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Our team of governors has a remarkable breadth of experience, knowledge and skills that hugely benefit Coleg Cambria and everyone involved with it. They’re responsible for Coleg Cambria’s financial solvency, its effective management and the standard of services provided.

They’re also responsible for the proper use of the public funds entrusted to them. Members of the governing body are an integral part of the work of the college and generously donate their time and expertise. The term of office for members is 4 years, excluding student members who are appointed for one year.

Prof. Tim wheeler
Business Member and Chair of the Governing Body

Tim was appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester in 2005, from which he retired in 2020. He was educated at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. During his career, he has held posts at universities in England, Ireland and Scotland, and a period as a Senior Visiting Research Scholar at St John’s College, Oxford.

Much of his work has involved academic and industrial consultancies, in addition to experience in Europe, America, China and Australia. He has published over 120 articles, books and research reports in a diverse range of areas including dyslexia, psychopharmacology, communications and safety.

He has been a school governor and FE corporation governor for over 30 years. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for Cheshire and is actively involved with Chester Cathedral as a Lay Canon. He is a freeman of the Cities of London and Chester. He assumed the role of Chair of the Board in January 2021.

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Marjorie Thomson Community Member and Vice Chair of the Governing Body

Marjorie is Chair of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee, and a member of other Board committees. She also supports the College in her Link Governor role.

Marjorie has worked in the field of education for over 35 years. Initially as a primary school teacher, then as a Head Teacher and latterly as an associate tutor/link tutor for both the University of Chester and University of Cumbria.

Marjorie has built and maintained strong relationships with her community over many years. She is a Community Councillor for Gwern-y-Mynydd representing them on the One Voice Wales Committee for Flintshire and she also represents Flintshire on the One Voice Wales National Executive Committee of which she is Vice Chair.

In addition, she is Chair of Age Connects North East Wales and is one of the trustees for both Home-Start Flintshire and the Flintshire Local Voluntary Council as well as a member of the Flintshire committee for the Rural Development Partnership. She formerly acted as General Adviser for Flintshire Citizens Advice Bureau.

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Yana Williams
Chief Executive

Yana Williams became Chief Executive of Coleg Cambria in January 2020. She was educated at both primary and secondary school level in Mold, and completed her A Level studies at the former Deeside College.

An alumnus of Cardiff Metropolitan University, her first teaching role was at Knowsley Community College in Liverpool. She later moved to Runshaw College in Lancashire before rejoining Deeside College in a management role, overseeing the curriculum in a wide range of areas from construction to catering.

It was then on to a Vice Principal role at Blackburn College and later Hugh Baird, Liverpool where she was CEO/Principal for 8 years.

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Rachel Clacher
Business Member

Rachel is the Link Governor to Work Based Learning and Employer Engagement.

Rachel is the co-founder and Director of Moneypenny, the world market leader in telephone answering and outsourced reception services. From a standing start in 2000, with her brother Edward and a mere £10,000 investment, today the company looks after ten million calls a year on behalf of over 8,000 businesses across the UK, employs over 500 people, has just moved into a new flagship HQ in Wrexham and has expanded into the US market. The company has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and is recognised as one of the best companies to work for in the UK.

Today, Rachel focuses on the company’s strategic direction and runs Moneypenny Foundation: a charity that brings new opportunities in life and work to disadvantaged young women. Such has been the success of this approach in the Wrexham area that 2017 will see traineeships running in other towns and cities in the North West. Rachel is also a regular speaker at corporate and industry events in the areas that she is passionate about: people, culture change, customer service, entrepreneurship and social responsibility.

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Gareth Davies
Business Member

Gareth is the Link Governor for the College’s Institute of Technology.

Gareth is the Chief Industrial Architect for all Airbus wing programmes and is based at Broughton in North Wales. Previously Gareth has held senior positions in Operations, Quality and Engineering and has worked in the aviation sector for over 30 years across Europe and in the US.

He is a former pupil at Deeside College and has lived locally in the area for over 20 years with his wife and children.

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Martina Davies

Martina has been involved in the Education sector in various roles since 2014 when she became a Governor at a primary school in Flintshire and currently holds the position of Vice Chair.

She has also been a member of the Wrexham Education Services School Appeals Panel for 5 years and participated in both School and Exclusion Appeals for Wrexham, Flintshire and Cheshire West. Martina became a Lay Inspector for Estyn in 2018 and has participated in a number of inspections.

Martina was born and raised in Germany and graduated from the University of Cologne with a degree in English and French. She has worked as an interpreter for the British Army of the Rhine before spending a year in Kampala/Uganda as a project administrator for the GTZ (German Aid). Following her move to the UK, she worked in aviation as a language tutor and cabin crew until very recently.

Currently she is studying for a CELTA teaching qualification at Blackburn College with a view to graduating in July this year.

Martina is married with two children, one of whom attended Coleg Cambria’s Deeside 6th. She has a particular interest in furthering the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages and wishes to draw on her experience in that field.

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Jacob Evans
Student Governor

Jacob is a student at Deeside Sixth site studying A Levels in Economics, Law and Government and Politics.

He aspires for a career in financial services after completing either a degree, apprenticeship or a traditional degree. Jacob’s interests include, local politics, volunteering and reading both fiction and non-fiction work.

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Louise Gatenby
Business Manager

Louise is the CEO of The Good Board, an ethical leadership consultancy.

She has over 25 years of leadership, advisory and executive search experience, supporting Boards to build sustainable, inclusive and successful organisations through the appointment and development of non-executive directors and executive leaders.

In addition to founding The Good Board, Louise is a Trustee of WeMindTheGap a Wrexham based, ground-breaking, social mobility charity. She is also a Director of The Orcid Partnership and Chair of the Consumer & Retail Practice Group for IIC Partners which is a global top 10 search organisation.

Louise was born and brought up in Anglesey and has lived in Wrexham for almost 15 years. Her daughter attended Coleg Cambria so she is a past-parent. Working with her husband, Louise set up Machine House Restaurant in Rossett and they continue to own and develop the site, which is now home to two other local businesses.

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Maria Giannasi
Business Support Staff Governor

Maria Giannasi is an Additional Learning Needs Support Coordinator in the Inclusion Team.

She currently coordinates transition, learning support and reasonable adjustments for learners with disabilities and learning differences at the Deeside and Bersham Road Campus.

Maria has a long history of working with learners in education and training settings as trainer, teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator. Prior to working at Coleg Cambria, she worked for Cheshire West and Chester Council in the Special Educational Needs team as Post 16 Manager for Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) and was instrumental in the 2014 SEN reforms.

She believes that every learner should have access to an education in their local community that fully meets their individual needs and prepares them for adult life, regardless of the type of need or the adult pathway they aspire to follow. She welcomes the Welsh Government commitment to creating a fully inclusive education system where all learners are inspired, motivated and supported to reach their true potential with the introduction of the new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code 2021.

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Lisha Howen
Student Governor

Lisha is the elected student vice president at the Yale site, as well as a Student Ambassador.

Lisha studies A Level Business and English Literature at Yale. Last year she was also voted to become a steering member for the NUS Wales, after attending the conference as a delegate and representing the college.

Lisha plans on doing an apprenticeship to gain experience and qualifications to aid her aspirations to work in marketing, more specifically advertisements.

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Gareth Jones

Gareth is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and is past Chair of the Welsh Panel of CARAS (Council for Awards of the Royal Agricultural Societies) and has been Chair of the Welsh Region for The Moredun Foundation for the past nine years.

Gareth is originally from Caernarfon and studied Agriculture at the Welsh Agricultural College in Aberystwyth gaining an HND in Agriculture. After a period milking cows in New Zealand he spent time managing beef, sheep and arable farms in Mid Wales, followed by a couple of years working as a beef specialist for the Meat and Livestock Commission.

Since June 1993, Gareth has been employed by Lord Newborough as the Estate Farm Manager at Rhug in Corwen. The farm was converted to organic production in 2000 and has an on-site meat cutting plant together with a farm shop and a drive through outlet. The in-hand farming operation now extends to over 6,000 acres.

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Jill Jones

Jill is an experienced board member, business leader and advisor, acting as a non-executive for a diverse range of organisations.

A Chartered Accountant, she is well networked, regarded and respected in the business community. Until 2020 she was the Regional Managing Partner of RSM, the 7th largest firm of accountants in the UK, and a member of the firm’s National Leadership Team, a Main Board Director and Acting Chief Operating Officer.

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Jayne Moore
Business Member

Jayne is a Barrister at Law for the Crown Prosecution Service and a member of Gray’s Inn, London.

She read Law at Liverpool and, following a commendation in her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, began her 25 year legal career working a breadth of casework for Allington Hughes Solicitors. Jayne followed her passion and today specialises in crime working at one of the UK’s largest prosecution areas in Merseyside and Cheshire.

Jayne has a keen interest in the development of others working as pupil master, mentor and has assisted in the training of newly qualified barristers at Gray’s Inn. She recently featured on BBC’s documentary The Prosecutors as well as BBC North West news discussing the recent pandemic and effects on the criminal justice system.

Jayne was born in Wrexham and is a former pupil of Yale Sixth Form College. She is an advocate for social mobility, equal opportunities and raising the aspirations within North East Wales. Jayne resides in Wrexham with her husband and two children.

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Gill Sims

Gill started her career in banking and finance before retraining for a future in education.

For eleven years she was employed at Deeside College, ultimately as manager for basic and key skills, before moving to Estyn as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Education and Training in Wales. During her time with the inspectorate, she inspected across many sectors including post-16 provision, prisons, young offenders institutions and special education.

She was the Estyn college link inspector for Yale College and all other colleges in North West and mid Wales. As part of this role she visited the colleges twice yearly to monitor quality and learner outcomes and to set recommendations for improvement. She was the Estyn lead inspector for English, mathematics, literacy and numeracy in post-16 education.

Gill has a particular interest in enabling learners from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with additional learning needs to achieve their full potential. Gill lives locally and is a passionate and lifetime supporter of Wrexham Football Club and the Welsh National Rugby and Football teams.

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Anna Sutton

Anna retired from her role as Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Chester at the end of September in 2020 and has worked in education for 47 years.

Anna has had a varied career spending the majority of her time in higher education. She trained as a teacher at St. Mary’s College Bangor qualifying in 1973 and for the first ten years of her career taught in primary schools in Flintshire/Clwyd. This period culminated in Anna becoming headteacher of St. Asaph Infants school.

Anna went on to take up a post at the then North East Wales Institute (NEWI) in teacher education. She remained at NEWI for eighteen years. During these years she progressed to lead primary teacher education as a Principal Lecturer.

In 2002, Anna moved to take up a post at the University of Chester. She became Dean of the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services and relinquished this post after fifteen years to take up the role of Deputy Vice Chancellor, she also became Provost of the new University Centre Shrewsbury. She has worked abroad in Palestine, America and Sweden.

Anna has worked with Estyn and has considerable experience as an external examiner of HE programmes. She has always retained her interest in schools not least through her experience as a school Governor.

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Tim Williams
Staff Governor

Tim Williams is a lecturer in the Sports and Public Services department, where he has been employed since 2012.

He is currently the Course Tutor for the Foundation Degree programmes in Sports Coaching and Fitness and Health as well as for the BTEC Level 2 Sport programme. Additionally, Tim also acts as the education link for the Connah’s Quay Nomads Football Scholarship offered as part of the Cambria Elite Sport programme.

Prior to working at Coleg Cambria, he worked for Flintshire County Council and Sport Flintshire, where he undertook a number of roles and positions in the leisure and fitness sector over a period of five years.

In the time that Tim has been employed at the college, he has taught across all academic levels and programmes within the Sports and Public Services department. Additionally, he has also been part of a number of additional cross-college focus groups and received a staff recognition award for his achievements in 2016.

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Annesley Wright
Business Member

Annesley is a member of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee and Link Governor on the Learner’s Campus Council Meetings at the Bersham Site and attends the meetings.

Annesley’s primary career has been as managing director of Japanese manufacturing companies in North Wales initially with Hoya Lens in Wrexham and latterly with TRB, a Toyota manufacturing subsidiary, in St Asaph. His background is in finance and accounting and evolved to general management in which he rapidly developed a reputation for success in managing change and growing companies.

Annesley is a fluent Japanese speaker and was honoured by the Japanese Government in 2008 for service to Japanese corporates and the Japanese community in the UK. In 1998 he was awarded the Achievement Wales Business Person of the Year, and in 2006, the University of Bangor sponsored Wales Business Person of the Year, both in association with the Welsh Government.

He currently holds Welsh Government Board appointments in Careers Wales, Deeside Enterprise Zone and, locally, Cefndy Healthcare. He also holds board appointments on the University of Chester Business Advisory Council, National Youth Advocacy Service, Adoption Matters, Advance Brighter Futures, Wrexham Foyer and Q3 Academy and sits on several charitable trusts as a trustee.

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