Meet our Founders, Jo Maltby and Melanie Malcom

The YCA was founded by Joanne Maltby and Melanie Malcolm. They both saw an opportunity to recognise and raise the awareness of local people and independent businesses that are inspirational in their own way or in the markets they serve. The YCA demonstrates that through adversity and courage, light can shine through in so many different ways and give the deserving nominees, finalists, and winners the exposure that is so deserving.

Jo Maltby | CoFounder| Yorkshire Choice Awards

“Since 2016, The Yorkshire Choice Awards has grown considerably, way beyond anything Mel and myself expected and we are thrilled that the event is now the pedestal to celebrate the very best of Yorkshire businesses and residents."

About Jo

It’s been Jo's ambition to help give small local businesses a higher profile. So many people are time poor that grabbing a computer is sometimes the only choice they have.

Her 'business support' journey started with #wetherbyhour on Twitter back in 2013 and then #harrogatehour in 2018. Both regular hour-long, online networking session that supports and brings local businesses together expanding into live meetups shortly after.

Jo launched her 'Business Membership' Handpicked Local subscription service in 2015 and this allowed her to bring the high street to the i-street - From seeing what you sell, where you are based or even to purchase, digital technology has changed the way small businesses grab the spotlight.

Jo has received many accolades over the years including Wetherby Townsperson of the Year, Insight with a Passion Award & Stray FM Good Neighbour Local Hero Award.

In May 2018, Jo was elected to become a Councillor for Wetherby Town Council. A role she is completely honored to fulfill.


The Yorkshire Choice Awards

#wetherbyhour & #Harrogatehour

Harrogate Live

Handpicked Local in Wetherby & Harrogate

Melanie Malcolm | Co Founder | Yorkshire Choice Awards

"We couldn’t make this happen without the help and support of so many and we will always be eternally grateful. From presenters to audio/visual and from stage design to lighting - they know who they are and we couldn’t thank them enough.”

About Mel

Melanie is Founder of Yorkshire Ladies Links, an event management company that organises conferences and events across Yorkshire.


Mel is a pioneering woman in business with numerous accolades to her name, always looking to inspire people within her network, helping them gain exposure and recognition for their achievements.


Yorkshire Ladies Links conferences are known as the largest events for women in business across the county showcasing Yorkshire’s Finest!

Prominent Yorkshire businesswoman, Melanie, is well-respected in the AV Industry.


She is a Director of award-winning Leeds-based Bespoke Home Cinemas and has recently been elected to the global board of CEDIA as an Executive Director on the trade association for 3,700 member companies who design, manufacture, and install technology for the home.


The Yorkshire Choice Awards

Yorkshire Ladies Links

Bespoke Home Cinemas