Our trustees play a very important role in making sure that the charity is run in the interests of the people it is there to support.

They strategically oversee the management and administration of Techniquest.

Karen Harris

Chair of the Board

Karen joined the Board of Techniquest in 2015 and is the current chair of committee. Having spent over thirty-six years working in primary education across southeast Wales, with seventeen of these as a headteacher, Karen has spent much of her career working in areas of social and economic deprivation, which has engendered a lifelong commitment to equal access to high-quality education.

Opting to take early retirement in 2013, Karen volunteered with VSO in Cambodia, spending six months working as an educational consultant on a UNICEF project.

Alongside her role as a Techniquest trustee, Karen also volunteers with a local cancer charity and is chair of the local u3a. Her interests include walking, cycling, gardening, reading, and more recent interests include table tennis, Tai Chi, and singing with a local choir.

Daniel O’Toole

Vice-Chair of the Board

CEO of Retail Merchandising Services (RMS) and founder of flex™, Daniel has used his experience in delivering transformational change to grow and strengthen his late father’s legacy.

Daniel’s father, Peter O’Toole, founded RMS in 2005 after a lifetime in retail but sadly passed away suddenly in 2015. Since then, Daniel has driven the family business on and has invested heavily in technology with the creation of flex™, a market leading platform used by all major retailers in the UK and Ireland. In recognition of his achievements, he won the UK Institution of Directors ‘New Director of the Year’ Award in 2018.

After graduating in Chemistry, Daniel was elected in 2009 as President of the University of Bath Students’ Union and was responsible for a nationally commended, 15,000 strong membership organisation with an annual turnover of £5m. He chaired the Board of Trustees, led the team of five elected Vice-Presidents, and worked closely with the senior management to oversee all the strategic developments. He was successfully re-elected in 2010 to extend his tenure for a second year.

Phil Pugh

Board Member — Finance & Audit Committee Chair

As a partner at commercial law firm, Acuity Law, Phil specialises in corporate and commercial work with a particular interest in M&A and technology. He has worked with a range of ‘spin-out’ and technology companies and has spent time working at Cardiff University in their commercial development and technology transfer team.

Phil is highly regarded in the sector, advising on the sale and acquisition for a number of technology/IT companies, and providing specialist advice on outsourcing, hosting, and cloud storage both to the end-user and supplier.

“I am delighted to join the board of directors of Techniquest. It is somewhere I’ve visited many times and, my wife being a teacher, I know how important it is in promoting STEAM education in the community. I look forward to working with the other board members to help drive Techniquest to the next level and, in the short term, to help it to navigate through these troubling times.”

Julia Mortimer FCCA

Board Member — Finance & Audit Committee

Julia Mortimer FCCA is the Head of Audit and the Finance Partner at Watts Gregory LLP, an independent firm with a large and diverse client portfolio of both business and private clients. She has strong experience of working with charities and not-for-profit organisations providing advice on their systems and controls as well as all necessary compliance work.

She graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in accountancy, then worked for a large, independent firm of accountants in the Lake District for a few years until settling back in South Wales in 1997. She stayed in practice, working for a firm in Newport before joining Watts Gregory in 2004 and becoming a partner in 2012.

Julia is a Chartered Certified Accountant, she’s married with two sons and a dog, and enjoys walking, watching rugby and holidays.

Gerald Stacey

Board Member — Finance & Audit Committee

With over three decades driving major performance improvements at senior level, Gerald was formally the UK Trading Director for Coca Cola. Returning to Wales in 1998, he ran the Wales and West business unit as Regional Managing Director with a turnover of just over £125m and 250 staff.

Gerald was instrumental in negotiating many sporting sponsorship agreements including the WRU, Millennium Stadium, Wales Open, Cardiff Devils, Cardiff City and Ryder Cup Wales — along with grass roots programs to support the companies’ policy of promoting participation. He is currently a Non-Executive Director on both the Welsh Cycling Board, and the Welsh Rugby Player Association since 2018.

He also founded Go To Market Solutions Ltd to advise new businesses starting up, businesses looking to scale and established businesses to operate more efficiently and focus on developing their business strategies to support their short-, mid- and long-term goals.

Gerald has always resided in Cardiff and enjoys most sports, having played semi-professional football in the past — but is now, primarily, a very keen cyclist. He is also a Princes Trust Volunteer and Business Wales Mentor.

Rita Singh

Board Member

An engineer by qualification, Rita brings over twenty years of experience working in public, private and third sectors to the Techniquest board. After graduating from Cardiff University where she studied Environmental Engineering, Rita went on to complete an MPhil at Cambridge University, and began working as an engineer within the water industry and then the construction industry.

Rita worked on sustainability policy development and implementation at the Greater London Authority, then with Cynnal Cymru, followed by the Office of Future Generations Commissioner, to develop and steer the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act. She also managed the national conversation on The Wales We Want, which helped to set the wellbeing goals in the Future Generations Act. Having also held the position of Director at the charity Size of Wales — which supports community-led actions to protect tropical forest — she is currently the Head of UK Public Affairs for Kingspan’s Insulated Panels and Insulation divisions.

Rita is also a trustee of Wales Millennium Centre, and a Director of both Common Cause Foundation and Fairtrade Wales.

Amanna Giles

Board Member

Amanna is at heart a scientist, with a broad span of expertise including zoology, virology and environmental science. She has experience as a university researcher, has worked internationally in healthcare laboratories and spent more than a decade working for public bodies developing science to support fisheries management, and marine and water quality monitoring. Along the journey she also undertook development roles in communications and publishing and has worked in retail. Amanna has also worked in the charity sector, working with refugees and within the community managing first aid at events and emergency response.

Amanna currently works as a senior manager within the civil service, bringing in external scientific expertise to enhance and improve decision making in policy development and implementation. She has always seen developing people as key to the success of any organisation and actively champions improving diversity as a way of improving advice and policies coming out of her department.

Amanna is a mother to two primary aged girls, and has spent many hours at Techniquest interacting with all the displays (especially the water based ones!) and so has first-hand experience in how a visit to Techniquest can be such an incredible way of introducing science to children. She is a strong advocate for ensuring all children, including those with learning and physical disabilities, have the opportunity to access science education.

As a member of the board, Amanna hopes that her background in science, her enthusiasm for developing people and her passion for inclusion, combined with a love for new technology can help Techniquest continue to thrive.

Kelsey Barcenilla

Board Member

As a Stakeholder Manager for Transport for Wales, Kelsey specialises in partnership development, ED&I, public engagement, and human-centred research. She is responsible for developing relationships and communicating large-scale public transport programmes across Cardiff, such as the Cardiff Bus Interchange and improvements to the Bay Line.

Having held previous roles as a Community Engagement Officer at Techniquest and as a Community Coordinator at Cardiff Institute for the Blind, she has experience in developing programmes that are inclusive and co-created by communities.

Kelsey is passionate about empowering women to take up careers in STEAM. Having previous shadowed Chwarae Teg’s board of directors through their step to non-exec programme, she wants to ensure that young women have representation on boards. Kelsey believes that to achieve a more gender-balanced workforce in STEAM for future generations, it’s vital to engage with girls at a young age, through educational and cultural experiences, such as the opportunities Techniquest offers as an educational charity.