2008 Winners & Shortlisted

All content in these “Leadership Stories” has been provided by the finalist themselves. All information has been accepted in good faith. Any references to individuals or circumstances have been relayed in the finalist’s own words and have not been verified by the Leading Wales Awards Directors or its Consortium. Any views expressed are those of the individual concerned and are not necessarily the views of the Leading Wales Awards Directors or Consortium members.

Businesses with more than 250 employees  

David Morpeth, Head of Customer and Business Operations, Lloyds TSB Asset Finance Division

Lloyds TSB Asset Finance Division is one of the largest independent finance houses in the UK, with total interest earning assets exceeding £9.4bn.

Although David has been in his role as Head of Customer and Business Operations for the last seven years, he has worked for the company in a variety of roles for 21 years. Through his open management style, David has empowered staff and ensured their expertise is valued in the development of the business. This investment in people has seen many of his team members win monthly and quarterly staff ‘Star’ awards.

This past year David has introduced ‘lean’ thinking methodology to the division, focusing on effective delivery of service through staff involvement and the eradication of waste. Under David’s leadership, the division was also first to pilot a ‘Gateway to Management’ programme, and through David’s belief in nurturing and developing home grown talent he has overseen the development of over 50 managers through the programme.

Whether it’s through his introduction of daily ‘team huddles’ and staff forum meetings, or his open door sessions and regular on-floor communication with staff, David has built a strong team that supports all areas of the division.

David has also introduced an enhanced communication process for his business area operational and updates as opposed to emails are now issued to ensure that all members of his team are aware of the latest process changes or team initiatives that will directly impact their work.

Through his energy, communication, and the high standards he demands, David has created a business environment where a spirit of fun, warmth and support encourages goals to be met and people to grow.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
As a child I once got a button stuck up my nose and had to have it surgically removed

Who inspires you?
My daughter Jessica

What is your top leadership tip?
Be authentic

Mark Watkin Jones, Group Managing Director, Watkin Jones & Son Ltd

Watkin Jones & Son is a medium-sized developer and contractor that specialises in general contracting and house building, particularly of student accommodation. It has a current annual turnover of approximately £110 million.

Mark has implemented many key decisions in his five years as managing director to help the company reach its goals. During this period turnover has increased from £62 million to £108 million, and profit has risen from £4.2 million to £12.8 million.

Through Mark’s vision, Watkin Jones & Son successfully identified a niche market in student accommodation, and the company has since branched out into development as well as house building, going on to be recognised as a national, not regional, developer and builder. Under Mark’s leadership, it has also set up a waste management department, training and HR departments, and reinforced its safety department to receive a five star British Safety Council rating, with an incidence rate six times better than industry average.

Mark has given the company real direction by implementing a focus on profit as opposed to turnover, as well as empowering staff to take ownership by delegating real responsibilities to them. By developing job descriptions he has been able to give staff a clear indication of their core roles and through the introduction of a meaningful results-based incentive package for all, staff retention is high.

By investing heavily in the introduction of regular, focused and detailed reviews of all divisional activities, Mark has been able to ensure staff are properly equipped to fulfill their roles with the right support services in place. In doing so, his ambition, vision and commitment has seen the company continue to grow while meeting all of its targets.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am an experienced bungee jumper

Who inspires you?
My father Glyn

What is your top leadership tip?
Empower your people

Peter Cornish, Operations Manager, Rowecord Engineering Ltd

Rowecord Engineering is the largest steel fabricator in Wales, specialising in bridge design and structural steelwork, with manufacturing facilities in Newport, Baglan and Swansea.

Peter has been instrumental in turning Rowecord’s waste streaming activities around since joining the company in October 2006. The company has gone from recycling less than 2% of its waste in 2006 to more than 80% by the end of 2007.

Initially, Peter set up visits to companies who already had successful waste streaming activities in order to set a bench mark to measure Rowecord’s success against. Along with the Health and Safety Manager, Peter successfully pinpointed areas for improvement and identified ‘Champions’ within the company; particular individuals responsible for ensuring new procedures were implemented.

In doing this, Peter was able to launch the ‘Shine’ project and the ‘Shine Champion Committee’, which he himself chaired. This focused on helping implement a ‘lean’ manufacturing and management system that has led to vast improvements in shop floor housekeeping and cleanliness and also helped reduce the number of accidents.

By monitoring mixed waste and through a procedures and recycling programme instigated by Peter, the company has seen a cost reduction of £50k per annum. Peter was also able to organise and actively push suitable recycling suppliers to deal with Rowecord’s needs and help bring about the improvements Peter was determined to make.

Peter has supported, mentored and motivated his colleagues towards achieving their personal goals and has always been on hand to share with co-workers his years of experience within the steel industry. His forward thinking, dedication and knowledge has made a real difference at Rowecord.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I was young musician of the year in 1971 and I am a principal Baritone

Who inspires you?
Sir Clive Woodward

What is your top leadership tip?
Listen and be proactive

Henry Mehta, Head of Billing and Collections, Veolia Water Outsourcing Ltd

Veolia Water Outsourcing Ltd manages the billing and income contract for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, which includes all of its customers.

Henry’s enthusiasm and commitment to developing and improving collections strategies as well as promoting the industry in general has seen him write a number of articles and papers on a wide variety of collections topics, as well as being asked to join various judging panels and attending many conferences as a guest speaker.

Henry has played an active role as one of the Directors of the Association of Credit Professionals and as a member of the Water UK Strategy and Research groups where he plays a key part in driving policy change and leading research to support collections within the water industry. Henry’s strong communication skills are demonstrated through the relationships he has developed with external bodies such as the Department of Work and Pensions and the Citizens Advice Bureau

In his role as Head of Billing and Collections, Henry has made a real difference at Veolia Water Outsourcing Ltd by developing a clear billing and collections strategy for the business. This has directly led to Dwr Cymru increasing its position in the debt collection league table to become a leader in the water industry for cash collection. He has also supported and delivered a transformation plan for the field operations team.

Henry has demonstrated leadership and innovation through his enthusiasm and open-mindedness towards new ways of thinking. His confidence in decision making, fair and honest approach, and personal interest in the welfare and development of others have been an inspiration to all.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I ended up in hospital on my honeymoon.

Who inspires you?
All children because of their willingness to accept ideas, ability to learn and adapt to change – they are the bench mark to what we should achieve ourselves.

What is your top leadership tip?
You can only lead if you know where you are going.

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees

Bill Beese, Director, S Z Gears Limited

SZ Gears and its sister company Dibone Engineering manufacture engineering for major companies across South Wales and Southern England.

Bill had a huge impact on his community in Risca when he led a management buyout of SZ Gears in 2002. At the time the company was facing a tough time, and the previous four years it lost almost half of its workforce. After he took over, Bill also bought another manufacturing site and increased group sales by 300% and profits by 700%. The workforce has now increased to 32.

He led a team which took the risk of borrowing the money to make the acquisitions and put their careers in jeopardy by supporting a failing company during a time when the steel industry was also not as successful.

He started out as a man of the tools but has undertaken a Cardiff Business School sustainable leadership programme to teach him the skills to be a senior manager, at the same time as motivating and educating the staff.

He has been an inspiration to his workforce, who have now paid off all the loans, and making the money which allowed them to buy the sister company Dibone Engineering, and the site in Risca.

Bill has led his team to success.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?

I appeared on a Welsh Language TV programme about ball room dancing

Who inspires you?

Alan Davies of TELOS partners and former Welsh Rugby Coach

What is your top leadership tip?

Listen to what people say

James Norvill, Director, GD Environmental Services

Freshbaked Group is a service provider of four divisions – freshbaked training, freshbaked business, freshbaked corporate and freshbaked communications.

Since Richard started the company in 2004 it has achieved 100% growth in turnover, boosting its original investment of £15,000 to £1.2 million. The number of employees has also risen, from just 4 to 30.

He is a model of inspiration for his staff with his passion and focus for customer service being part of his qualities, as well as his strong belief in the company. He inspires colleagues to adopt similar values.

He manages to maintain a healthy balance between work and home life, and encourages his staff to do the same, as well as genuinely caring about their progression and achievement.

When making decisions which will affect everyone, he doesn’t do it alone. Instead, he invites their input to make a choice which they can all be satisfied, such as the moving to new premises. He has introduced policies which include flexible working hours, home working and “in lieu” accrual schemes, and also a programme which works with child care vouchers. He ensures that his workforce is happy and comfortable.

During busy periods, he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and pitch in to relieve the pressure whether he answers the phone or provides training materials.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I started my career at 18 earning £45 per week as an apprentice.

Who inspires you?
People who are doing better than me!

What is your top leadership tip?
Make sure everybody counts and everybody knows they count.

James Norvill, Director, GD Environmental Services

GD Environmental is quickly becoming a household name across the UK due to its award winning waste disposal and recycling services. It currently provides skip hire, asbestos management drain cleaning, demolition and environmental cleaning services.

Over the past four years, James has had a huge impact on the success of GD Environmental through his ability to recognise opportunities and encourage those who work with him. He also works hard to ensure those who work for and within the company are environmentally friendly.

His enthusiastic “can do” attitude has meant that the company’s projected turnover by April this year is estimated to be £3.5 million. GD Environmental has also obtained the contract for the 2010 Ryder Cup Driving Range at the Celtic Manor Resort.

The successes which the company has enjoyed are thanks to James’ initiative and his courage to take bold risks with high gains.

Over the past year the workforce has doubled from 25 to over 50 employees due to James’ determination to have senior managers in place to negotiate new contacts and manage the increasing number of staff.

He is also not afraid to get his hands dirty by getting up at 5am to work on a picking station and dropping rubbish onto a conveyor belt when staff numbers are down. He is also willing to give a chance of employment to those from more disadvantaged back grounds.

He is always there for his colleagues for guidance and direction should problems occur.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I used to be a professional snowboarder

Who inspires you?
Successful friends in business

What is your top leadership tip?
Believe in yourself and trust and invest in others

Voluntary and not for profit organisations

Jan Coles, Children’s Services Development Manager Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Services

Jan Coles is the Children’s Services Development Manager of the Seraf Project, a division of Barnardo’s which works with children and young people in Wales who have been sexually exploited. Jan was employed in 2004 to complete research into sexual abuse in Wales and from this remit, and with great drive and commitment, brought the issue under the spotlight.

Her groundbreaking study, ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ identified more than 184 young people across Wales who were being sexually exploited and since then Jan has worked tirelessly to put this issue on the political agenda in Wales. She has worked to highlight the issue at Welsh Assembly Government and Local Authority level, for example by presenting research findings at two landmark conferences in North and South Wales to Welsh Assembly Government Ministers, civil servants, Assembly Members and local authority officers.

The Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf service, headed by Jan, now provides a team of specialists who are working directly with more than 40 young people affected by sexual exploitation. She and her team have worked with 10 of the 22 local authorities in Wales, providing training to social workers and helping bring about changes in practice.

The sexual exploitation risk assessment framework will now form part of the All Wales Child Sexual Exploitation Protocol, which will be adopted by local Safeguarding Children’s Boards.

Jan’s passion and drive to improve the lives of children and young people who are sexually exploited has led momentum for change in Wales. She is passionate, committed and supportive.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I have spent two weeks on holiday learning how to do cartwheels

Who inspires you?
The young people I work with every day – seeing them overcome the daily challenges of their lives

What is your top leadership tip?
To show that you care and act upon the things that concern your team and just do what you say you’ll do!

Robert Clapham is the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s expedition leader for Neath Port Talbot Open Gold Centre

Rob is the expedition leader for the Duke of Edinburgh at Neath Port Talbot Open Gold Centre, a centre which provides training and support for young people from Neath Port Talbot who wish to undertake the Gold Duke of Edinburgh. The Neath Port Talbot Gold Centre is recognised as a flagship in Wales but it has been Robert’s time at the centre which has transformed its influence.

When Rob joined in 2002, the Gold Level Expedition had four participants; last year it took 50 participants and 25 staff away to Dartmoor. The Gold Level expedition is a life-changing experience, an incredibly hard challenge for which participants are forced to find a great deal of inner-strength and come together as a team. Rob Clapham has devised and delivered fantastic training programmes which give participants necessary skills and confidence for their challenge.

Rob joined the centre as an expert in the outdoors having been a member of the Mountain Rescue Team for several years. He threw himself into the challenge of creating an organisation that offered a training programme and an atmosphere which would ensure that young people would want to become involved. Rob has a great belief in the abilities of others and is an inspiration for his colleagues to work with, as well as inspiring young adults with his passion for adventure and encouraging them to take responsibility and work in a team.

There are now ten times more young people involved than before Rob joined the organisation and 200 young people have written feedback forms demonstrating what a life-changing experience they have had because of Rob’s work. There are currently more than 30 young people gaining leadership experience and qualifications under Rob’s direction.

Rob is altruistic to the core – he believes 100% in young people; sees the best in everyone and has inspired over 200 young learners to reach levels of personal achievement they had never before deemed possible. He is dedicated, fun and inspirational.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I still want to be a cowboy when I grow up!

Who inspires you?
The young people that we work with

What is your top leadership tip?
Allow other people to grow

Conrad Watkins is the Director of Cyrenians Cymru

Conrad has worked for Cyrenians Cymru, a homelessness charity that works with socially excluded people in Swansea, for 15 years. He has made a tremendous difference to the services offered to homeless and disadvantaged people, expanding the charity’s services from a single hostel project to multiple projects that encompass housing, health, training, employment, recycling and community regeneration.

Conrad spent more than ten years endeavouring to secure funding for the provision of a healthy living centre. The project finally came to fruition in 2005 after Conrad successfully secured European and Heritage Lottery Funding. The centre now provides healthy meals, shower and laundry facilities and medical services, in partnership with Swansea Local Health Board. Prior to this, the Homeless Nurse was obliged to treat patients on the streets, often in potentially dangerous conditions. The project took a long time to bring about with many disappointments on the way but Conrad’s determination overcame adversity. Conrad has worked tirelessly to develop services for people on the margins of society and always recognised that a home is much more than simply a roof over your head.

His work has brought about the regeneration of a crumbling church building, giving it a new function, and the project provided employment in Swansea as well as essential services to the disadvantaged.

In terms of his staff, Conrad always listens and encourages them to develop and trial their ideas – through his encouragement, the Res a Rec Furniture Recycling Scheme and the Dragon Arts & Learning Project were implemented. Conrad manages democratically and is considered a true motivator, always fostering innovation. He cares a great deal about people and treats them fairly. He has never lost sight of who will benefit from his achievements and how much the underprivileged are in need of the provision of quality services.

Conrad is a great visionary, an incredibly creative person with great ideas – he will continue to work for the benefit of the Cyrenians charity, its staff and most importantly, its clients. He has a great sense of humour and enormous integrity.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I play mah-jono

Who inspires you?
People who remain positive in adversity

What is your top leadership tip?
Know your limits

Elizabeth Murphy is the Chair of the Beacon of Hope – Ffagl Gobaith

Elizabeth Murphy is the Chair of the Beacon of Hope, a charity which provides immediate integrated non-medical palliative care after the diagnosis of a potentially terminal illness.

Elizabeth established Henoed Ceredigion Age Concern in 1994 because of clear gaps in care for the elderly. Through her work in this, it became clear that there was a real need for the care of people of all ages after they had been advised of a serious diagnosis. This prompted Elizabeth to set up the Beacon of Hope. The charity has offices in Aberystwyth and Cardigan and now has more than 75 volunteers. Elizabeth created a system whereby the charity provides immediate comfort and skilled practical support. The Beacon of Hope was presented with the Queen’s Award in 2006.

Whereas in 2000 the regional NHS Trust had no palliative care strategy, Elizabeth has ensured that now there is, as well as a one-stop source of social help after a serious diagnosis. The Beacon of Hope provides comfort and skilled practical support to resolve inevitable financial and personal issues. Therefore individuals are provided with integrated health and social care through the charity’s work with Social Services and the Health Service.

Since 2000, Elizabeth Murphy has been pursuing the possibility of a holistic framework of care after a serious diagnosis. She researched widely and in 2006 obtained some part-time funding from the Welsh Assembly Government to employ Palliative Care Nurses to implement the Gold Standards Framework of Palliative Care. Hospice at Home, launched in May 2007, is now the flagship of the Charity.

Elizabeth has achieved all this due to her compassion for others, identification of solutions, determination and extensive experience. She is a genuine motivator, bringing together all the best elements of administrative, political and ethical theory and practice. She is kind, persistent and has a strong sense of immediacy.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I was a Red Coat at Butlins and a Bookmaker’s Clerk.

Who inspires you?
Dr Keri Thomas and Dame Cicely Saunders.

What is your top leadership tip?
To operate a flat management structure.

Public Sector

David Jones, Principal and Chief Executive of Deeside College

David Jones is the Principal of Deeside College in Flintshire, North East Wales, a sector leading and award-winning provider of education and training. Since David’s appointment to office in September 2004, the College has witnessed a rapid and unprecedented transformation in performance, evidenced by dramatic improvements in external inspection grades. David has led the college towards gaining outstanding Grade 1 inspection ratings for all its Further Education and Work Based Learning Provision, making Deeside the first college in Wales to do so.

David is a highly accessible college principal, known to invest a great deal of time in developing good channels of communication with staff and learners. He values learning and has a listening approach to students and staff, for example by holding staff focus groups and personally meeting with all new full-time students and staff.

A champion of the Welsh language and culture, David has encouraged staff to learn Welsh and placed particular emphasis on supporting the Welsh language and the National Eisteddfod when it was hosted in Mold, North Wales. He has instilled a radical new vision for the College, mutually owned core values and significantly improved staff morale. David has a total commitment to excellence and the College won the Wales Quality Award and European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). He has a strong personal involvement in environmental issues and the College has won the Green Dragon level 5 award and Wales Management Awards. His lead role in charitable work has raised record sums of money for charity.

David has developed the theme ‘more than just a college’ by ensuring ongoing investment in an environment which provides students, staff and visitors with exceptional working, leisure and social space.

David is an astute educationalist with outstanding strengths in organisational leadership. He challenges the status quo and encourages his staff to think open-mindedly. He is described by the Student Association as supportive and interested in all students. Knowing the name of every member of staff, David leads alongside his team, by example rather than authority. He is not only friendly and approachable but has moved education at Deeside College forward by being decisive, motivational and dynamic. His commitment to excellence is making a significant impact on education and training, thereby supporting the economy and communities of North Wales.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am a qualified scuba diver and have dived in many countries around the world.

Who inspires you?
My staff and students – anyone who is prepared to challenge the status quo to make a positive difference

What is your top leadership tip?
Leadership is about team effort – you won’t achieve anything on your own

Bryn Davies is the principal of The College, Ystrad Mynach

Bryn Davies is the principal at The College, Ystrad Mynach, which offers a complex range of qualifications to meet the varied needs of the population. Bryn has made significant differences to the people of Caerphilly County and Rhymney Valley by opening a large number of community centres in local areas, a college at Rhymney and outreach college centres at Blackwood, Bargoed, Abertridwr and Caerphilly. These projects have enabled the College to increase staff and offer wider employment, as well as enabling communities, often previously overlooked, to participate in education. The College specialises in offering opportunities to the long term unemployed and pupils excluded from school enabling them to create a future for themselves. This has all been undertaken simultaneously to budget restraints and therefore communities have been served while the College has maintained a surplus.

Bryn’s strong leadership has ensured that staff shares the same vision. He has motivated them to change their direction and achieve the values and mission of the College, as well as networking with other organisations to gain their support for education in Caerphilly. He has improved the College’s profile amongst its communities, its County and throughout Wales by promoting every aspect of the College at every possible opportunity. Bryn has liaised with politicians to enhance learning opportunities. By ensuring all possible care, finance and encouragement is given to learners, he has put student and staff needs at the heart of the College and its communities.

Bryn always prioritises the needs of others within his role and his determination to succeed with all the College’s ventures is persistent and carried out with enormous patience. He is an exceptional contributor to the public sector.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I have written and produced three musicals

Who inspires you?
Students, staff and the chair of governors

What is your top leadership tip?
Find the opportunities for people to achieve success and have trust in what they do

Nick Heard is an Entrepreneurship Champion at Yale College, Wrexham

Nick, in his role as Entrepreneurship Champion at Yale College, generates and develops student and staff awareness of enterprise in order to encourage entrepreneurship. His enthusiasm motivates individual students to start their own business, value their achievements and adopt a commercial business attitude.

Nick has shown admirable support to the new Entrepreneurship Developer at North East Wales Institute of Higher Education, providing continued guidance and support, as well as offering enlightment in terms of the perspective and needs of students.

His close rapport with the students allows him to encourage other staff to see things from their perspective and therefore improve the dynamics of the College environment and culture.

Nick has made real difference to the young people he comes into contact with by showing them empathy, encouraging a learning mindset, channelling their enthusiasm, being an accessible support model, taking time to listen, instilling confidence and guiding with a respect which they understand and appreciate. He has a moral strength which students want to identify with and emulate.

Nick is a fun, optimistic and quietly inspirational mentor and role model.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I worked for 10 years as part of the mountain rescue team in South Wales

Who inspires you?
H.W. Tilman – mountaineer/sailor and John Wesley

What is your top leadership tip?
Encouraging people not to fear making mistakes but to learn from them

Young Leader

Samuel Smith, Chair of the Board of Student Volunteering Cardiff and a student at Cardiff University

Sam, 22 years old, is the Chair of Student Volunteering Cardiff, one of the UK’s largest student volunteering organisations through which Cardiff University students give their time to develop projects which enhance the lives of disadvantaged people. Sam is responsible for guiding the overall development of SVC. He has been crucial in generating enthusiasm among the 10-strong board, 64 project co-ordinators and 900 volunteers, as well as directing SVC to become an organisation which attracts groups of volunteers.

Under Sam’s chairmanship, six more projects have been added to the 35-project portfolio, 150 new volunteers have enrolled with SVC and it has become the first student volunteering organisation in the UK to gain the Investing in Volunteers Award. Student Volunteering Cardiff has an estimated contribution to the economy which is valued at more than £750,000.

Activities Sam oversees include high-school reading projects, helping the homeless, working with the mentally ill, operating after-school clubs and providing stimulating activities for children with learning disabilities. Sam’s innovative ideas have led SVC to hold successful fundraising events and he was instrumental in establishing both the Thrive playgroup project for children with special needs, and the Techniquest science project for primary schools. Sam has also led the volunteer recruitment programme for the last two years.

Sam achieves all of this while studying full-time for an MSc in Sustainable Energy & Environment.

Enthusiastic, supportive and innovative, Sam is an inspirational leader whose passion for volunteering has contributed to a positive, mutually-beneficial relationship between students and the community. He is an exceptional example of making a difference to a community.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I like making music and used to be in a band

Who inspires you?
My Grandpa and Dad

What is your top leadership tip?
Honesty and listening to others

Emma Gooding (age 16) is a member of Urban Saints and a leading organiser of overseas projects on behalf of the organisation

Emma is a team member of Urban Saints CRUSOE, a Christian Youth Movement which is passionate about spreading the teaching of Jesus to children and young people with no church connection. It organises overseas expeditions in which teams of 16-20 year olds undertake projects in third world countries.

Emma inspired her church and local community, through her enthusiasm and commitment raising twice the required funds (c. £3,000) for the month long trip. In El Salvador she worked with a charity called Compassion; and, then, in Nicaragua she worked with the Exodus project, which creates a safe haven for children suffering domestic abuse in The Santa Ana district – the roughest area in Managua.

On the expedition, Emma enabled the CRUSOE team to build meaningful relationships and provide quality activities for over 100 children in El Salvador. The project leader was able to delegate a great deal of responsibility to Emma in spite of her being the youngest member of the team. Emma also led church services, bible studies and activities in Nicaragua for up to 20 children and was involved in leading the teams own ‘team times’. She was a team leader on the holiday camp for around 60 young people (aged 13-18); despite Emma’s group including girls who were older than her, she maturely led discussion in Spanish.

In El Salvador Emma courageously used her Spanish to speak in front a church delegation of 200 about the project and her faith. Emma was viewed on the project as a strong witness to her faith in her words and behaviour. She showed great commitment to the project throughout. Because of Emma, 6 children were entertained outside formal activity hours, organising ballet classes and other activities. This made an immense difference to their parents. Emma’s commitment to bring out the best in the children led to an emotional break-through with two children aged 4 who had suffered a life of neglect and abuse

Emma is an enthusiastic, passionate teenager who has demonstrated significant commitment to making a difference hands-on in risky and unfamiliar conditions. She has great dedication and religious integrity.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
When I was younger I always wanted to be an MI6 agent

Who inspires you?
A Missionary called Jackie Pullinger who loved the unloved and took hope to the hopeless in Hong Kong’s ‘walled city’. Also the Ignite team in Cardiff, who work with youth in Wales. (Hope ’08!!)

What is your top leadership tip?
Love what you are doing and the people you are working with, be passionate about what you are doing and never give up.

Jamie Pritchard is a voluntary worker and fund-raiser for Radio Glamorgan

Jamie Pritchard, a volunteer at Radio Glamorgan, the University Hospital of Wales radio station, is 17 years old. Jamie joined the organisation at the age of 12, showing remarkable enthusiasm and determination to make a difference at the station. He voluntarily took over management of the station’s library duties and has completely overhauled the existing library by obtaining new sources of music. He has also re-ordered the library, making it more accessible and usable for the staff.

Jamie has been prepared to go out of his way to raise funds for the organisation, a pursuit which is absolutely vital given that the organisation is voluntary and has no long-term funding.

Jamie has a very positive outlook on life and it is this optimistic attitude which has driven him to raise money for Radio Glamorgan, and another charity, entirely on his own initiative. Jamie organised a concert at the Point in Cardiff virtually all by himself – he negotiated with the venue, booked the bands, handled the publicity and was there on the day to oversee the event. The concert made a profit so that both charities benefited. At a separate fund-raiser event in Cardiff Bay in October this year, as the poor weather meant there were few visitors, Jamie organised an impromptu fancy dress, going out in the rain to raise a considerable amount of money for Radio Glamorgan.

Jamie is enthusiastic, innovative, hard-working and determined to succeed. He has an engaging personality which inspires others around him.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am still a huge STEPS fan!

Who inspires you?
My mother – Belinda

What is your top leadership tip?
Be organised, enthusiastic and passionate and people will follow

Team Leader

Steve Hyde, City Centre Team

Steve Hyde is the manager of a specialist multi-disciplinary team, The City Centre Team, which works with rough sleepers and vulnerable people within the city centre of Cardiff.

In 1997, Steve was set the task of forming a team which would improve the lives of the homeless and destitute in Cardiff city centre, working in partnership with the statutory, voluntary and commercial sector. The exceptional skills and personality of Steve Hyde has meant that this unique team has had recognition throughout the UK. His management style had lead to the development of other services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, such as the Breakfast Run, The Outreach Bus (Night Bus), and Streetlife, a project working with sex workers on the streets in conjunction with Safer Wales, CAU, CADT, South Wales Police and the voluntary sector. It is Steve Hyde’s ability as a manager and compassion as a social worker that has enabled these projects to develop.

Steve is an outstanding leader of people. His ability to listen, support, advise and be contribute constructively has ensured the major success of the team. The team received a Community Care Award in 2004 for the work of the Night Bus.

Steve is a unique leader who offers advice and compassion. He is a devoted motivator, generating the drive behind this unique team of outreach and social workers.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I am a busy semi-professional musician and I play the squeeze box

Who inspires you?
My wife Lyn

What is your top leadership tip?
To have a clear vision in order to be

Sharon Adams is the Sales Manager at the Village Hotel, Cardiff

Sharon Adams, sales manager at Village Hotel in Cardiff, is a key member of the senior management team and a role model to her peers and team. She has responded to significant structural changes in the last 12 months with enthusiasm, energy and professionalism.

During her time in her role, Sharon has taken the sales team under her wing and created a team of budget-conscious and focused individuals. She has implemented strategies to ensure that each revenue is maximised and has helped all departments within the hotel to achieve their financial goals. The hotel is now exceeding budget and is the top performer within the 17 Village Hotels across the UK. New Sales Managers are sent to train with Sharon so that she is able to extend her influence across the company.

Sharon’s strategies and attributes include exceptional account management, modern sales techniques and creating a fun day-to-day environment in the sales office. She has unique product knowledge and an understanding of how every aspect of the hotel is run.

She garners great respect from the team at Village Cardiff because she leads by example and demonstrates loyalty at all times. She is consistently honest and straightforward with clients and has the same direct attitude to her superiors.

Village Cardiff and the sales team are Sharon’s passion – she has worked consistently hard for the hotel and taken the team to new levels of achievement and job satisfaction. She is motivational, dedicated and passionate.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I went through to the penultimate round of the this years Apprentice

Who inspires you?
The people I have worked with throughout my career. They taught me everything I know, built my confidence and let me experiment with different ideas.

What is your top leadership tip?
Never be afraid to say no

Hayley Wilce is the Head of the School of Creative Industries

As the Head of the School of Creative Industries, Hayley Wilce leads the successful delivery of the curriculum at the City of Newport Campus of Coleg Gwent. She is responsible for the standards of student performance and manages more than 20 staff and other resources, including approximately 1 million pounds.

Since 2003, Hayley has ensured a very significant and sustained increase in academic achievement; the overall success of the School is increasingly being recognised across Wales. For the last two academic years, it has achieved the highest attainment of all those in Coleg Gwent and this success has been formally celebrated by the Principal of Coleg Gwent, Howard Burton.

Since re-joining Coleg Gwent, Hayley has successfully introduced a number of key strategies, such as immediately refreshing the curriculum, reorganising course timetables, introducing a robust staff training programme, improving communications and performance management strategies. She has ensured greater staff and client involvement in the School decision-making process.

Overall, she has demonstrated a genuine commitment to quality and effectively changing the School’s cultural and social environment.

Hayley represents Coleg Gwent on the Fforwm Hair & Beauty Managers Curriculum Group and is an active member of HABIA (industry standards setting body for Hair & Beauty in the UK).

Hayley is achieving sustained excellence in education and training provision that directly influences some 2,000 Welsh learners per year.

Hayley’s management style is honest and open; she tackles difficult issues head on, using tact and diplomacy but also bluntly and fearlessly where necessary. She is open to criticism and acknowledges her mistakes. She is highly enthusiastic and energetic, showing great determination, focus and dedication at all times.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I trained as a dancer and won a place at London Contemporary Dance School

Who inspires you?
My mother Pat and my line mangers Gary Handley and Ferne Stokes

What is your top leadership tip?
Lead by example

Professor Julie Williams is a Professor at the Department of Psychological Medicine within the School of Medicine at Cardiff University

Professor Julie Williams has worked with the School of Medicine at Cardiff University for 16 years and has progressed from the post of research assistant to Professor. She has been instrumental in leading staff projects that have made a real difference in the world of psychiatric genetics.

Throughout her career, she has secured numerous high profile research grants worth millions of pounds for research into areas such as Alzheimers and Dyslexia. Julie has led her teams to push the boundaries of knowledge, furthering medical progress in each area and helping to build the reputation of Cardiff University as a powerhouse of medical research.

Her successes have included the discovery of the gene KIAA0319 in 2005, which could be one of the causes of dyslexia. In her most recent project, Julie is heading a team which is undertaking the largest ever genetic study of Alzheimers.

Three groups have emerged from her research including Alzheimers disease, development in Dyslexia and Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, which has gained recognition world wide.

Julie is an inspirational leader who provides her research teams with the guidance and encouragement needed in the field of medical research. She is an approachable and knowledgeable manager who leads by example, is consistently enthusiastic and strives to create a positive work environment for her research team. She is a great communicator, sharing her extensive knowledge of psychiatric genetics with all her staff. She is open to her team’s ideas, consistently emphasising the value of their contributions. Many of Julie Williams’ research staff has developed their careers under her expert guidance.

Julie operates an inclusive and collaborative approach to leadership, treating individuals with dignity. She is an exceptional team leader, strategic, innovative and optimistic.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I like the Clash

Who inspires you?
People who are enthusiastic and push themselves to succeed

What is your top leadership tip?
Talk to the people you work with and listen to their needs and treat people as individuals

Leadership success through partnership to develop skills in the workplace or community

The Reverend Roger Hewett, Vicar of Blaina & Nantyglo and Area Dean of Blaenau Gwent

Roger has two churches. One is built as a large dual purpose church and community facility in the centre of Blaina. He has plans to build a community hall attached to the church in Nantyglo.

Roger is a chairman of Blaina Community First and a member of the Chartist Regeneration Committee. He is also responsible for social groups which the elderly, children and families can enjoy. He also found the money to allow them to employ people to run the clubs. The Care and Share club provides lunch for its ninety elderly members, and is used by Age Concern, the Council’s ageism group, the Welsh Assembly Government agencies and health workers.

The after school club, PALS, allows 80-90 children to have somewhere enjoyable to be whilst their parents are still at work. PALS PLUS and St Anne’s take responsibility for the younger children.

Roger is dedicated to looking after not only his parish, but the community as a whole. He often takes responsibility for student priests, as he provides a perfect example as to how to meet people, listen to their needs, identify what has to be done and how to find the necessary funds.

He is also a governor of Nantyglo Comprehensive School, a trustee of the Blaina Reading Room and Institute Charity, as well as many other local organisations. He allows the church community building to be used by the Hospice of the Valleys as a surgery, and also organises fund raising concerts to provide them with necessary donations.

He looks after the local people not as part of a campaign to increase his congregation, but because he wants to serve the people. He has been the person behind most of the development which has taken place in the community in the areas he takes responsibility for.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I was a ladies hairdresser for 5 agonising weeks!

Who inspires you?
Nelson Mandela and his simple approach to life

What is your top leadership tip?
Share credit out fairly!

Andrew Cooksley, Managing Director, ACT Training

ACT is Wales’ largest training provider, delivering training for a range of skills frameworks in sectors including teaching assistants, engineering, healthcare, IT, animal care, administration, retailing, manufacturing and customer care.

Through Schools Assist, which is a branch of ACT, Andrew has improved school life for both pupils and teachers across Cardiff by boosting the training for teaching assistants and helping Cardiff Advisory Service for Education (CASE) to develop a structured career path for the teaching assistants.

Andrew helped increase the number of teaching assistants in Cardiff’s 136 schools from 460 in 2000 to 2,300 in 2008, and it is predicted that in 2009 there will be 4000. CASE did not have the capacity or funding to be able to provide training for teaching assistants. By obtaining funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, Andrew made it possible for the teaching assistants to gain the qualifications they needed, without it being a cost to them or their school, opening numerous job opportunities.

A proactive stance was taken by Andrew to ensure that training was provided for those who did not have a permanent job. Throughout the challenge, he remained enthusiastic endeavouring to monitor progress in order to provide the best possible service to those taking part and the schools themselves.

As a result of Andrew’s work, CASE and Schools Assist have developed a true partnership which will benefit pupils, teachers and the teaching assistants.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I used to work for a celebrity florist in LA

Who inspires you?
My wife Caroline

What is your top leadership tip?
Realising that the biggest asset for any organisation is the right people and the worst asset is the wrong people!

Austin V. Matthews MBE, Director, Engineering Education Scheme- Wales (EESW)

EESW encourage bright youngsters into engineering careers. It exposes students to the disciplines of industry constraints while working on a real technical problem.

The EESW provides students with opportunities to gain skills which will stand them in good stead with possible future engineering careers. Some companies also use the scheme to educate their own engineers. Austin was the driving force who brought the scheme to Wales from Hertfordshire.

Since its arrival in Wales, an average of 400 students and 70 schools/colleges/companies become involved each year, with many of the participating young people going on to take up engineering or engineering-related university courses as a result of Austin’s encouragement.

He is responsible too for the Welsh National Convention of Excellence in Engineering and Technology, which takes place each year in the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel, Newport. Last year’s success means that a more focused event will be held this year to inform Welsh Sixth Form students of the possible opportunities.

The event’s primary aim is to create respect for the profession, and to enable students to make more informed career choices for their future. In addition, it aims to increase awareness amongst companies of the scheme’s benefits.

Without Austin’s vision, not only would the students be lacking the encouragement they need to consider engineering as their future, but the scheme would not be accessible for Welsh students to take part in.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I helped to take a sailing yacht to Lisbon from Perth encountering a storm 10 in the Bay of Biscay and survived!

Who inspires you?
The achievement and success of EESW students

What is your top leadership tip?
Communicate well and respect the talents of your colleagues

What is your top leadership tip?
Realising that the biggest asset for any organisation is the right people and the worst asset is the wrong people!

Dr Paul Thomas, Founder, DNA Wales

DNA Wales is a network of critical management researchers who collaborate with key economy enhancing bodies. Its purpose is to question current management practice and improve organisational performance by not managing.

Paul is the founding driving force behind DNA Wales. He ensures that managers are fully equipped with the skills necessary to be a success not just during business hours, but also by using his free time to hold seminars and visit various companies, talking to management, as well as employees, about the importance of adopting a different and more organic style.

He had a vision of turning Welsh organisations into “fun, democratic and enjoyable places to work.” Paul’s mission is to encourage businesses to respond to the needs of those who are essential to the running of a business: employees, customers and end consumers.

In 2006, Paul obtained partial funding from the Welsh Assembly Government which helped with the running of seminars, events and visits to manufacturing companies.

Since its start up two years ago, DNA Wales has gained 250 company members, has hosted and co-hosted over 15 events and conferences and delivered numerous seminars and staff talks. A lot of these events were conducted by Paul.

Paul not only has the ambition to make Welsh organisations a better place to work, but he also has the passion and the drive to determine its success.

Tell us something your colleagues don’t know about you?
I got lost in China for two days

Who inspires you?
Ricardo Semler

What is your top leadership tip?
Always be open and honest and trusting of your employees