Meet the Team

People are at the heart of everything we do and YGAM are very lucky to work with such diverse and highly skilled professionals, volunteers, employees, trustees and patrons.

Leadership Team

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Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

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Lee has spent 25 years in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions with Kingswood Learning & Leisure Group, Prince’s Trust, Newcastle College Group and Trailblazers. Lee’s personal struggles with gambling were the catalyst to establish YGAM.

Lee Willows

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Lee has spent 25 years in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions…

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Kev Clelland

Operations Director

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Kev has 10 years’ experience as a primary teacher, both in Scotland and England. Holding subject leadership roles in ICT and Physical Activity, PE and School Sports and working across a diverse range of schools. Prior to becoming a teacher, Kev worked for eight years as a sports writer in Scotland, covering football, rugby and cricket throughout the country. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching his local football team and running marathons, completing nine to date, including London, New York and Berlin, raising over £8000 in the process.

Kev Clelland

Operations Director

Kev has 10 years’ experience as a primary teacher, both in Scotland and England. Holding subject leadership roles in ICT and Physical Activity, PE and School Sports…

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Sam Calvert-Smith

HR & Administration Manager

Sam has been a PA/administrator for over 25 years with her most recent experience being in the third sector. Sam started her career at HSBC and has since run her own business and studied Graphic Design. In her spare time, Sam volunteers at her local Mind shop and enjoys walking her small, cute dog!

Sam Calvert-Smith

HR & Administration Manager

Sam has been a PA/administrator for over 25 years with her most recent experience being in the third sector. Sam started her career at HSBC…

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Helen Martin

Head of Finance

Helen is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in senior finance and governance roles, primarily in the not-for-profit sector.  Helen qualified at KPMG where she specialised in business planning and grant funding.  After leaving KPMG Helen spent 15 years as Director of Business and Finance for the English Institute of Sport before leaving in 2016 to set up her own business providing financial management and consulting services to organisations in the not-for-profit sector.  In her spare time Helen enjoys watching live music, photography and spending time with her two children.

Helen Martin

Head of Finance

Helen is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in senior finance and governance roles, primarily in the not-for-profit sector.  Helen qualified at KPMG where she specialised in business planning and grant funding…

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Daniel Bliss

Head of External Affairs

Daniel previously worked for the Gambling Commission for 3 years in several roles within their communications team. He has also held roles in politics and regional press. Daniel has valuable expertise in communications, marketing, public affairs and stakeholder engagement.  In his spare time, Daniel enjoys exploring cultural cities, eating out at restaurants and holds a seasons ticket at Birmingham City Football Club.

Daniel Bliss

Head of External Affairs

Daniel previously worked for the Gambling Commission for 3 years in several roles within their communications team. He has also held roles in politics and regional press.

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Employees

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Pete Woodward

Head of University & Student Engagement

Pete joined YGAM following ten years working in and around Higher Education. He managed teams within Universities and Students’ Unions for seven years before joining the student recruitment team at Teach First working across three different regions prior to joining YGAM. Outside of work Pete holds an eclectic mix of interests including Eurovision, television industries, and football.

Pete Woodward

Head of University & Student Engagement

Pete joined YGAM following ten years working in and around Higher Education. He managed teams within Universities and Students’ Unions for seven years …

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Sarah Gosling

University Engagement Advisor & Secretary to the Boards

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Sarah is an experienced charity chief executive, trustee and a governance specialist. Prior to her move to the charity sector, Sarah worked in banking, mainly in IT. She is neither a banker nor techy, instead having a passion for people. Sarah has led communications and change projects, finance and marketing teams, and managed suppliers and technicians to achieve great results.

Sarah Gosling

University Engagement Advisor & Secretary to the Boards

Sarah is an experienced charity chief executive, trustee and a governance specialist. Prior to her move to the charity sector …

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Linda Scollins-Smith

Head of Delivery Education - North

Linda is a qualified teacher and has 14 years’ experience working with children and young people within Education and not-for-profit organisations, specialising in SEND and improving opportunities for hard to reach young people. Linda has been successful in management roles demonstrating excellent stakeholder management, establishing local networks and partners.

Linda Scollins-Smith

Head of Delivery Education - North

Linda is a qualified teacher and has 14 years’ experience working with children and young people within Education and not-for-profit organisations, specialising in SEND . . .

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Katherine Sawyer

Education Manager - South West

Katherine has worked in the not-for-profit sector for almost 10 years, within a variety of organisations, to promote the importance of Employability Skills to young people. As part of this work she has been involved in projects aimed to raise aspirations and engagement with students. More recently her work has taken her into the FE sector where she has been working with Creative Industry students on similar topics. She is passionate about ensuring young people get as much guidance as possible as they move forward in their lives and acts as a champion for those less fortunate. Outside of work she can be found walking the beautiful Dorset coastline with her dog or singing in a local rock choir as well as learning to play guitar!

Katherine Sawyer

Education Manager - South West

Katherine has worked in the not-for-profit sector for almost 10 years, within a variety of organisations, to promote the importance of Employability Skills to young people.

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Lucy Gardner

Education Manager - West Midlands

Lucy grew up in Kenya before coming back to the UK to study Psychology at Bangor University where she developed her love of the mountains and outdoors. She has since worked with a number of charity organisations both in the UK and abroad, working on building sustainable Shea Butter businesses with widows in Burkina Faso, childhood education in Kenya, and raising educational aspirations and achievement potential for young people in London, she also volunteers with the GoodGym helping to combat loneliness in Elderly people. In her free time she can be found running, hiking, being outdoors with her dogs and travelling.

Lucy Gardner

Education Manager - West Midlands

Lucy grew up in Kenya before coming back to the UK to study Psychology at Bangor University where she developed her love of the mountains and outdoors. She has since worked with a number of charity organisations both in the UK and abroad.

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Asma Akbar

Education Manager – North West

Asma recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. During her academic life and career she nurtured a passion to work with young people. Asma strived to combine young people and youth work with her international development work. She has recently been conducting workshops for young people to build on their leadership, enterprise and community development skills. During Asma’s free time she is either travelling or planning her next trip!

Asma Akbar

Education Manager – North West

Asma recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a Masters in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. During her academic life and career she nurtured a passion to work with young people. . . .

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Amy Evans

Education Manager - Yorkshire & Humber

Amy is a qualified secondary teacher and has 7 years’ experience working with children and young people within inner city secondary schools. Her experience includes leading outreach projects alongside Bradford Council, as well as organising and leading on continuous professional development. Amy has been successful in leadership and mentoring roles and has completed a Masters in Education, focusing heavily on Coaching and Leadership.

Amy Evans

Education Manager - Yorkshire & Humber

Amy is a qualified secondary teacher and has 7 years’ experience working with children and young people within inner city secondary schools.

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Claire Patel

Education Manager - North East

Claire has over 10 years’ experience of working within the education, employment and charity sector within the North East. Prior to this Claire worked for a Drug and Alcohol intervention team whilst completing her BA (Hons) Criminology degree. Claire is passionate about supporting and empowering young people to make informed choices and is experienced in networking, recruitment and delivering a wide range of workshops.

Claire Patel

Education Manager - North East

Claire has over 10 years’ experience of working within the education, employment and charity sector within the North East.

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Sam Starsmore

National Education Manager

Sam has spent 12 years working within the Insurance industry in several roles including Relationship Management, Training Delivery & Customer Service. His passion for joining YGAM and safeguarding young people stems from his personal struggles with gambling. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cooking, 70’s music & holds a season ticket at Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

Sam Starsmore

National Education Manager

Sam has spent 12 years working within the Insurance industry in several roles including Relationship Management, Training Delivery & Customer Service.

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Sandy Thompson

Education Manager - Greater London

After a rewarding career in retail management, Sandy re-trained as a project manager and now has fifteen years’ experience planning and delivering high profile, public facing and commercial projects. Over the years, she has volunteered with a number of organisations that educate and mentor young people and is passionate about using her skill-set to continue this work in the charity sector.

Sandy Thompson

Education Manager - Greater London

After a rewarding career in retail management, Sandy re-trained as a project manager.

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Sam Robinson

Education Manager - Wales

Sam has almost 6 years of direct delivery experience supporting young people in Wales for The Prince’s Trust Cymru, creating and delivering their employability and engagement activities in South West Wales as an Operations Executive.  Out of work Sam loves to travel and is a keen Cardiff Devil’s Ice Hockey and Welsh Rugby supporter.

Sam Robinson

Education Manager - Wales

Sam has almost 6 years of direct delivery experience supporting young people in Wales for The Prince’s Trust Cymru, creating and delivering their employability and engagement activities in South West Wales..

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Rebecca Mark

Head of Delivery Education - South

After an exciting and fulfilling career in business development for the creative industries, including design, illustration and fine art, Rebecca trained to teach primary aged children. She taught with great passion and enthusiasm in a culturally mixed, inner-London school for seven years and supported many young people and families. Rebecca then decided to use her experience and skills in the charity sector where she can continue to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

Rebecca Mark

Head of Delivery Education - South

After an exciting and fulfilling career in business development for the creative industries, including design, illustration and fine art, Rebecca trained to teach primary aged children . . .

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Amanda Atkinson

Head of Parental Engagement

Amanda has over 17 years’ experience in a training capacity, including work within the work based learning and non for profit sector.  Amanda has developed resources for children and young people, parents and teachers on subjects including crime prevention, personal growth, building resilience, life changes and on-line safety and has established excellent relationships within schools, local authorities and organisations and national networks.

Amanda Atkinson

Head of Parental Engagement

Amanda has over 17 years’ experience in a training capacity, including work within the work based learning and non for profit sector.  Amanda has developed resources for children and young people, parents and teachers…

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Nadia Tarik

Development Officer (Apprentice)

Nadia has joined the team as the first YGAM Apprentice, where she will complete a mixture of study and full-time work over the next four years.

Nadia Tarik

Development Officer (Apprentice)

Nadia has joined the team as the first YGAM Apprentice, where she will complete a mixture of study and full-time work over the next four years.

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Liz Marlow

Administrative Support Officer

Liz has been a PA/administrator for over 30 years working in both the private and public sectors, most recently for an insurance company.  Liz developed a keen interest in mental health whilst working at an adolescent unit for South London & Maudsley NHS Trust and is now a volunteer for Shout crisis text service.  In her spare time, Liz enjoys travelling, walking and playing with Poppy (the cat) to stop her clawing the sofa!

Liz Marlow

Administrative Support Officer

Liz has been a PA/administrator for over 30 years working in both the private and public sectors, most recently for an insurance company.

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Jahid Hussain

Community Development Manager - Queen Mary University of London

Jahid is currently studying BSc Psychology at Queen Mary University of London with the aspiration of working with young people. To help reach his goals, Jahid has been involved in youth groups, namely the ‘Legacy Youth Voice’ to provide a valuable contribution in the regeneration of East London. Aside from YGAM and his studies, Jahid enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and loves to experience the tastes of different foods and cuisines – but nothing beats mum’s curry!

Jahid Hussain

Community Development Manager - Queen Mary University of London

Jahid is currently studying BSc Psychology at Queen Mary University of London with the aspiration of working with young people. To help reach his goals, Jahid has been involved in youth groups

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Sam Petrie

Community Development Manager - Lincoln University

Sam is a second-year student studying Computer Science and Mathematics at Lincoln University, with the ambition to become a software engineer after graduation. Sam enjoys working for YGAM at university as it gives him a support network and the opportunity to work with like minded people to promote positive behaviours, without distracting from his studies.

Sam Petrie

Community Development Manager - Lincoln University

Sam is a second-year student studying Computer Science and Mathematics at Lincoln University, with the ambition to become a software engineer after graduation. Sam enjoys working for YGAM at university as…

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Stephanie Ahemor

Clerk to the Boards

Stephanie is an experienced administrator and governance specialist. Her background is in Law and  she has worked across a variety of sectors including the public sector, charities and central government. In her spare time she mostly enjoys volunteering with young people! She is also an avid reader.  

Stephanie Ahemor

Clerk to the Boards

Stephanie is an experienced administrator and governance specialist. Her background is in Law and  she has worked across a variety of sectors including the public sector, charities and central government. In her spare time she mostly enjoys volunteering with young people! She is also an avid reader.  

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Caroline Gallagher

Quality Assurance Manager

Caroline has 9 years experience working in quality assurance and assessment for a national awarding organisation. Previous experience includes working in the drug and alcohol and disability sectors. Caroline brings a wealth of experience working with vulnerable people of all ages, along with her quality assurance expertise.

Caroline Gallagher

Quality Assurance Manager

Caroline has 9 years experience working in quality assurance and assessment for a national awarding organisation.

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Patrons

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Anne and Keith Evans

Founder Patrons

Anne has now retired, following a distinguished career within education. Husband Keith, has also retired following his notable career working for a multinational window manufacturer in a senior leadership role. As parents both have first-hand experience of the potential devastation gambling can bring upon families, and they bring a considerable insight into education and governance.

Anne and Keith Evans

Founder Patrons

Anne has now retired, following a distinguished career within education. Husband Keith, has also retired following his notable career working for a multinational window manufacturer . . .

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Paul Bellringer OBE

Patron

Paul has been involved in responsible gambling issues for 39 years. In 1990 he founded the UK Forum on Young People and Gambling and then in 1997, following the introduction of the National Lottery, he founded GamCare and subsequently negotiated and worked with the gambling industry to establish voluntary codes of responsible gambling. Paul has also consulted on responsible gambling issues with governments and the gambling industry, and has held a variety of influential roles within organisations dealing with gambling issues. He is the author of a number of publications including the book ‘Understanding Problem Gamblers’.

Paul Bellringer OBE

Patron

Paul has been involved in responsible gambling issues for 39 years. In 1990 he founded the UK Forum on Young People and Gambling and then in 1997 . . .

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Trustees & Volunteers

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Mike Wojcik

Chair of Trustees

Mike is a well-rounded and seasoned professional with a proven track record in business transformation, governance, shaping and achieving strategic goals within commercial, charitable and higher education sectors. Mike is currently CEO, Queen Mary University of London Students’ Union, & MD QMSU Services Ltd.

Mike Wojcik

Chair of Trustees

Mike is a well-rounded and seasoned professional with a proven track record in business transformation, governance, shaping and achieving strategic goals . . .

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Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International. Her roles and interests have always stretched beyond finance and compliance work towards change management and business development. Gabriella’s experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International . . .

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Caroline Price

Trustee, Chair of People & Transformation Committee

Caroline is an experienced leader in transforming services & training within the charity sector. She brings a proven record of leading organisational step change, introducing innovative ways of working and achieving high standards over her 10 years in the charity sector. Caroline is currently a Director of Services for a UK health charity.

Caroline Price

Trustee, Chair of People & Transformation Committee

Caroline is an experienced leader in transforming services & training within the charity sector. She brings a proven record of leading organisational step change . . .

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Hayley Conboy

Trustee

Hayley is a leader in fundraising, with experience of developing successful strategies and managing large teams to secure philanthropic income. With experience in both the not-for-profit and private sectors, Hayley has particular expertise in corporate partnerships and business development and is currently Head of Corporate, Events and Community Fundraising at King’s College London.

Hayley Conboy

Trustee

Hayley is a leader in fundraising, with experience of developing successful strategies and managing large teams to secure philanthropic income …

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Valerie Bozzello

Trustee

Valerie co-founded IRM in 2004, a leading digital innovation agency. In the past 15 years she has managed digital, gaming and social strategies for over 20 global brands including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Agatha Christie, Dancing with the Stars and Paris Fashion Week, and generated revenues in excess of $400 million. With 10 industry awards under her belt for her pioneering work, Valerie has attracted clients and partners that include; TF1, EA, Endemol, Apple, BBC Worldwide, Universal, Media Participation and Google. Her career started at L’Oreal and LVMH.

Valerie Bozzello

Trustee

Valerie co-founded IRM in 2004, a leading digital innovation agency. In the past 15 years she has managed digital, gaming and social strategies for over 20 global brands . . .

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Ayub Khan

Trustee

Ayub’s most recent role was the Chief Executive of the Further Education Trust for Leadership, a Think Tank for the FE and Skills sector. Prior to this, he was the CEO of a Multi Academy Trust. Ayub is also an experienced Trustee/Non-Executive having served on the Boards of national charities.

Ayub Khan

Trustee

Ayub’s most recent role was the Chief Executive of the Further Education Trust for Leadership, a Think Tank for the FE and Skills sector …

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Paddy Griffiths

Trustee

Paddy is an experienced fundraising leader, with a background in corporate partnerships, community, philanthropy and major gifts. He has worked for some of the UK’s leading charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Sue Ryder and Mencap. Paddy is currently Head of Corporate Partnerships at Barnado’s.

Paddy Griffiths

Trustee

Paddy is an experienced fundraising leader, with a background in corporate partnerships, community, philanthropy and major gifts . . .

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YGAM Innovation

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Lee Willows

Managing Director

Lee has spent 25 years’ in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions with Kingswood Learning & Leisure Group, Prince’s Trust Newcastle College Group and Trailblazers. Lee’s personal struggles with gambling were the catalyst to establish YGAM.

Lee Willows

Managing Director

Lee has spent 25 years’ in the education and third sectors, progressing from a front line post-16 teacher and youth worker, to holding senior leadership positions…

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Gill White

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Gill runs the commercial arm of the Professional Body and charity the CIPD, overseeing designing content that supports the professionalisation agenda from apprenticeships to development programmes. Gill joined CIPD in July 2012 as Head of CIPD Training, was appointed a Director of Careers & CIPD in September 2013 and is now Business & Markets Development Director covering commercial enterprises, business development, and the international areas. Prior to joining CIPD, Gill held the Head of L&D roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP.

Gill White

Chair & Non-Executive Director

Gill runs the commercial arm of the Professional Body and charity the CIPD, overseeing designing content that supports the professionalisation agenda from apprenticeships . . .

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Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International. Her roles and interests have always stretched beyond finance and compliance work towards change management and business development. Gabriella’s experience working with overseas teams could also help to reach universities outside of the UK.

Gabriella Tamas

Treasurer & Chair of Finance Audit & Risk Committee

Gabriella has spent 25 years in operational and divisional finance director positions in the fast paced music industry working for EMI and Universal Music International . . .

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Jake McClure

Non-Executive Director

Jake is Executive Director of Strategy for City & Guilds, ILM and Digital Me, on secondment from the Cabinet Office where he was Head of Apprenticeship Strategy and Delivery. He has extensive experience of leadership in criminal justice policy and implementation, inspection and regulation and further and higher education. Prior to the Civil Service, Jake was in the British Council for seven years as a teacher, trainer, consultant and project manager in Europe, South East Asia and Central Asia.

Jake McClure

Non-Executive Director

Jake is Executive Director of Strategy for City & Guilds, ILM and Digital Me, on secondment from the Cabinet Office where he was Head of Apprenticeship Strategy and Delivery . . .

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Dimitris Samouris

Non-Executive Director

Dimitris is a strategy consultant for EY-Parthenon, specialising in commercial due diligence for private equity investors and new market entry for corporate clients. His work has been primarily for clients in the education, software and data services, and consumer goods sectors. Prior to that, he worked briefly in corporate finance. Dimitris has a passion for sports and competitive debate, having spent many years speaking for his university and country before coaching the next generation of orators.

Dimitris Samouris

Non-Executive Director

Dimitris is a strategy consultant for EY-Parthenon, specialising in commercial due diligence for private equity investors and new market entry for corporate clients.

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Shane Stafford

Non-Executive Director

Shane has over fifteen years’ experience delivering brand engagement across television, mobile, web and gaming platforms for a number of companies, including Paddy Power and BetVictor. Shane has an extensive knowledge of marketing strategies, having played key roles in a number of nationwide marketing campaigns and sponsorship agreements.

Shane Stafford

Non-Executive Director

Shane has over fifteen years’ experience delivering brand engagement across television, mobile, web and gaming platforms for a number of companies, including Paddy Power and BetVictor . . .

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