Speakers - 31 May

Profile of Speakers

Professor Terry Stevens

Professor Terry Stevens is the Founder and MD of the multi-award winning, international, tourism consultancy Stevens & Associates. He has now worked on tourism destination development in 55 countries around the world for a wide range of public and private sector clients, including: The United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNESCO, American Aid, The European Bank for Reconstruction as well as numerous national, regional and local government organizations and leading tourism businesses.

Terry has worked with Cardiff Council on all aspects of tourism planning and management for over 20 years including a recent review of the potential for further development of Cardiff Bay.

He has recently been working with the School of Management at Swansea University on the International Dynamic Destinations project and he is the author of over 350 published works on all aspects of tourism development. His most recent book, “Landscape Wales’ was published last year.

Lars H Olsen

Lars H. Olsen is heading the operation and development of the Fregatten Jylland from May 2017 and his main task is to curate the museum ship towards becoming a world class visitor experience – respecting its 120 years history. Among his responsibilities from day one was to further enhance and implement local community -  based projects as a part of ‘European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017’ in cooperation with Syddjurs City Council.  These projects emphasised and further developed the common identify between the Frigate jylland and the local community and attracted visitors who otherwise would not have visited the town Ebeltoft and the frigate.

Before joining Fregatten Jylland Lars H. Olsen was CEO for The Knowledge Centre for Coastal Tourism in Denmark following his employment as Fanoe City Manager. As City Manager Lars H. Olsen took part in the development of a tourist destination focusing on the balance between citizens and tourists.

Lars H. Olsen holds a Master of Public Management – Strategic Management.

Harry Connolly

Harry Connolly is the Executive Director of Fáilte Feirste Thiar, a local tourism development agency tasked with developing West Belfast's tourism offering and building sustainable tourism infrastructure.

Before working in tourism development, Harry worked for a number of years in youth, sport and community development across the greater Belfast area. He is the former Vice Chairperson of the West Belfast District Policing & Community Safety Partnership (DPCSP). Harry is also a Director of Visit Belfast, the public/private body tasked with marketing Belfast as a tourism destination and has been a board member and treasurer of Féile an Phobail, Ireland's largest community arts festival, for a number of years.

Under Harry’s leadership, West Belfast tourism has become known as a model of effective practice, in terms of developing tourism models which encourage job creation and sustainability at a local level, ensuring local citizens benefit from an increase in tourism footfall

Gordon Young

Gordon Young was born on 13th December 1952 in Carlisle, Cumberland. He studied fine art and sculpture in Carlisle, Coventry and London from 1969 to 1976.

Since the early 80’s Young has worked on large-scale art works at various locations around the British isles. His work can be found from Scotland and Wales to the Channel Islands, Yorkshire, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and even London.

He has worked on seafronts in Morecambe, Blackpool, Penzance, Barry Island and alongside harbours in Ayr, Hull, St Helier and recently Wapping.

Young has exhibited work in galleries in Shanghai,Tokyo and Istanbul but far rarer in the UK. Two books on his works, ‘The Comedy Carpet’ Blackpool and 'Trading Words,' London Dock have been published.

He lives and works in Somerset.

Melita Williams

Melita is a Business Tourism specialist who is passionate about the destinations she cares about, conveying this through creating innovative meetings and incentive trips and managing successful conferences and business events.

Her initial business, Bespoke Northern Ireland is the country’s leading Destination Management Company, whichshe started 10 years ago. This DMC brand is enjoying an exciting new project as it has opened in Wales with the launch of sister company, Bespoke Wales.

Melita’s passion and drive has resulted in a successfully shortlisted nomination by Visit Belfast for a national tourism ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. She credits her success to a high level of customer service, excellent working relationships with both buyers and suppliers, and being able to highlight and react to industry trends.

With Wales’s rich array of culture, history, venues, activities and potential Business Tourism Ambassadors, Melita is looking forward to working with tourism bodies and local suppliers in partnering them as #TeamWales welcome the world of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) to Welsh shores.

Melita is a member of the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) accredited. She is very excited to bring her experience to Wales at this exciting time for Business Tourism, fully supporting this new tourism focus as much as she can.

Alastair Dobson

Alastair Dobson, comes from a farming background and studied agriculture at College. He returned to the family business in the mid-eighties to help establish Arran Dairies where he is now Managing Director. He is also Managing Director of Taste of Arran Ltd.

Arran Dairies Ltd is a manufacturing dairy business that also has a wholesaling division that wholesales all catering supplies to hospitality and catering businesses on the Isle of Arran.

Manufactured products include premium dairy ice cream which is sold throughout the UK by Alastair’s other business, Taste of Arran. Taste of Arran is a collaborative business primarily manufacturing, promoting, selling and distributing food and drink from 10 SME food companies on the Isle of Arran throughout the UK and abroad.

Other Board appointments include, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board, North Ayrshire Economic Development Board, Arran Economic Group, VisitArran and the Scotland Food and Drink Leadership Forum, Scottish Food Tourism Strategic Board

Spencer Neal

Since 2012 Spencer has worked for Keeble Brown, a London-based firm providing stakeholder and public relations across several sectors, including regeneration, development and transport. Most recently Spencer has helped win consent for a significant harbour-side regeneration scheme on the south coast of England. Spencer lead the communication and engagement strategy, helping the project team refine the scheme and navigate the political, social and community issues that had prevented the site from being developed during the previous two decades.

Before Keeble Brown, Spencer spent 25 years in the media. First, working internationally for Euromoney Publications PLC and then with the British current affairs title, the New Statesman, which he managed for almost 15 years. During this time, he developed an in-house, public-affairs consultancy that helped organisations such as Centrica and BT develop engagement strategies and influence their stakeholders. Inevitably, this involved developing a wide network of contacts and close liaison with politicians, civil servants and civic leaders.

Spencer hopes that one day his colleagues will find sailing as interesting as he does.

Other Board appointments include, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Board, North Ayrshire Economic Development Board, Arran Economic Group, VisitArran and the Scotland Food and Drink Leadership Forum, Scottish Food Tourism Strategic Board

Neil MacOmish

Neil sits on the Strategic Board and leads the practice’s Cardiff office. Having graduated from The Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) at Cardiff University, Neil continued his research education at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in Space Syntax Theory. Neil joined Scott Brownrigg at the end of 2007 with the responsibility of launching the practice’s Cardiff Office. The highly successful office has subsequently gone on to win the AJ100 Regional Practice of the Year Award for three successive years; testament to Neil’s’ leadership and the commitment and skills of the Cardiff team.

Neil is committed to design being central to all projects, not just value added. He works across all sectors, delivering design excellence grounded in sound commercial judgement. He believes that creative and innovative solutions are generated by working closely with clients and working collectively on their aspirations, and that a critical analysis of place and the specific context will result in the most appropriate and best architectural design.

He is also committed to a pragmatic approach to an architecture which is sustainable commercially, socially as well as environmentally and has delivered a number of flagship projects in this regard.

Neil heads up the practice’s Design Research Unit and is a studio tutor and external critic at the Welsh School of Architecture. Neil secured the Wales' International Convention Centre scheme at Celtic Manor and is leading on some of the largest regeneration schemes currently happening in Cardiff including Cardiff Pointe and the International Sports Village; the practice was also a Cardiff Business Council Partner at MIPIM UK 2015.

Neil has also been involved with many of the practice's high profile schemes over the years including Cardiff Ice Arena, shortlisted for World Architecture News Award 2017, and the Museum of Military Medicine which was shortlisted for WAF Award Culture - Future Projects award.

Callum Couper

Callum Couper is Port Manager for ABP’s South Wales ports of Cardiff and Barry. He joined Associated British Ports in 1986 as a Management trainee and has held several management positions since then, including Operations Officer, Cardiff & Barry; Port Manager, Fleetwood, Lancashire, and before his appointment at South Wales in 2005, he was Port Manager at ABP’s Port of Garston in Liverpool.

Callum is a graduate of Cardiff University, where he read Maritime Studies, and holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics. He also holds a number of external positons including on the Freight Transport Association, Chair of the Welsh Ports Group and Director of South Wales Chamber of Commerce. He has been in the ports industry for more than thirty years.

Mike Lawley

Michael Lawley is a Chartered Surveyor based in Cardiff and is Chairman of Cooke & Arkwright a major Welsh firm of Chartered Surveyors and Commercial Property Advisors where he has spent most of his working career. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and possesses an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Wales. He had a wide ranging involvement with Cardiff Bay Development Corporation throughout its life, and he and his firm are still actively involved with various projects and poverties in the Cardiff Bay area. He has also been involved for many years in the Barry Waterfront development on behalf of the ABP/Welsh Government Joint venture. He is currently leading for the owners on delivery of the 7,000 homes Plasdŵr development in North West Cardiff.

Aside from his day job he has had extensive roles in a board member and governance capacity within a range of other organisations. This includes 12 years as a Governor of the University of South Wales where he was latterly Deputy Chairman, and being a Director of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for 6 years. He also was Chairman of RICS Wales for 5 years as well as a Board Member of RICS UK, and has served several stints on the CBI Wales Board.

Bill Jones

Professor Bill Jones is originally from Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and gained his first degree and doctorate at University College, Cardiff. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Welsh History at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, where he taught modern Welsh and British History, including the history of Cardiff, between 1994 and 2017. He was also co-Director for the Cardiff Centre for Welsh American Studies.

He has published extensively, in Welsh and English, on the industrial, social and cultural history of modern Wales in the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and on Welsh emigration and Welsh communities overseas. His books include Wales in America: Scranton and the Welsh, 1860-1920 (1993), B. L. Coombes (1999, with Chris Williams), Welsh Reflections: Y Driesch and America, 1851-2001 (2001, with Alde Jones), Michael D. Jones a’s Wada Gymea (2009, with E. Wynn James) and The Melbourne Welsh Church: In the Beginning, 1852-1914 (2017).

Between 1982 and 1993 he was curator of the coalmining collections of the National Museum of Wales, based at the former Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum in Cardiff Bay. He is a frequent speaker at historical society events and contributor to radio and television programmes on Welsh historical themes.

Wayne Forster

Professor Wayne Forster is deputy head of the Welsh School of Architecture - one of the UKs leading schools of Architecture Wayne’s role in the School centres on activities in academic leadership in design, teaching and learning and practice based research through the School’s Design Research Unit (DRUw) which was set up to pursue design based research.

In his approach to architecture, emphasis is placed on the geographical context of the building - on topography, climate, light and tectonic form and energy use and sustainability.

This has dominated much of his work over the past 25 years both in the design studio and in more orthodox research work - the use of local materials, building techniques based on tradition and innovation and especially the design of the building envelope in response to an appreciation of the local climate are all constituent parts of critical enquiry and practice.

The interest, and the aim in the studio, is for an architecture that can encompass, for example, culture and nature, and the public and private arenas, creating “a place-conscious poetic”.

This practice is based on ideas related to Pragmatism and based on the premise that ‘Theory and practice are not separate spheres; rather, theories and distinctions are tools or maps for finding our way in the world’. As John Dewey put it, there is no question of theory versus practice but ‘rather of intelligent practice versus uninformed practice.’

DRUw have won a number of design awards including RIBA awards for design in 2001 and 2010 and for research conducted in UK Universities in 2013.

Alan Sandry

Dr Alan Sandry is Senior Lecturer at the Morgan Academy, Swansea University. He previously co-founded the European Institute of Identities at Swansea University. He has lectured at universities throughout Europe. Alan is also Vice President of the research group, Coppieters Foundation, based in Brussels, Belgium. Alan has extensive connections with politicians, administrators and journalists at the European Union level, and in every nation of the UK.

Alan is a published author, and has been a consultant for newspapers and journals including Independent on Sunday, Times Higher Education Supplement, New Statesman and Financial Times. His current research interests include the evolving nature of political, cultural and social identities within Europe; and the relationship between ideologies and individual and collective thought