Meet the Board
Our board of experienced directors and non-executive directors have extensive knowledge and understanding the local and greater health community.
Bernardine Rees OBE was appointed the chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board by Health Minister Mark Drakeford in 2014, a position that she held until her retirement in 2019.
Throughout her 48 year career in the NHS, Mrs. Rees has held a number of distinguished positions. Mrs Rees, who trained as a nurse, was CEO of the former Pembrokeshire Local Health Board and Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire Local Health Board’s between 2003 and 2009.
Her last executive position in NHS Wales was as Director of Primary, Community and Mental Health at Cwm Taf University Health Board, where she also served as the organisation’s deputy CEO. Prior to her appointment as Chair of HDUHB she was a non-executive director of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
Maureen is a values-driven and creative senior leader committed to creating greater system value and long-term societal impact having spent over 25 years in the NHS in England & Wales in clinical, academic, and managerial roles. She graduated as a Registered General Nurse from King’s College London and went on to obtain a BSc and an MBA. Further, Maureen qualified as an Improvement Advisor from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, Boston.
Currently, Maureen is the Chief Operating Officer of the Welsh Wound Innovation Initiative Ltd (WWIL), a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. WWIL is the first national wound centre worldwide bringing together the triumvirate of clinical, academia, and commercial entities with a focus on collaboration to improving lives and well-being as well as contributing to the health and wealth of local economies. This platform, together with Maureen’s drive and commitment to improving health and wellbeing chimes well with RIW’s mission and objectives. Further, Maureen’s experience of the reality of not-for-profit organisations as well as her clinical and managerial roles serves to contribute to the overall governance of RIW, wherein she holds the position of Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
Outside of work, Maureen loves to travel, enjoys keep-fit and is keen to get back to volunteering having previously been involved in initiatives in Zambia and Nepal.
Research interests – Respiratory Medicine especially novel technologies and biomarker discovery
Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Swansea University and Respiratory Lead Clinician, Hywel Dda University Health Board in Wales, UK.
After qualification and junior doctor jobs in London, I completed my specialist training in Wales. I have been an NHS consultant since 2003 and lead the COPD, Smoking Cessation and non-invasive ventilation services for my group of hospitals covering 380,000 people in a semi-rural area.
I have led or been co-applicant on grants worth over £25Million, working across institutions and different countries, publishing over 100 papers, 3 textbooks, various book chapters and supervised post-graduate research students.
I am the NIHR Speciality Lead for Respiratory research for Wales and was an NHS R&D Director for over 10 years. RIW will improve links between clinicians, industry and academia to test and adopt new ideas and technology that will improve patient care and generate wealth.
Andrew is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in the public sector for over 30 years. He joined the Audit Commission in 1983 and became a District Auditor in Wales signing off public sector accounts and undertaking value for money studies across the whole range of local authorities’ and health organisations’ services.
He left the Audit Commission in 2004 to set up his own management consultancy business. He was subsequently employed by the NHS in Wales, firstly as Acting Chief Executive of the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare and then as Director of Innovation and Improvement at Cardiff & Vale Health Board reporting to the Board on performance, innovation, audit and IT.
He retired from the Health Board in 2013 and returned to running his management consultancy business, specialising in advising public sector organisations how to improve financial governance and value for money. He was appointed as Director of Finance for Welsh Wound Innovation Wales (WWII) Ltd in 2014 working one day per week managing all aspects of the company’s finances and helping to advise on performance management. In 2019 he left WWII Ltd to take up a similar role for Respiratory Innovation Wales Ltd, another fledging not for profit company established by Welsh Government.
Bio to be added
Steve has held the post of Director of Finance at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board until he retired in August 2021. Prior to moving to Wales, he held the same post from 2003 to 2013 at North Bristol NHS Trust, a provider of community, secondary and tertiary care. During this period North Bristol recovered from a £44m deficit made in 2002/3, and in 2010 completed on a £430m PFI deal for its new super-hospital at Southmead, which opened in May 2014. In 2010 he was awarded HFMA Finance Director of the Year. Prior to his NHS career Steve worked in local government finance in Essex and Wiltshire, primarily in Education and Social Services. Steve is married with two girls aged 25 and 18.
Stephen Vickers became the CEO at Torfaen Council in July 2021. Prior to that he was Director for Adults and Communities and Director for Adult Social Services at Herefordshire Council and previously held senior roles in social care and safeguarding at Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council.
Stephen was a late entrant into social care and local government having trained as an Engineer. At the start of his career Stephen worked in a number of different roles and industries including managing several hospitality businesses, plus stints in retail and the consultancy sectors. Stephen also travelled extensively and lived overseas for a number of years.
Stephen was drawn into local government for very personal reasons due to the care of a close family member which was unfortunately so inadequate that it compelled him to embark on a new career in social care. He went back to University aged 29 to study and gain his degree in social work. Specialising in mental health, mental capacity and safeguarding as a social worker, he quickly moved into management roles and became the Director of Adults and Communities in Herefordshire before joining Torfaen Council.
Growing up as part of a family on a large Council estate in one of the most deprived areas of Leicester, he knew only too well how hard it could be to break away from ‘the norm’ and aspire and believe in something better. He really believes that anyone can reach their potential with determination, a goal and the right support, and we all deserve the opportunity. He is looking forward to making Torfaen a place where children are inspired to achieve, where people can gain new skills to improve or change their lives for the better and to build new relationships with communities.’
CEO, Industry Wales
Born on the Gower and graduating from Swansea University (Mech Eng), he worked for 32 years at CalsonicKansei (a Tier 1 Automotive supplier) in UK, Europe and Japan, leading their Thermal Management Division ($2.5bn).
In April 2017, he became CEO of Industry Wales, to bring voice of Technology and Manufacturing industry to Welsh Government including responsibility for three Industry sector forum – Electronics/Software (Technology Connected), Automotive (WAF) and Aerospace (AFW).
A Member of the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales (HEFCW), he also sits on the Ministerial Advisory Board (MAB) for Economy & Transport in Wales, as well various Regional Strategy groups such as Swansea Bay City Deal, Tech Valleys (Blaenau Gwent), Valleys TaskForce (A465 Economic Strategy). He recently finished as a Commissioner (Burns Commission) to progress the South East Wales Traffic concerns.
Chris is a passionate, ambitious and enterprising person with a 10+ year career in rapid growth digital health organisations.
Chris joined The HCI Group at the start-up phase and was part of the core team that lead the company to be featured on the INC500 for 3 years in a row, including being ranked as the #3 Fastest-Growing Company in the US in 2013. Chris continued to play a pivotal part in global growth until the organisation was sold for $110m in 2017. Since then Chris has served as a growth consultant to SME Technology companies looking to grow their footprint into healthcare, directly influencing over £3m of revenue during that time.
Chris now serves as a Non-Executive Director for Cynext.co.uk, is the Founder and CEO of ConnectYou and as a Board Advisor to Indigo Mentoring. Chris is highly regarded for his drive, enthusiasm, and vision.
Andrew is a Professor of Computing at the University of South Wales. His research interest centre on deploying intelligent computer systems (Artificial Intelligence and Data Science oriented solutions) to help solve real-world problems. He is also Editor in Chief of the international journal Annals of Emerging Technologies in Computing (AETiC).
Andrew is Director of Research for the Wales Institute of Digital Information, a collaboration between the University of South Wales, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and Digital Health and Care Wales (the Special Health Authority created to take forward the digital transformation of the NHS within Wales). He is Director of 360 Ability Sport, a charitable company that aims to increase the participation of people with disabilities engaging in sport.
Ian Mathieson PhD BSc(Hons) FFPM RCPS(Glasg.)
Ian is Associate Dean for Partnerships and Business Development in Health and Social Care at the University of South Wales. He has worked in South Wales for over 24 years, first as a Podiatry academic at Cardiff Metropolitan University where he progressed to Deputy Dean for Health Sciences. His areas of expertise include clinical biomechanics and evidence-based practice, and he has extensive experience of quality assurance. In his current role he works closely with a range of Health Boards and Social Care organisations across Wales and is leading the University of South Wales Welsh Government Healthcare Education commissioning response. This involves contracts worth in excess of £12million p.a. and delivers pre- and post- registration health education to over 1500 students annually. He is Convenor of the Council of Deans of Health Wales and has been involved with Respiratory Innovation Wales since early 2019.
Joseph Connor – Specialist Advisor in technical & commercial due diligence and commercialisation.
Privacy Protecting ML & AI development Clinical and Technical Assurance & Governance Automatic signal measurement Patient Activation Self Management of Conditions.
Joseph began his career in Wales during the 1980’s doing Technical and Commercial Due Diligence for Private and Governmental investors interested in innovations arising from Welsh Universities. This work continued into global markets during the 1990s. In the 2000’s his focus moved into IT, ML and AI development and Commercialisation. In the latter part of the then the 2010’s he moved into healthcare and the NHS.
With a family of COPD and lung condition sufferers he is well aware of the pathways they experience.
He is very motivated to improve the people’s experience of life, and the potential RIW has to enable this.
Honorary Professor at UCL.
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