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Bethan Emanuel

Chartered FCIPD

Director, Talent HR

Bethan has 30 years’ experience in HR and L&D, from working in senior roles through to establishing her own company in 2015. She works across both the public and private sector, leading transformational change, delivering leadership development programmes, and providing executive coaching and mentoring services.

Bethan holds ILM7 in executive mentoring and coaching, a Masters in Strategic HRM, is on the steering group of the CIPD in Wales L&D network, and is a trustee for the 2 Wish Upon a Star charity.

Gayle Budden

Chartered MCIPD

Head of HR, Castell Howell Foods

As Head of HR, Gayle is responsible for providing advice and guidance to the Board across all Castell Howell Food’s sites. Her career has been developed through more than 14 years’ experience  in Telecommunications, Manufacturing and Wholesale, both in operational and strategic HR.

Gayle is Chair of the CIPD Branch in South West Wales Branch.  She holds a CIPD L7 qualification, an Employment Law Diploma and is a qualified workplace mediator.

Jocelyn Finnear

Chartered MCIPD

Associate Professor and Head of People and Organisation Group, School of Management, Swansea University

Jocelyn has enjoyed a career working internationally across a range of sectors and industries. More recently she has extensive experience of leadership in the higher education sector where, as a qualitative researcher, her recent work has focused on employee experiences of flexible working practices.

Jocelyn holds an MBA, PhD and is co-chair of the Mary Williams Group, a network of senior women across the University who work to actively promote development opportunities and progression of women.

Julie Rogers

Chartered FCIPD

Deputy Chief Executive / Director of Workforce and Organisation Development, Health Education and Improvement Wales

Julie has worked in the Welsh public sector for almost four decades, enjoying a varied career across a range of social policy, OD and HR roles in Government and the NHS. Following 5 years as National Workforce and OD Director for NHS Wales, Julie now leads the development of the first Health and Care Workforce Strategy for Wales 2020-2030.

Julie gained her HR qualifications at the University of South Wales, and is a true advocate for the profession within the public sector in Wales.

Laetitia Paul

Chartered MCIPD

Head of People Operations, The Welsh National Opera 

Having lived and worked in India, Singapore and Germany before moving to the UK in 2011, Laetitia’s people management experience spans different cultures and industries, Laetitia currently sits on the Board of the South Riverside Community Development Centre which enables her to make a positive contribution to the community she lives in.

Laetitia holds a double Post Graduate Degree in HR and Marketing from India, and more recently completed her CIPD and ILM qualifications in UK.

Linda Williams

Chartered FCIPD

Director of People and Organisation Development, Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police

With over 25 years’ experience leading people, transformational and cultural change activity at an executive level within global, UK and Welsh organisations across the public and private sector, Linda has recently been appointed to the Chief Officer team at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Linda has multi sector NED and Chair experience, and is an FCA, RoSPA and Nebosh qualified director as well as a MSP practitioner, leadership coach and mentor, and holds Six Sigma Green Belt accreditation.

Louise Price

Partner and Head of Employment and HR Services, Hugh James

Louise has been with Hugh James since 2001 and has 20 years post qualification experience as an employment lawyer. She has extensive experience advising HR professionals across the full spectrum of employment issues including discrimination, business restructures, TUPE transfers, trade union issues, complex and drawn-out grievances and senior management disciplinary/exit strategies.

Louise and her team regularly deliver legal updates and workshops to members of the CIPD in Wales.

Lydia Stirling

Chartered MCIPD

People Director, Welsh Rugby Union

Following 20 years’ experience in the sports, engineering, manufacturing, and professional services sectors including F1 team McLaren Racing. Lydia was appointed to her current role in 2021, sitting on the executive board and responsible for developing and delivering the people strategy “Leading a People First Culture”.

She holds a MSc in HR from the University of Lincoln and in her spare time is Vice Chair of a school governing body and committee chair.

Mark Hendy

Chartered FCIPD

Chief HR Officer, Siderise Group

With over 2 decades of experience in the field, Mark is a self-confessed HR geek, who loves talking about everything related to the workplace and employment, including legislation, practice, technology, talent, leadership, and what the future workplace will look like.

Mark was listed as one of the top 35 businessmen under the age of 35 in Wales and is a former TEDx Speaker.

Mark Stevenson

Chartered FCIPD

Chief People Officer,South Wales Police

Prior to joining South Wales Police, Mark spent 18 years within large multi-national industry. Now working as part of the Executive Board, he provides leadership and strategic direction across a wide people portfolio.

Mark is also the Strategic Lead for HR and L&D collaboration across the four Welsh Police Forces, and is the UK’s National Police Chief’s Council Lead for L&D. Mark holds a MA, a MSc in HRM and a Masters in Law (LLM).

Martin Driscoll

Business Services and People Director, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Martin joined Dwr Cymru at the start of 2021, leading on all HR activities for the Business and with executive responsibility for Visitor Attractions, Quality and Laboratories, Legal, Facilities and Business Improvement. He has over 20 years’ experience in complex multi-site pan European organisations leading teams of up to 150 including Cardiff and Vale UHB and the steel industry.

Matt Wintle

Head of Talent Acquisition and Development, Admiral Group plc

Matt moved into HR at Admiral UK after several years working as an IT professional – including the CIO role at Admiral – running large technology change programmes.

Matt graduated with an MBA from Cardiff University and also works as an executive coach.

Nia Bennett

Chartered MCIPD

Director, effectusHR

A member of the CIPD for over 30 years, Nia worked across sectors in leadership and partnership roles before setting up her consultancy in 2016, through which she undertakes strategic HR and OD projects to support and complement the work of internal departments.

A graduate of Aberystwyth University, Nia completed her CIPD qualifications at the University of South Wales, has CIM Level 7 in Business Strategy and Leadership from Cardiff Met, holds an ILM Level 7 in executive coaching and mentoring, and is an accredited LEAN practitioner. Nia is vice-chair of the Urdd Board and chairs their Human Resources Board, and is also a member of the CIPD in Wales Senior Practitioner Steering Group.

Nick Davies

HR Director, Seda UK

Following a long career in the steel industry where he obtained his MBA and led major cultural and restructuring programmes, Nick now heads the HR function with responsibility for health and safety, payroll and communications at Seda UK’.

He is also a visiting lecturer at Swansea University School of Engineering, and sits on the University’s Industry Board.

Paul Harris

Chartered FCIPD

Managing Partner, Skylite Associates

Paul developed a career at board level as an HRD in the electronics sector before working for HR consultancies Penna, LHH and Skylite. He now works with a broad spectrum of clients on change programmes, developing bespoke solutions across outplacement, OD, assessment, coaching and leadership.

Paul has been involved with the Wales Awards since its inception in 2017 and plays an active part in promoting the profession in Wales and the UK.

Phil Bramhall

Partner, Bramhalls

Phil has specialised in employment law since qualifying in 1987 – firstly as an in-house solicitor with two LEAs, then as a partner with two commercial firms, and for the past 20 years, managing his own practice providing support to employers across all sectors. He is also an accredited workplace mediator.

As a supporter of all things CIPD in Wales, Phil regularly delivers updates and workshops to members in the north.

Phil Bushby

Chartered FCIPD

Director of Priority Programmes, Amgueddfa Cymru

During a 25 year career at a senior level in HR, Phil has held the roles of HR and Estates Director at Companies House and DVLA, and People and OD Director at Public Health Wales. He now has a broad remit at Amgueddfa Cymru, leading the corporate areas of HR, Finance, Estates, Pensions and the Project Office.

Jennifer Griffiths

Chartered MCIPD

Owner, ThinkDIF

Senior HR professional with 20 years experience in the Tech Sector.

Since 2024 owner at ThinkDIF. working with Neurodivergent individuals and forward thinking workplaces to maximise strengths and create a more Neuroinclusive planet.

Simon Argent

Chartered FCIPD

HR Director, Nexperia Newport Limited

After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography in the late 1980’s, Simon’s HR career began with a postgraduate diploma in personnel management from Thames Valley Polytechnic and industrial placement in the HR policy Unit of British Airways. Following a brief stint in the NHS in South East London he moved to South Wales where he worked as a Personnel Officer in Hoover Merthyr Tydfil – the start of a nearly 30 year HR journey in the manufacturing industry within South East Wales.

In addition to his role as HR Director for Nexperia Newport Limited, Simon is a Non Executive Director with the College at Merthyr Tydfil.

Stephen Layne

Deputy Director of Fair Work, Welsh Government

Stephen has worked in a variety of roles with Welsh Government, building extensive experience in policy development, government business and working with Ministers, Special Advisors and external stakeholders across a range of subject areas. He currently leads a team responsible for promoting fair work, encouraging socially responsible procurement, and tackling modern slavery.

Stephen is a graduate in politics and worked in financial services prior to joining the civil service.

Gareth Owens

Head of HR Policy and Coporate Complaints Team, Welsh Government

Gareth is the Head of HR Policy and Corporate Complaints Team in the Welsh Government and has a background in the wider HR profession in a variety of roles. A Chartered member of CIPD, Gareth is bilingual, with a degree in Public Policy and a Masters qualification in Human resources.

His current role leads on HR policy development, adapting to changes in legislation and Welsh Government strategic direction.

Kate Ablett

Head of People, Mrs Bucket

With over a decade of involvement in the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) branch network, Kate currently chairs the South East Wales CIPD branch.

Kate is Head of People at Mrs Buckèt, where she leads the People Strategy. Her passion lies in harnessing the latest technological advancements to elevate the employee experience, ensuring that every team member at Mrs. Buckèt enjoys a great experience. Her background includes impactful roles in the retail and hospitality sectors, where she led diverse teams and supported organisational growth and adapt.

Amanda Arrowsmith

People and Transformation Director, CIPD

Amanda Arrowsmith is the People and Transformation Director at the CIPD, a role she assumed in October 2022. With over 25 years of experience in HR across public, private, and third sectors, Amanda brings a wealth of global HR knowledge and a unique understanding of diverse organisational cultures.

She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and has previously volunteered committee member, blogger, speaker, and panel member.  She also volunteers as an independent committee member at the NCVO.

Gareth Way

Chief HR Officer, Creditsafe

Employed by Creditsafe since 2002, Gareth has held the senior HR role within the Creditsafe Group since 2006 driving the Groups HR agenda.The Group has grown rapidly to encompass offices in over 14 countries, employing 1,600 people globally. In his role as Group CHRO, Gareth represents HR at the board level.

Heather Hinkin

Head of Workforce, Hywel Dda University Health Board

HR professional with over thirty years’ experience in both public and private sector organisations covering manufacturing, local authorities, transport, higher education and health. Heather has held senior management positions as a specialist in employee relations and also as a generalist with responsibility for recruitment, employee relations, equality, occupational health, policy development, training and business partnering.

Stephen Pobjoy

Senior Stakeholder Lead, CIPD 

Stephen is Senior Stakeholder Lead at the CIPD, where he helps develop and support Senior HRDs and specialist practitioners through CIPDs vibrant Networks.

Stephen’s background includes several senior Head of Event and Content roles focussing upon Technology and IT. Stephen has also run events teams within commercial companies – working on every industry vertical globally. With over 20 years’ experience of content production for exhibitions, C-suite networks, in person conferences and virtual events – Stephen now specialises on HR exec board activities.

Rachel Williams

Reader in Human Resource Management, Cardiff University

Rachel has worked in the HR field for over 30 years, initially as a practitioner where she headed up the HR department of a large law firm, before switching to an academic role.

She is currently a Reader in Human Resource Management at Cardiff University where she teaches on postgraduate and executive education programmes and carries out HR related research.

Araf Haq

HR Manager, Qualified Legal Solicitors

Araf Haq has had a varied career path. Initially gaining a degree in Chemistry, moved onto a career in Employee Relations and project management in the finance industry. Later retrained as a chemistry teacher for 16 years and now as a HR manager at a law firm, for the last 7 years. During this time he has been trained as a coach and have used these skills in all the sectors that he has worked in to support organisations and individuals achieve their full potential.

Outside of work Araf is on the Board of Governors for his local primary school and has been chair for many years.  He is also involved with the Local & Wales Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) and is a Chartered Member.

Matt Davies

Chartered FCIPD

CEO, Hapus People

Matt has worked in HR for almost 20 years. Having worked in the Energy and Financial Services sector he’s recently set up his People Strategy Consultancy, Hapus. Supporting progressive companies with their people strategies and executive coaching.

Matt is highly passionate about EDI, driving inclusivity throughout the UK. Matt also is a Board member for CNECT (previously known as the Welsh Contact Centre Forum).

Caryl Thomas

Chartered MCIPD

Senior Consultant and HR Contractor, Bio-Techne

Caryl’s international HR experience has seen her work across different organisations and client groups from the US, APAC and EMEA in a range of senior HR generalist and specialist roles.  Passionate about people, Caryl set up her own HR Consultancy in Cardiff in 2015 after moving back to Cardiff which she scaled and sold in 2021. Caryl firmly believes in giving back to her local community and sits on the board of Insole Court. She is also a committee member of the CIPD South East Branch.