Our line up of speakers will share their knowledge and expertise around the main themes of our conference. We are delighted to confirm that some will be available for 1:1 appointments during the afternoon of the conference. To book a meeting, please visit the appointment page HERE.
Brian Meechan is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and presenter. He is the director and founder of Stay Gold Media, a communications, media and events consultancy. He’s also the co-founder, co-director and chair of the Cardiff Book Festival, and a non-executive director at FairPlay Trading, a commercial HR and training company linked to the Welsh gender equality charity, Chwarae Teg.
Development Bank of Wales
Bio coming soon...
SUSTAINABLE SCALE UP CLUSTER
A Regional Cluster Manager covering South West Wales. Having started his accountancy career qualifying with Ernst & Young, Andrew then worked in a variety of senior finance and cost management roles in Lloyds and TSB Bank over the next 20 years. Subsequently, he led a large team of management accountants in IVC Evidensia that owned many veterinary practices across The Netherlands, followed by 15 months as Financial Controller at Peter’s Food Service in Bedwas.
Bernie Davies is a TEDx Speaker and multi-award winning Entrepreneur. A Black History Wales Board member, Ambassador for the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Club, Business Wales Mentor, Welsh Government Excelerator Coach 2021 and Founder of Bernie Davies Global; she recently won the Women's Business Club 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Award!
Carol is the South and West Wales Regional Investment Manager for Angels Invest Wales, building a diverse network of SMART investors in Wales.
George was a private equity investor with 3i and Piper for more than 20 years, investing in companies such as Bottlegreen Drinks and Rollover hotdogs. Today George invests in private businesses on his own account, including Rave Coffee and Just Love Food. He enjoys working alongside founders and is a non-executive director or chairman of five businesses at present, all in the consumer sector.
James helps businesses to anticipate and cope with strategic events including economic pressures, geo-political change, social development and environmental stress.
James has worked with clients across the entire grocery industry as well as with non-industry groups such as government departments, financial businesses and NGOs.
A Regional Cluster Manager based in North West Wales. Joan qualified as an accountant in the Public Sector but soon escaped to the real world. She moved to North Wales 20 years ago and never regretted it. Having worked for small family run businesses as well as nationals, such as Morrison’s, and multi-nationals, this gives Joan the first-hand experience of the scaling challenges faced by businesses.
SUSTAINABLE SCALE UP CLUSTER
John works on both the Sustainable Scale Up Cluster and Investor Ready, having facilitated raising finance and assisting turnarounds for food and drink businesses. John is a Chartered Marketer, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as being HACCP and Food Safety Level Three trained. John is a practical and experienced manager of food and drink business.
Jon is the Chief Finance Officer for Puffin Produce and was just 21 when he qualified as an accountant and he hasn't slackened pace since, with experience ranging from Top 10 accountancy firms to local businesses. Jon joined Puffin early in 2012, working with Puffin's banks and auditors, helping to ensure profitability on current products and supporting Puffin's ambitious plans for growing the business.
SustainableScale Up Cluster
Richard has worked in the food industry at senior level for a range of companies, from Blue Chip to start-ups, and with a variety of product types. Richard has been with BIC Innovation for over 10 years delivering support and practical advice to numerous Welsh food and drink companies.
Maggie, founder and sometimes bottle washer at Maggie's: An African Twist to your Everyday Dish with award winning products, is a mother of two, a wife of one, an author of cooking and motivational books, a food lover with great taste buds, a mentor, a trained teaching professional, and an entrepreneur who is passionate about helping untie women's hands.
Maggie's mum and grandma have been involved in the cooking world so she was ‘born cooking’ and has a flair for and understanding of food which is not only inherent but backed by at least 40 years’ experience in the industry covering African and world cuisines.
Beth Bannister represents the British Business Bank in Wales. Her focus is on helping Welsh businesses to access the finance they need at every stage of their life cycle, allowing those businesses to prosper & grow. Beth previously worked at the Development Bank of Wales, Grant Thornton’s Growth Finance team and the Welsh Government’s Accelerated Growth Programme.
Mike has spent over 20 years working in the food industry. Mike set up Just Love Foods in 2009 when he spotted a gap in the market for nut free celebration cakes. Just Love Food's cakes are now widely available in all the major retailers.
Scale Up Cluster
A Regional Cluster Manager based in North East Wales. Working with ambitious businesses to help them grow. Wyn has over 37 years in Branch, Commercial & Corporate Banking at Midland Bank & HSBC. Wyn also has 6 years at P&A Group of Companies, Mold as Strategic Development Manager, where Wyn played an active part in the scale up from £4m to £18m.
Pete seeks to drive sustainable growth across the food and drink manufacturing sector in Wales as Chief Executive of FDF Cymru, through proactive member customer care, effective sector advocacy across the UK, championing the sector in Wales and showcasing the potential of technology in partnership with AMRC Cymru.
FDF CYMRU /
Rob Cumine was born and grew up in Pembrokeshire. He has a degree in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Marketing. During his career he’s had senior roles in a major agricultural consultancy firm, milk processor, UK and Australian retailers and since May 2018 has been the General Manager of Capestone Organic Poultry.
Sian is a Relationship Director and the Regional Lead for Agrifoods in Wales and the South for HSBC UK. Her role sees her working alongside a portfolio of corporate clients, supporting their growth and future ambitions. Sian is tasked with sustainably growing HSBC’s presence whilst assisting clients in their transition to a sustainable future.
Scale Up Cluster
Tim has a wealth of food and drink experience with start-up, scale-up and corporates. Tim is founder of Phoenix Ventures, a specialist in IP commercialisation, business growth, funding, M & A and venture building for #bioscience #foodtech #plantbased #agritech #CBD sectors.
Will is the UK CEO and General Manager of the Dutch cooperative financial services group, Rabobank. The bank focuses purely on food and agribusiness and supporting the energy transition in its international markets supporting wholesale and rural clients variously from its various international offices. Will has extensive banking experience and has been with Rabobank for 15yrs.
Simone is the Head of Supply Chain Finance Europe at Santander with over 17 years of experience in banking. She managed the implementation of many Supply Chain Finance solutions with the most recent the Sustainability Linked Supply Chain Finance for Tesco. She holds a degree in Business Administration, a postgraduate in Economics and an MBA.