Russell Manning

Russell Manning, Chair of LJWB

Russell was born, educated, works and lives in Leeds!

Educated at Roundhay High School.  After a short apprenticeship with estate agents in Leeds he set up his own business in 1979 in Leeds City Centre.  That business expanded into the suburbs and was eventually sold in 1987.  He set up his current business Manning and Company in 1991 which in due course merged with Staintons Residential in 2001 to form Manning Stainton which is now one of the Top 20 independent estate agencies in the UK, operating from 21 branches and departments across West Yorkshire.

The company has won many awards including the much coveted Top Independent Estate Agency in the UK in 2006 as well The Sunday Times best Medium size Estate Agency in the North, 3 years in a row. The company has also been included on numerous occasions in the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies in the UK to work for.

Russell has been involved in communal activities for more than 30 years, principally with the Leeds Jewish Housing Association for whom he was Chair for some 9 years and latterly as a Vice President, Trustee and now Chair of the Leeds Jewish Welfare Board.

Russell is married to Pharmacist Debbie. He has 2 children, Mark, who works in the family business, and Rebecca, and has 2 grandchildren. His principal hobbies are music and golf.

Helen Lewis, Deputy Chair of LJWB & Chair of Community Engagement & Inclusion

Helen has been involved in the Board since moving to Leeds over 20 years ago. She is a career health service manager with experience in a wide range of health care settings. In her spare time she has parented two sets of twins almost to adulthood, and helps to care for a very scatty cocker spaniel. She is married to Bill, who is an ecologist.  They are both actively involved in Jewish communities and informal Jewish education. Her proudest involvement with the Board is having been part of the building committee for the MAZCC and surviving the first year of its operation.   She doesn’t really have time for hobbies, though is attempting to get slightly fitter to work off the effects of many sandwich lunches grabbed at a desk.

VLVictor Leslie, Trustee & Chair of Moorcare Steering Group

Victor has a Doctorate in Organic Chemistry and spent all of his professional career working for ICI.  His many roles ranged from running large R&D departments both in the UK and US, to being President of a Joint Venture company in Houston Texas.  His final years prior to retiring as a senior executive in 1998 included running several global businesses, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and purchasing for the Petrochemical and Plastics Division.

Victor has lived in Leeds for 30 years with his wife Loretta a now retired consultant systems analyst and they have 2 children and 7 grandchildren.

Fundraising and community engagement has been a passion for many years.  He has been a long term member of the LJWB fundraising group FLAG.  For the past 15 years he served on committees in the LJWB covering the Care and Wellbeing areas.

Victor’s hobbies include keeping fit in the gym, running actively managed stock market portfolios and travelling the world as a tourist rather than on business!

Matthew Lewis, Trustee & Chair of HR & Business Continuity

Matthew moved from London to Leeds over 14 years ago, where he was a member of Richmond Synagogue. Matthew is currently a member of UHC, Shadwell Lane and was married there in 1991. Matthew is married to Karen, nee Myers (daughter of Doreen and the late Peter Myers) and they have three children; all have passed through Brodetsky Primary School where he was previously a Parent Governor.

Matthew is Head of the Leeds Employment Department at Squire Patton Boggs. He is also a non-executive director on a pro bono basis of a credit union for retail employees: retailCURe. This provides access to funding and saving opportunities to many hard-pressed individuals.

In his spare time Matthew has been head of Squire Patton Boggs’ Leeds office charity committee, raising £30k for Yorkshire Cancer Research, run 10k and the Leeds half marathon for Donisthorpe.

Matthew brings hard work and attention to detail to the operation of LJWB. He will also bring objectivity; we all care about the work of the LJWB and the Trustees need to be able to stand back and sometimes make difficult decisions or support the Chief Executive and management team with the  decisions they need to make. This is something Matthew brings to bear in his professional life; helping clients make clear and commercial decisions against what is sometimes an emotional backdrop.

Joanne Mornin, Trustee & Chair of Finance & Admin

Joanne is the Director of Finance at Yorkshire Cancer Research and prior to that has held senior Finance roles in several industries such as Automotive, Hospitality and Brewing.

Joanne qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994 with Arthur Andersen, having gained a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Law from Manchester University.

Joanne has three children as well as a step-daughter and is married to Darren. In her spare time, Joanne loves to walk and was part of the team who walked the 24 hour challenge for Donisthorpe in 2013 raising thousands of pounds.

Nikki Ross, Trustee & Chair of Care & Wellbeing

Nikki was born in Leeds but has also lived and taught in Nottingham and Sussex, where she was Head of Nursery and Infants at a preparatory school in Brighton. Her special interest was working and training teachers and staff to work effectively with children with additional needs. Nikki also enjoyed producing and directing several plays and musicals!

Since returning to Leeds with the family in 1998, she worked part-time at Brodetsky on the Senior Management Team and latterly as a SENCO and is fully qualified in safeguarding.

In each town, Nikki was involved with various charities and has been a Chair and Trustee of LJWB since 2006.

Her husband Jonathan is a past Chair of Fundraising. They have two children, Oliver and Lucy, and a very lively Tibetan Terrier called Louis.

Michael Sandpearl, Trustee & Chair of Special Projects

Michael Sandpearl is a retired Senior financial executive who spent a considerable part of his career working abroad. Michael is married with two children, and three grandchildren.

Michael is a Governor of a local primary school and an active member of Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue.  From 1999-2001, whilst living in Hong Kong, Michael was Executive Director of the Ohel Leah Charitable Trust which involved running the Community Centre with catering and sports facilities, as well as managing the investments of the Trust and administering the benevolent society. Prior to this Michael was Chairman of the JCC in a volunteer capacity.             

  While he not spending time with family and enjoying his grandchildren, Michael enjoys playing golf and bridge, keeping fit in the gym and travelling.

Jonathan Straight, Trustee & Chair of Income Generation

Jonathan Straight is an environmental entrepreneur, non-executive director, consultant and motivational speaker born and bred in Leeds.

For 21 years until 2013 he ran the business that he founded and that ultimately became Straight plc – the UK’s leading supplier of specialist recycling container solutions. The business which turned over in the region of £30m per annum and employed more than 100 people was listed on the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market for a decade. Successfully exiting the business following its sale to an investment company, Jonathan is still recognized as an expert in the field.

Jonathan is a non-executive director of the water conservation NGO, Waterwise, a director of the contemporary arts learning centre The Tetley, director of creativity charity IVE and is a trustee of The Real Junk Food Project, an international movement which intercepts waste food and feeds people on a pay-as-you-feel basis. He is a founder and director of The Street Lane Bakery – a social enterprise baking high quality kosher bread. He is the founder and a trustee of his own charitable vehicle, The Straight Charitable Trust.

He is also a writer, an exhibited street photographer and a regular presenter on local television.

Jonathan is married with two young children. He is well known for his waxed moustache and his unrivalled collection of more than 300 pairs of spectacles.

Click here to view our Board of Trustees chart:

Trustee Organisation Chart 2017