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Spotlight on our Co-Founders to celebrate International Women's Day: Melanie Malcolm and Joanne Maltby

As we celebrate International Women's Day, we take pride in introducing the remarkable co-founders behind the prestigious Yorkshire Choice Awards: Melanie Malcolm and Joanne Maltby.


Melanie Malcolm & Joanne Maltby, Co-Founders of The Yorkshire Choice Awards

Since its initiation in 2016, the Yorkshire Choice Awards has swiftly emerged as the epitome of recognising excellence in Yorkshire. As the awards continue to gain prominence, celebrating the very best of Yorkshire businesses and people, the vision and hard work of two dynamic women stand behind this remarkable event.


Melanie Malcolm, Co-Founder of The Yorkshire Choice Awards

Melanie Malcolm: The Pioneering Spirit


Melanie Malcolm, with her numerous accolades and an innate drive to inspire, is a testament to excellence in business and community support. With a portfolio spanning across various sectors, Melanie's adaptability is one of her significant strengths. Her years of event management and marketing experience were the catalyst for her collaboration with Jo to create the Yorkshire Choice Awards.


Beyond events, Melanie co-owns the award-winning Leeds-based Bespoke Home Cinemas. She has steered this successful AV company alongside her husband for over two decades. Melanie's contributions also extend to the Board of Directors for CEDIA and her recent appointment as a Director for Together For Cinema, an initiative that gifts cinema rooms to Children’s Hospices across the UK.


Mel appropriately acknowledges, "Every year, our awards honour those inspiring heroes and businesses often with untold stories. It fills me with immense pride to co-host this event with Jo and shine a spotlight on those unsung heroes within our communities.”


Undoubtedly, Melanie's commitment to community welfare and ensuring well-earned recognition for individuals and organisations makes her a key force behind The Yorkshire Choice Awards.


Joanne Maltby, Co-Founder of The Yorkshire Choice Awards

Joanne Maltby: The Digital Advocate for Local Businesses


Joanne, or Jo as she's affectionately known, encapsulates the essence of digital advocacy. Reflecting on the awards' journey, Jo shares, “Since 2016, The Yorkshire Choice Awards has grown way beyond anything Mel and myself expected. It's now the pedestal to celebrate Yorkshire's best."


In the digital era, Jo recognised early on the significance of supporting small businesses. Her initiatives like #HandpickedNetwork (formerly #wetherbyhour and #harrogatehour) not only connected businesses online but also fostered genuine community interactions with live gatherings.


Her innovative Handpicked Local subscription service brought the quintessence of the high street online, epitomising the synergy of community and technology and recognising the challenges that small businesses face in a world dominated by major conglomerates, Jo introduced a Local E-Magazine. This innovation made advertising not only affordable for these businesses but also ensured they reached a vast audience, allowing them to compete more effectively with bigger enterprises.


Jo has been honoured with a multitude of awards over the years, including the prestigious titles of Wetherby Townsperson of the Year, recipient of the Insight with a Passion Award, and the esteemed Stray FM Good Neighbour Local Hero Award.


In addition to her accolades, she has been actively involved in neighbourhood activities, lending her support to events such as the Wetherby Lions Senior Citizens Party and playing a key role in organising the Wetherby Christmas Light Switch On for numerous years. Her commitment to her community was further demonstrated when she was elected as Wetherby Town Councillor, serving from May 2019 to 2023, underscoring her unwavering dedication to her roots.


Jo Maltby & Melanie Malcolm, Co-Founders of The Yorkshire Choice Awards

Both backgrounds merged harmoniously when Jo and Melanie conceptualised the Yorkshire Choice Awards over a cup of Yorkshire tea.

The Yorkshire Choice Awards owe its success to the harmonious collaboration between Melanie and Jo. Their shared vision, passionate dedication, and complementary strengths have made the awards a beacon of recognition in Yorkshire. As we celebrate International Women's Day, their stories stand as powerful testaments to the impact of collaboration, community, and commitment.


Franks Accountants, Hedline Sponsor of The Yorkshire Choice Awards 2024

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