Technology Leadership Council

What is the Technology Leadership Council?

The Technology Leadership Council is our strategic advisory body, bringing together industry leaders and influencers from across sectors and the tech ecosystem. This diverse group plays an active role in representing the Voice of the Industry to key stakeholders, and leverages the expertise of its leaders to expand our influence and shape the future of technology in Wales.
icon

Meet the Council

The Technology Leadership Council are ambassadors, spokespeople, and advocates, representing their sectors and areas of expertise.

Avril Lewis

Ben Allwright

Dr. Cerian Jones

Chris Meadows

Christian Coates

Dr. Dai Banner MBE

David Blake

David Jones

Dr. Glenn Morgan

Hannah Davies

James Smith

Julie Fazackerley

Liz Jones

Dr. Louise Jones

Dr. Mabrouka Abuhmida

Mark Sweeny

Nia Davies

Nicola McNeely

Paul Evans

Dr. Phil Clements

Prof. Rob Rolley

Sally Meecham

Sameer Rahman

Scott Milne

Professor Tom Crick MBE

Avril Lewis

Managing Director – Technology Connected

Avril was appointed Managing Director of Technology Connected, formerly the ESTnet, in May 2012.

Her background is in the semiconductor industry, and she was awarded the MBE for services to the technology industry in Wales in 2018. Avril is an influential and energetic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills and thrives as a catalyst for change.

Ben Allwright

Founder & Chief Executive Officer – Ogi

Ben Allwright is the Founder and CEO of Ogi, a Welsh internet company. He joined in 2020, securing investment to bring full fibre services to Wales. With 30 years in telecom, multimedia, and IT, Ben was previously VP of Global Network Services at Teleste Corporation and led its subsidiary, Flomatik Network Services. He focuses on offering top alternative network options for Welsh homes and businesses.

Dr. Cerian Jones

Owner, Entheos IP

After gaining a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) and lecturing in Computer Science for many years, Cerian took a career change and became a patent attorney, specialising in the protection of software-implemented inventions.

As the owner of Entheos IP consultancy, she works with entrepreneurs and innovators from across Wales, the UK and the world to ring fence and defend their intellectual property. Areas of specialisation include FinTech and cyber security (she was a co-founder of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster) and is one of few patent attorneys with in-depth technical and legal experience of blockchain, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies.

Chris Meadows

Director – CSconnected

Chris’ career in electronics and semiconductors started at British Telecom Research Laboratories before joining a new joint venture between BT and US based DuPont in 1986.

Chris was part of the founding team at Epitaxial Products International Ltd (EPI) in Cardiff in 1988 which became IQE plc in 1999 following a successful IPO.

With a background in science and engineering, Chris also holds an MBA and has held several senior management positions within the semiconductor industry, in particular with the IQE Group before establishing CSconnected, representing the world’s first compound semiconductor cluster that is rapidly evolving across South Wales and the West of England.

Christian Coates

Managing Director & Co-Founder – Method4

Christian is the Managing Director and co-founder of Method4 Ltd, a software house and technology consultancy in Cardiff, established in 2005. Method4 provides bespoke software and integration services. Previously, Christian was a principal consultant at Atkins (Management Consultants), working with clients like GlaxoSmithKline, Camelot, the Food Standards Agency, Welsh Government, and the WDA. Earlier, he was a Systems Analyst at Endsleigh Insurance. Christian holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Liverpool and is a Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) through the British Computer Society.

Dr. Dai Banner MBE

CEO & Co-Founder – Wales Interactive

Dai is a multi-award-winning video game and interactive film designer, producer, director, and entrepreneur. Starting his career in 1995 at Eidos Interactive in London, he has worked on over 50 published titles for platforms including PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox. He co-founded Wales Interactive, known for the global hits “Sker Ritual” and “Maid of Sker,” based on Welsh folklore. David is a pioneer in the interactive movie genre, producing 12 films with over 100 million views worldwide. He has won three BAFTA Cymru awards, the St David Award for Enterprise, and was appointed MBE for his services to the video games industry. In 2020, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Technology from De Montfort University.

David Blake

Investment Director – Deepbridge Capital

David is a qualified financial professional and technologist with experience in sectors such as power generation, ad-tech, medical devices, and defence/aerospace. As Investment Director at Deepbridge Capital, he supports the commercialisation and growth of portfolio companies, specialising in technology investments for early-stage companies across fintech, software, space tech, and quantum computing. Previously, he worked at the Development Bank of Wales’ Technology Venture Investments fund, focusing on the Welsh tech ecosystem. David is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds an MSc in Computing. He has been involved with the Blockchain Connected steering committee since September 2020 and works with clients across the UK.

David Jones

Chair at DVLA & Non Executive at Ofwat

David is a digital technology expert and advisor, currently serving on the boards of DVLA (Chair), Ofwat (Non-Executive), and CxB (Founder, Pro Bono). He has successfully exited two Cardiff-based technology start-ups: Travelink, where he was Founder and CEO, and TigerBay, where he was Investor and Chairman.

Dr. Glenn Morgan

Technical Director of Professional Services – Net Consulting

Glenn has over 30 years of experience in IT roles encompassing strategy, planning, implementation, operation, troubleshooting, and governance. An expert Enterprise and Solution Architect, Glenn specialises in designing and architecting cloud-based security monitoring platforms. He ensures the technical delivery of projects and programs, with extensive experience in network application performance monitoring for the Ministry of Defence and Central Government. He provides leadership to teams of Architects, SMEs, and Professional Services teams and is currently establishing a business unit to leverage AI in cyber, secure networks, application performance management, and IT Service Management solutions.

Hannah Davies

Head of Data Culture & Excellence – Admiral Group

As the Head of Data Culture & Excellence and Founder of the successful Data Academy at Admiral Group, Hannah has over 10 years of experience in the data field, with credentials such as Chartered Mathematician (CMath) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). Her core competencies include data fluency, data culture, learning, skill development, and strategic management and leadership.

Hannah’s passions are in uplifting Data Fluency, Culture and building diverse successful teams. She also advocates for females across Data and Tech and STEM subjects.

James Smith

Tech entrepreneur

James is a Cardiff-based tech entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience. He began as a Senior Software Engineer at Dell, launching successful e-commerce platforms. As CTO of Adactus Limited, he developed major e-commerce systems for brands like Aviva and Pizza Hut.

Most recently, James was CEO and Co-Founder of DevOpsGroup Limited, growing it to serve over 100 global customers and achieving recognition as one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Wales. The company was acquired by Sourced Group in 2021.

James now advises various tech start-ups, providing strategic guidance and growth support.

Julie Fazackerley

Chief Executive Officer – MicroLink Devices UK

Julie currently serves as CEO of MicroLink Devices UK Ltd and joined the company in February 2022.  Julie has extensive knowledge in Technology Management and has a strong background in defence and military aircraft from her time working within the production and manufacturing areas at BAE Systems.  Previous roles have included leading the R&D programme for PHASA-35 solar-powered HALE aircraft and leading the acceptance and trading of Typhoon and Hawk aircraft into export customers in the Middle East.

Liz Jones

Senior Partner for Wales, Deloitte

Liz specialises in IT transformation programs for public sector organisations, particularly in Wales. With experience working at CEO and Corporate Director levels, she assists organisations in scoping and designing technology transformation programs, guiding them through implementation stages. Liz excels at simplifying complex concepts and supporting senior leaders in organisational change decisions. She demonstrates delivery skills across all stages of program implementation, from inception to benefits realisation, and is skilled at turning around complex technology programs. Her clients span various sectors including Defence, Local Government, Police, Health, Education, and Government-funded bodies.

Dr. Louise Jones

Regional Manager for Wales – Innovate UK

Louise has been at Innovate UK since September 2023, bringing a wealth of experience in driving innovation. Starting her career as a KTP associate in a Welsh SME, she later worked on projects funded by Innovate UK and the Welsh Government, aiding a catalytic converter manufacturing company in setting up a manufacturing plant. Her subsequent roles in collaborative industrial research projects, spanning universities and industry, expanded her network across Wales. Joining Innovate UK KTN in 2013, Louise’s expertise in areas like Photonics and Additive Manufacturing evolved to focus on energy systems and net zero challenges. Actively engaged with Welsh Government and various advisory panels, she led initiatives such as the Adoption and Diffusion pilot in North Wales. Louise recently co-created a Collaborative Innovation Plan for Wales with Welsh Government, aiming to enhance Innovate UK’s support and foster new opportunities for Welsh innovation.

Dr. Mabrouka Abuhmida

Research & Innovation Group Leader – University of South Wales

A Senior Lecturer in Computing and the guiding force behind the MSc Artificial Intelligence course, is celebrated as the STEM Woman of the Year 2023. Mabrouka’s extensive expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning has been the cornerstone of interdisciplinary research. Her work, notably in mental health support and the development of intelligent technologies, showcases her innovative approach to applying AI to diverse sectors. Her leadership extends beyond academia; Her advocacy for seamless technology transfer is evident in her efforts to bridge gaps between public institutions and private enterprises, fostering partnerships that drive technological advancement and innovation.

Mark Sweeny

Founder & Chief Executive – de Novo Solutions

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning Founder of de Novo Solutions, a digital technology company in South Wales. Specialising in Oracle Cloud and ServiceNow technologies, de Novo redefines back-office operations and was recognized in the Elite Business 100 Top SME businesses in 2024. Mark previously founded Certus Solutions, the UK&I’s first dedicated Oracle Cloud partner, later acquired by Accenture UK Ltd. He has extensive experience with UK Central Government agencies and promotes Welsh Government’s apprenticeship programs. Mark is a champion of SMEs, serving as a Business Angel Investor, Advisor, and Mentor.

Nia Davies

Managing Director – Davlec

Nia has been running her family business since 2002. She diversified the company’s portfolio from agro-electronics to include catering equipment, Hi-Fi, healthcare electronics, and expanded its automotive client base. Davlec innovates in Dairy Farming electronics, supplying products to UK-based firms and exporting globally.

In 2014, Nia acquired Leema Electro Acoustics, a high-end Hi-Fi company, and revitalised the brand, earning numerous awards and accolades. She also serves as Managing Director of Leema. Her expertise in the Hi-Fi industry led to her appointment as Director of Mitchell and Johnson Electronics, another British-owned Hi-Fi company, where she works on increasing market recognition.

Nicola McNeely

Head of Technology Sector, Solicitor & Partner – HCR Law

Whilst working with entrepreneurial and innovative people in Wales and across the UK, especially in advanced manufacturing and technology businesses, Nicola’s focus is on working closely with clients to solve their problems and really understand how their businesses work.

Nicola has worked on secondment to the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, focusing on new business and intellectual property, but also for clients in a range of sectors on software outsourcing agreements, blockchain solutions and EMI schemes. Giving businesses the right legal infrastructure to enable them to develop and grow is important to Nicola and therefore Nicola has found her non-executive director role with Business in Focus, supporting Welsh businesses, fascinating.

Paul Evans

Chief Executive Officer – Box UK

Paul Evans has over 20 years’ experience working across consultancy, transformation, and strategic stakeholder engagement. He has been an integral part of the Box UK leadership team for over four years during which he has developed a deep understanding of, and contributed to, the company’s culture, operations, and growth. As CEO, Paul spearheads Box UK’s strategic initiatives and leads the organisation in achieving its goals. Previously of Accenture, KPMG and Sapiens, Evans has a proven track record in developing strategy, driving delivery, promoting innovation, and fostering strong client relationships.

Dr. Phil Clements

South Wales Regional Director – High Value Manufacturing Catapult

Phil is currently working for the High Value Manufacturing Catapult as their South Wales Regional Director where he has been working to establish a catapult presence in the region. The HVM Catapult opened their new regional office in Baglan just after Easter, and later this year in conjunction with the Welsh Government and AMRC-Cymru, will extend the office by opening the Digital Factory Hub, a new facility to support local businesses with their digital and sustainability transformation.  Phil joined the HVM Catapult after a long career in the steel industry, where he was latterly UK Technical Director for Tata Steel, and prior to that, Managing Director of the Tata subsidiary, Cogent Power Group, which had operations in the UK, Sweden, and Canada. He originally trained as a metallurgist in Cardiff University and is a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Prof. Rob Rolley

Knowledge Transfer Adviser for Wales – Innovate UK KTN

As an ex Industrial executive and technical specialist, Rob has many years of experience gained from delivering complex systems of systems in the Telecommunications, Defence, Cyber and Security industries. 

He chairs the Industrial Advisory board at Cardiff University and is a board director of Technology Connected, helping to promote Technology, skills, and manufacturing in Wales.

Sally Meecham

Digital Transformation Advisor

Sally Meecham is an experienced digital leader and public speaker, renowned for her expertise in driving transformation across various sectors. She specialises in resetting programs for success, building diverse and skilled teams, and optimising organisational structures. With a focus on delivering successful programs and improving user experiences, Sally also excels in commercial strategies and promoting digital inclusion. She serves as a High Risk Assurance Reviewer at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Cabinet Office.

Sameer Rahman

CEO & Founder – DataMonet

Voted among the UK’s Top 100 data influencers in 2021 and 2020, Sameer has a proven track record of driving business growth through data and digital transformation. With over 10 years of experience as a board-level executive, he has led numerous transformative programs, making businesses more agile and scalable. As an early adopter of AI and machine learning technologies, Sameer has helped companies disrupt their business models successfully. Additionally, he serves as a business advisor to tech startups and is an international author and speaker on predictive modelling. He is also a NED for Bath Building Society, the FAW and Glamorgan Cricket Club.

Scott Milne

Vice President and General Manager – General Dynamics Land Systems–UK

Scott graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1999 with an honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, launching his career in the defence industry with Vickers Defence Systems. His extensive engineering journey has centred on Armoured Fighting Vehicles, encompassing design, development, test, production, fielding, and support. Scott’s roles have spanned various companies, including BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, from Lethality Lead to Vice President and General Manager. Notably, he played pivotal roles in the integration of Bowman into Challenger 2 and the AJAX Programme, demonstrating his expertise in turret design and engineering leadership. His current role focuses on program execution, with AJAX being his primary focus.

Professor Tom Crick MBE

Chief Scientific Adviser – Department for Culture, Media & Sport, UK Government

Professor Tom Crick MBE is Professor of Digital Policy at Swansea University and Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. His academic interests sit at the research-policy-practice interface, identifying and addressing domain problems with broad digital, data-driven and computational themes, and especially focusing on the impact on citizens, culture and the economy.

Tom has led the major science and technology curriculum reforms in Wales over the past 10+ years, and has recently driven the development of Swansea University’s civic mission strategy as Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He was an inaugural Commissioner of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales from 2018-2022, as well as a member of the expert panel for the Welsh Government’s 2019 Review of Digital Innovation for the Economy and the Future of Work in Wales. Alongside his academic work, Tom has held non-executive and senior advisory roles with Welsh Water, Swansea Bay University Health Board, Industry Wales, British Science Association, Ofcom and Nesta, as well as being a Vice-President for BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT between 2017-2020.

Read Thought Leadership from the TLC

Explore more