Operations Team

Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels

Chief Executive Officer

“Robin Daniels is a big picture thinker with superb interpersonal skills. His ability to build bridges across disciplines and sectors is absolutely first rate, and sorely needed to confront some of today’s most pressing challenges.”
-Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School

Robin's biography

C-suite business leader, strategist and serial entrepreneur. Primarily interested in rapid business growth and innovation opportunities around B2B, IoT/M2M, mHealth, Big Data and future city technologies.

Founder & Managing Director of Redpill Group Ltd; strategy consultants and innovators in urban technologies and commercial development. We work internationally with cities, companies and universities to deliver sustainable solutions to complex challenges.

Co-Founder & CEO of EzLab Systems Ltd, the technology innovation and product development company, working across the physical and life sciences to create and take to market truly disruptive solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Previously Co-Founder and CEO of Magma Innovations, the global Smart City, Internet of Things and Integrated Mobility consultancy. This followed Advisory Board Member and Executive Vice President roles with Living PlanIT, where I established and led global sales & marketing and corporate & business development.

Formerly founding CEO of the Norwich Research Park, Europe’s largest single-site life science park, where I was responsible for creating and executing a new vision, brand, strategy, marketing and commercial plan for the Park.

Prior to this I was founding COO of the Centre for Scientific Enterprise Ltd, a joint venture between the London Business School and UCL. In parallel I was Director of the Chevening Technology Enterprise Scholarship, which generated £50m of VC investment and technology licensing from start-ups, representing a 10x ROI for the UK Government.

Katharine Bourke

Katharine Bourke

General Manager (interim)

Katharine is a passionate supporter of, and advocate for, businesses in the South West. From recruiting accountants for the City, via Phnom Penh and Oxford she returned to Devon in 1999 where she built an IT business from an idea around the kitchen table to a ten-person company turning over nearly £1m. 

Katharine's biography

As Growth Manager for the government’s Growth Accelerator service in Devon and Cornwall from 2012 – 2016, she became even better connected with the South West region.  A certified mBIT and Zen leadership coach, Katharine’s expertise includes facilitating and delivering change management, executive coaching and mentoring, business and people development & psychometric profiling using the Zen Leader FEBI assessment tool.

Email: katharine.bourke@swbc.co.uk

Andrew Searle

Andrew Searle

Interim Head of Operations

Andrew works with Jo to support our growing network of members, principally responsible for managing key accounts. In addition, Andrew works for SWBC on a part-time, self-employed basis helping them to keep administrative and compliance costs to a minimum whilst offering a friendly efficient service to our customers and suppliers.

Andrew's biography

Andrew is an experienced accountant and director helping SME’s deliver results and stay compliant and runs his own business: origamigroup.co.uk.

Email: [email protected]

Mike Elsey

Mike Elsey

Event Management

Mike has a broad commercial background encompassing various senior roles in the advertising and media sectors, and latterly over two years fundraising experience in the conservation charity sector. A career in the advertising business spanning some 30 years included board level positions at both agencies and as a media owner.

Mike's biography

He has spent the bulk of his working life in London, employed with advertising agencies Boase Massimi Pollitt then Young and Rubicam, followed by sales roles at broadcasters ITV and Channel Four. He’s worked with a diverse range of businesses over the years, from retail to media, utilities to financial services, private and public sector.

After a 5 year stint as Commercial Director with ITV Channel Television based in Jersey, returning to the UK in 2013 Mike and his family decided to relocate from Buckinghamshire to Devon. He has a smallholding in Colyford, and is thoroughly enjoying the life change, renovating a Grade 2 listed property and developing a small holiday cottage business.

MIke’s first role in Devon was working with Devon Wildlife Trust as a fundraiser. In his time with that organisation, he took the lead in organising and managing DWT’s most successful fundraising event in its 50-year history, a sell out classical music concert at Exeter Cathedral. He also masterminded and delivered an innovative crowd funding appeal for the wild beavers on the River Otter, fronted by Chris Packham. It proved to be the most successful crowd funding campaign for a UK wildlife conservation initiative to date.

Mike has quickly established new connections, contacts and friendships through his employment at DWT, and outside of work through varied social and community involvement. He is currently Chair of the Holyford Woodland Trust, England’s 1000th Local Nature Reserve.

Mike joined SWBC as Senior Account Manager in August 2017 to work alongside Karen and with our growing network of members. Mike is responsible for managing key accounts and business development.

Email: [email protected]

Kate Williams

Kate Williams

Digital Marketing Manager

Kate started her career at a Licensing Agency in London, who specialised in Fashion and Lifestyle brands such as Aston Martin, BMW and Nintendo. Then moving onto working in house at The Range, on a multi-million pound e-commerce website; which is where her passion for Marketing, especially Digital Marketing really began.

Kate's biography

After spending almost 3 years employed by Mercedes-Benz, one of the world’s most luxurious car manufacturers. She concentrated on their Digital presence and how each channel can impact brand awareness, core messaging and ROI.

Following on from that Kate then went to work for Digital Marketing Agency Optix Solutions where she experienced agency lifestyle first hand. Working with City Vehicle Leasing, Pipers Farm, Crealy Great Adventure Park, Saunton Golf Club and Exeter Golf and Country Club everyday gave her a new perspective on the Digital world. 

In May 2017 Kate decided to go it alone and take the leap, be her own boss, have her own clients and be proud of the high quality work that she is producing. We are proud to welcome Kate to the team and introduce you to www.kwmarketinguk.co.uk.

Email: [email protected]

Jo McConville

Jo McConville

Virtual Assistant

Jo has a law degree and is an experienced Company Secretary. After a short time in private practice, Jo worked in-house for a FTSE 250 company and AXA Group PLC. Jo moved to Devon 14 years ago and spent 7 years as the Company Secretary of The Dartington Hall Trust.

Jo's biography

Jo uses the experience gained in those roles to provide business, administrative and PA support either virtually or in client’s offices as needed.

Jo joined the SWBC team in January 2018 and provides admin support to the operations team and to the Boards.

Email: [email protected]

Jo Hatt

Jo Hatt

Membership Coordinator

Jo has over 25 years’ experience of high-level business admin and support roles, working within the financial, medical and accountancy sectors under various titles, i.e. Senior Executive Assistant, Medical Secretary and Senior Business Administrator.

Jo's biography

Jo has spent most of her working life in the South East of England, where her most recent position of some 13 years was with Deloitte LLP working within their Global Employers Services department, supporting Partner and Directors within the firm, but also developing the relationships with key stakeholders both internally and externally.  In February 2018, Jo relocated to the South West and after a brief sabbatical set up her own Virtual Assistant business.

Jo joined SWBC in May 2019 and is primarily responsible for member contact and for utilising her organisational skills to support the operations team with a wide range of admin tasks.

Email: [email protected]