2013 Winners and shortlisted

Leadership in the Public Sector sponsored by Academi Wales – Barry Liles (Award Winner)
The Shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Jacqueline Ingleson, NOMS Shared Services
Barry Liles, Principal, Coleg Sir Gar – WINNER
Lyn Waddington, QWEST, University of South Wales (Newport)

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.


Jacqueline Ingleson

Summary:
Under Jacqui’s leadership and guidance two areas within the MOJ Shared Services were brought seamlessly together forming a very strong management team with a strong long term strategy. She has become a fantastic figurehead for the department. The MOJ Shared Services provides HR, IT, Finance and Contact Centre transactional support and services to government departments.

Profile:
Jacqui’s vision was to create a Finance management team that were capable of maintaining the delivery of first class services to its clients during a period of large scale change.

Responsible for over 175 staff, Jacqui quickly instilled a culture where everyone is encouraged to participate and get involved. She has made Finance Services a positive and attractive place to work. Staff engagement scores have increased by +5% and are amongst the highest within the Civil Service. Customer satisfaction and quality levels are all high. Finance Services rarely receive complaints from clients, where they occur they are immediately addressed. She achieved a saving of £900k by redeploying 40 staff in one service delivery area whilst maintaining the service delivery with reduced staffing.

Leading by example, with the support of her management team, she strives to ensure that all staff are recognised and praised where appropriate ensuring that everyone feels valued. She is a strong leader with a good sense of judgement, but is equally not inhibited to seek her peers or management teams input or opinion when things get difficult or need discussing.

She is able to look at the bigger picture and look at both the short and long term future of the organisation. She is always looking for opportunities.

One of her biggest assets as a leader is her ability to adapt to any level of staff to provide support in a consistent manner, the fact that she would be able to undertake any process within her service area gives her staff confidence in being able to approach her for support.

The team has grown in confidence under Jacqui’s leadership, being empowered to take decisions has been a learning curve for many but something that has been relished and has been tangibly noticed.

Who inspires you?
Dalai Lama – remaining calm with a smile on his face no matter what. Totally selfless.

What is your top leadership tip?
Be yourself not what books tell you you ought to be.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I lived in Cyprus for two and a half years which is where my daughter was born.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Leading by example.
Be prepared to walk the walk.
Trust – recognise that you don’t have to do everything and that you can admit your frailties.

 


Barry Liles

Summary:
Since his appointment as Principal of Coleg Sir Gâr in 2010, Barry has set about creating a mission and structure that would support and drive excellence and has led a complete transformation. The College is on a pathway to merge into a new educational group structure and Barry is also the Welsh Government’s appointed Skills Champion for Wales.

Profile:
Barry consistently demonstrates a tremendous energy, drive and enthusiasm for the College to achieve its mission. He has a leadership style that is infectious and motivational and tirelessly serves the interests of the College in pursuit of excellence – over and above what can be reasonably expected of any leader.

In just three years he has led the development of some exceptional achievements for the College but also for education in Wales. These include; an increase in overall Learner satisfaction to 94%; the College being the only provider in Wales to contribute team members to UK World Skills for 2009 and 2011 (and in UK Squad for 2013) and also Gold at Euro Skills 2012 (Belgium); the introduction of bespoke Welsh language provision in 2012 and an increase in the number of Welsh language assessments. Perhaps the most significant is a transformational partnership with UoW Trinity Saint David. The College will become a limited company within the UWTSD Group in August 2013.

Barry is always willing to put himself at the heart of the issue and never seeks to avoid difficult situations or decisions. As such he demonstrates the strongest leadership qualities to his team. His management style is democratic with regular opportunities for management teams to discuss and contribute their views. Barry uses his experience to challenge and coach new and more experienced managers to fulfil their potential.

His commitment to the cause sees him constantly seek to meet the needs of learners to provide new opportunities to support them through into higher learning or employment. Barry also takes on a wide range of roles outside of the College in support of education and training and is a champion for Wales and the Welsh Language.

Who inspires you?
Chair of my Corporate Board, Roger Evans, MBE.

What is your top leadership tip?
Listen.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
Asked back on a sail training schooner as a bosun’s mate – voluntary work.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Be a good listener, visionary, mentor and develop your team.

 


Lyn Waddington

Summary:
Under Lyn’s leadership the QWEST project has engaged with nearly 3,000 participants, throughout Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen. It has also become a first EU project of its kind in Wales to be founded on Community Development (CD) principles and to provide a Volunteer-Buddying scheme. Her total commitment and passion for Adult and Community Learning drives her vision.

Profile:
Lyn’s overall mission for QWEST, a Welsh Government ESF funded project led by the University of South Wales, which aims to tackle economic inactivity and unemployment across the Head of the Valleys, was to establish an effective model for tackling the barriers of social and economic exclusion for the hardest-to-reach people by engaging and supporting their needs in obtaining employment and learning new skills.

She also led the development of a unique volunteer training pathway – The Volunteer-Buddying scheme – which allows volunteers to gain a Community Development qualification and use their experiences with QWEST to develop their skills for work within the community.

She uses her leadership skills to direct and coordinate the team towards achieving a common goal. A highly motivating leader, her leadership style is very effective and allows for higher productivity, better contributions from team members, and increased team morale.

She is passionate about Community Development principles and practice and has been the chair woman of Community Development Cymru the membership led organisation for the Community Development Sector in Wales for over three years.

Lyn is very focussed on collaboration and has played a big part in influencing stakeholders from all five counties to work with QWEST in order to refer participants onto QWEST and vice versa which has led to the project’s success.

Lyn led the successful negotiation of an extension bid, extending the project fund to August 2014. This also led to an expansion of the project into two further counties – Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), with a target to engage with a total of 8,000 participants by the end of the project which in turn saw another six jobs being created.

Who inspires you?
The late Anita Roddick.

What is your top leadership tip?
Be strategic and passionate.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Collaboration; focus; vision.

 


 

Leadership in the Voluntary and Not for Profit SectorRhian Bowen-Davies (Award Winner)

Rhian Bowen-Davies, CEO CALAN DVS – WINNER
Sheldon Derrick, Cwmbran Community Centre for Young People
Linda James, CEO Bullies Out
Lee Waters, Chair of Governors, Barry Island Primary School

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.


Rhian Bowen-Davies

Summary:
As CEO of a newly-formed organisation, CALAN DVS, a flagship domestic abuse support organisation in Neath, in just a few months her tireless hard work, resilience and energy has already made changes to womens’ lives. As a Trustee of Welsh Women’s Aid, she has also been instrumental in leading the Women’s Aid movement in Wales bringing her leadership and operational knowledge and experience to the organisation.

Profile:
CALAN DVS was formed on 1st July 2012 as a result of the merger between the Neath and Lliw Valley Women’s Aid Groups. Rhian’s vision is for the provision of high quality support services and intervention, to be accessible to all and enabling and empowering individuals to make life changing decisions.

For the last 18 months, Rhian has demonstrated her skills in actively leading and driving this significant merger. Her leadership has ensured a smooth transition to a new, innovative and modern organisation in what is the first merger of its kind it Wales.

Rhian wants the organisation to become synonymous with innovation, service development and excellence. She believes that diversification is key and will work to engage Calan DVS with a wider range of people including older people, same sex couples and ethnic groups where often the issue of domestic abuse is completely ‘taboo’.

In 2010 she set up the BRAVE project, a specialist team providing support, early intervention and preventative services for children and young people in Neath Port Talbot – the first of its kind in Wales. Rhian identified an opportunity to pool and centralise resources in order to provide a dedicated specialist service, which is now the flagship service for children and young people in the region. She provided leadership and direction for the team enabling the service to diversify and grow and individuals to develop professionally and work to achieve their potential.

Her drive, commitment and passion is second to none. She is very professional and has proven herself to be an inspirational, passionate and dedicated leader. Her ‘exceptional’ leadership style has been instrumental in reshaping domestic abuse services and by raising awareness of domestic abuse services throughout Neath Port Talbot and throughout Wales.

What is your top leadership tip?
Believe in yourself.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Vision, energy and commitment.

Sheldon Derrick

Summary:

Sheldon’s leadership has transformed Cwmbran Centre for Young People into a friendly, forward thinking purpose built young people’s centre. Through careful consideration and close engagement with the local young people, the project has also helped to improve community spirit and decrease the levels of anti-social behaviour in the area.

Profile:
Through his role as a volunteer youth worker, Sheldon identified that there was no local provision for young people on the weekends. The community centre was unappealing to the young community so he led the redevelopment of it to make it more so.

From the start he wanted the young people to have ownership and consulted with over 300 people. He also wanted to give young people the opportunity to assist other young people within the community as mentors and volunteers. This resulted in the creation of a series of Club Nights and events to appeal to all ages.

Sheldon has faced many challenges to secure funding for the charity but his creativity, determination, drive and his own likeable personality keep pushing it forward. Although Sheldon has had many issues since the start of the project he has always been consistent. He tells it like it is and sticks by his decisions.

Sheldon and his team have not only made profit that goes back into the projects but have also successfully created roles for other young people including other projects through Jobs Growth Wales Positions, apprenticeships in youth work and 10 other traineeship placements. The project also rents out equipment and finds other ways to raise money.

He has the correct ethos of leading a team and he trusts his team to do a good job. This in turn empowers his team of young people to work harder. Sheldon always makes time for young people and leads by example, his roles have included; DJ, Graphic Designer, Tutor, Counsellor, Dance tutor, rapper and tutor, story writer, carpenter, painter, youth worker – the list is endless.

All this he does as a volunteer while holding down his own job. This project worked as a team building exercise for all involved and relationships between members of staff improved as did relationships with the young people and the local police has also improved greatly. Within the community the young people are now not seen as a problem but as a cure.

Who inspires you?
My father is one of my biggest inspirations and the young people and the hardships they overcome.

What is your top leadership tip?
Respect and the ability to admit that you are wrong.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I was born two weeks late and my mum went into labour due to an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter Scale.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Consistency, passion and respect.


Linda James

Summary:
In 2006 Linda set up the charity, BulliesOut, to bring about changes in attitudes towards bullying and bullying behaviours. Her steadfast leadership has led to the charity being widely recognised and well respected providing the help and support required to those affected by bullying and providing a wide range of projects to schools, youth and community settings.

Profile:
Linda’s vision was to provide the facilities to give help and support to other young people experiencing bullying, to ensure that they were able to manage their experiences. This was initially achieved through a website and provision of an online mentoring facility via a message forum and chat area where young people could speak to trained mentors and receive the necessary support whilst they were going through a difficult time.

Under her steadfast leadership the charity has grown year on year. There has been a significant increase in the number of volunteers dedicating their time and skills and those staying with the charity over longer periods of time.

Linda is the spearhead of each campaign and each project to those in need of assistance, and is the inspiration and drive that means BulliesOut is the successful charity it is today. She works with an open-door policy and is an excellent communicator. A professional at all times, Linda exerts self-control at times of difficulty and leads by example, enabling the whole team to learn from her experience and continue to develop themselves. Linda extends respect to the whole team and encourages all members of the team to achieve their full potential whilst providing them with coaching, mentoring and support through their work.

Despite the challenges of limited funding, Linda remains positive and continues to ensure applications are made for funding and fundraising activities are constantly planned and arranged to continue to strive to ensure that the organisation is sustainable. She is conscious of when the charity needs to keep going with current strategies but also recognises when the critical elements have been lacking and identified a need for change to ensure continuous development and improvement.

Thanks to Linda’s creativity and steadfast determination there is now wider recognition of BulliesOut and the work it provides throughout the community, both locally and nationally, and indeed internationally.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Guidance, encouragement, ongoing learning and development for both self and the team.

 


Lee Waters

Summary:
As Chair of Governors for Barry Island Primary School, Lee has demonstrated and modelled a clarity of shared vision and integrity that has increased aspiration for the staff, parents and community of Barry Island and achieved great success. He demonstrated, whilst taking others with him on this journey, that it is important to show initiative, take risks and think big.

Profile:
During his involvement in the school as a Governor, to his more recent role as Chair of Governors and in the meantime as a parent, Lee has led from the front and the impact has been nothing short of remarkable.

His vision has always been to ensure that all the children of Barry Island belong to a school that has the capacity to provide them with the best possible learning experiences, opportunities to excel and aspirations to succeed and be the best that they can be.

Using his vast array of skills honed through a career in the media, politics and as managing director of an organisation, Lee has been instrumental in balancing innovation and ensuring that the school has excellent communication with all of its stakeholders.

He led the campaign to rebuild Whitmore Bay tidal paddling pool & the old Butlin’s site at Barry Island to make a school, residential centre for outdoor pursuits and water sports & a hub for technology in education.

Lee has also organised local community members and established a Community Interest Company called atbarryisland to provide a professional body that represents the whole community. He also led the funding initiative for a ‘Health Equality in the Community’ grant from Pfizer to establish the principles of a community garden.

Lee has faced many challenges and meets each one with a consistent and considered approach. He is approachable, helping those in need; family, parent or child and persistently strives to improve communication and cohesion between school and community life. Lee has sustainability and progress embedded into his vision and practice. He works extremely closely with the senior leadership team to ensure consistent staff development and training. He is a genuine commodity and inspiration not just for the people he works with but as a visionary for Wales.

What is your top leadership tip?
Treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I failed my cycling proficiency test.

 


Leadership in Businesses with 50 or fewer employess –  Gemma Richards (Award Winner)

Roy Allkin, Wolfestone
Rachael Wheatley, Waters Creative
Gemma Richards, SA Flyers – 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.


Roy Allkin

Summary:
When Roy set up Wolfestone, a translation company, in 2006, he wanted to develop a company that was completely scalable and would not be restricted to local, regional or even national growth. The award-winning business now employs over 30 people and has a multi-million pound turnover. Last year it was named the 6th fastest growing company in Wales.

Profile:
The entire ethos of Roy’s growth strategy has been, from the very outset, to think like a big company but to retain the core adaptability and flexibility of a small one. He led the company to achieve Investor in People status when it was 2 years old. It was a statement of intent that he wanted to show the world that Wolfestone would be the kind of company that people would really want to work for.

Roy feels that a trusted and empowered workforce will always deliver the excellent results and service that his clients have come to expect as standard. He strives to ensure that Wolfestone is a company that goes the extra mile and is better than the average company out there. Roy works hard to create a company that people really want to work for and are proud of working for.

Through leading by example and putting in place incentives and developing the culture of the company, Roy always employs for attitude and gives all his team the direction and resources to help grow the business to where it is. Getting staff to ‘buy in’ to the company vision and values has been absolutely key.

Roy never sees obstacles, he sees opportunities to innovate, get better and problem solve for the good of the company, the client and indeed the industry. He is also the Chair of the Association of Translation Companies, the UK’s governing body.

This is reflective in the direction the business has taken. While translation is the core business over the last 5 years the company has developed a series of complimentary language services such as: Interpreting, proofreading and transcription.

Roy mobilises the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals. This instils real faith in his teams and confidence that the company is on the right track.

Who inspires you?
Richard Branson – he puts people at the core of his businesses.

What is your top leadership tip?
Always have a positive attitude.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I was a British Tae Kwon-Do Champion.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Confidence, leading by example, decisiveness.

 


Rachael Wheatley

Summary:
Rachael’s vision when she set up Waters Creative, a Swansea-based design, creative & marketing studio, was to provide; visionary ideas, exceptional creativity, strategic thinking and a ‘can do’ approach to all work. Eight years down the line she employs 11 people, works for over 400 clients across the UK and has opened a second office in Reading.

Profile:
Rachael ensures that the Waters Creative team builds strong relationships with customers and once clients work with the team, they come back again and again. This trust and confidence in the service comes from Rachael’s direction and guidance that empowers the team to deliver relevant services and products according to a client’s specific industry, design and strategy requirements.

Rachael encourages the team to keep up to date and trained in the most recent software applications and we integrate these skills within the staff training and business development plans. This investment is vital in the company’s ongoing service delivery that pushes the boundaries in digital communications, creative design and website development.

Her calm, open approach and accessibility helps to alleviate any possible business or personal issues that may escalate out of proportion. She has a strong relationship with all clients and is therefore always in a position to deal with any quality or production problems. Waters Creative, under Rachael’s guidance, does not advocate a blame culture. We are all in this team together and that is evident to staff and clients alike.

In March 2012, the company introduced an internship for students at the University within the studio; this internship is aimed at students who are struggling creatively or to relate what they are doing in lectures to a commercial environment. She also conducts mock interviews with local ‘A’ level pupils who are looking to go to University, helping them with interview techniques.

Rachael is also a Mentor for the South Wales Schools ‘Young Dragons’ annual business competition. She participates in VIVA sessions with Swansea Metropolitan University, providing commercial advice and feedback to design students.

Her leadership skills are an inspiration to staff and clients alike put the business in a sound position for further growth.

Who inspires you?
Hard workers, clever thinkers and people who act with integrity.

What is your top leadership tip?
Don’t ask anyone to do anything you are not prepared to do yourself.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I have a Blue Peter badge.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Reliability, calmness under pressure, realising the skills and strengths of your team.

 


Gemma Richards

Summary:
Facing redundancy aged just 26, Gemma took over the running of SA Flyers seeing the opportunity for a business to thrive. The business now employs over 40 people and delivers nearly 1m leaflets to more than 125 postcodes per month in south Wales. With an impressive client base, SA Flyers has now become the largest leaflet distribution company in Wales.

Profile:
Gemma is the face of SA Flyers and for such a young woman demonstrates exceptional leadership skills and a mature understanding of both customer and employee motivation. When she took over the business, she personally undertook an ambitious business development and growth plan to work with some of the UK’s largest retailers.

In October 2010, the company was awarded its first orders from Tesco and Specsavers following a challenging selection process, competing with long established competitors, and winning on both price and service to secure the business. Some of these contracts include renowned national brands such as Toys R US, Harvester, B&Q, Comet, Peugeot, Punch Taverns, Co-Op, Sainsbury’s, Asda & Morrisons. Gemma ensures that SA Flyers offers a personal service to all customers and despite such unprecedented growth, through the recruitment of top quality staff, good training and regular customer communications, the company has not lost this ‘customer-centric’ approach.

Gemma faces every problem or crisis head on and is very solution driven. As her business model is so results oriented, she takes full responsibility herself for any failures to reach goals or targets that she sets for herself and her team. She will always state clearly what she expects of her employees and suppliers to ensure there are no grey areas or misunderstandings. This is why she has become a successful business leader and has gained the respect of her peers. She always gives 100% to everything that she does and leads by example, working and expects the same level of commitment from her staff. Gemma is a natural leader and to this end has the unwavering respect of all her staff, customers and suppliers alike. Under her leadership the company will see some major developments this year including further expansion, increase in the number of jobs and plans to relocate to larger premises.

Who inspires you?
Laura Nicholas – a business adviser and previous owner of Cymru Recruitment.

What is your top leadership tip?
Be motivated to motivate your team.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I have a passion for belly dancing.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Commitment to the dream; honesty and integrity; fairness and an open door policy.

 


Leadership in Social Enterprise – Menna Jones (Award Winner)

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Menna Jones, CEO, Antur Waunfawr – WINNER
Barry Roberts, CEO, North Wales Credit Union
Anne-Marie Rogan, MD, Swansea YMCA

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.


Menna Jones

Summary:
Menna’s work at Antur Waunfawr over the past 12 years has seen the organisation develop a range of sustainable projects that create training and employment for people with learning disabilities and other disadvantaged people. Now there are 12 different projects employing over 80 people, including agreements with Mon, Gwynedd and Conwy councils, Gwynedd Community Homes and a turnover of £2.1m.

Profile:
Menna’s strong values and commitment to the aims and objectives of Antur Waunfawr is an integral part of the organisation’s overall vision and helps keep perspective when any managerial or personal problem or difficulties arise.

She has secured the financial viability and sustainability of the organisation which ensures ‘freedom’ and time to plan strategically and focus on the needs of the people and community projects. Through prudent planning no one has lost work even in the wake of the economic troubles.

Menna has the ability to deal with major problems with a courageous attitude and ‘resourcefulness’ and manages to keep the right perspective on difficult situations. She is willing to take risks with pilots that reduce and manage financial risk but will enable the Company to dip a toe in the water in terms of new activities.

She also recognizes that she often asks others from in or outside the company for help and advice and she is not too proud to ask for help to solve any problem. She is open with any visiting social enterprises, and internal staff, sharing successes and failures and the learning path in terms of Antur Waunfawr’s work and is happy to and share experiences.

She is very active in her local community – was one of the initiators who worked hard to develop the Neighbourhood Centre Llanwnda – namely its local community centre and home to the Nursery School and community resource for Felinwnda. She is supportive of the work of third sector organizations that support and develop the role of social enterprises in a strategic way and passionate about developing the role of the third sector as a whole. She serves on several national committees to promote and develop a strategy for social enterprises in Wales and North Wales.

 


Barry Roberts

Summary:
Following the merger of five credit unions in North Wales two years ago, Barry Roberts led the change in the profile of the North Wales Credit Union making it the largest Credit Union in Wales in terms of membership, geographical area, assets and amounts out on loan. It is the only Credit Union in Wales which offers a current account.

Profile:
In the two years that North Wales CU has existed Barry has made some significant changes to the provision of services by Credit Unions.

Leading from the front he recognised that online and IT software was crucial to making these changes. He formed a management team and encouraged each to take individual and group ownership. He himself worked on creating a new website, contracting software suppliers and recruiting board members and other staff and volunteers.

Before the merger only the Llandudno office could issue current accounts and debit cards. Now, all the offices issue them and their usage is supported mainly by a section of the back office at Llandudno.

Barry shows respect for everyone in the organisation and takes their views and feelings into account. His knowledge about Credit Unions is second to none but he builds teams around him to provide help and support through all eventualities. He constantly consults with all staff and volunteers and regularly visits each office (Wrexham, Denbigh, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Llandudno and Caernarfon) and collection points to emphasise that we are all working together.

He is not afraid to challenge and does so in a positive and minimally confrontational way. He analyses practices and procedures regularly to look for improvements and sets up or asks other groups to help him in this. Barry ensures that this nurturing environment thrives throughout the organisation.

Partners and stakeholders are impressed with the professionalism, the ease of use and range of financial services that are now available. Many AMs and MPs have paid compliments about the work achieved to reduce financial exclusion and Barry is now regularly asked by other Credit Unions and bodies, including the Welsh Assembly Government, to speak about these achievements.

Who inspires you?
John Hulme.

What is your top leadership tip?
Never be complacent.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I worked in a pickle factory.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Belief in yourself, belief in your staff and forward thinking.

 


Anne-Marie Rogan

Summary:
In five years at the helm of Swansea YMCA, Anne-Marie has successfully developed quality standards and a robust infrastructure for the social business with an increased turnover from £150k to £1.1m, a new portfolio of contracts across health and fitness, youth and community creative industry services and a Wales-wide portfolio as a lead body for a European convergence funding project.

Profile:
When Anne-Marie joined Swansea YMCA she had to overhaul and reshape the key business areas and secure capital investment for its refurbishment in order to develop its income and business potential.

After considered consultation with the local community and stakeholders, Anne-Marie secured the funding and led the development of a £1.4m renovation project for the existing fitness centre comprising the theatre, installation of new music studios and dance studios, the new café and childcare facilities.

Under her leadership, Swansea YMCA is now a vibrant, inclusive, strong organisation with a fantastic track record for engaging some of the most vulnerable and socially isolated young people in Swansea. Her vision and focus has seen the centre provide a wide variety of services to improve community health and wellbeing and increase opportunities for ‘hard to reach’ young people to gain employment.

Anne-Marie is charismatic and has an infectious passion about her work. This along with her personal qualities and excellent communication skills help people to feel reassured, inspired and motivated. She readily and instinctively enjoys mentoring people and resources a variety of appropriate training opportunities to support them to achieve their potential, gaining a huge sense of personal satisfaction from helping others.

As well as developing fantastic amenities for the local community, Anne-Marie has undertaken a recruitment drive. The number of staff has grown from 4 to 29 and 38 different job placement opportunities have been provided with six apprenticeships hosted over 2 years. She personally ensures that staff motivation is well managed, well supported and that all employees buy into the mission. She uses her intelligence and charisma to lead her teams, delegates appropriately, clearly communicates and drives collaboration and teamwork to overcome issues.

Swansea YMCA was once ‘hidden’, ‘forgotten’ and misunderstood; however, it is now recognised and acknowledged across Wales as a first class organisation.

Who inspires you?
People who make a difference.

What is your top leadership tip?
Never give up and always believe!

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I love plastic – Bakerlite fantastic!

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Vision; know your people; continual improvement.


Women in Leadership – Rachael Flanagan (Award Winner)

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Shirley Davis-Fox, MD ISA Training
Nicky Flower, South Wales Police – WINNER
Paula Manley, MD Women Making a Difference

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.


Shirley Davis-Fox

Summary:
Shirley set up ISA Training in 1998 and it is now Wales’ largest hair and beauty training organisation delivering apprenticeships to 800+ learners and 400+ employers. Her drive and commitment to the industry through roles with the Hairdressing Council, HABIA and the Pan Wales Hair and Beauty Group ensures that the voice of this sector is recognised throughout Wales and beyond.

Profile:
From the outset Shirley was determined that ISA would not be just another training company churning out NVQs. Her aim is for every Level 3 qualified stylist in Wales to become State Registered with the Hairdressing Council, which was set up by an act of Parliament in 1964 to regulate the industry. Since 2009, 275 learners have been State Registered as a direct result of Shirley’s campaign.

Shirley’s ultimate aim is to bring about statutory regulation for all hairdressing businesses to regulate the industry and safeguard customers. She was determined to gain a place on the prestigious Hairdressing Council to influence policy in Wales and was appointed in 2011 as the only Welsh member.

ISA’s culture based on Inspire, Succeed, Amaze, is particularly strong. She personally inducts every new member of staff. Her leadership has a balanced approach, managing targets and leading people in a defined way, after much reflection and consultation. Ideas abound, everyone is able to contribute to continuous improvement and growth.

The 2010 Public Sector Procurement Round 3 saw 96 Training Providers in Wales reduced to 24. Many providers joined consortia to give them a better chance of success. However, Shirley decided that ISA would go it alone and bid for the 2011-14 contract independently. Not only was ISA awarded a 3 year contract but also an increase in value of the contract.

She is well respected amongst her peers and she not only travels the country promoting registration in her road shows, but also registers her ISA Training Level 3 achievers herself, helping numbers on the State Register for hairdressers to grow.  Shirley’s leadership and vision has been integral to ISA Training achieving IIP Gold -only 3% of IIP accredited companies in the UK have the Gold Standard.

Who inspires you?
My successor, Berni Tyler, the next MD of ISA Training. Barack Obama.

What is your top leadership tip?
Empower and inspire your team.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I ran for the city of Southampton Cross Country team.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Empowering; ability to make a difference; motivating.

 


Nicola Flower

Summary:
As an Inspector for South Wales Police, Nicky has successfully fought to represent the role of women in the forces. Having taken over as Chair of the Female Police Association in 2010 her hard work and determination succeeded in bringing the International Association of Women’s Police conference to South Wales in August 2015 for the first time.

Profile:
The Female Police Association was on the verge of being non-existent when Nicky took over as Chair in 2010. It was viewed an “inclusive club” by some male employees but Nicky wanted to prove the inclusiveness of it; she invited members of other Associations to attend the meetings and men are also invited to attend development seminars if the topic is appropriate.

The Association addresses issues that affect female employees in the workplace. One example is women returning from maternity leave where limitations can exist such as little part-time or flexible working or limited ability to transfer work locations. The Association decided to manage this impact by holding force-wide coaching sessions on a one to one basis with both male and female employees.

Nicky also recognised that many women within the police force need a mentor and coach and she worked hard to find the best way to deliver that, conscious of time and budget restraints. To date approximately 400 employees have been coached via specific courses which were bespoke designed. Nicky has also personally coached and mentored over 50 police officers and police staff on a one to one basis and referred over 20 staff for individual coaching and mentoring to qualified members of the coaching and mentoring cadre.

In 2011, Nicky was nominated and won a Mentoring Award at the International Association of Women’s Police in Kentucky, USA. As a result of attending this conference she believed that the Female Police Association of South Wales Police could also host a similar event. This had never been considered before so she put together a detailed business case and won the bid. The conference for approximately 1,000 female delegates from across the world will take place in Cardiff in 2015.

Nicky is a role model to others and leads by example, she is positive in her outlook and forever the optimist. She never rests on her laurels and constantly asks for feedback on her performance from peers and colleagues. She encourages others to self develop recognising that her enthusiasm and positive can-do attitude is cheering them on.

What is your top leadership tip?
Make sure you have a true belief in what you are doing and in yourself.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
A decision to take action; a heartfelt belief it will happen; don’t give up until its achieved.

 


Paula Manley

Summary:
Paula set up WMAD (Women Making A Difference) to encourage more women into public life and in particular women who are under-represented. She designed and delivered a number of innovative courses to to equip women with the skills and confidence to become community leaders and decision makers. 684 women have been involved in the WMAD programme both in Wales and internationally.

Profile:
Paula’s vision is of a political, public and community life that is based on equal representation and gender equality both in Wales and further afield.

Paula’s ability build to effective relationships despite the barriers created by race, religion, disability, age and sexuality has led to the success of the project. She is warm, approachable, sensitive and reliable. Her leadership style is one that enables and empowers women to be able to achieve for themselves rather than one that fosters dependence; which is one of the key contributors to the women’s ongoing successful trajectories.

Paula is also a great leader in terms of motivating and working with the WMAD team. She develops innovative ideas and works strategically to attain the aims and objectives of the WMAD programme. Paula leads by example and is the driving force of WMAD and despite her central role she leads with a flat management approach so that everyone involved feels that they are working together to achieve a common goal.

She is adapt at networking and has forged a series of strong alliance with Welsh Government, British Council, WEA, Cardiff University and other NGOs. Paula is particularly skilled at ensuring the project continues and has secured a number of competitive grants from a variety of sources. In partnership with the British Council she organised a number of successful Active Citizens programmes that facilitated women to travel to Egypt, Jordan, India and Libya and share their experiences and learn from these international connections.

Through these international connections Paula is contributing to new interpretations of WMAD courses that will be delivered in the Middle East to enable women to participate in new forms of governance and have an active voice in public life following the political upheaval of the Arab Spring. Her focus and and active involvement of helping women to develop is making a real difference to the world in which we live.

Who inspires you?
The women who take part in the programme and go on to make change in their communities. Moving from being the volunteers to becoming the decision makers.

What is your top leadership tip?
Believing in people more than they believe in themselves.

 


Team LeaderMichael Close (Award Winner)

Sarah Blackmore, NewDirections
Michael Close, GrEW – WINNER
Uche Otiegede, African Community Centre

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.


Sarah Blackmore

Summary:
Sarah had two very clear visions. She wanted to create a new sense of unity within the team and wanted to her team to be recognised by all of the businesses stakeholders – both internally and externally.

Profile:
Sarah took complete ownership of the new challenge ahead of her. She quickly put in place a ‘back-to-basics’ approach, recognising that each team member as individuals had a variety of skill sets she consolidated the resource she had with a positive impact.

Sarah is consultative in her leadership style and is involved across the business. She is not dictatorial and will acknowledge all viewpoints before making a business decision Sarah is a key influencer in our business. She’s an inspirational leader who evokes a true sense of team spirit within her team.

Sarah is 100% committed to developing a learning culture within her team. She embodies a ‘can-do’ attitude. Whilst she acts with sensitivity and empathy to any obstacles / problems that may arise, she is a manager who aims to resolve issues in as quick and effective time and manner as possible.

Sarah is a leader who naturally steps out of her comfort zone. She has engrossed herself in projects that do not always relate directly to that of her own team objectives. She manages to balance business work responsibilities with heading up an informal social committee for New Directions. She has organised Christmas parties, book club and other none business critical factors that still add weight to a unified team.

Externally the number of new stakeholders involved with the Social Care team is outstanding. The team have commanded a respect from the very special sector they are embedded within. Sarah and her team are widely-regarded by local media as the industry experts and the team is now recognised as a leading recruiter in Wales providing quality in service.

Who inspires you?
Professionally, Jacqueline Gold.

What is your top leadership tip?
Be proud of yourself and lead by example.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Hard work, determination and self belief.

 


Michael Close

Summary:
Since joining GrEW in 2011, Michael has shown tremendous promise as a leader by demonstrating excellent customer service skills, bringing people together to work as a team and a commitment to delivering the expected results. When he joined the garden maintenance arm of the business it was failing in meeting its targets and he has single-handedly turned it around.

Profile:
Michael’s aims for his team have always been to offer an excellent service to customers by meeting targets and delivering high quality work. His commitment to improving the effectiveness of the garden maintenance team, to improve the standards of completed work whilst developing the work-based and ‘soft’ skills of his team clearly demonstrate the leadership skills of a young man who is wholly dedicated to the ethos of the organisations.

Within three months of joining GrEW, a social enterprise that helps unemployed people back into work, Michael was appointed Team Leader. Within a matter of weeks, Michael had turned the team around – productivity had soared, his team had a sense of pride in their work and their achievements were celebrated across the organisation.

GrEW has a strong focus on helping 18-24 year olds move into employment and a majority of his team fall into this category. Michael has used his own insights and personal experiences to engage with his team and encourage them to undertake the accredited training opportunities available. He knew he had to gain the trust and respect of those he worked with, whilst establishing the boundaries of his leadership role.

Michael is a ‘hands on’ team leader and leads by example in the standards of work he expects from himself and his team. His sense of pride and dedication to his customers often sees him go the extra mile. Michael takes a proactive, professional approach when dealing with problems and his genuine care and commitment about his team, the organisation and its customers is demonstrated through his conduct.

The impact of the effectiveness of Michael’s leadership skills on his team can be evidenced in their change in attitude towards their work and the amazing results they have achieved.

What is your top leadership tip?
Keep calm, look at ways to rescue problems.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Patience, compassion and communication.

Uche Otiegede

Summary:
Uche’s tireless hard work and determination has seen the development of a community organisation to support the growing number of refugees, asylum seeking families and people from BME origin who are new to Swansea. With her at the forefront they now have a one-stop-shop where they can come in build friendships, find work and training and integrate fully into their new environment.

Profile:
Uche identified a huge rise in the lack of self-confidence from children with African and African Caribbean backgrounds and so she set out to create an enabling environment for these young people to thrive and be empowered. The African Community Centre’s vision is of a society where African and African Caribbean members are fully included, where their wellbeing is a priority and where justice is promoted.

Uche inspires leadership in the young people by encouraging them to organise events. The results speak for themselves. They went on to organise a community event – Swansea’s Got Talent- which saw over 500 people in attendance and more young people went into volunteering with partner organisations and also applied for summer jobs.

As a team leader she offers one to one support to every member of staff, volunteers and service users. Uche understands that everybody is at a different stage of development and so a unified approach of leadership will not help them and so she tailors her support to meet their individual needs.

She consults with the staff before decisions are made and this motivates them as they know that their opinions are valued. She does not ask them to do anything she is not willing to do herself and this makes the staff know that she is willing to lead by example.

Uche’s leadership style is inspirational and has positively impacted the staff team as they feel well motivated to work in the organisation. They are very concerned about ensuring that the service users have a wonderful experience when they come into the centre. Her team understand that their opinions are valued and they will be consulted when decisions and changes are going to be made that will affect both the service users and the staff.

Who inspires you?
Mrs Uzo Iwobi and Maya Angelou.

What is your top leadership tip?
Empowerment

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I cannot whistle!

 


Leadership from Mature Entrepreneurs  – Samuel Munn (Award Winner)

The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Samuel Munn, Samatrix – WINNER
Bradley Williams, Crownford

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.


Samuel Munn

Summary:
Sam has taken Samatrix, a company that provides the supply and maintenance of specialist pumping systems and equipment for water and wastewater applications, from a one-man band to a thriving and expanding company that in 2012 achieved a £1million turnover. Hard work and determination have helped to earn him a reputation within the industry as a responsive and dedicated problem solver.

Profile:
Sam’s vision is for Samatrix to be known as a quality provider of engineering services to the water and waste water industry. His vision is achieved through a creative, innovative and, above all, inventive approach to customer problems and issues.

Sam encourages an open atmosphere at Samatrix so whenever there are issues, the management team are usually aware of these instantly and automatically engage with the problem. The company ethos for problem solving is ingrained in Sam and his management team. He firmly believes that it takes a certain type of person to work at Samatrix and through his leadership instincts, he has built a responsive and inventive team who, like him, will not let any challenge beat them.

He recognises the value of training and continuous development and in 2011 he took part in the Lead Wales Management training programme in order to improve his own management skills with a view to growing his business. He recently signed up as a business mentor for the Careers Academy at a local comprehensive school.

He is actively supportive of young talent too. The company regularly takes on Go Wales graduates to give them work experience and an engineering Masters graduate from Swansea University has recently joined as a Project Engineer to work on new product development.

He will always seek opinions and views, actively encouraging his team to come up with solutions themselves, feeding off each others’ ideas. He finds that through this approach, people are not afraid to put their head above the parapet and speak out when they need to. They have never failed to solve a problem to date.

Sam’s clear approach and commitment to customer service and going above and beyond is increasingly positioning Samatrix as a responsive, trouble shooting organisation, with a visionary leader at its helm.

Who inspires you?
Anyone who overcomes all the odds to come through and succeed.

What is your top leadership tip?
Make the right decisions which is based on experience which comes from making the wrong decisions.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
I hate mint ice cream.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
1. Your team trust you with their livelihood
2. Openness and integrity
3. Leading by example
*note all attributes come without a certificate!

 


Bradley Williams

Summary:
At the age of 25 and with a £12K loan, Brad set up Crownford, a training consultancy, when he saw a gap in the market for organisations in South Wales that were struggling to comply with the demands of Health and Safety and Employment Legislation. 25 years later a sustainable business has been created and continues to go from strength to strength.

Profile:
Brad’s vision was twofold; to develop and supply consultancy services in a world of ever-changing legislation, and to develop a legacy and a sustainable business that provides jobs for locals and supports the local community.

The organisation now has a client base of over 300, an annual turnover of £1.3million and has increased profits by 258% in the last 8 years. He has put in place a succession plan for the 20 or so staff, many of whom have been in place since the start.

Eight years ago Brad set up the ‘Cynon Valley’ Innovative to raise money for Children in the Cynon Valley. The business also provides financial support to schools in the local community and local/national sports teams such as Hirwan RFC, Pontypridd RFC and the Llanelli Scarlets. This has collectively contributed over £400,000 over the years.

Under Brad’s leadership, the business has always focused on achieving mutually beneficial relationships with partners and stakeholders. The ‘Crownford Partner Scheme’ has helped Partners increase their own brand awareness and profits.

His relentless drive and ambition is paramount and helps him to constantly focus on staying ahead of the competition. The commitment and dedication he shows to his staff goes beyond the call of duty. He ensures they are rewarded for hard work, personally invested in an onsite leisure facility and provides bonus schemes and company cars. This has resulted in an average increase in productivity of 40% over the last three years.

Having led the business through difficult economic times, Brad’s innovative approach has always helped the company to keep going. He led by example, introducing new ideas and encouraging his team members to do the same. On the back of his direction Crownford achieved Investors in People in 1998 and this continues to be maintained. Brad’s ability to overcome obstacles and handle very difficult situations has also been key to ensuring the business continues to develop.

Who inspires you?
My Dad.

What is your top leadership tip?
Have two ears and one mouth (listen then act).

 


Young LeaderStephen Sellers (Award Winner)
The shortlist – click the name for a profile.
Neil Cottrell, LexAble
Stephen Sellers, GwirForce – WINNER
Leah Seltzer, NewDirections

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.


Neil Cottrell

Neil has used his personal experience of dyslexia to grow a business that now enjoys worldwide recognition. He has won numerous awards and has established himself as a leading voice on dyslexia, coping strategies and assistive technology both in the UK and internationally.

Profile
Having been diagnosed with dyslexia at an early age, Neil set-up LexAble to develop assistive software for people with dyslexia and literacy issues. This led to the release of Global AutoCorrect in 2009; assistive software that is now used in both education and the workplace throughout the English speaking world. LexAble has 7 staff and has shipped over 5,500 copies of software.

As well as running a successful business, Neil is committed to sharing his experiences of dyslexia with others and has become a recognised voice on the subject.

Neil’s vision for knowledge and skills to be consistently coming into the company means he encourages his team to learn and develop their skills and each employee has a substantial CPD budget. He is excellent at problem solving and rather than accept difficulties at face value, he will strive to develop a permanent solution.

Neil’s calm and focused attitude inspires confidence in his ability to lead LexAble and overcome the challenges that the business may face as it develops and expands into new markets. Neil’s natural optimism and pragmatism allows him to simply focus his driving the business forward.

His remarkable success and drive has inspired people with disabilities to succeed in business.

Who inspires you?
My mentor, Matthew. He ran his own business and we have a lot in common in the way we work and I learn so much from his experience. I see in him a lot of qualities that I am starting to develop.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Be open and fair. Reflecting and learning. Empowering others to develop themselves.__


Stephen Sellers

Summary:
Stephen is Chair of GwirForce, a panel for young people aged 14-25 from across Wales which aims to promote and drive forward youth volunteering in Wales. During his four year term and through his leadership, GwirForce has developed significantly and has changed the landscape of youth volunteering in Wales.

Profile:
Stephen is passionate about challenging the image many have of young people and at GwirForce he has led various initiatives to enhance its effectiveness. Examples include the introduction of a Youth Charter endorsed by, amongst others, the First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, and numerous fund raising activities.

A strong and inspiring leader, Stephen ensures that when the panel decides action is required this action occurs by delegating and encouraging as required, not to mention also carrying out a huge amount of work himself.

Perhaps Stephen’s biggest challenge whilst Chair has been the turnover of panel members but he has been a constant throughout ensuring the group move forward even if there are many changes going on around them. He always picks up work where it is faltering and takes on as much as he can to ensure things keep going.

Stephen is himself a young person seeking work but makes the most of all opportunities that come his way. Alongside his role as Chair, Stephen completed a Marketing Internship with GwirVol and has since created his own project CreU which has received funding from Live Unltd and O2.

Four years ago, the group were a bunch of very different individuals with similar goals and no idea how to get on together to achieve these. Today they are a strong team of very different individuals with similar goals who have a good understanding of each other and support each other to achieve their goals. Stephen has played a big part in their development.

Who inspires you?
J K Rowling, Keith Towler (ChidComm Wales) and young people.

What is your top leadership tip?
Have passion about your cause and listen to people.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don’t know.
That I’d love to be on Doctor Who, actually Torchwood. (shhh, secret).

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Passion, delegation and listening.

Leah Seltzer

Summary:
Leah joined New Directions straight from school and shows a maturity in excess of her years. Now a Senior Manager with her own team and reporting into the New Directions Board, Leah is a positive role model who has a clear vision and is committed to developing herself and those around her.

Profile:
As Head of Compliance for New Directions, a fast growing, independent provider of recruitment and training services, Leah goes above and beyond any expected requirements embodying a holistic approach to leadership.

Leah demonstrates her leadership skills not only in the day-to-day running of her department, but in assisting with other business-critical projects throughout the company. She is happy to get involved in activities outside of her own remit. This means that she can fulfil her vision of raising the profile and gaining the respect of her team. She encourages the department to engage in training and engagement activities that could ensure longevity of team growth. She successfully led her team in being the first education agency in Wales to communicate important legislation changes to the CRB system.

She has been quick to introduce new and better ways of working that have been successful. She introduced an Integrated service level agreement (SLA) with teams around the business to ensure that response rates are understood and agreed; has attained 100% in the supply teaching quality mark; 100% staff retention rate in 15 months and all members of the Compliance team have been empowered to undertake learning and development in some format in the past 15 months including NVQs.

As a young leader Leah recognised that many of her team would have been in a working environment for a longer period of time. Leah is sensitive in her approach. By employing her Senior Administrator to facilitate a once-a-month workshop with the team, she has achieved cultural buy-in, respect and a communication channel that recognises everyone’s needs. For such a young manager in the business, she commands respect from all who come into contact with her. As part of the management team, she exemplifies professionalism and embodies consultative leadership skills.

Who inspires you?
Malala Yousafzai – the youngest nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize and advocate for overcoming adversity and campaigning for a right for education for women.

What is your top leadership tip?
Invest in your team. Behind every leader is an inspired and motivated team.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Integrity; innovation and a holistic approach.