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Board Member Profiles

Maria Stedman - Chair of the Board of Governors

Maria Stedman has an accountancy background and has held senior positions at Dyfed County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Swansea University. She was Head of CIPFA Wales Cymru for nine years prior to her retirement.

Having undertaking various voluntary roles within CIPFA regional committees, between 1999-2002 she was President CIPFA South Wales & West of England; Co-opted CIPFA Council member; Chair of CIPFA Qualifications Board; Vice-Chair Committee for the Regions; and a member of CIPFA Education & Training Committee.

She has also served as a School Governor and Chair of Governors at Ysgol y Dderwen, Carmarthen; Treasurer of International Celtic Film Festival; founder board member and treasurer of Dr M’z youth drop-in centre, Carmarthen; and, between 2012-2014, as a lay member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Welsh Language Commissioner.

John Edge - Vice Chair of the Board of Governors

John Edge has an MA in Law, and a background in International Business Development, Consultancy, Mergers and Acquisitions and Joint Ventures. After various Managing Consultant posts, he became the International Development Director, and then Head of Acquisitions for a major UK logistics company, developing their global network.

His career has covered creating strategy, planning and implementation; development, sales and marketing campaigns; and management and performance appraisals. With M&A also managing due diligence, covering banking, legal, accounting, tax, property, employment, environmental, pensions and insurance areas for example, negotiating deals and final contracts. His career covered six continents, with a focus on North America, Europe, and Asia.

He moved to Ceredigion, and while continuing consultancy, took a BSc in Ecology, and focuses on volunteering in community, education, and conservation projects. In Ceredigion he is deputy chairman of his local community association; an advisor with Citizens Advice; a speaker for the Woodland Trust, and conserves his own property as an ‘active farmer’. He also undertakes regular international educational and conservation projects when possible.

Dr Andrew Cornish - Principal / Chief Executive

Dr Cornish is currently Principal and Chief Executive Officer for Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group.

He began his education at Maesteg Comprehensive School where he studied A-levels before progressing to study an honours degree in physics at University of Liverpool and then a PhD in physics at Cardiff University.  He has worked as a peer assessor for Estyn in excess of 20 years, assessing the standards of other further education colleges in Wales.

As Principal, he is a member of Public Service Boards (PSBs) in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion and sits on the Board of the Llanelli Wellness Village. He represents both Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion through Colegau Cymru, an umbrella organisation that represents all Further Education Colleges in Wales and is Chair of the Additional Learning Needs and Internationalisation sub-groups He has worked in Further Education for over 25 years, holding a wide range of teaching, management and leadership posts in that time.

Damion Gee - Company Secretary and Clerk to the Board

Damion grew up in Devon completing A-levels before progressing to study an honours degree in Physics at Cardiff University.  Following University, he took a short time to play in national amateur golf events before starting work in golf tourism undertaking the management of the Brittany Ferries Golf Programme.

Upon relocating to Wales in 2019 he spent five years as Club Manager at Neath Golf Club before progressing in 2014 to become General Manager of Ashburnham Golf Club in Burry Port developing his management and governance experience.  Following eight and a half years in the role which included working with the R&A and Wales Golf and being an active member of the GCMA Damion is delighted to have joined Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion as Company Secretary and Clerk to the Board.

Huw Davies - Board Member

Born in Llanelli, and a fluent Welsh speaker, Huw attended Ysgol Gyfun y Strade before gaining a BA (Hons) Degree in Accounting & Finance from Bristol Business School.  Deciding to continue his career in finance, Huw qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Bevan & Buckland in Swansea before joining KPMG in Bristol. After four years as an Audit Manager with KPMG, Huw moved into industry becoming the Senior Financial Controller for the South West of England and Wales for FTSE 250 Company WS Atkins plc “Atkins”.

After a secondment to Qatar, he was promoted to Senior Financial Controller – South of the UK for the Design & Engineering arm of Atkins, before deciding on returning to his roots and joining Llanelli RFC Ltd “the Scarlets” as their Head of Finance and Company Secretary, prior to their move to a new stadium in July 2008.

In 2012, Huw set up his own private consultancy business taking up Financial Directorship roles with a number of SMEs throughout South Wales.  

Huw’s experience in both small and large practice, and varying challenging commercial roles in industry have resulted in a completely open and robust outlook on all aspects of business.

Delwyn Jones - Board Member

Delwyn Jones is Commercial Director and owner of T.A.D Builders based in Llanelli, who have been operating for over 40 years. He has extensive experience in surveying, estimating and commercial management for all types of construction projects.  He is currently a Trustee/Director of CYFLE Building Skills, who are a Regional Shared Apprenticeship Scheme throughout South West Wales, aiming to provide support to young adults into sustainable employment within the construction industry.

He sits as Chairman of CCTAL (Carmarthenshire Construction Training Association Ltd) a training association established in Carmarthenshire in association with construction companies within the county and local training providers to provide a support structure for training and development needs required by association members and apprentices/trainees.  Delwyn represents EFOD West Wales (Engineers for Overseas Developments), carrying out Charity work in Uganda, and serves as a School Governor at Furnace CP School, Llanelli.

Eifion Griffiths - Board Member

Eifion has a background in Commercial Banking, Economic Development and University administration.  He was a senior commercial banker with Lloyds Bank, an Investment analyst with the Welsh Development Agency as Director of Business Services at Swansea University, for over 12 years he had responsibility for campus redevelopment and reconfiguration, including joint venture projects for student housing, sports facilities and economic development, including the Technium initiatives in partnership with Welsh Government.

He was for six years a Non-Executive Director for Pobl Group, the largest registered social housing developer and provider in Wales, and chaired their commercial division, and was until recently a Council member of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He remains a Director and Trustee of the University of Wales Pension Schemes. He was formerly a Non-Executive Director of the Hywel Dda Health Board and National Treasurer of Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg (Union of Welsh Independents), still serving on their Investment Committee.

Erica Cassin - Board Member

Erica Cassin is a Board level professional, having operated at both Executive and Non-Executive levels.  She has over 20 years experience in HR, including roles as HR Director for large private sector employers in UK healthcare, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors.  Erica is skilled in leading organisational change and transformation, culture change, talent and leadership development. She is passionate about enabling people to reach their full potential, and has led and worked with large, diverse teams, fostering a culture of high engagement, inclusion, empowerment and collaboration.

Erica has a portfolio of non-executive roles, including Non Executive Director roles at the Port of Milford Haven, and the Life Sciences Hub Wales, where she also chairs the HR and Remuneration Committees.  She has recently been appointed as Chair for Careers Wales, and is a Trustee for the national charity Self Management UK. Erica has also been a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation.  Erica has a BA in Industrial Economics, is a Fellow of the CIPD, and holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Personal and Business Coaching.

Alan Smith - Board Member

Alan grew up in Monmouthshire and after graduating from Swansea University in Pure Mathematics & Computer Science and a P.G.C.E. He has spent all his working life in education

Initially a Maths teacher in Neath then a Computing teacher in Porthcawl, he joined Llanelli Technical College as a Computing lecturer.  He progressed to managing the Faculty of Computing with other subject areas.  He also organised commercial courses for the public and private sectors and a European project.  He was also a W.J.E.C. examiner and an Estyn peer inspector.  

For five years before retiring from Coleg Sir Gâr, Alan was their Transformation Manager, assisting the Principal and Executive in developing a merger business case with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group and post-merger co-ordinated integration activities.

Abigail Salini - Board Member

Abigail Salini is Training and HR Manager for Thermal Earth Ltd based in Ammanford who has 11 years’ experience in the renewable sector.

Prior to this she was employed by a local construction firm as HR Manager and was involved with the shared apprenticeship scheme Cyfle Building skills who are a regional shared apprenticeship scheme throughout South West Wales.

Ben Francis - Board Member

Ben was raised in Llanelli, attending Ysgol Iau Llangennech and Ysgol Gyfun y Strade, before studying for his A-Levels at Gorseinon College. He obtained his law degree from the University of Exeter and then attended Nottingham Law School to study for the Legal Practice Course before moving to Swansea in order to qualify as a solicitor.

Ben is a director of family-owned Swansea-based, Hygrove Group. The group’s house building division (Hygrove Homes) constructs new-build homes for both private sale and on behalf of Housing Associations in both Wales and England, while its construction materials division (Hygrove Aggregates) processes Gritstone from its quarry at Cwm Nant Lleici (near Pontardawe) for use in high PSV road wearing course applications.

In 2018, Ben was appointed Policy Chair of Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales, Wales’ largest business organisation. Ben was appointed for a sixth term in March 2023 and works with FSB’s Wales Policy Unit (a body consisting of members from across the country) in order to determine FSB’s campaigning priorities and stances on key issues in Wales to lobby both the Welsh Assembly and UK Parliament on behalf of FSB’s members.

Ben is the President of Clwb Rygbi Pontarddulais and was the inaugural recipient of the Small Business Saturday Francesca Kemp Award for services to his small business community.

Jacqui Kedward - Board Member

Jacqui Kedward attended the University of Surrey gaining a BSc (Hons) degree in Hotel & Catering Management, having worked for a year within the British Army Catering Corps.  She then qualified as an accountant working in private practice in external audit and financial accounts, as well as supporting businesses in the computerisation of their accounting records.

She was the Commercial & Financial Manager for Aberglasney Gardens before becoming the General Manager Carmarthenshire for the National Trust.  As General Manager she was responsible for all the charity’s staff, volunteers, assets and interests within the county from the pay for entry historic tourism properties and in-hand farms, to the residential let estate and natural assets including the coastline.

She then qualified in Internal Audit and Risk Assurance enabling her to use both her operational knowledge and accountancy skills within Internal Audit for the National Trust.  She now works as the Head of Internal Audit for Natural Resources Wales leading the Internal Audit & Environmental Management System Team, delivering the Internal Audit strategy and plan together with the compliance auditing for the environmental standard ISO 14001.  She is also the lead for fraud and whistleblowing investigations with Natural Resources Wales being an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist.

She moved to Carmarthenshire over 20 years ago and with her husband is an ‘active farmer’ on their farm together with running an equestrian business.  She has been in many voluntary positions including the Chair of the Carmarthenshire Tourism Association, Blood Bikes Wales and a District Commissioner for the Pony Club.

Mike Theodoulou - Board Member

Mike is the CEO of Foothold Cymru, a social justice charity based in West Wales. He is an experienced leader and non-executive Chair and Director with a wide ranging background. He started his career working for a stock broker in the London Stock Exchange before joining Local Government and then worked for a number of Housing Associations in London ending up running Paddington Churches Housing Association (now called Genesis), one of the largest social landlords in the UK. He then spent a few years in the private sector as an executive Director of Quality Street Homes responsible for a half a Billion pound investment programme.

In Wales, Mike was appointed by the Welsh Sec. of State as a director of Business Connect, was Founding Chair of Chamber Wales, a member of the Programme Management Committee delivering Objective One EU structural funds where he chaired the Monitoring Committee as well as chairing the partnership which set up the Welsh Development Bank.

For eight years, he was a member of the Big Lottery Board in Wales chairing a number of funding committees and represented Wales on the UK Funding Committee. He currently sits on the WCVA Social Business Grant Fund Panel.

Mike currently chairs the Alternative Learning Company Limited and as a Town councillor he chairs the Town Council Executive Committee. He is the Chair of One Voice Wales, the representative body of all Town and Community Councils in Wales. Mike also sits on the Ministerial Partnership Council in Wales. Mike is also Chair of Shelter Cymru.

Tracy Senchal - Board Member

Tracy Senchal was educated at Bryngwyn School, Llanelli. She has a degree in French and German from Swansea University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Technical and Specialised Translation (French, German, Italian and Danish) from the University of Westminster, London. She also has a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages.

She began her teaching career at Cwmtawe Comprehensive School, Pontardawe in 1996 and stayed there until 2001 when she took up the post as Head of Languages faculty at Ysgol Tre-Gib, Llandeilo. Soon after, she was promoted to Assistant Headteacher in Ysgol Tre-Gib from 2004 to 2008. She moved to Bishop Gore School, Swansea in 2008 where she became Deputy Headteacher. In January 2012, Tracy was appointed Headteacher of Coedcae School, Llanelli.

Tracy was seconded to ERW; The Regional School Improvement Consortium as Head of Secondary Sector in September 2019 but returned to substantive post as Headteacher at Coedcae in March 2020 when the pandemic struck.

Tracy is an experienced peer inspector with Estyn and has been for around 15 years. She is a member of Estyn’s Headteacher Reference Group. Tracy is also a member of Qualifications Wales’ School and College Leaders Reference Group.

John Williams - Staff Member

Prior to lecturing at Coleg Sir Gâr, John was employed as a mechanical engineer and a manager in various environments, including the aircraft and automotive industries, before a change to the private training sector in 2004. He was formerly an associate member of the Institution of Production Engineers and an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors.

He has worked on, and managed contracts for local companies and a range of multinational companies such as, Airbus, Boeing, Nissan and Toyota. He is an experienced auditor and has managed an ISO 9001:2008 documentation and quality system and achieved Investor in People (Gold) status. 

John managed a private training company until 2012, working with awarding organisations and Welsh Government to offer work-based learning programmes across South Wales. He has also negotiated commercial contracts and training programmes, with companies such as, Amazon, Cartrefi Cymru and Remploy.

He has been a regional member of the NTfW and involved with pilot programmes for City & Guilds and DfES.

Louis Dare - Staff Board Member

Louis has a passion for education that improves learner employability and career development for adult learners who are either out of work or in low paid roles. Working within the College’s Business Development and Innovation department, has allowed him to develop strong links within this sector through partnership working with Remploy Maximus and the Department for Work and Pensions and the Job Centres they manage.

In the past, Louis has taught ICT (2004-2008), led the Applied ICT Course at Maes Yr Yrfa (2008-2012) as part of the College’s 14-19 partnership, and is now employed as the eLearning and Innovation Manager for the UWTSD Group (2017 -present).

Outside of Coleg Sir Gar Louis interests include supporting local tourism.  During the pandemic Louis was invited to contribute to the running of an online support group that provided financial and legal guidance on navigating the Covid-19 lockdowns, restrictions and economic support packages.

Julia Green - Associate Staff Member and Support for the Learner Representative

Julia Green is employed at Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion as the Assistant Director of Learner Experience and is the designated Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo).  She has worked at the college for over twenty years and undertakes a cross-campus strategic role leading and managing the Learning Support team. The role involves ensuring that the college meets its legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 by providing reasonable adjustments for learners with additional learning needs.

As a qualified teacher, she has specialist Level 7 qualifications from the University of South Wales in Specific Learning Difficulties, Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and Autism.  In 2017, she successfully completed a Masters in Leadership and Management and is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David researching inclusion in post-16 education.

Inspiring Learners

Get in Touch

Park Place
SA43 1AB
01239 612032

Get in Touch

Llanbadarn Fawr
SY23 3BP
01239 612032

Coleg Ceredigion is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales No. 08725643 and is a registered charity No. 1154557.
The registered office is at Park Place, Cardigan, Ceredigion, SA43 1AB