For more information, please call us on:
Swansea 01792 606738 or Bangor 01248 382497

Meet the Team

Gary Walpole

Gary Walpole

BA (Hons), PgD HRM, PgD SSRM, MBA, Director ION Leadership, Swansea University

Gary has twenty years' experience in business and education, with fourteen of these in Higher Education institutions and the remainder in the private sector working as a recruitment consultant and in sales positions. Gary is a Leadership and Management pracademic with an outstanding record of leading new ventures and large projects. He is passionate about organisational development through the development of leadership and management skills and has a proven track record of designing, developing and delivering leadership and management programmes and initiatives.

Gwenllian D Owen

Gwenllian D Owen

Project Leader, Bangor University

Gwenllian Owen is Project Leader of ION leadership and successfully led the LEAD Wales programme for five years at Bangor University. Gwenllian has worked in a variety of business support roles for organisations such as CELTEC, ELWa, Menter a Busnes and Menter Môn and has a breadth of experience of working with SME’s in Wales over a number of years. She also has experience of running her own business and still assists with business planning and financial aspects of the family Town Planning Consultancy. Gwenllian is a Director of Llangefni Social Enterprise with specific responsibility for developing the Business Group for the town.

Kim Talbot

Kim Talbot

Leadership Development Specialist, Swansea University

In her twenties Kim had experience of co-establishing and running two successful businesses in diverse sectors before moving into a number of management roles in businesses across Wales and the South West. During this time her passion for supporting the development of others became an increasing priority as she began to recognise the value of leading and working with teams who had a growth mind-set. 

Jill Davies

Jill Davies

Leadership Development Specialist, Swansea University

Jill has held management roles in major UK organisations and has been involved in training and development for over 20 years. She has worked with over 100 SMEs giving practical help and advice on running their business, managing and developing their staff and is a registered Investors in people specialist. She is also Chair of Governors at her local Primary School.

Tony Burnett

Tony Burnett

Leadership Development Specialist, Swansea University

Tony has over 30 years experience in leadership and senior management roles in the UK and Brazil. He has started and developed businesses, programmes and projects in public, private and third sector organisations including Coca Cola Schweppes and the British Council. Tony’s “know how” and experience includes business operational leadership, teacher and educational management which he feels contributes massively to his involvement in the ION Leadership programmes.

Clare Phillips

Clare Phillips

Finance Manager, MAAT, FCCA, MBA, Swansea University

Clare is a qualified accountant and has over 20 years experience in audit and accountancy both in the public and private sectors. She has also tutored accountancy degree at Swansea University in the past and is passionate for people to achieve their full potential.

Linda Porter

Linda Porter

Operations Officer, Swansea University

Linda brings extensive experience in operations management and has in depth knowledge in implementing processes and procedures.  She is PA to the ION leadership Project Director.

Charlotte  James

Charlotte James

Project Assistant, Swansea University

Charlotte provides administrative support to the Leadership Development Specialists at ION Leadership. After graduating from Swansea University with a degree in psychology, Charlotte went on to gain administrative experience working for a tech-start-up company.

Mannon Briggs

Mannon Briggs

Project Assistant, Bangor University

Mannon has over 12 years’ experience working within a University environment. She has worked on the LEAD Wales programme and has a wealth of knowledge in event management. She is also Treasurer for Bethesda Cricket Club.

Ceri Jones

Ceri Jones

Director - Research, Engagement and Innovation Services, Swansea University

Ceri holds the position of Director of the Research, Engagement and Innovation Services.

He directs the Business Development, IP Commercialisation, Research Support and European Funding operations of the University and has extensive experience in research and innovation and a strong understanding of the link between business and academia.

Ceri was Assistant Director of the University’s Knowledge Exploitation Centre, Acting Head of the Research and Innovation Office and Deputy Director of Research and Innovation before taking up his current role. He has been the driving force behind a number of the University’s strategic business projects including; LEAD Wales, Dragon Innovation Partnership, Enterprise Europe Network, Knowledge Exchange Wales, A4B and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. With significant experience in the area of entrepreneurship and SME engagement, Ceri is passionate about the role that Universities can play in the development of the knowledge economy.

David Notley - ION Steering Group Member

David Notley - ION Steering Group Member

Managing Director - Impact Innovation

As a ION Steering Group member, David gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Bill Norris - ION Steering Group Member

Bill Norris - ION Steering Group Member

Director - BIC Innovation

As a ION Steering Group member, Bill gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Ian Rees - ION Steering Group Member

Ian Rees - ION Steering Group Member

Chair - Wales Management Council

As a ION Steering Group member, Ian gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Dr Garry Reid - ION Steering Group Member

Director Research & Enterprise - Bangor University

As a ION Steering Group member, Garry gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Dr Gareth Griffiths - ION Steering Group Member

Dr Gareth Griffiths - ION Steering Group Member

Director of PG Programmes - Bangor University

As a ION Steering Group member, Gareth gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Ieuan Wyn Jones - ION Steering Group Member

Ieuan Wyn Jones - ION Steering Group Member

Director - Menai Science Park

As a ION Steering Group member, Ieuan gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Mike Learmond - ION Steering Group Member

Mike Learmond - ION Steering Group Member

Senior Development Manager - FSB North Wales

As a ION Steering Group member, Mike gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Gwenda Phillips - ION Steering Group Member

Gwenda Phillips - ION Steering Group Member

Director - Anglesey Commercial Spares

Gwenda is an ex-Bangor LEAD Wales delegate.

As a ION Steering Group member, Gwenda gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Jo Bishop

Jo Bishop

Programme Manager, Swansea University

With a corporate financial services background, Jo has extensive experience in financial operations and leadership gained through roles in Contact Centre Management, Area Retail Management and as a Management Development Consultant. Following a career in the finance sector, Jo developed a business facing team at Chware Teg before joining the University as the ION Leadership Programme Manager.  

Adam Fairbank

Marketing & Delegate Recruitment Manager, Swansea University

With nearly 20 years marketing experience, Adam joined the ION team in 2018 as strategic marketing lead. With responsibility for the marketing and recrutiment of all our courses and events, Adam is also responsible for increasing our brand awareness. A University of Glamorgan and Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) graduate, Adam has previously worked in the private sector and most recently worked in the public sector for over 15 years.

Rob Basini - ION Steering Group Member

Rob Basini - ION Steering Group Member

FSB Development Manager (South Wales)

As a ION Steering Group member, Rob gives strategic direction to the ION programme.  

Brian Pigott - ION Steering Group Member

Brian Pigott - ION Steering Group Member

Director & General Manager, Macro Cable Management

Brian is an ex-ION delegate.

As a ION Steering Group member, Brian gives strategic direction to the ION programme.