Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

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Weekly Feature Debates

Every week we publish a different feature debate, which covers a variety of business issues and challenges relating to Wales.  If you would like to participate in any of our upcoming features, contact us: [email protected]

Our Features Experts

Karen Thomas

Karen Thomas

Financial Services

Head of Business & Corporate Banking for Barclays across Cardiff and South Wales Valleys.  With over 25 years’ experience within financial services, Karen is responsible for a team of relationship managers committed to supporting and growing the Welsh SME sector.

Claire Marshall

Claire Marshall

Accounting and Consulting

Leading the Wales G Team from Grant Thornton Cardiff office Claire is working with dynamic leaders of small businesses to support them in achieving their business growth ambitions. Claire’s role includes provision of workshops dedicated to helping SME’s improve their business planning and strategy, exploring ways to raise finance, including personal introductions to nationwide investors and delivery of added value initiatives such as engagement with collaborative partners, complimentary publications and provision of sector specific insights and analysis.

Ken Poole

Ken Poole

Inward Investment

Ken is the Head of Economic Development at the City of Cardiff Council, he is responsible for the implementation of the Council’s economic development including the application to the UK Government for a £1billion City Deal.

Deb Barber

Deb Barber

Transport Operations

As CEO of the national airport for Wales, Deb is responsible for delivering an  ambitious strategy for long term, sustainable growth for the Airport business, generating significant economic benefit for Wales. She joined Cardiff Airport in 2012 following a very successful career in the Royal Air Force. Under Deb’s leadership there have been significant improvements and changes to the Airport’s route network, infrastructure and customer experience. These include new airlines and more choice for customers, including a new Qatar Airways service to Doha which is due to begin operating in 2018.

Peter Lynn

Peter Lynn

Commercial Law

Peter’s legal career began in 1988 when he joined Holt Jones and Collins in Swansea. After qualifying in 1992, he became a partner at the city’s Graham Evans and Partners. He left to form Peter Lynn and Partners.

Craig Blackmore

Craig Blackmore

Corporate Finance

Craig was principally trained within an international accounting firm, been a director in a mid tier accounting practice and moved onto to take up exec and non exec FD positions with a number of SME businesses. Across my career, this has taken him across the UK, into the Channel Islands and overseas to Australia and the Far East.

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones

Research and Development Tax Credits

Founder and Managing Director of Lime R&D – Wales’ only firm of Chartered Tax Advisers specialising solely in helping companies make successful R&D tax credit claims.  As a dual-qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser, Matthew has a wealth of experience working with SME and large companies from all sectors throughout Wales and enjoys helping Welsh companies access this extremely valuable, yet underclaimed relief.

Adrian Field

Adrian Field

Economic Development and City Centre Management

Adrian has worked in Economic Development and City Centre Management for 18 years, beginning his career at the Chamber of Commerce in Worcester. An influential and respected senior Director, Adrian comes to FOR Cardiff after managing the Worcester BID for over 8 years. In recent years, he has overseen two successful ballots, delivered award winning projects in addition to undertaking regional and national roles for Place Management organisations.

Audrey Nealon

Audrey Nealon

Employer Engagement

After working for 15 years within the Financial Services Industry, Audrey laterally gained valuable experience in Stakeholder and Event Management with The Army Engagement Team and Army Families Federation. An Army Spouse, Audrey is the Regional Employer Engagement Director for RFCA Wales, engaging with employers on all aspects of the Armed Forces Covenant and MOD Employer Recognition Scheme.”

Dewi Powell

Dewi Powell

Communications

After studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Dewi began his career with the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales in 2014.

He was promoted to Head of Communications in 2017 and is now responsible for managing all aspects of corporate communications, organising all civil engagement events and maximising engagement with audiences.

Darren Talbot

Darren Talbot

Commercial Accounting

Significant experience as an ACMA qualified financial accountant, Darren specialises in commercial, retail, finance, charity and waste management sectors. Part of the Aspen Waite Group, his diverse range of skills helps to identify and manage risks – and opportunities – for clients to achieve growth. A keen footballer and coach to groups for Brackla JFC, Darren has earned the title “Man of Steel” amongst his colleagues for professionalism, attention to detail and ability to help clients succeed.

John Mills

John Mills

Digital Business Integration

Now providing digital business advice to Wales-based SMEs for Superfast Business Wales, John has many years of experience in Information Technology and its integration and strategic adaptation to business development.

Previously, for around 20 years, John held the position of European IT Director for an American B2B Communication company that provided print and website-based media as well as expositions and conferences on an international basis. John has also held (and currently hold) consultancy posts and directorships of technology, community and sports-based organisations and businesses.

Steve Perkins

Steve Perkins

Digital Technology & Cyber Security

Steve is a business adviser working for Superfast Business Wales, providing consultancy to SMEs around digital technology, cyber security and ICT.

Almost 30 years’ experience working for multi-national businesses and global IT service providers, specialising in IT Service Delivery, business development & cyber security.

Steve is an expert in the Telco market having held senior roles delivering IT services for B2B & B2C broadband and home phone for BT, Post Office, EE, Scottish & Southern Energy, Vodafone and 02.

He’s also managed delivery of ISO27001 security and PCI DSS accreditation for a number of large clients.

Sara Moseley

Sara Moseley

Mental Health

Sara Moseley is Director of Mind Cymru and an Executive Director of Mind. She Chairs the Wales Alliance for Mental Health and Time to Change Wales. Sara has a background in journalism, communication and public engagement having been Director of Communications for the Welsh Government as well as a large London Health Trust and the young people’s homelessness charity, Centrepoint. She is a Welsh speaker, a Distinguished Vising Fellow at Cardiff University and a member of CIPR.

Jayne Kendall

Jayne Kendall

Marketing and Communications

Responsible for expanding The Cranfield Trust’s services in Wales, Jayne works with individual charities to assess their need for business support, to scope and specify consultancy projects and to identify qualified volunteers from the commercial sector who can provide professional advice.

As a direct result of this activity, we hope Wales-based charities will become stronger, more sustainable organisations and that their managers will develop the confidence they need to navigate the changing voluntary sector climate in Wales.

Jayne has a background in marketing and communications having held senior roles with the Welsh Government, Trinity Mirror Group and the NHS. She has also managed her own marketing consultancy leading brand, product marketing and communication campaigns in domestic and international markets.

Neil Lloyd

Neil Lloyd

Business and People Development

Founding Director of Zokit, Neil’s interested in what makes people tick, what we can achieve and how we connect the dots between different sets of knowledge to enhance the quality of our experience.

Building on a strong leadership portfolio in the public and private sectors, he now works with high performing leaders and teams who want to be the best they can be. He currently lives in Cardiff and can often be found in his wellies, walking somewhere in the mountains or along the coast with someone else’s dog.

David G Thomas

David G Thomas

Innovation

Full time manager of the Bridge Innovation Centre in Pembrokeshire, David is a senior member of the Pembrokeshire County Council Economic Development Team. David loves anything to do with Science and Technology and works alongside businesses helping to bring ideas to closer to the commercial market.

Dr. Meirion Morgan

Dr. Meirion Morgan

Business of Welsh Politics

Dr. Meirion Morgan runs his own consultancy, chairs the think-tank Gorwel, and works closely with the third sector. He was formerly a Quantitative Analyst in the City

Mark Hindmarsh

Mark Hindmarsh

Technology, Start-ups & Business Growth Acceleration

Serial entrepreneur, investor, mentor and technology commercialisation expert, Mark recently established Smart Anchor Ventures, a Cardiff & London based advisory and investment firm that works with SMEs and Start-up entrepreneurs to facilitate growth acceleration and value creation.

Kellie Beirne

Kellie Beirne

Innovation and Enterprise

Kellie Beirne is Director of Innovation and Enterprise at Monmouthshire County Council and co-chair of the Innovation Advisory Council for Wales. Kellie is passionate about reclaiming entrepreneurship in the public space and for the last six months has been working to help position Innovation and Digital as central components of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.

Matt Sutton

Matt Sutton

Corporate Finance

Matt Sutton is a Director at Greenaway Scott and has a decade of experience in Corporate Finance and Commercial Contracts, including experience in debt and mezzanine investments, equity investments, mergers and acquisitions relating to companies ranging from start-up through to exit.

Ian Rothwell

Ian Rothwell

Leadership Development

As Managing Director and Founder of RW Learning, Ian brings energy, creativity and drive to the business. While leading his team in providing high-end bespoke business psychology solutions, Ian has pioneered new and innovative products that have shaped the training industry.

Emma Long

Emma Long

Flexible Workspaces

Emma Long is Commercial Director at BizSpace, the UK’s largest flexible workspace provider. She joined BizSpace in 2003 and is responsible for leading the firm’s sales and marketing and HR functions. Emma has over 15 years’ experience working for large multi-site organisations, including Bruntwood, where she helped launch the organisation’s business centre activities. In her early career, Emma was an operational change manager with DHL.

Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall

Employment Law

Victoria started her career as a military officer, where she gained vital first-hand experience of, and a passion for, leading and developing people.  She has since been working as an employment lawyer and HR practitioner for 15 years but prefers to describe herself as a human being.

Gethin Roberts

Gethin Roberts

Design and Manufacturing

Gethin is Managing Director of ITERATE Design + Innovation, a product design consultancy based in Chepstow. After studying a Masters degree in Rapid Product Development and working in manufacturing for over a decade, Gethin identified that many companies are slow to respond to market demands. This is why ITERATE focus on enabling clients to be ‘First-to-Market’ by accelerating the product development process. Gethin also acts as a Design Advisor to the Welsh Government on the SMART Innovation programme.

Sarah Ellwood

Sarah Ellwood

Recruitment

Celebrating 20 years recruitment in 2018, Sarah is the Managing Director of award-winning Supertemps, North Wales’ longest longest established recruitment agency, with branches across the region and specialist divisions covering everything from construction to executive and IT roles. Passionate about people, she is a Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (FIRP).

Dr Randall Bowen

Dr Randall Bowen

Energy Management

Following nearly a decade in Energy Management and Energy Sales at Centrica, Dr Randall Bowen joined Good Energy as Director of Business Services in 2017. He leads the teams responsible for the company’s business development activities; B2B sales; smart propositions, commercial generation and Feed in Tariff administration. Under his lead, Good Energy recently launched a battery storage proposition for businesses, making the benefits more accessible to a wider range of businesses for the first time.

Graham Morgan

Graham Morgan

Business Support

A full time business troubleshooter and advisor to business owners and SEM decision making teams. Graham is able to bring determination, confidence and creativity to each and every challenge by drawing on his 32 years in commercial and business banking dealing with businesses operating in all sectors and in all markets.

Elaine Ballard

Elaine Ballard

Housing Management

Elaine joined the Taff Housing Association in January 2000 from CT Dewi Sant, where she was Director of Housing Services for over five years. Elaine’s previous experience includes many years spent in local government in Cardiff and Nottingham, and three years in Australia.

Rhian Elston

Rhian Elston

Direct Investment

Investment Director for Development Bank of Wales with responsibility for all direct investment as well as strategic and operational fund management activities throughout Wales.

Phil Cooper

Phil Cooper

International Business

Philip Cooper has a track record of managing the growth and profitability of regional subsidiaries of major organisations throughout the world. Phil is an avid Scarlets and welsh sports fan and a welsh speaker from Llanelli.

Mark Powney

Mark Powney

Digital Media

Mark is the editor and MD of Business News Wales, leading recruitment news website Recruitment Buzz and niche digital agency Ecom Digital. A passionate Welshman and serial entrepreneur from Pembrokeshire mark has lived and breathed the development of the digital marketplace for the last 15 years.

Lyndon Wood

Lyndon Wood

Business Growth

Lyndon’s been CEO of construcaquote.com for 25 years and recently launched SunZu.com  – a serial entrepreneur with his own book and TV channel, Lyndon’s all about helping businesses grow.

Paul Collins

Paul Collins

Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety

From the Vale of Glamorgan, Croner Business Manager Paul Collins is the dedicated point of contact for a number of organisations in Wales. Paul has advised and supported hundreds of employers through complex areas and updates surrounding employment law and health and safety obligations. He works closely with organisations of all sizes to identify and tailor the best HR solutions in the market.

Rhianon Washington

Rhianon Washington

Mentoring

Rhianon is a specialist in mentoring, coaching and professional development with over 10 years’ experience in training and development in education and the NHS in areas including the design and delivery of bespoke executive mentoring schemes. Rhianon is now responsible for the design, coordination and delivery of academic modules along with the expansion and development of the curriculum to meet business needs.

Mark Crook

Mark Crook

Finance

In 1997, Mark was approached by Howard Ross, to co-steer newly established brokerage ‘Henry Howard Finance’ (HHF). Together, Howard and Mark shared an entrepreneurial vision for SME funding, and identified a gap in the market for a flexible and responsible asset finance house, that would understand the financial challenges faced by SME’s. In 2000, the company decided to ‘change the game’ and evolve from a brokerage, to an independent finance house with an in house lending facility. The shift in focus resulted in increased levels of own business transactions, supporting the company’s transition to funder status. Today, HHF is the largest Finance house in Wales.

Ita McNeil-Jones

Ita McNeil-Jones

Recruitment

Ita McNeil-Jones is the Co-Founder and Director of Sitka Recruitment, Wales’ specialist leadership and management recruitment agency. With over 20 years’ experience in senior recruitment, marketing and business development spanning the private, public and third sectors, she is focused on providing an unrivalled experience to both clients and candidates. Insightful, tenacious and driven, Ita is enthusiastically committed to helping organisations attract and retain exceptional talent.