stefan-PROF. STEFAN ALLESCH-TAYLOR CBE | FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN

Prof. Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, is a London-based financier, entrepreneur, charity chairman and philanthropist, with over 25 years’ experience of business startups, turnarounds and public companies. He has served on Boards in Europe and the USA as CEO, Chairman or Senior Non-Executive Director on both public and private companies.

In 2008, Stefan co-founded and is Deputy Chairman of the Central London Rough Sleepers Committee (CLRSC), which provides free meals and support for the homeless in London. It has served over 10,000 meals since inception. Stefan is the Chairman of Pump Aid, an award winning UK charity that provides clean water and sanitation to the poorest communities in rural Africa. Since inception Pump Aid has provided unique water pumps to over 9,500 communities in Zimbabwe and Malawi serving over 1.35 million people. To date, the charity has provided around 10% of the entire rural water supply points for both Zimbabwe and Malawi, combined. Stefan is the Chairman of Team Up, a UK social venture charity that provides education support to thousands of disadvantaged young people by training university students to give private tuition sessions across the UK.

Stefan is the presenter of a live radio show on London Soho Radio called ‘Stefan Means Business’ where he interviews entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs making an impact on UK life.

In 2016 he was appointed the first Professor in the Practice of Entrepreneurship at The Entrepreneurship Institute, King’s College, London.

Stefan was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 Queen’s New Years Honours List.

camiCAMILLE PATERSON | PROGRAMME DIRECTOR

Cape Town born and educated. Studied PR & Journalism, and has over 13 years experience in the corporate hospitality, hotel, catering and food industry in South Africa and Europe.

Camille worked as an advisor to The Afri-CAN Cafes in Malawi since 2008 and was the driving force in bringing the project to South Africa. Her passion and love for South Africa, eye for talent, design, hard work, new opportunities and any serious challenge, such as bringing the Afri-CAN Café to South Africa, is a small example of her ability and skill in bringing an idea to fruition.

Her people skills, empathy and talent in finding the right people to get the job done is an asset to any team. Camille’s broad scope and variety of experience is a glimpse into the multitude of expertise she brings to the team.

robert
ROBERT RAW | 
FINANCE DIRECTOR

Born and raised in Cape Town, Robert has broad-based experience providing management accounting support and tax administration to various non-profits and for-profit companies in and around Cape Town. He worked in the United States for six years and comes with a wealth of knowledge in this area.

Robert’s passion is to support business growth and development through providing financial information for business decision-making. His involvement with Afri-CAN Cafe is exciting to him – not only for growth of the business and the concept, but for the opportunities it provides the cafe staff to grow in skills, training and to find employment.

ashley
ASHLEY LOPEZ | 
DIRECTOR OF MENTORING

Ashley Lopez BA, MA, MSc, studied in her native Chicago and latterly in London. She is a Partner in and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Department of Coffee & Social Affairs, a fast growing independent coffee company based in Central London. Ashley is a Founding Member of the Central London Rough Sleepers Committee (‘CLRSC’). The CLRSC provides meals and services to the homeless and rough sleepers in Central London and has served on 10,000 meals since it’s inception.

She is also the Non-Executive Chairman of The Goldfinger Factory, a London based social enterprise that is an up-cycling production and learning hub for the training, support and inspiration of London’s most disadvantaged residents to create desirable furnishings and fits-outs for London’s trendsetters with a social conscience.

Ashley joined in June 2015, the Board of Business for Social Progress, a new forum established by UCL’s Institute for Global Prosperity, where business leaders discuss how to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in today’s business world.

Ashley holds a BA in Law from Winona State University, an MSc in Law & Finance from Queen Mary University, London and a MA in Management from the University of Westminster, London.

mattMATTHEW GILL |  DIRECTOR

Matthew Gill has been part an executive director of a number of organizations, both public and private over the last 15 years in the US and United Kingdom. He has worked principally in corporate start ups and turnarounds as CEO in a variety of sectors, including property, technology, food retail and financial services.

He is also a Co-Founder and Deputy Chairman of the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs Ltd. and is responsible for the roll out and management of a growing number of artisan coffee-shops in Central London, selling in excess of 1 million cups of coffee per year.

Matthew is a founder member of The Central London Rough Sleepers Committee, providing free meals and support for the homeless in Central London. Since inception in 2008 it has served over 10,000 meals. He also serves as a Director of Pump Aid, an award winning UK charity that has provided clean water to over 1.35 million people in the poorest communities in rural Malawi and Zimbabwe.

charlieCHARLES KAY | DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Charles Kay is a UK based entrepreneur and consultant. He has operated in Sales, Business Development and Customer Retention in both the public and private sectors. Charles is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of iSculpt, an innovative medical technology company and under 52VBL Ltd holds a number of patents in defence medical technologies.

He spent the first half of his career in the Interactive Entertainment industry with companies such as Sega, Virgin, GT Interactive and Codemasters. With the advent of online, he specialised in developing methods of monetising content for gaming, music and film publishers with Exent Technologies and The Royal Bank Of Scotland. Since 2009, Charles has also undertaken various projects on behalf of the private office of Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, a London based Financier and Entrepreneur. These projects have involved roles within a London based Investment Bank, as Commercial Director for a UK based financial services PLC and Communications Director of the award winning UK charity Pump Aid. Charles also co-presents Stefan’s Social Experience Radio Show on London’s Soho Radio interviewing social entrepreneurs based in the UK.

maryam
MARYAM A-MAZRAEI | 
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

With a background in business and marketing, Maryam has had an early kickstart in the startup world. Co-founding her own ethical clothing company, Rella in 2011 going on to founding a web and consulting agency called Milc. Maryam has always been involved in an array of projects bringing her to her new appointment to create a consistent brand and market The Afri-CAN Charity. As part of her agency, she went on to positioning and creating a strong online presence for the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs.

Maryam took her first trip to Cape Town in 2015 where she captured the impact the charity has had on people’s lives through photography and collating stories. She will be visiting Cape Town as often as she can to document the development of the charity and capture stories of those involved in the coming years.

alanALAN FLEMING | DIRECTOR

Alan’s passion for community-based agriculture, based on sustainable economic and environmental principles led him to the Caribbean and Brazil, where he assisted fruit export companies to contract and advise smallholder farmers develop quality crops for the market. He also leased his own farm for a number of years in the state of Sao Paulo, intercropping maize and fruit for the Sao Paulo market.

With this background, he moved to South Africa and was soon involved in the development of smallholder agriculture in the townships of Cape Town. This led him to spearhead the development of a non-profit organisation specialising in township-based entrepreneurial development, over a decade, growing it into one of the largest asset-based non-profit companies in the region. During this period, his penchant for innovation caused him to see the huge potential for community-based urban aquaculture. To release this potential, he designed a series of intensive micro-fish farms in shipping containers. Well received by funders, this offering has now expanded to a number of fish farm designs, suitable for a range of applications in poor urban areas.

gordonGORDON ROSS | DIRECTOR OF Afri-CAN YOUNG EAGLES FOOTBALL ACADEMY

Gordon Ross is a recent arrival to South Africa, having lived in London, Scotland, and America for the past 30 years. He has studied Architecture, Biology, Genetic Engineering, and Russian at universities in 4 countries, and speaks 5 languages. He has had a varied career in art, interior design, journalism, video game development, and environmental and political campaigning. Gordon is excited to be part of the Afri-CAN Young Eagles Football Academy, that is making a positive difference in young people’s lives.

jodyJODY THEODORE | CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE Afri-CAN CAFE COMPANY

Capetonian born Jody developed a passion for the culinary arts at a young age with his grandmother in their family kitchen. He graduated from the renowned Silwood Kitchen School of Cooking and became the head lecturer at South Africa’s largest privately owned Chef and Hospitality Management Schools – Capsicum.

His successful career has seen him working within various well-known restaurants and wine farms, including Constantia Uitsig, Mount Nelson and Savoy Cabbage. He was also a regular guest on popular South African cooking TV shows “What’s Your Flava” and “Spekko Home Cooking”.

He has a passion for food styling and has worked with renowned Food Stylist Abigail Donnelly.