building teams, helping to build the careers of others, developing relationships with internal and external clients, seeing all the rewards that are generated with people working together to embrace their aspirations.
Ross has now also taken on an additional role of Honorary President of the Westminster Wanderers, with the passion and pride to see the club continue in its successes after 21 years and seeing it grow further. He has been granted Freedom of the City London in 2021. Now investing his own time into the RUSA Foundation to provide a better future to those in grass roots competing sports and underprivileged families and disadvantaged children. Ross is grateful to be able to give something back through our foundation.
Founder and Co Chairman
Sitki who is of Turkish origin has lived and worked most of his life in the UK. It was thanks to his grandparent’s journey and great courage who came to England in the late 1960s to which he owes his current surroundings. Sitki fulfilled his childhood dream by securing his first professional tenure with Honda UK manufacturing, where he successfully was part of a team that introduced a new model during the 2008 financial crisis. He then embarked a journey of entrepreneurship which led to the Insurance industry, from being CEO of Greenwich Underwriting and it’s transition during during its acquisition and now sits on the board of Landmark Holding Group, which he co-founded.
Sitki’s reference point is his family, his Turkish tradition and culture. He grew up in a multi-cultural and diverse environment where he was able assimilate well both on a professional basis and in society. Sitki is highly passionate about giving back to the community and understands with hard work carried with integrity no dream is out reach.
Sitki works very closely and is engaged with a start-up supporting grass roots football and other amateur sports and is very excited about the prospect of this supporting the RUSA foundation.
Marina is a sustainability consultant, passionate about supporting solutions that can help address social and environmental challenges. Marina was born in Russia, educated in the UK, lived on 3 continents and worked in over 19 countries (and counting), and has been fortunate to work across a variety of cultures and sectors, large organisations, SMEs and governments. Having worked with clients and organisations across a range of sectors and industries, Marina founded consultancy Bemari which has been certified as a B Corporation working with organisations across various industries to improve their environmental performance and scale social impact they create.
Marina qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAS) and is currently undertaking a CFA ESG certificate and Practitioner certificate at the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
Tom McGrath who worked for Marsh Ltd for 34 years involved in a number of roles including Managing Director of Marsh McClennan Inc.
Tom was appointed OBE in 1997 and advanced to CBE in 2007.
He developed an interest in standards in the insurance industry and served a 6 year term as the retail broking representative on the Chartered Insurance Institute Professional Standards Board. He served two terms as President of the Belfast Insurance Institute.
He was awarded the CII Distinguished Service Medal in 2008.
In addition to a career in Insurance he has held a number of Government appointments including: ;
Chief Commissioner of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (2009-2019).
Chair of Belfast High School 2009-2012.
Chair of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (2003-2008).
Chair of Northern Ireland Business Education Partnership (2004-2006).
Board member of the Probation Board Northern Ireland (2000-2003).
Chaired the Board of Rathgale and Whiteabbey Training Schools (1985-2000).
He was Director of the Ireland Funds (1998-2007), served as a Committee Member of The Prince's Youth Trust & NSPCC Special Appeal and Chaired the George Best Memorial Trust.
Tom McGrath is a Fellow of both the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Administrative Management. He is also a Chartered Insurance Broker.
Nicola is from Shropshire, the daughter of a builder, educated from leading technology secondary schools plus colleges Thomas Telford and Wrekin College .
She further advanced her education at De Montford university in leicester where she studied architecture.
Nicola returned to Shropshire where she was instrumental in estate agency and property management, seeing her role take her throughout the UK.
After becoming a single parent Nicola decided to further her career and studies and obtained an MSc in building surveying from the university college of estate management, afterwards taking up a position within Telford & Wrekin Council as an Assistant Building Control Surveyor.
She is currently on her APC pathway to becoming a chartered building control surveyor working for the local authority building control, whom she has been highly commended by for her work in this role.
Nicola is passionate about the arts and investing in the future generation. She is excited to be working with this project, at The RUSA Foundation, with the talented individuals involved and looks forward to making a difference.
Alex Aiken is the Executive Director for Government Communications. He was appointed in December 2012 and has been responsible for creating the Government Communications Service and developing cross-government campaigns.
Between 2000 and 2012 he was Director of Communications and Strategy for Westminster City Council, leading the policy, member services and communications teams. He served as part of the group that oversaw the implementation of the Tri-Borough Shared Services programme and established the Westco communications consultancy which works for public and private sector clients around the UK.
He has been National Secretary of LGcommunications and Vice Chairman of the Public Relations Consultants Association Council. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).
Before joining Westminster he worked in Parliament and for Conservative Central Office, leading the party’s Campaigns Unit and the Press Office. He has trained and advised politicians and officials in countries and states around the world in the practice of government and communications.
Alex was educated at the London School of Economics and Dame Alice Owen’s School.
He lives in Pimlico, London with his wife and children. In his spare time he is Chairman of an amateur football club, Westminster Wanderers FC.
Peter Staddon is the former Managing Director of the Managing General Agents Association (MGAA) and has not long retired from that role.
Peter was the driving force behind developing the MGAA into where it stands today.
He was appointed to the Board and the Grants Committee of The Insurance Charities in 2009.
Peter has over 25 years of delegated authority experience, coupled with many years leading the insurance industry through market initiatives and educational forums.
Tom Overbury grew up in Colchester, Essex.
For the last decade, he has worked at the top of the music business, both in London and Los Angeles. Tom is currently working with one of the most-streamed artists in the world, James Arthur, as his personal A&R Manager.
Most recently, he worked alongside Simon Cowell as Senior A&R Manager of the music mogul's record label, Syco Music. In this role, Tom worked on The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and America's Got Talent, as well as with many top recording artists.
Previous to this, he was at Warner/Chappell Music as UK Senior A&R Manager where he signed the likes of Ina Wroldsen to the company, who went on to co-write hits such as Calvin Harris' ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, as well as both Clean Bandit's monster-hits ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Symphony’.
Tom was previously recognised as one of Music Week’s '30 Under 30'.
Living in London, he enjoys spending his spare time being the Captain of Westminster Wanderers Football Club's First team and assisting with the Club Management.
Ashok hails originally from the southern state of Kerala in India. As a child growing up he was always taking things apart and putting them back together. Upon graduation he chose the UK. to do his post graduate degree in Engineering due to his love for Manchester United FC. He has since established a career in the UK Automotive industry working for the likes of Honda and Ford over the last 13 years.
He is a family man who values spending time with his wife and 2 daughters the most. He recently fulfilled a childhood dream of learning to fly by acquiring an EASA private pilots license. He plans to go to add a flight instructor rating so he pass the gift of flight to the next crop.
Ashok has always enjoyed sharing knowledge going back to his university days as a student ambassador. Today he is a family man, an accomplished engineer, pilot and aircraft builder. He supports various aviation outreach programs and is looking forward to introducing many young people to aviation through the RUSA Foundation.
Ian Nicholson was born in East London and grew up in Essex.
He has worked in the Square Mile for 36 years, he started in banking and has spent the last 25 years in Human Resources.
He is currently Head of HR Operations for a leading London Insurer with a global reach.
Ian was delighted to be appointed a Freeman of the Guild of HR Professionals in 2019, in recognition of his services to the profession.
He is passionate about sport and is a lifelong West Ham United supporter.
In his spare time along with his partner Ian enjoys travelling the world and experiencing new cultures.
He was honoured to be asked to join as a Trustee of the RUSA Foundation and be part of a Board with the drive to make a positive difference.
Claire Taggart is a Paralympian in the sport of boccia, based in Larne, Northern Ireland. Claire was able-bodied until the age of 17/18, where she was diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition, dystonia. Claire’s body, muscles and limbs are affected by spasm, muscle contractions and abnormal posturing which can make day to day tasks more difficult. As a result of this, Claire is unable to walk or stand, but is fully independent, living independently with the support of her parents and carers, whilst also being able to drive her VW transporter from her wheelchair.
Boccia is a Paralympic sport played by people with severe physical disabilities, meaning it is widely accessible and inclusive to all. Claire holds an international classification as a BC2, and is currently 10th in the world individually, whilst her team (BC1/2 team) is 8th in the world. She is NO.1 in the U.K. and Northern Ireland which helps her promote the sport locally as well. Most recently it has just been announced that Claire will compete in her second Paralympics, this year in Tokyo.
Claire also has a voluntary role at Larne FC, as a disability access officer where she works with the management staff with the aim of Inver Park being the trailblazer for accessibility within the NI Football league, for all of those who may have a disability.
In her spare time, Claire also runs a successful stationery business, is studying for a BSc in Forensic Psychology through the Open University, and is a full time National Lottery funded athlete on the Boccia UK World Class Programme. This does not leave much time for relaxing but Claire loves to take her dog, Rio to the beach or the park to unwind.
Claire’s transition from being able bodied to having a severe physical disability has not been smooth, and through her personal experiences she hopes to help the RUSA foundation to continue in its development and growth for the benefit of everyone.
David is Chief Executive of Larne-based Access Employment Limited (AEL). As a social enterprise AEL provides training and employment opportunities for people who have additional support needs such as Learning Disability/difficulty, Asperger’s, and autism.
David began his career as a business developer, establishing a number of retail businesses and a wholesale business, eventually selling all as a going concern to a global company listed on the New York Stock exchange ‘Top 100’.
Moving out of retail he became involved in commercial and residential property development, site assembly and strategic planning whilst maintaining a keen interest in the development of socioeconomic and community projects.
A key focus for David throughout his career has been job creation and self-generated income. This, in turn, has yielded a high level of results in terms of social and economic outcomes.
David is a Governor at Rodensvale Special School, a Director at Social Enterprise NI, a Director at Larne Football Club and a member of the All Party Working Group on Social Value at the NI Executive.
His achievements in this vital field were recognised when he was awarded the impressive accolades of the Northern Ireland Social Enterprise ‘Leader of the Year’ for 2018, and CEO of the NI ‘Social Enterprise of the Year 2018’. In December 2018 he was conferred an Honorary Fellow of Northern Regional College.
David is married with three children and in his spare time he follows Ulster Rugby and Larne FC.