The Leadership team includes people with high energy, or passion for change… a positive outlook and a ‘can-do’ attitude. This isn’t an ordinary steering committee, or board with all talk and no action (we know at times we’ve been guilty of this!). This team is responsible for real debate, true collaboration and ultimately results which positively impact the whole eco-system.

Here is the leadership team

Genea Lynch:

  • Best way for the community to get in touch: email: genealynch@hotmail.co.uk; Twitter; LinkedIn
  • Company: Captivate Reality
  • I want to help the community with: Inclusivity, diversity and getting more people involved in tech whatever their backgrounds.
  • Things I struggle with: Self-doubt! I often struggle with imposter syndrome.
  • Things I love: Cake – yes, I take bribes for cake!
  • Other things to know about me: I love anything to do with Harry Potter.

Richard Marshall:

  • Happy to be called: Rich or Richard
  • Best way for the community to get in touch: Contact me on LinkedIn or on Twitter @techpilchard
  • Company: @wealthwizards
  • I want to help the community with: building an environment and future we can all thrive in.
  • Things I struggle with: right now, depression and anxiety and the state of our society.
  • Things I love: being part of something great (Birmingham!) seeing people grow and develop, solving problems, my family (no order here…)
  • Other things to know about me: love to go bouldering!

Naomi Watts:
Naomi Watts

  • Prefers to be called: Nay
  • Best way for the community to get in touch: Slack – can use the SC slack channel, or my Tech Nation twitter. I never use my personal twitter (or very rarely). Remember phone phobia? Yeah, best not to call me unless we’ve planned it in advance. I also travel a fair bit for work so am more likely to be accessing messages on my phone rather than my laptop. 
  • Company: Tech Nation – @tn_midlands
  • I want to help the community with: becoming one of the most welcoming, friendly and giving communities in the tech sector.
  • Things I struggle with: Phone phobia and getting enough sleep.
  • Things I love: Organising and hosting events, honesty and the awesome TV show that is Nailed It!
  • Other things to know about me: I am a mum of two girls so life is pretty full-on ALL THE TIME. I’ve been helping tech entrepreneurs in Birmingham since 2014 and have been expanding my network region-wide since Jan 2019. I consider myself a walking, talking LinkedIn so please make use of my contacts and knowledge in the sector.

Alistair Hey:
Alistair Hey

  • Best way for the community to get in touch: email: alistair@heyal.co.uk, Twitter, LinkedIn, Github 
  • Company: Independent 
  • I want to help the community with: Diversity, Inclusion, Collaboration, Communication, Education
  • Things I struggle with: Names & Faces
  • Things I love: Software; OpenSource; Organising events; Sharing Knowledge
  • Other things to know about me: I organise meetups: CNCF Birmingham; Docker Birmingham; CoffeeOps. Organiser for DevOpsDays Birmingham conference. OpenSource contributor. 

Marika Beckford:

  • Best way for the community to get in touch: I’m active online you can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn
  • I want to help the community with: Growing, connecting and unlocking their digital and technological potential. I believe that community should be the heart -beat of Silicon Canal as this will encourage collaboration, broker valuable partnerships, increase innovation and of course celebrate the wins and developments that can spring -board and enhance the community.  
  • Things I struggle with: What I’m struggle with most is unfinished plans… I’m quite the doer! I just love to get things done, however long it takes. When projects or tasks are incomplete it’s not strange to find me logging my ideas into my phone or working late, which can take a toll on my social life.  But hey I enjoy the process of completing. To put it simply I like to work hard and play harder but of course not until the work is done my friends!
  • Things I love: I love creating and listening to podcasts, I’m particularly a fan of Impact Theory all about maximising human potential and Komando on Demand all about the latest tech. I’ll often listen while I’m at the gym and when I need to unplug and re-charge, I love nothing more than practising yoga or going for walks with my adorable french bulldog Ruby.
  • Other things to know about me: I’m a graduate of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, having set up my own enterprise teaching digital media skills to under-represented young people across Birmingham. My business acumen and creativity fulfil a wide spectrum, I’ve also spent time living in Texas Houston as an unsigned singer songwriter being mentored by Beyonce’s father, Matthew Knowles. I can hold a tune and have lived out my dream of performing at Wembley Arena.   

Dan Williams:

  • Likes to be called: Dan. Always Dan or Daniel, never Danny (unless it’s to take the mick – in which case, I’m fine with it)
  • Best way for the community to get in touch: email: dan.williams1992@outlook.com, LinkedIn or twitter @WanDilliams
  • Company: University of Birmingham Coding Bootcamp
  • I want to help the community with: Access to tech talent and training in Birmingham. I believe that to address the skills gap we need to include every single demographic that our wonderfully diverse city represents – better to address a skills shortage with 100% of the population than 50% of it. Inclusion makes as much sense logistically and commercially as it does morally.
  • Things I struggle with: Anxiety. Hugely. My mind is flooded with irrational, far-fetched scenarios that I’ve grown to love every bit as much as I hate. To me, everything is possible because my brain entertains every single idea but everything is also completely impossible because my instinct is to believe I’m a bit rubbish. It’s my creativity and my inhibition. I found it completely debilitating through the early stages of my career, but it’s something I’ve learnt to channel in a proactive way. It never gets easier, but the ways of dealing with it become more familiar.
  • Things I love: Sports, running, writing and beer – in that order. Running has been the go-to antidote, if ever I’m struggling with anxiety. It’s probably the thing that I’m best at. In the next year, I’m hoping to run a sub-3-hour marathon and I’m also hoping to run 100 miles in 24 hours.
  • Other things to know about me: I was Birmingham Young Professional of the Year for 2019. I recently ran 60 miles in 12 hours. My proudest career moment was being part of a team that were named as the most inclusive employer in the country, a couple of years ago. I once hosted a radio pantomime with Brian Blessed. If I’m not wearing knitwear, I’m probably having an off day. There’s nothing I hate more in life than charades. I’m a huge Aston Villa fan. I have two whippets: Artemis and Juno

Jack Capel:

  • Best way for the community to get in touch: email: jack.capel@wearespinks.com or LinkedIn
  • Company: Spinks
  • I want to help the community with: total collaboration, once the community fully comes together, we can make positive, lasting changes.
  • Things I struggle with: Keeping plates spinning! (please feel free to help 😊)
  • Things I love: Tech (obviously), animals and Japanese food
  • Other things to know about me: Always looking to meet and work with people who share common goals over coffee or beer! (or is this like a fun fact/party trick thing? Because party trick: I can open a beer with anything, test me!)

Victoria Masso:

  • Best way for the community to get in touch: Email: victoria@behaviourhackers.com; LinkedIn; Behaviour Hackers Slack
  • Company: Behaviour Hackers 
  • I want to help the community with: improving how we communicate with each other and collaborate to achieve greater and bigger things. Without a sustainable ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs throughout their journey, involving all the stakeholders (academia, government, the private sector, incubators and accelerators, entrepreneurs and public sector), we cannot strive for the West Midlands to be the capital of innovation. We need the region to work as a unit that supports each other to take the economy to the next level and help everyone.  My goal is to catalyse those organised conversations to take the ecosystem to the next level. I strongly believe that human skills and technology need to go hand in hand to create an efficient, fair and equal world.
  • Things I struggle with: Lowering my energy levels (I am often called the energizer bunny), and so many other things that you will learn once you meet me! This means that you need to have a coffee with me to talk.
  • Things I love: Knowing what makes people tick, connecting with people, traveling, playing with technology, and of course, food. A lot of food.
  • Other things to know about me: I am an engineer and I do a lot of fun work with the United Nations Agency ITU, around digital innovation. I am an early adopter, so I would love to be a beta tester any time and give you feedback. I am passionate about UX and improving processes and how to connect technologies efficiently. I hate pressing buttons, so I like to automate everything as much as I can, and I can eat one burger per day for a week easily because I just love them.

Apply to join the Leadership Team

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