The members of the ColegauCymru Board serve as the trustees of the Charity and Directors of the Company Limited by Guarantee. The membership of the board is independent of the representative body the ColegauCymru CEO and Principals’ Forum but works closely with it to achieve the charities strategic mission, promoting world-class education, training and skills and outcomes for all learners in Wales. All Trustees and Directors appointed shall hold office for an initial period of three (3) years and use their personal and professional experience to support the CEO and staff of ColegauCymru Ltd.
Vice Chair of Governing Body Coleg y Cymoedd
Dr Paul Smart
About Dr Paul Smart
Joined: January 2021
Having graduated with a BSc and PhD in Engineering, Paul commenced his career in Operational Research in both the gas and steel industries. He subsequently join the UK manufacturing plant of an International Cosmetics company where he worked as both a Production Manager and Head of Human Resources. He subsequently took a role in the company’s headquarters as UK Human Resources Director for Operations, Supply Chain, Finance and IT.
After 37 years with the company, Paul has now retired but still works part-time as the company’s Pension Liaison Manager and as a Pension Fund Trustee.
Paul has been a Governor of a number of FE colleges over a period of more than 20 years.
CEO/Principal, Coleg Gwent
Guy Lacey, Chair
About Guy Lacey, Chair
Joined: July 2018
Guy was appointed CEO/Principal of Coleg Gwent in August 2015. Guy graduated from Oxford Brookes University and has post graduate qualifications in Secondary Education from Bath University. Guy has spent the last 25 years in a number of UK schools and colleges and has gained knowledge of a wide range of approaches to the delivery of skills and training to meet the needs of young people and adults. In addition Guy worked as a GCSE examiner for the University of Cambridge examinations syndicate and worked as a peer Inspector with Estyn for over ten years.
CEO/Principal, Bridgend College
Simon Pirotte, Deputy Chair
About Simon Pirotte, Deputy Chair
Joined: January 2020
Simon is Principal and Chief Executive of Bridgend College, rated as ‘excellent’ by Estyn (March 2016). Estyn commented that “the Principal provides inspiring leadership that has had a significant impact on the transformation of the College”. Simon is the winner of the 2018 Institute of Directors (UK) Director of the Year for the Public Sector. Bridgend College has achieved a number of prestigious awards including WhatUni UK FE College of the Year for Higher Education (2018); a UK AoC Beacon Award for Leadership and Governance (2018) and Apprenticeship Provider of the Year for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (2018). Bridgend College is the highest ranked FE College in the UK in the Times 100 Best Companies to work for in both 2017 and 2020. In 2019, Bridgend College was named Times Educational Supplement College of the Year.
He has worked in the education sector for over thirty years. This includes work in the Higher Education, Further Education and School sectors. He has also worked as a Head of Department in Los Angeles, USA on a year long Fulbright Scholarship.
Simon sits on the Advisory Board for Academi Wales and is a Board member of National Theatre Wales.
Director, The Open University Wales
About Louise Casella
Joined: August 2019
Louise Casella is an experienced leader in higher education in Wales and beyond with particular expertise in the strategic development of organisations. Since January 2018, she has been Director of The Open University in Wales, leading the strategic management, development and growth of the OU in Wales and supporting strategic change in the OU across the UK.
Prior to joining the OU in Wales, Louise worked as a consultant and interim manager and assignments included periods at Stirling University, and at Wrexham Glyndwr University for 18 months, where she was Pro Vice Chancellor. Louise built her career at Cardiff University, where she held posts as Head of Planning, and Senior Executive & Head of the Vice Chancellor’s Office, before becoming Director of Strategic Development between 2004 and 2012. She has also held a wide range of non-executive and board positions with a variety of organisations in education, sport and media.
Chair, Learning and Work Institute
About Jeffrey Greenidge
Joined: August 2019
Jeff Greenidge is an experienced senior education leader, with a reputation for independent and strategic thinking. Jeff has taught at all levels of education from Primary, Secondary, Adult Education and Post Graduate teaching at Swansea University. He then worked for the Welsh and UK Government on the design and implementation of the National Curriculum before spending 3 years developing European vocational training programmes. Then followed 17 years at learndirect where he was first Director in Wales, then Northern Ireland and ultimately responsible for the delivery of education and training to circa 70,000 adults per annum across the UK. Since leaving learndirect in 2015, Jeff has supported education and community organisations to assure their impact. The impact approach moves people and organisations quickly to insight and helps them stay focused on their breakthrough thinking so that real sustainable change takes place. In his spare time he walks and cycles in the mountains of South Wales.
Jeff brings over 25 years of experience of senior level strategic leadership and management in large complex education organisations within the public, commercial and not for profit sectors in UK and wider Europe.
Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University
Dr Rhiannon Evans
About Dr Rhiannon Evans
Joined: November 2021
Dr Rhiannon Evans is a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University. She is a member of the executive management team at the DECIPHer research centre, which focuses on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.
She has extensive methodological expertise in intervention evaluation research, particularly in educational settings. Her substantive research interests focus on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, in addition to the prevention of self-harm and suicide.
She had led and supported national evaluations of education-based mental health services, including MHFA training for secondary-school staff and counselling provision. She has a particular focus on educational and health inequalities, notably outcomes for care-experienced children and young people.
Chair of Wales Tourism Alliance (WTA)
About Suzy Davies
Joined: November 2021
Following a career in arts marketing, Suzy Davies worked as a solicitor in Mid Wales before being elected to the Senedd in 2011. She has served on several Senedd committees including those covering education, skills, Welsh language and Brexit. She was Shadow Education Minister during the passage of the Curriculum Bill and was directly involved in scrutiny of education legislation and policy during her ten years in Cardiff Bay.
Suzy has volunteered and been a board member for several small Welsh charities and been a school governor. A founder member of the Welsh International Film Festival, she is currently a board member of the international Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival and Chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance. A campaigner for more women in public life, she continues to mentor for Women's Equality Network Wales and Ethnic Youth Support Team.