Biographies of key personnel from the Snowdon Ambassador workshop
IWAN THOMAS - Chief Executive of PLANED – EVENT CHAIRMAN
Iwan Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of PLANED, and joined the organisation in October 2018 having worked in the public sector for over 20 years; most recently being a Regional Programme Manager with the North Wales Economic Ambition Board for five years, including working on the Growth Deal to support key and growth economic sectors.
Iwan is a passionate advocate of supporting communities via both skills development and promoting enterprise. With direct experience of also developing the Regional Skills Partnerships model across Wales, and delivering sustainable outcomes, particularly for young people within communities, Iwan has been able to work in partnership with employers and politicians on key projects of local, regional, and national significance.
Iwan has recently launched the ‘PLANED Pembrokeshire Bursary’ in partnership with Bluestone and the Retreats Group, for young people from the county. The fund is aimed at those who will be entering Higher Education in the autumn of this year, studying courses relating to tourism, hospitality and heritage, to help promote the future skills needed by employers within the county.
CATRIN GLYN - Snowdon Partnerships Officer – EVENT ORGANISER
Originally from Pen Llŷn but now living in Llanuwchllyn, Catrin has 10yrs experience of working with communities on a variety of projects. She started her career as a Communities First Officer before moving on to work in cultural and conservation fields. She developed her communicating and project managing skills whilst working for the Pen Llŷn & Sarnau Special Area of Conservation, leading on environmental community projects. She now works for the Snowdonia National Park Authority as the Snowdon Partnership Officer and is responsible for the coordination and implementation of Cynllun Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon Plan.
JOE BICKERTON - Destination Manager, Wrexham County Borough Council – PRESENTER
Joe took up a position with Wrexham County Borough Council in November 2011 as Destination Manager in the Economic Development Department. He has since successfully worked alongside TEAM Tourism and over 150 public & private sector partners in Wrexham to deliver the first 5-year Destination Management Plan, helped the Tourism Partnership Board evolve into a private sector led organisation and is now embarking on implementing Wrexham County’s new Destination Action Plan 2018-20. Joe works alongside officers in the 5 other North Wales Local Authorities to apply for grant funding and support the delivery of the Visit Wales Partnership for Growth Tourism Strategy.
Over recent years, Joe has built upon his core research and communication skills by gaining an M.A. in Contemporary Urban Renaissance and more recently, by completing a 3-year Management & Leadership course at Cranfield University.
SAM REGAN - Chair, This Is Wrexham Partnership & Manager, Lemon Tree Restaurant with Rooms – PRESENTER
Sam Regan started his career as a chef, working in restaurants throughout Powys, Cheshire and Wrexham before successfully acquiring the Lemon Tree Restaurant with rooms 6 years ago. Over that time, the Lemon Tree has developed an excellent reputation as a destination eatery in Wrexham – whilst Sam has also volunteered his knowledge & time to Chair the This Is Wrexham Destination Partnership. Sam also coordinates the popular Wrexham Food & Drink Festival and contributes significantly to the day-to-day life of Wrexham Town Centre.
NICOLA WILLIAMS - Tourism Officer, Denbighshire County Council – PRESENTER
Member of Denbighshire’s Tourism Team, responsible for delivering Denbighshire’s Destination Management Plan and Tourism Strategy, particularly the new Tourism Ambassador Scheme and B2B activity. In addition, supports the delivery of the North East Wales tourism marketing brand and works with partners across North Wales on collaborative tourism delivery and marketing.
DEAN JEFFERY - Tourism Swansea Bay – PRESENTER
Tourism Swansea Bay is an independent trade association for tourism, leisure & hospitality businesses across Swansea Bay and Neath Port Talbot. The association was formed over 14 years go by a committee of local tourism operators to be the voice of the trade and to provide help and support to the industry. Dean has worked for the association in various roles since 2007 and took over as manager at the start of 2018.
The Gower Ambassadors project commenced in 2017 funded by the Rural Development Partnership / Swansea Council. It was run by Gareth Kiddie Associates and resulted in approx. 60 trained community tourism ambassadors (including Dean), here to engage with visitors and help look after Gower as an AONB. When the project ended, Tourism Swansea Bay chose to step in to take over coordination of the Gower Ambassadors with funding from the Gower Landscape Partnership and Sustainable Development Fund. Tourism Swansea Bay wanted to keep the ambassadors active, put them to good use, provide volunteer opportunities, further training, and coordinate attendance at local events & opportunities (such as the Gower Walking Festival, Greeting German Cruise Ship visitors and taking part in beach cleans).
Recently, Dean has arranged for the ambassadors to have a key role in taking sky quality readings at dark sky areas in the Gower Peninsula that will be used in the official Swansea Council / Gower AONB application for Gower to receive a ‘Dark Sky Community’ accreditation from the International Dark Skies Association.
CAROL WILLIAMS - Tourism Growth Officer, Brecon Beacons - PRESENTER
Carol Williams began working for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority in 2003 as a tourism growth officer. In that time she has worked closely with the tourism trade building relationships between the authority and the private sector.
Leading on a diverse range of projects to enhance visitors’ experiences, such as Bed & Breakfast for horses, developing a West to East on-road cycle route, cycle across the Beacons and working with the trade to improve the food offer.
Through European funded projects Carol worked closely with tourism and community groups to help them develop their own sustainable tourism strategies which led to new initiatives being delivered by these groups.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador scheme was something which grew from providing training courses for businesses which identified significant gaps in tourism businesses knowledge of the destination. The Ambassador scheme has been running since 2009 and in March 2019 had trained its 300th Ambassador.
TRACY PURNELL - Brecon Beacons Tourism Ambassador – PRESENTER
I am a proud Brecon Beacons National Park Ambassador. I have a huge passion for the outdoors and this passion lead me to become an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion in 2017. I feel very fortunate to have held this role over the past three years. I enjoy encouraging and inspiring others into the great outdoors.
I live on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and spend most of my time walking and trail running in the hills with my two dogs. Asher the Husky and Marley the Malamute have built quite a following on social media, through my love of photography and documenting my walks on my website, I am able to promote dog friendly walks and responsible dog walking. I write articles and content relating to the great outdoors and outdoor activities to inspire and encourage people to experience the natural beauty we have surrounding us.
Experience Community - http://www.experiencecommunity.co.uk/
Experience Community provides films and information about walks and other leisure activities for disabled people and the wider community.
Family Holiday Association - https://www.familyholidayassociation.org.uk/
A national charity dedicated to providing seaside breaks and day trips for struggling families unable to afford a holiday.
Slate Wales - http://www.llechi.cymru/LlechiCymru.aspx
The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales is located in Gwynedd, comprising of seven key areas. The landscape demonstrates the spectacular story of evolution from a sparsely populated upland agricultural society to one dominated by the slate industry; with towns, quarries and transport links carving their way through the Snowdonia massif down to the iconic ports.
The efforts towards gaining UNESCO World Heritage Site Status took a significant step forward when the UK Government announced in October 2018 that it was the preferred nomination to be presented to UNESCO for consideration. The bid will be put forward during the Autumn, 2019.
The slate industry is an iconic feature of North Wales, and of the Welsh nation as a whole, and has been of overwhelming importance in shaping the social and economic landscape. In June 2010 Gwynedd Council successfully presented an application to Westminster for the industry to be included on the UK's list of tentative World Heritage Sites to be submitted to UNESCO. The UK's tentative list was formally presented to UNESCO in January 2012.
The application process is extremely long though the bid continues for World Heritage Site status.
Snowdonia Society - https://www.snowdonia-society.org.uk/
Working hard to protect the landscapes, wildlife and heritage of Eryri through volunteering, events and campaigns.
Snowdonia-Active - http://www.snowdonia-active.org/
Snowdonia-Active is a social enterprise and creative consultancy working to support and sustainably develop the outdoor sector in North Wales.
Wales Official Tour Guides Association - http://www.walesbestguides.com/
WOTGA are the only guides officially recognised by the Welsh Government to guide in Wales.
Techniquest Wrexham - https://tqg.org.uk/
Techniquest Glyndŵr is the premier Science Discovery Centre in North Wales attracting both the public and schools. The centre offers over 65 interactive science exhibits and live science shows. Their objectives are to promote the advancement of education and learning of science & technology and promote public understanding of science and technology.
Sustainability Lab, Bangor University
The Sustainability Lab is a high-profile focal point, leading on sustainability within Bangor University. It reflects the importance of sustainability in strategic planning, business intelligence, compliance issues, policy development, operations and partnerships. It aims to promote Wales’ well-being goals, sustainable development and collaborative work in Welsh university and the ethos of ‘Wales is for everyone.’
Wales. A food destination - https://www.foodskills.cymru/wales-a-food-destination/
‘Wales. A Food Destination’ is a project which sits within Food Skills Cymru specialising in supporting retail and hospitality businesses to source, serve and sell Welsh food and drink. Offering consultation/professional advise, free courses, workshops and mentoring to anyone sourcing, serving or selling Welsh food and drink.
The Imperial Hotel - https://www.theimperial.co.uk/
The Imperial is an elegant 4 star hotel, situated in the heart of the beautiful Llandudno with a reputation of excellence, including Visit Wales Gold Award, two AA rosettes and a Green Key accreditation for championing sustainability.
Retreats Group, Pembrokeshire - https://www.retreatsgroup.com/
Wales’ three leading luxury boutique hotels, located on the St Davids peninsula, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Twr y Felin, a former windmill and Wales’ first contemporary art hotel.
Roch castle, spectacular and dramatic, with panoramic views over the Preseli Hills and St Brides Bay.
Penrhiw Priory, the definition of tranquillity, nestled in acres of gardens, enveloped by woodland, river and meadow.
GreenWood Park - https://www.greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk/
A family adventure park situated in Felinheli, Gwynedd. They champion being environmentally friendly and make a consistent effort to minimise the negative effects on the environment and maximise the positive as well as being an accessible and inclusive facility for all family members to enjoy.
Loving Welsh Food - https://lovingwelshfood.uk/
If you are looking for something different to do in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, Loving Welsh Food tours are the best and most delicious way of the capital city.
RibRide - https://www.ribride.co.uk/
Anglesey boat trips who are Blue Flag Award, Sustainable Boat Tour Operator in the Menai Strait, exploring the islands and high cliffs in Holyhead. An exciting day out to see sights not usually seen on foot.