Olmec Team

The hard-working Olmec team consists of our CEO and a team of associates who deliver specific programmes and are called upon when extra capacity is needed. We are always happy to receive applications from professionals who are interested in joining our associates’ team.


John Mayford

t: 07872 507489 |e: john.mayford@olmec-ec.org.uk

Associates team

Alexandra NicolettiAlexandra Nicoletti
Senior Digital and Social Enterprise Associate

Alex is a skilled programme manager and strategist, and has experience in Social Housing, Employment and Training, Urban Regeneration, Social Enterprise, Public, Private and Charitable sectors.

She has been responsible for a number of successful strategic plans ranging from national Community Regeneration frameworks, through to Employment and Training, and Financial Inclusion strategies.

Alex has also been involved in key collaborative urban planning frameworks in London. She holds a detailed understanding of bid writing, tendering and procurement processes.

Alex is passionate about social enterprise and ethical business. She recently set up a social venture based around early education, and it has been trading internationally in its first year.

EmpressAnnetta Bennett
Bronze Woman Co-ordinator and Ambassador Safeguarding and Equalities Consultant

Annetta is a Safeguarding and Equalities Consultant and brings over twenty-five years experience in social care to Olmec.

She has extensive expertise in developing resources, implementing policies and national standards, promoting the rights and needs of children, young people and families impacted by a range of societal issues.   She has held various roles protecting and safeguarding children, young people and adults from exploitation and abuse.  She is well known for public-speaking, lecturing and as a provider of social care training in the voluntary, private and public sectors.
In addition, Annetta’s other specialist areas are in the field of culture, diversity and equalities.  She actively promotes culturally sensitive practice enabling individuals to be treated with equal concern whilst acknowledging their individual needs. Her aim is to widen participation and strengthen BME communities through inclusive engagement and partnership working.

Emma FoxallEmma Foxall

Emma has 10 years of experience in equality, diversity and inclusion, specialising in the areas of race equality, sexual orientation and gender identity. She has worked in this space as a consultant, employee, trustee and volunteer. Emma was one of the founding trustees of Olmec as an independent social enterprise in 2010.

She has worked in the private, public and third sectors including managing the largest corporate partnership in the UK at Tesco and working as a consultant for NHS England. Emma has an MPhil from Cambridge University and a 1st class joint honours BA degree from the University of Birmingham. She is currently training to become a counsellor.

Specialist areas:

  • Training: planning, delivery and evaluation of training programmes
  • research, scoping and strategy: market research, scoping and strategy in relation to any
  • Coaching: 1-2-1 coaching and support for candidates seeking work
  • equalities, diversity and inclusion
  • race equality, sexual orientation and gender identity

Lara OyedeleLara Oyedele
Senior Housing Associate

Lara brings to Olmec a 25 career within the social housing sector culminating in 8 years as CEO of a small BME housing association. Lara was founding Chair of BMENational, the collective of BME housing associations in England. She trained as a journalist, has a Masters in Housing from the London School of Economics and is a graduate of Henley Business School.

She is passionate about:
– supporting the younger generation to acquire the skills to live economically active and productive life
– eliminating homelessness
– promoting gender equality particularly within the professions

Lara currently serves as a Trustee of Homelessness Charity, Hope Housing. She can be seen commenting on #UkHousing #Homelessness and #Equality on Twitter as @LaraOyedele

Nathan BrownNathan Brown
Senior Co-operative & Social Enterprise Associate

Nathan has been providing advice and training to social enterprises, co-operatives, charities and community businesses since 1998. He has provided support and training to hundreds of enterprises and groups, and thousands of individuals. He also draws on direct experience in management roles and serving as a Director of a range of social enterprises and community organisations.

As an employee, Nathan managed several social enterprise support programmes for us, and as an associate has delivered training, consultancy support, research and business development planning to Olmec clients.

Nathan is is an approved provider for Co-operatives UK’s The Hive community business support programme and a specialist advisor for the Plunkett Foundation. His specialisms include legal structures, governance, business planning and community shares.

He holds a Certificate in Social Enterprise Support, a Certificate in Training Practice and is a Licensed Community Shares Practitioner.

Patrick Vernon OBE

Patrick Vernon (BA Hons  and LLM) OBE  is a Clore and Winston Churchill Fellow, Fellow at Imperial War Museum, and former Associate Fellow for the Department of History of Medicine at Warwick University.  Patrick has a 25 year track record working in health and care.  He was the first Director of Black Thrive a mental health multi agency tackling mental health in Lambeth, former Non-Executive Director of Camden and Islington Mental Health Foundation Trust, Health Partnership Coordinator for National Housing Federation, former Director of Afiya Trust, Committee member of Healthwatch England, NHS England Equality Diversity Council, Director of Brent Health Action Zone and Regional Director for MIND. He is a former member of the Labour and the Coalition Government Ministerial Advisory for Mental Health.  Patrick was a former Councillor in Hackney between 2006- 2014 and was appointed by Jeremy Corbyn as Race Equalities Adviser to Shadow Equalities Ministerial Team between 2015 to 2017.

Patrick is a founder of Every Generation Media and 100 Great Black Britons, which develops education programmes, publications and films on cultural heritage and family history.  Patrick was made Pioneer of the Nation for Cultural History by the Queen in 2003 and awarded an OBE in 2012 for his work in tackling health inequalities for ethnic minority communities in Britain. In 2010 a community hall in a health centre was named after Patrick by residents on the Chalk hill estate in Wembley.  He is a leading expert on African and Caribbean genealogy in the UK.  He has been guest editor for Black History Month magazine (2017) Windrush Commemorative magazine (2018).  Since 2010 he has been leading the campaign for Windrush Day and in 2018 kick started the campaign for an amnesty for the Windrush Generation. Finally, Patrick is Patron of ACCI mental health charity based in Wolverhampton and Santé a refugee project in Camden.

Specialist areas:

  • Service & policy development on health inequality, mental health, housing, social inclusion, cultural heritage and diversity
  • Senior management experience in complex and substantial organisations in the public & voluntary sector
  • Central government and public sector procurement
  • Coaching, mentoring and leadership development
  • Communication, public speaking & networking skills
  • Developing products/services, managing change and maximising growth
  • Fundraising and managing budgets

Sainga Tony
Development Director

Sainga studied accountancy before working in a large Local Authority in a London Borough and brings over 13 years’ social housing experience to Olmec. She has spent many years training and developing strategies to combat the effects of various Government changes including Welfare Reform and successfully implemented strategies to reduce evictions in Temporary housing for 18-24 year olds. Sainga has been key in working collaboratively with Local Authorities and BME London Housing providers to empower residents through access to employment and skills training and has successfully set up a number of small business ventures. Sainga’s specialisms include: Housing, Welfare Benefits, Business Development and Stakeholder Management.

Sainga is passionate about creating an equal, fairer and inclusive society where everyone is given the opportunity to prosper particularly, BME communities, the youth and disadvantaged groups.

Sam Obeng-DokyiSam Obeng-Dokyi
Senior Social Enterprise and Black On Board consultant 

Sam has been working with Olmec since 2008 successfully delivering social enterprise and the Black On Board programme. He has fulfilled a number of senior management roles in the voluntary sector, including the role of Director of Capacity Building at Full employ, a national charity. He also worked with Voluntary Action Islington, providing capacity building support to a significant number of voluntary and community organisations.

He has great knowledge of the support needs of charities and social enterprises and has supported, advised and trained a large number of organisations to address their growth and development needs. He has in the last six years supported over 200 VCO’s and individuals through training, one-to-one support, networking events and seminars in Lambeth to help them achieve their social and sustainability goals..

Race Equality through economic and social justice