Aston University is pleased to announce the appointment of prominent entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist Jason Wouhra OBE to its governing body. His appointment was confirmed by University Council at its meeting in June 2020.
Jason brings considerable experience of business and governance to the role, as well as a passion for developing opportunities to improve the employability of young people, seeing business as a force for social change.
He joined the family firm of East End Foods after completing his law degree in 1998. He was director and company secretary of East End Foods plc until its sale to Private Equity in 2019. The company had grown to be the country’s foremost brand of ethnic food ingredients, supplying multiple retailers such as Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Morrisons and the majority of independent retailers in the market as well as restaurants and catering establishments.
Jason has recently established Lioncroft Wholesale Limited and re-purchased East End Foods’ wholesale division. This new business will continue to build on the already strong heritage under the “East End Wholesale Stores” name. Jason has ambitions to grow the wholesale division substantially over the next few years.
Jason has a degree and masters in commercial law, is an Institute of Directors (IoD) chartered director and became the youngest and first BAME chairman of the IoD in the West Midlands in 2013.
Other prominent positions include non-executive director of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust as well as past and present chairmanships of the West Midlands India Partnership, Library of Birmingham Advisory Board, Birmingham Child Poverty Commission, Aston University Development Board and vice chair of the Black Country LEP.
His charitable work in the city and the region is considerable and Jason has supported and fundraised for many charities over the years. Jason has been a patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice charity since 2018.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to entrepreneurship and business development by Aston University in 2014. In addition, was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in 2017 for services to business and international trade.
Commenting on his appointment, Jason Wouhra said:
“I look forward to playing my part in helping the University achieve its vision of having an international reputation for delivery of outstanding graduate outcomes and equipping business and communities with the skills for future success.
“Working alongside my fellow members of Council, our Vice-Chancellor Professor Alec Cameron and the wider University community, I am confident that Aston’s reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching, research and the wider student experience will continue to grow.”
Dame Yve Buckland, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Aston University, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Jason as a member of Council. He has a strong personal commitment to the role education can play in opening opportunities for young people and an understanding of the wider contribution universities make to the economy and society as a whole.”
“I believe he will be a great role model for Aston University students in the light of his Brummie background and impressive business career.”
Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, said:
“I look forward to working closely with Jason. I have no doubt that his counsel, advice and guidance will make an important contribution to the University’s future success, in particular in relation to our strong links to business in the region and supporting our focus on highly employable graduates.”
About Aston University
Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive.
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