Profiles of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club Board of Directors.
Colin Graves – Chairman
Colin Graves is the Chairman of Yorkshire CCC and joined the ECB Board in 2010.
He founded the York-based Supermarket chain Costcutter in 1986 and oversaw its growth into a franchise network of more than 1,700 stores.
He has played club cricket for Dunnington CC in the Yorkshire and District Premier League for nearly 30 years and is the President of the club.
He took control of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 2002 and is currently the Club Chairman. In October 2010, he assumed the duties of Chief Executive, when Stewart Regan left to join the Scottish Football Association.
After appointing a Chief Executive at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 2013, he went on to take up the position of Deputy Chairman at the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Robin Smith – Vice Chairman
Robin Smith has been Board member of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club since 1998.
Robin practised as a solicitor, ultimately becoming managing partner of his firm DLA Piper.
He is a non-executive director of Bartlett Group (Holdings) Ltd and was Chairman of Leeds Building Society for six years retiring from his post in March 2013.
He maintains his links with the Territorial Army and with a number of local and national charities.
Mark Arthur – Chief Executive
Mark Arthur arrived at Headingley in April 2013 to become the Club’s Chief Executive.
Mark has had an illustrious career in professional sport. He was Chief executive at Nottingham Forest Football Club, where he spent 13 years at the helm. Prior to his role in football, Arthur held a similar role at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and played a key role in driving forward such projects as the Radcliffe Road Stand.
He started his career in sports administration at the Test and County Cricket Board, now the England and Wales Cricket Board, in 1990 before moving to Trent Bridge in 1994.
Michael Vaughan OBE – Director
Michael Vaughan’s place in modern cricket history was assured after his major role in reclaiming the Ashes amid emotional scenes in 2005.
He had already established himself as a technically fluent and composed batsman of the highest standard when he took over the England Test captaincy from Nasser Hussain in 2003.
But for all his outstanding strokeplay – and when Vaughan was on song there were few better batsmen in world cricket – he will be remembered most for capturing the hearts of the nation in leading England to their outstanding 2005 Ashes triumph.
For Yorkshire he made his First-Class debut in 1993 and went on to play 268 matches, scoring in excess of 16,000 runs including 42 100s 68 50s.
Vaughan’s appetite for the game has not diminished in retirement and alongside his Board role at Yorkshire, he is a mentor for England under-19s and has forged a successful broadcasting career with BBC’s Test Match Special and television broadcasters around the world.
He was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 Birthday Honours for services to England cricket.
Steve Denison – Director
Steve Denison has been a Board member for three years. He is a senior partner at PwC.
With more than 25 years’ experience, Steve leads the firm’s Assurance business across the UK regions. He is based in the Leeds office and advises the Board on financial matters.
Martin Farrington – Director (Nominee of Leeds City Council)
Martin Farrington has worked in Local Government for more than 20 years and is the Director of City Development, Leeds City Council with responsibility for the physical, economic and cultural development of the city.
His work has included the sale of the Leeds Bradford Airport, bringing forward the Masterplan for Elland Road and overseeing of proposals for Leeds South Bank and Sovereign Street. He has also led on the development of the Leeds Arena Project.
In 2014 he was awarded Property Personality of the Year at the Yorkshire Property Awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Stephen Willis – Director (Nominee of Leeds Beckett University)
Stephen Willis is Director of Finance and Resources at Leeds Beckett University and has been in his role at the city’s university since 2002.
Alongside his role at Headingley, Stephen is also a non-executive director of Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Phoenix Dance Theatre.
He is also a governor and the Chair of the Audit Committee at Leeds City College.
Harry Gration MBE – Director
Esteemed broadcaster Harry Gration, who has been associated with the BBC for over three decades in a variety of roles from anchoring regional news programme Look North to covering seven Olympic Games for BBC Sport, joined the Board in August 2013.
He is a lifelong Yorkshire cricket fan and has been supporting the Club since the 1970s
His high profile within the region and his knowledge of the sports industry is a vital asset to the Club.
He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting.
Gary Verity – Director
Gary Verity is the Chief Executive of the official tourism agency of the region Welcome to Yorkshire.
Verity, who joined the Board in August 2013, was instrumental in bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014. He has successfully raised the profile of Yorkshire on a national and international level having overseen award winning marketing campaigns and major tourism initiatives.
Since joining Welcome to Yorkshire in 2008 he has worked closely with tourism businesses, local authorities and other partners to grow the county’s visitor economy, which has increased to £7b over the past five years and make Yorkshire a destination of choice for visitors worldwide.
A passionate Yorkshireman, in his spare time Gary is an award-winning Dales sheep farmer and lives on a working farm near Leyburn. He is also a strong advocate of cancer support and has raised more than £500,000 for charities in Yorkshire.