2010 Winners & Shortlisted

Leadership in Businesses with more than 50 Employees
The Shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Stuart Bailey, Manager, Graduate and Apprentice Development, EADS Defence and Security
Daniel Stevenson, Group Managing Director, Total Trade Group
Laura Tenison MBE, Founder and Managing Director, JoJo Maman Bébé – WINNER

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.


Stuart Bailey, Manager, Graduate and Apprentice Development, EADS Defence and Security

EADS Defence and Security is a multinational aerospace and defence company. The unit of the business based in Newport specialises in crypotgraphic systems and networks.

Stuart has created a successful graduate and apprentice training scheme for EADS which has created a generation of highly skilled and motivated managers in both Engineering and Business roles.

EADS Defence & Security had run a graduate scheme since 1993, but it had a high turnover rate and its participants suffered from low morale.

Stuart recognised this issue and set out to address it. He devised a graduate scheme which would provide people with the skills needed to progress their careers and flourish within the company. He also wanted to transform the scheme into a real community that would maintain the company’s ethos and improve graduate morale through peer support, both professionally and socially.

Stuart’s programme has been a real success, with an exceptional retention rate and some of its alumni among EADS’ senior management team. Stuart has shown the company the value of investing in people at the beginning of their careers, and the graduates have rewarded his vision with loyalty to the company.

Stuart continues to drive the scheme; he leads the recruitment process each year and is the first point of contact for any problems a graduate may have. He works with individuals to understand their strengths and preferences and creates a development plan specifically for them.

Stuart has dedicated his career to encouraging young people to fulfil their potential, and the success of EADS’ graduate scheme is testament to his hard work.


Daniel Stevenson, Group Managing Director, Total Trade Group

Total Trade is a construction company specialising providing domestic heating, plumbing and insulation to the social housing sector.

Daniel is a ‘people person’, who has helped build a successful business when his industry was in recession through focusing on customer service and quality.

The construction industry has been a casualty of the recession, but Daniels’ approach to business has meant Total Trade has grown rather than suffered during tough economic times.

The construction industry has historically focused on ‘what’ was delivered, but Daniel wanted Total Trade to focus on ‘how’ it is delivered. He has helped people share this vision by emphasising the importance of personal and customer relationships at all levels of the organisation.

This simple but revolutionary approach has created a positive work culture, which has in turn delivered significant growth – an increase of 396% in turnover in one year – and the creation of more than 200 new jobs. Daniel’s leadership has had a ripple effect on the industry as it has driven competitors to change the way they operate.

As a trustee of Young Enterprise, Daniel actively encourages Total Trade’s managers to participate in the programme, not only to help students gain business skills but to learn broader business awareness themselves.

Daniel has replaced conflict with co-operation and creates a positive environment, personally leading the way and inspiring others with his vision.


Laura Tenison MBE, Founder and Managing Director, JoJo Maman Bébé

JoJo is the UK’s leading independent multi-channel maternity, baby and nursery retailer.

Laura has created a thriving and profitable business based on a strong sense of ethical and sustainable business practice.

JoJo’s first collection, inspired by nautical French clothes, was an instant success, confirming her belief that there was a gap in the market for maternity clothes, baby-wear and nursery accessories with an emphasis on style. Since then, the collection has grown to include many thousands of lines which are hard to find on the high street.

With no outside investment, Laura has grown JoJo into an award-winning business and one of the leading brands in its sector.

Despite the company’s growth and consistent profitability, Laura has continually invested in the business and its staff. The company’s profit share scheme distributes 10% of profits amongst the teams, and people are actively promoted from within.

Laura has always insisted that corporate social responsibility has equal importance to profit. Nema, the current charity is a small organisation offering relief to impoverished communities in Mozambique. As well as financial and administrative support, two JoJo employees were seconded to work on projects on the ground in Mozambique.

Laura is often found in the warehouse early in the morning talking to the teams, and believes she can find out more about the company from people on the shop floor than from management consultants.

Laura’s ethical approach to business is the cornerstone of its success, and her unique approach means its employees see JoJo as more than just a workplace.


 

Businesses with fewer than 50 Employees

Aris Giallelis, Managing Director, Aquarius Maintenance Services
David Jones, Managing Director, Prince’s Gate Spring Water – WINNER
Dr Stuart West, Managing Director, Biocatalysts

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.


Aris Giallelis, Managing Director, Aquarius Maintenance Services

Aquarius installs and maintains central heating and boiler systems across the UK, and has recently expanded into solar heating and renewable energy systems.

Aris has doubled the turnover of Aquarius in just 12 months, creating not only a successful local business but a company which has maintained its supportive ‘family business’ culture.

Under Aris’ leadership, Aquarius has been transformed at every level, from its operational systems and employee development to marketing. The business has doubled in turnover in the last 12 months, during a tough climate for the industry. Aris has not only grown the business, he has successfully expanded into the new arena of renewable energy.

Aquarius has employed 20 new staff in the last year, with the same number again planned for 2010 yet, despite its growth, it retains the feel of a family business. People feel genuinely valued, reflected by increased staff satisfaction and total support for Aris’ approach to growing the business.

Aris brings a remarkable mixture of genuine human warmth mixed with a steely determination; there is no fancy management speak from Aris, just convincing talk underpinned with the right actions.

He has a total commitment to the role of training and development and believes there is no substitute for continuous, on-the-job mentoring and everyday encouragement, set within a professional, structured environment.

Most new staff are recruited via Job Centres, or may be technicians who have recently been made redundant. Each person receives the training and development they need to succeed in their roles.

Always visible at the helm, whether handling detailed specific queries or looking at the bigger picture, Aris brings a common-sense approach to business which has helped it to succeed.


David Jones, Managing Director, Prince’s Gate Spring Water

Prince’s Gate is a bottled water manufacturer, bottling a variety of pack formats, flavours and products for retail sale.

David’s drive and vision has transformed Prince’s Gate into one of Wales’ leading brands and a success story for its staff and community.

Prince’s Gate started out from a converted shed on a working farm, but David had a vision to transform the company into one of the largest independent water bottler in Wales by 2010.

In 2002, David spearheaded a drive to take Prince’s Gate to the next level of growth, including personally investing in the business. He oversaw the installation of a bottling line to significantly increase production, as well as appointing key personnel with the vital industry experience needed to grow the company.

Coupled with a complete rebrand, these changes led to a 25% uplift in sales and an increased retail presence, which has seen Prince’s Gate sold at most major supermarkets.

A hallmark of David’s management style is to encourage others to work independently. A ‘Continual Improvement’ policy in Princes Gate Spring Water allows staff to suggest areas of personal training on top of the ongoing support and training they already receive. His investment in employees has led to an impressive 95% staff retention rate.

David is an inspirational speaker whose drive and ambition is infectious. The result is an empowered and passionate team who are as committed to the success of the business as he is.


Dr Stuart West, Managing Director, Biocatalysts

Biocatalysts is a specialist enzyme company which provides customers with tailored enzyme products.

An inspirational leader who led the company through the ambitious transformation it needed to expand. Stuart’s commitment to his staff made sure they were 100% with the changes which saw significant growth for Biocatalysts .

Stuart has transformed Biocatalysts into a market leader, thanks to the relocation of the business coupled with an ambitious research and development programme. Representing a significant investment for the firm – equal to a whole year’s turnover – the relocation was nonetheless vital to allow Biocatalysts to flourish.

This ambitious vision was achieved not only through Stuart’s careful planning, but his empowerment of the management team to manage and drive the project themselves. The result was that not one client’s order was disrupted during the move period, despite the team making double its usual volume of goods.

In the year following the move, the company’s perception among customers improved, staff satisfaction increased and in one month, Biocatalysts made double the profit it had for the entire previous year, achieved despite the recession.

Stuart’s commitment to the growth of the company is mirrored by his commitment to the staff. Despite directors taking a lower salary to help fund the move, all staff are paid above market rate salaries and receive an additional upper benefits package.

Thanks to Stuart, an enthusiasm for learning filters through the entire organisation. He encourages people to reach and exceed their potential while constantly linking development to added value for the business.

Even after 25 years with Biocatalysts, this positive attitude is as energetic as ever.


Public Sector
Ifan Evans, Director of Private Sector & Business, Welsh Language Board
David Jackland,Executive Director of ICT, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
Pam Mahoney, Headteacher, Maes yr Haul Primary School
Mark Mathias, Chief Superintendent, South Wales Police – WINNER

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.


Ifan Evans, Director of Private Sector & Business, Welsh Language Board

The Board is a statutory body established in 1993 to promote and facilitate use of the Welsh language.

Ifan’s engagement with the Welsh business community has led to increased visibility and use of the Welsh language by the private sector in Wales.

Ifan is responsible for raising awareness in the business community of the advantages of using Welsh. His enthusiasm for his task extends to ensuring that the Board’s support for businesses is genuinely useful and credible.

Ifan has inspired his team to develop productive relationships with major companies and developed strong personal relationships with business organisations. These relationships have been built on face-to-face meetings and regular contact, and Ifan’s integrity, authority and authenticity have been crucial in earning the trust and respect of businesses.

Ifan has also engaged with and persuaded key leaders in other parts of the public sector to work with him, allowing him to deliver far more than would be possible working alone.

He has a very clear strategic focus, combined with a relaxed and informal style of working, which inspires strong loyalty in his team. This creates a productive environment in which every member of the team is willing to contribute and share their insights and ideas.

Ifan’s post was newly created on his appointment, so there is no doubt that the Board’s current work with the private sector has been directed and led by him. Thanks to Ifan, the Board’s position and voice is now credible, authoritative and respected by businesses in Wales.


David Jackland, Executive Director of ICT, Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

The Trust provides an emergency ambulance service, patient transport, health courier services and NHS direct 24 hour health advice to the people of Wales, from more than 90 ambulance stations and various control centres.
David has gone beyond his formal role to help modernise the ambulance service, improving the quality of care for people in Wales.

David’s approach to improvement is characterised by his enthusiasm for collaborative working. This has enabled projects that would previously have been done in isolation to be done in partnership with other public sector organisations, delivering improved quality of care and services for people in Wales.

He developed a business case for the creation of a new team to support the delivery of the Trust’s modernisation programme. He headed up this programme in addition to his role as Director of ICT, leading a team to deliver one of the biggest projects the Trust has undertaken, the creation of a new ambulance control, regional HQ and data centre in Cwmbran. The result is an improved ambulance service and more motivated staff.

David’s leadership is open, inclusive and emotionally intelligent. It maximises the performance of individuals. He recognises that different approaches work for different individuals depending upon their way of working and professional backgrounds.

Above all, David has gone beyond the traditional ambulance service structure, looking further than his own status to work collaboratively for the greater good of collective groups or organisations within Wales.

 


Pam Mahoney, Headteacher, Maes yr Haul Primary School

Maes yr Haul, a primary school in Bridgend County Borough, has over 530 pupils and serves the new and expanding community of Broadlands.

Although Maes yr Haul school is a relatively new school, Pam has created a sense of active citizenship in its pupils and teachers which has put it at the heart of the local community in Bridgend.
Pam doesn’t just pay lip service to the idea of being a good citizen, she makes sure it happens. Just a few examples are the development of the school’s local travel plan, allowing local people to travel safely and sustainably, and the links she has forged with schools in Japan, Australia, Botswana and India.

Pam is passionate about showing all those involved in the school the impact they have on the world and those around them, and how they can use that impact for good on a global, national and international scale. The innovative use of IT at Maes yr Haul led to the school being awarded an all-wales ICT Excellence award.

Pam instills in others her own passion to learn from other cultures, encouraging not only pupils but the community to find out more. She incorporated an Indian Mela at the school’s summer fair, helping people from different ethnic backgrounds feel welcome in the school and community.

Pam is driven by the achievements of the pupils and staff, and the success of the school is the commitment and passion she encourages in her team. Pam thrives on being a people person and is an inspiration and outstanding role model.

Pam is retiring this year, but her achievement will continue to have an impact on the school, its pupils and its community into the future.


Mark Mathias, Chief Superintendent, South Wales Police

South Wales Police exists to protect the communities of South Wales by reducing and detecting crime, providing an emergency service and making every contact count.
Mark Mathias is a visible leader and is totally committed to building strong, sustainable links between South Wales Police and its communities.

Mark’s commitment to the communities knows no bounds. He is on call all day every day, and can often be found at community events outside his on-duty hours.
But it is through practical examples that his leadership shines through.
A protest directed at the Muslim population, and the ensuing counter-protests, posed a significant threat not only to vulnerable groups but to public order as a whole. Thanks to Mark’s hard work in previously building strong community relationships, he was able to communicate with all involved groups, displaying the transparency and independence of the police. Mark engaged personally with all key community contacts to maintain their confidence in the police before, during and after the event.
On the day of demonstrations, he displayed visible leadership “on the ground”, by engaging with staff, demonstrators and key community contacts. The protest was the first event in Britain of its type to pass without serious public disorder.

Mark has also led a multi-agency approach to tackling youth disengagement in Swansea, at a local school recognised as a centre of anti-social behaviour. Through his leadership, police officers and community support officers have come to understand that young people are part of the community and policing is not only about enforcement. In the first six months of the programme, first-time entrants into the Criminal Justice System in Swansea reduced by 50%.

Mark Mathias is an individual of the greatest integrity, and his commitment and drive to deliver on South Wales Police’s vision of keeping south Wales safe is truly inspirational.


Team Leader

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Madeleine Clements, Special Constables Coordinator, South Wales Police
Gareth Morgan, Head of Driver Training Unit, South Wales Police
Angelina Rodriques, Service Delivery Director, Black Association of Women Step Out (BAWSO) Women’s Aid – WINNER

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.


Madeleine Clements, Special Constables Coordinator, South Wales Police

South Wales Police exists to protect the communities of South Wales by reducing and detecting crime, providing an emergency service and making every contact count.
Madeleine’s efforts have resulted in a highly professional, motivated and trusted team of special constables, which make a significant contribution to policing in Bridgend.

Madeleine set out to transform the way special constables worked, by making them an integral part of neighbourhood policing and enhancing their reputation with their regular police officer colleagues.

As volunteers, special constables had previously adopted an ad hoc approach to policing work, sticking to shifts they knew well and sometimes turning up to work unannounced. Madeleine brought in systems which structured where and when her officers were to work, and assigned all of the special constables to a specific Neighbourhood Team.

Madeleine spent a great deal of time explaining the rationale both to her staff and in the wider force, continually emphasising the importance of the approach to the local community.

Her open and honest approach to any mistakes made by her team has gained her the respect of her colleagues, but at the same she is always promoting the achievements of her team.

Special constables are now more confident as they are properly trained and have gained the experience they need to feel that they have real credibility. Regular uniform officers have seen the work done by Madeleine and her team and view the special officers as colleagues who can be relied on. Senior managers now trust Madeleine and her staff to solely police big events, which means regular officers can be used elsewhere helping communities and reducing crime.

Madeleine is an extremely modest person who uses enthusiasm, understanding and reasoning to lead.


Gareth Morgan, Head of Driver Training Unit, South Wales Police

South Wales Police exists to protect the communities of South Wales by reducing and detecting crime, providing an emergency service and making every contact count.
Gareth has introduced an entirely new approach to driver training for the South Wales Police with a driving simulator, the first training system of its kind to be used in the UK.

Senior managers were understandably unsure about this entirely new way of working, but Gareth produced a detailed, persuasive business case to show that the simulator would not only save man hours, it could play a significant role in community safety, allowing drivers to make mistakes in a controlled environment.

Gareth brought external parties such as the DVLA, ROPSA and the Institute of Advanced Driving together to back the project and engaged with Cranfield University, who added psychometric testing to the simulation training tool.

As well as using the simulator in police training, Gareth devised a project to allow South Wales Police and other partner agencies to use it in promoting safer driving to young people aged 17-24, who are particularly vulnerable to road accidents.

Gareth has been relentless in achieving his vision. As a result of his work and determination, South Wales Police now has an innovative state of the art driver training simulator and is a leader in the field.

Gareth motivates his staff and the wider team within LDS by example, and has created a real team culture, where people think about the wider contribution they can make to South Wales Police.


Angelina Rodriques, Service Delivery Director, Black Association of Women Step Out (BAWSO) Women’s Aid

BAWSO is an all-Wales, voluntary organisation, providing specialist holistic services to black and minority ethnic women and children, who are, or are about to be made homeless through the threat, suffering or fleeing of domestic abuse.

Angelina’s work has brought consistency and cohesion amongst all the teams and the teams share best practice across all BAWSO projects in Wales, allowing the organisation to work better as a whole.

Angelina strives to take BAWSO’s work further, and since she introduced new working practice the number of women benefiting from its services has increased from 200 women in 2005 to 636 women and 711 children last year.

Angelina puts the women who BAWSO helps at the centre of all her work. She arranges regular consultations with them to listen to their views, using those opinions to shape the charity’s service and delivery.

Angelina wanted to take BAWSO’s role beyond support for women who have suffered domestic abuse to provide advice on issues such as immigration, life skills, budgeting, welfare benefits, education and general counseling. Her development of BAWSO’s services across Wales means that women can access support in their areas, allowing them to live independent lives.

Angelina is an effective and strategic person who maintains a down to earth approach while creating a supportive environment where her team feel valued. Angelina’s team site her openness and honesty as her best qualities – they fully trust her decisions and get behind her to make things happen.


Business leadership in the community

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Geraint Lewis, Managing Director, Call of the Wild Ltd – WINNER
Michael Learmond, Regional Organiser North Wales, Federation of Small Businesses
Nina Sardar, Chairman, The Bay of Colwyn Business Network.

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.


Geraint Lewis, Managing Director, Call of the Wild Ltd.

Call of the Wild, based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, offers a range of Welsh activity breaks, including corporate training and events, adventure holidays, school activity programmes and overseas expeditions.

Forward thinking Geraint Lewis has used innovation and sound financial awareness to make Call of the Wild a recognised and award winning business, while helping to turn around the fortunes of the community in which it is based.

In 1997, Geraint Lewis left a stable senior position working for a Japanese conglomerate to set up his dream business in one of the most socially and economically deprived areas in Wales.

With strong key values of using local culture, history, sites, and people, Geraint’s business has been instrumental in regenerating the local area, providing jobs, renovating local buildings and supporting other local businesses with its wide client base.

While growing to employ 25 people full-time and more part-time during the peak periods, staff morale has remained high and the business has achieved the Investors in People standard through clear strategic direction, training and Geraint’s development of a supportive and friendly working environment.

Also, thanks to Geraint’s early recognition of the internet’s power, the business created innovative and award-winning online training and e-marketing before many other companies had embraced the technology.

In 2009, Geraint’s financial awareness and proactivity meant that the business was able to continue to grow even through the recession. His early re-focus on budgets for the corporate market and concentration on the consumer market meant that Call of the Wild exceeded the targets set for 2009 and regular staff meetings helped to dispel any concerns that may have damaged moral.

His awareness and drive has also been instrumental in cultivating strong existing and prospective client relationships, helping to secure large and sustainable contracts.


Michael Learmond, Regional Organiser North Wales, Federation of Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms.

Michael Learmond’s passion and determination has shone through in his efforts to provide emotional and practical support to many north Wales businesses during the economic crisis.

Since the onset of the economic downturn, Michael has worked tirelessly to engage with and assist as many small businesses in north Wales as possible.

He travelled the length and breadth of the country to show businesses new opportunities to secure funding or training and offered practical measures to combat the recession through a variety of exhibitions, networking events and high-profile economic summits.

Michael has made himself accessible and visible to all members of the business community by using a range of media platforms to communicate key messages. He is now seen as an expert spokesperson and is regularly quoted or featured in the press at a national and local level, including television and radio.

He was also instrumental in securing funding for and organising the Spotlight North Wales conference in 2009, which attracted over 300 delegates in need of support and advice. Michael worked energetically to engage sponsors, partners and delegates, calling on all of his contacts to make the event a success.

Feedback of the event from delegates and the wider business community was excellent with attendees noting that it left them more focussed, better informed, well connected and energised.

During 2009, he also dedicated his time and energy to encourage young entrepreneurs with his appointment to the Young Enterprise North Wales Strategic Board.

Making himself visible and approachable, Michael and has provided emotional and practical support for a range of businesses across north Wales during this economic crisis, and has often gone the extra mile.


Nina Sardar, Chairman, The Bay of Colwyn Business Network.

The Bay of Colwyn Business Network is a not-for-profit networking organisation set up in 2009 to give businesses in the area an opportunity to promote themselves without a membership fee or subscription.

Nina Sardar’s positivity and dedication has made The Bay of Colwyn Business Network a huge success, bringing together local businesses to help boost the local economy and improve the community as a whole.

Understanding the importance of networking in business development, Nina Sardar founded the Bay of Colwyn Business Network (BCBN) to give local businesses the benefit of new contacts and new business.

Starting from scratch, Nina promoted the organisation by flyering in the local community and attending a Colwyn & District Chamber of Trade meeting, where she received positive feedback from the start.

Her first meeting saw more than 80 local businesses in attendance and, since launching in May, the organisation has accumulated more than 400 members.

Her positivity and enthusiasm has boosted the moral of local business people, and the events she arranges encourages more local trading to take place, including one significant business deal which done at the first event.

The networking events also act as a platform for local businesses to host presentations giving helpful advice on issues such as marketing, insurance and grants available for small businesses.

The network now has a steering group of volunteers, of which Nina is the Chair, and her dedication ensures that each event is still a success.

Her dedication to her wish that local independent businesses support each other is improving the community and helping many to survive the recession.


Leading Management and Leadership Skills Development
Daniel Stevenson, Group Managing Director, Total Trade Group
Geraint Lewis, Managing Director, Call of the Wild Ltd – WINNER
Laura Tenison MBE, Founder and Managing Director, JoJo Maman Bébé

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.


Laura Tenison MBE, Founder and Managing Director, JoJo Maman Bébé

JoJo is the UK’s leading independent multi-channel maternity, baby and nursery retailer.

Laura has created a thriving and profitable business based on a strong sense of ethical and sustainable business practice.

JoJo’s first collection, inspired by nautical French clothes, was an instant success, confirming her belief that there was a gap in the market for maternity clothes, baby-wear and nursery accessories with an emphasis on style. Since then, the collection has grown to include many thousands of lines which are hard to find on the high street.

With no outside investment, Laura has grown JoJo into an award-winning business and one of the leading brands in its sector.

Despite the company’s growth and consistent profitability, Laura has continually invested in the business and its staff. The company’s profit share scheme distributes 10% of profits amongst the teams, and people are actively promoted from within.

Laura has always insisted that corporate social responsibility has equal importance to profit. Nema, the current charity is a small organisation offering relief to impoverished communities in Mozambique. As well as financial and administrative support, two JoJo employees were seconded to work on projects on the ground in Mozambique.

Laura is often found in the warehouse early in the morning talking to the teams, and believes she can find out more about the company from people on the shop floor than from management consultants.

Laura’s ethical approach to business is the cornerstone of its success, and her unique approach means its employees see JoJo as more than just a workplace.


Daniel Stevenson, Group Managing Director, Total Trade Group

Total Trade is a construction company specialising providing domestic heating, plumbing and insulation to the social housing sector.

Daniel’s investment in management and leadership development has given the business a real edge during the recession through a focus on customer service.

Daniel himself has greatly valued working with an external coach; he believes he needs to know himself well in order to better lead others.

During the recession, he has continued to invest in training for all employees but has also instigated changes in the training delivery to reflect market conditions and to concentrate on the key drivers of a sustainable order book.

“We are a service-based company, and our people are what ultimately make us different from our competitors. As such, the investment we make in developing our people has a direct impact on the rest of the business.

“At Total Trade, we have tried to turn the concept of leadership on its head and see it not as a quality of people at the ‘top’ of the firm, but something everyone should aspire to. If you interact with a customer you need to lead that relationship.

“Developing our staff gives us more than just a competitive edge; it is what makes the business a success. Good leadership is vital to allow people to develop to a point where they can flourish independently. It is this approach which has allowed us to take the business to the level we need to stand out from our competitors.”

His management team have participated in leadership courses, and afterwards he encourages them to apply their learning in the workplace. He acknowledges that difficulties can, and do, arise in the workplace but encourages individuals to utilise their learning and apply it to practical workplace issues. He looks for, and encourages, changes in behaviour as a result of training.

Daniel is very actively involved in Young Enterprise, a charity which encourages enterprise experience in schools, and he actively encourages his first line and senior management staff to participate in the scheme as advisors in local schools. This means they not only assist the students but themselves gain a wider business perspective and awareness.


Geraint Lewis, Managing Director, Call of the Wild Ltd.

Call of the Wild, based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, offers corporate training and events, school activity programmes, adventure holidays and overseas expeditions.

Geraint Lewis believes strongly in developing the skills of his staff, committing budget to do this and he is keen to ensure equality of opportunity for all staff to learn and develop in order to enable improved performance.

Geraint believes it is vital to know the individual well in order to be able to work with them on their development. Through formal appraisal systems, each person has a different development path which is supported by unrestricted access to their online Development Academy.

The business has embraced the Investors in People assessment and award process in order to help it formalise and give structure to the many informal processes which were already in place. The staff are enthusiastic to develop their skills and understand the link between improved skills, their ability and company performance.

Because Call of the Wild provides team building and leadership development, the company uses techniques and theories developed for clients in order to help develop their staff as well.

Geraint himself is thrilled to see his staff grow in confidence and develop and Call of the Wild celebrates success and rewards staff regularly. He said:

“We are a personal and team development business and our work shows us that people always have room for growth and development. It would be foolish to apply this ethos to our customers and not use the same process with our staff.

“Call of the Wild is based in one of the most economically deprived areas of South Wales and although we always aim to recruit locally, sometimes people’s skills may not fit the role we have. I firmly believe however that if you have the right person, you can teach the skills.

“Whether you are just starting out in your career or the CEO of a blue-chip company, there is always room for learning and development.”


Young Leader

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Kayleigh Cattell, Participation Worker, Bridgend County Borough Council Youth Service – WINNER
Alex Gazzard, Managing Director, Acityabode
Emrys Haugen, General Manager, SportStars
Siân Pope, Front Line Coach, Lloyds TSB Asset Finance

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.


Kayleigh Cattell, Participation Worker, Bridgend County Borough Council Youth Service

The Bridgend County Borough Council Youth Service is concerned with the fundamental and personal development of young people between the ages of 11 and 25.

Kayleigh Cattell has been driving forward youth participation in local decision-making across Bridgend County, and has been effectively promoting the issue of youth inclusion amongst her colleagues and other local service providers.

At the age of 24, Kayleigh has been pursuing her vision of raising the profile of youth ‘participation’ as outlined in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, which says all young people have a right to be heard and have their opinions taken into account when adults make decisions that affect them.

Kayleigh has approached this vision by recruiting and leading a team of young volunteers aged between 11 and 25, to establish four youth forums across the County. This includes the youth forum in Ogmore Valley which actively campaigns for change to benefit local young people, and regularly meets with county councillors and the local adult forum.

Kayleigh’s work has had a direct result, as service providers are being influenced by young people and sharing ideas with them on issues such as the provision for riding off road motorbikes and the prevention of teenage pregnancy.

On an individual basis, Kayleigh has a hugely positive impact on the personal development of the young people she works with. However her work has the potential to have a more long-term positive community impact in terms of encouraging young people to become active citizens as they move through to adulthood.


Alex Gazzard, Managing Director, Acityabode

Acityabode is a luxury serviced apartment company that offers business travellers and city visitors an affordable alternative to hotel accommodation, providing apartments in Cardiff, Bristol and Belfast.

Alex Gazzard’s drive and passion has turned a few family owned apartments in Cardiff into a successful business, creating a strong brand through a network of serviced apartments across the UK.

Picking up on the popularity of the serviced apartment market and recognising a gap in the market, Alex set up Acityabode on her own while working a part-time job to gain an income. This meant Alex was responsible for all elements of the business, from securing bookings to checking in guests and cleaning the apartments.

Through her dedication and commitment to put a huge focus on customer service, the business initially established a brand in Wales. Alex then set about fulfilling her vision to create a network across the UK by sourcing and managing additional apartments and putting in place a central head office function which allows the different offices to share central resources.

Alex now employs a team of fifteen staff and has 130 apartments in Cardiff, Belfast and Bristol, all while continuing to increase turnover and occupancy. Not resting on her laurels, ambitious Alex has already set her sights on growing the business in cities such as Dublin, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Her commitment has inspired staff and, by introducing training schemes and engendering trust in her team through welcoming and seeking feedback, she has created a fun working environment and a culture that empowers staff to succeed.


Emrys Haugen, General Manager, SportStars

Established in 2005, SportStars provides primary schools with sports specialists to cover teachers’ planning preparation and assessment (PPA) time.

A natural leader, Emrys brings passion, energy and enthusiasm to his work, which filters through to his 50 – strong team, and a vision to communicate the benefits and pleasures of sport to as many children as possible.

Emrys has helped grow SportStars from having five school contracts on its books in its first year of operation to a presence in over 100 schools, reaching over 25,000 children each week with high quality sports coaching.

A keen motivator, Emrys is always willing to provide praise and recognition where deserved and instils confidence in his team. He is committed to delivering the highest quality of service and ensures his staff are able to deliver this through continual training and development.

Emrys understands the importance of a happy and motivated workforce and has introduced incenctives such as ‘SportStars of the week’ – an internal awards scheme which recognises and rewards staff for their achievements, as well as staging regular team building weekends and away days.

He has been instrumental in setting up a management structure that opts away from micro-managing staff, instead he trusts staff to work the hours required resulting in loyalty, commitment and a low employee turnover.

Emrys has established the ‘SportStars Progression Scheme’ that gives ambitious employees the opportunity to move up the ranks from a coach as a new starter to owning their own franchise business.

Emrys has played an integral role in helping the company win several awards including Nectar Small Business of the Year and HSBC Start-up Stars.


Siân Pope, Front Line Coach, Lloyds TSB Asset Finance

Lloyds TSB Asset Finance operate a number of Contact Centres of Excellence including St William House, Cardiff, which supports over 100,000 new customer applications for motor and personal finance every month.

Through her passionate and creative approach to her role with Lloyds TSB, Sian Pope has been instrumental in implementing measures to increase customer satisfaction as well as a competitive market advantage.

Sian has progressed rapidly since joining Lloyds TSB in February 2006, and has become a role model to others in terms of her commitment to continued professional development. After requesting professional feedback from her peers and managers, Sian developed her own self-development programme setting out challenging targets, which resulted in her obtaining an outstanding annual performance grade.

Beyond her impressive individual performance, Sian was a primary mover in the idea of colleagues visiting other teams during learning hours to gain an appreciation of work being completed outside of their immediate area of work. This catalysed the development of the company’s operational model of teams assisting each other and providing extra resources to other business streams during busy periods, to help maximise efficiency across the call centre.

Now, her ambition has led her to embark on a secondment as a team coach, heading up a team of 12 loans processing administrators. Throughout her time at Lloyds TSB, Sian has demonstrated role model behaviour, leading daily update meetings and mentoring fellow colleagues.