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Honorands 2012

Leon Max

Leon Max is a Russian-born American fashion designer and retailer. Max Studio is a global corporation producing leading-edge fashion design for modern women. Sold through Max Studio stores, boutiques, web and major department stores around the world, Max Studio offers top quality fabrics and innovative styles.

Founded in 1979, Max Studio reflects the fashion standard of today’s women. In order to provide clothing of unwavering calibre Max Studio pursues superior fabrics, yarns and accessories globally.

Adam Gray

Adam Gray grew up in Northamptonshire, and has risen to the top of his profession – catering. Through hard work, application and enterprise, Adam was for over a decade the Executive Chef at Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes Twenty Four, a top London restaurant, where Adam earned and held a Michelin star.

Recently, he returned to Northamptonshire as one of the co-owners of The Red Lion Hotel and Cookery School in his home village of East Haddon, which was recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the only one of its kind in Northamptonshire. Adam is not only passionate about his cooking but also Northamptonshire – and is aiming to bring the first ever Michelin star to the county in the not too distant future. He is an official Ambassador for Northamptonshire, actively promoting the county and its foods whenever he can.

Sister Frances Dominica Ritchie

Born Frances Dorothy Lyon Ritchie in Inverness, Sister Frances was brought up in Edinburgh, where her grandfather was a Presbyterian elder. Later she relocated to Surrey with her parents.  Her younger brother had been born with only one lung and she often visited him at Great Ormond Street. She attended the Cheltenham Ladies’ College before returning to Great Ormond Street to train as a paediatric nurse.  During her training she was seconded to the Middlesex Hospital to do her General Training. She joined the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, an Anglican order. She became novice mistress and later mother superior by the age of 35.

Sister Ritchie founded the Helen House hospice, the World’s first Children’s Hospice, in 1982, inspired by two-year old Helen Worswick. Sister Frances met Helen after an operation to remove a brain tumour left Helen severely disabled. The friendship which Frances developed with Helen and her parents proved the inspiration for the UK’s first children’s hospice.  Sister Frances went on to found Douglas House, a ‘respice’ for people between 16 and 40 with life-shortening conditions, which was opened by HM The Queen in 2004 and was built in the same grounds as Helen House. Both houses offer respite care, accompanied by members of the family if they so choose, end-of-life care, and family support from the time of referral for as many years after the death of the young person as the family may wish.

Reverend Richard Coles

Born in Northampton on 26 March 1962, educated at Wellingborough School (where he was a choirboy) and King’s College London where he studied theology from 1990.

Formed the Communards with Jimmy Somerville and were together for just over three years and enjoyed three UK Top 10 hits, including the biggest-selling single of 1986 with a version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, which was at Number 1 for four weeks. They split in 1988.

Currently hosts Saturday live on BBC Radio 4  as well as being vicar for Finedon.

Deirdre Newham

Deirdre joined the Governing Council at the University in December 2002, and was elected Chairman in August 2008.  She is currently Chair of the Northamptonshire Police Authority, having been a member for nine years. On this and her previous positions she has had a keen interest and involvement in education and training, and is currently a Board Member of the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation and a Governor of Northampton High School.

Deirdre is married with one daughter and three grandchildren and has lived and worked in the County for over 45 years.

Mauro Magnaguagno

Mauro began his career while still at school as a trainee in a shoe factory in Germany in 1982 before returning to Italy and working as a trainee in a tannery in Trissino in the same year.

In 1983 Mauro began his first full-time job as Head of the Sample Department Conceria La Veneta, Arzignano, before being promoted to the Manager of the beamhouse and wet-end departments in 1985.

In 1993, he joined TFL Italia based in Buscate working as a technical director before becoming the Director of the TFL Academy in Montebello in 2000.

In addition to his job, Mauro is an active member of AICC, the Italian Leather Chemists’ Association, and is currently on the Executive Committee. He is an integral member of the International Union of Leather Technologists’ and Chemists’ Societies Training Commission and was certified as an IULTCS-IUT Leather Professional in Valencia, Spain in 2011.

Ben Cohen MBE

Professional Rugby Union Sportsman. Ben was born in Kingsthorpe, Northampton in 1978. His professional playing career started at the age of 16, with 11 years at Northampton Saints, playing 276 matches and scoring 505 points, including winning the Heineken Cup in 2000. He is still the second all time highest try scorer for England, with 31 tries in 57 appearances. After winning the Rugby Union World Cup in 2003, he was honoured with an MBE.

In May 2011 he retired from professional rugby to become Founder of The Ben Cohen Stand-up Foundation, campaigning against homophobia and for equality in sport.

Carol Klein

British gardening expert and television presenter. Carol made her television debut on Gardeners’ World in 1989 and has since presented other gardening programmes such as Real Gardens and Open Gardens, as well as contributing to the annual Chelsea Flower Show broadcasts for the past few years.

Carol has written a number of bestselling books and also writes for various gardening publications such as BBC Gardeners’ World magazine as well as a column for British newspaper, The Guardian.

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