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Welsh ICE Announces New Leadership Team and Board Diversity Milestone as Lesley Williams becomes CEO and Llinos Neale moves to Non-Exec Director

Llinos Neale and Lesley Williams

We’re excited to announce a significant leadership transition with the promotion of CEO Llinos Neale to a non-exec board position and Lesley Williams to CEO.

Llinos, who has been instrumental in our growth and success, will be stepping away from her day-to-day CEO duties as she pursues her passion for the creative sector. This move comes as Outreach and Partnership Director Lesley Williams takes the helm as CEO, bringing her extensive experience in business development and entrepreneurship to the role.

Lesley has been key to transforming Welsh ICE’s outreach work and has played a key role in building strong partnerships with a range of organisations, from youth and social enterprise services to local councils and the Welsh Government.

“I am passionate about the Welsh ICE community, supporting business owners to succeed across Wales, and championing diversity in entrepreneurship,” said Lesley. “I look forward to building on the great work that Llinos has done.”

Lesley Williams

Prior to joining Welsh ICE, Lesley ran her own business internationally exporting hand-made teddy bears, giving her valuable insight into what support small business owners need to start and grow. She was also a Big Ideas Wales Young Ambassador and Role Model, as well as a board member for the Women’s Enterprise Hub.

Lesley has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to equality, was a finalist in the Gender Equality Champion category at the Chwarae Teg, Womenspire Awards 2021, and has also been recognised in the WalesOnline 35 Under 35 top young business and professional women in Wales list.

Lesley will continue building on her partnership work in her new role with a particular focus on collaborating with local authorities on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and onboarding new partners for our ICE Academy offering of Hackathons, Bootcamps and 5-9 Clubs.

Meanwhile, in her new role, Llinos will continue to provide invaluable guidance and support to the company, ensuring its continued success in the future. Her considerable experience in running a coworking space and her strong relationships within the community make her an excellent addition to the Welsh ICE board.

“I am so excited to be taking on this new role with Welsh ICE,” said Llinos. “I have loved every moment of my time at ICE from receptionist to CEO and I am excited to continue to grow and support the company in this new capacity.”

Llinos Neale

This transition marks a new era for Welsh ICE, and we’re ready to continue our mission of providing world-class coworking facilities, business support, and training to entrepreneurs across Wales. As part of this new chapter, our board will now be split 50/50 between men and women, reflecting the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“We are delighted to have Lesley taking on the role of CEO,” said Chairman, Anthony Record. “She has been an invaluable member of the team and has done incredible work in building relationships within the community and entrepreneurial landscape in Wales. I am confident that she will be an excellent leader for Welsh ICE, and I look forward to supporting her in her new role.”

anthony record

Additionally, we have two further promotions within the team to support Lesley in her new role: Keiran Russell has been promoted to Chief of Operations, and Rachel Harris has become Chief Creative Officer.

Rachel Harris, Llinos Neale, Keiran Russell and Lesley Williams

Keiran’s new role as Chief of Operations will see him oversee the day-to-day operations of Welsh ICE, including managing the facility, IT infrastructure, and finance. Rachel, as Chief Creative Officer, will lead the company’s marketing, branding and communications efforts and support the development of new business ideas and partnerships.

Welsh ICE has a strong reputation for community building, business support, and training, and we’re committed to continuing to provide high-quality services to entrepreneurs and businesses across Wales. 

With Lesley’s leadership as CEO and Llinos’s continued guidance and support on the board, Welsh ICE is well-positioned to continue providing exceptional support and resources to its members while driving innovation and economic growth across Wales.