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Menter a Busnes welcomes new Board Directors

New Menter a Busnes Board members (left to right) Dylan Owen, Dr Prysor Williams, Elin Havard, and Erin Gwenlli Thomas.

Menter a Busnes has welcomed several new members to its Board, including, for the first time, two Young Non-Executive Directors.

Earlier this year, the leading independent economic company created a post to give an ambitious person under the age of 30 valuable board and governance experience and the opportunity to contribute to the direction and development of the company.

Following a rigorous selection process, the company’s Board appointed two Young Non-Executive Directors – Elin Havard and Erin Gwenlli Thomas.

The Board’s chair, Fflur Jones, said Menter a Busnes had recently reviewed its governance arrangements.

“As part of that review, we identified that our Board was not quite reflective of the society Menter a Busnes seeks to represent and serve, in that we did not have younger people under the age of 30 on the Board.

“The Board also agreed that as an organisation renowned for its support to budding Welsh businesses and its own entrepreneurship as a company, Menter a Busnes should offer the opportunity for younger board members to join our ranks. This would give young and aspiring members of our communities the chance to grow and gain experience of Board membership, but also to bring their own unique perspectives and experiences as younger people to the Board.

“After a competitive process, we were delighted to appoint Elin Havard and Erin Gwenlli Thomas to the Board. I have no doubt, following their interviews, that they will be an immense credit to themselves and to Menter a Busnes, and I am looking forward to working with them over the next few years.”

Communications expert, 28-year-old Erin Gwenlli Thomas from Porthmadog, is keen to learn more about what makes a successful business tick and to play her part in helping enhance the economy in Wales.

Erin currently works with Ambition North Wales, a partnership focused on improving the region’s economic, social, and environmental well-being through delivering the multi-million-pound North Wales Growth Deal.

Having travelled extensively and worked in several parts of the UK, Erin is looking forward to using her experiences and perspectives to aid the Menter a Busnes Board.

“I’ve worked on projects to develop the economy, and I am passionate about developing Wales to ensure the same opportunities here as I’ve seen in other parts of the UK. I want to help drive opportunities here, and to give something back”.

“Working with the Board of Directors, including talented individuals with varied experience and skills will also help my professional development. I aim to gain an intricate understanding of how a successful business operates at Board level and how it maximises its local contribution”.

A Business Management graduate, Erin is currently studying for a certificate in Advanced Media Production. A member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Erin sees her position with Menter a Busnes as an essential learning experience building towards her future goals.

She said, “It’s my ambition to run my own company in the future. Working with Menter a Busnes will help me develop those additional businesses skills to start such”

Based in Aberystwyth, with offices throughout Wales, Menter a Busnes has enjoyed particular success operating in agriculture, skills development, and food and drink. As such, the company manages several programmes on behalf of the Welsh Government, including elements of Farming Connect and Cywain.

Therefore, for fellow young director Elin Havard, a place at the Menter a Busnes Board table complements her work life and personal interests.

An agricultural manager for a food retailer, 25-year-old Elin lives on her family’s farm in Sennybridge. An active member of her local Young Farmers’ Club, Elin studied biological sciences at Oxford University and, supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust Centenary Award; she is due to complete an MBA in Innovation in Sustainable Food and Agriculture this autumn.

As a Young Non-Executive Director, Elin hopes to bring another view to the boardroom and learn valuable lessons she can use on her career path.

Elin said, “Menter a Busnes is leading the way in offering young people this rare opportunity to gain board-level skills. I am grateful for the chance to learn from people highly experienced in areas that interest me and really look forward to joining the team.”

“Whilst still early in my career, I hope that my passion and experiences to date in food and farming will help me make a valuable contribution to the Board at what is a crucially important – but equally exciting – time to be getting involved.”

Erin and Elin are among four new Directors who have taken their places at the Board table, and include Dr Prysor Williams and Dylan Owen.

Hailing from Pandy Tudur in Conwy, Dr Prysor Williams is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management at the School of Natural Sciences at Bangor University.

While Dylan Owen, who is Deputy Head of Farmer Relationships at Oxbury Bank Plc, is from Llanrwst

Fflur Jones said, “We are also delighted to welcome two other new board members to our midst, with Prysor Williams and Dylan Owen joining us. These appointments, along with the recent appointment of Llŷr Roberts as Chief Executive, signal incredibly exciting times for Menter a Busnes as we prepare for the challenges currently facing the economy in Wales and beyond.

“We have a talented team both on the board and within the executive, and it is my great pleasure and privilege to serve as chair of this important Welsh organisation at a time of such significant change.”