The Cardiff Capital Region Economic Growth Partnership (EGP) is delighted to announce the appointment of two new Board members; Richard Selby, Director and Co-founder of Pro-Steel Engineering and Karen Thomas, Head of South Wales Corporate, Barclays Investment Bank. Both Richard and Karen bring with them a wealth of talent and expertise and a desire to put their collective experiences to good use by playing an active role in the delivery of the CCR Economic and Industrial Growth Plan.
Richard graduated with a BEng in Civil Engineering from Swansea University in 2002. After 10 years working in various roles for Mabey Bridge, Richard co-founded Pro Steel Engineering in 2012. Pro Steel Engineering is now an award winning fast growth structural steelwork firm, working on prestigious projects such as the transformation of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the strengthening of Hammersmith Flyover and the extension of Twickenham Stadium East Stand. More recently projects have included export projects for a major warehouse technology company, the Dragon at ICC Wales and the construction of the jetty for Hinkley Point C.
In addition to his roles at Pro Steel Engineering and the Economic Growth Partnership, Richard is also Chair of Torfaen Strategic Economic Forum, Patron and Advisory Committee Member of The Prince’s Trust Cymru and is the recently appointed forthcoming new Chair of IoD Wales.
“I am delighted to join the Economic Growth Partnership Board and have the opportunity to be able to make real contribution to helping shape the future economic shape of the CCR. I am passionate about wanting to provide a better quality of life for future generations and believe I can add real value in challenging status quo thinking and encouraging disruption. I will be a champion for the manufacturing sector and foundational economy businesses and look forward to be able to share my experiences, of both founding a fast growth business, and raising working capital to fund fast growth businesses, for the benefit of companies within the CCR.”
Karen has over 25 years’ experience with Barclays Bank, and has led the South Wales Corporate team since 2008.
Initially recruited to join the retail bank, Karen’s fascination for business sparked from a holiday trip to the Far East where she saw an advert promoting Wales as a great place to do business. This was the catalyst to her changing direction in the mid 90’s when she assumed her first corporate role. She has also undertaken additional roles with the Institute of Financial services, the IoD, NSPCC and SFEDI (Small firms enterprise development initiative). Karen also undertakes a mentor role with Cardiff and Vale College and is a member of the CBI.
Karen is an ardent sponsor of Welsh business, and working closely with her team, has supported many of those businesses to expand both nationally and internationally.
“I first became involved with the Cardiff Capital Region Business council in 2018 which was a great platform to enable me to understand and contribute the wider initiatives that supporting the economic growth in Wales. I am now absolutely delighted to join the Economic Growth Partnership where I believe my extensive corporate experience, coupled with my passion to help businesses succeed, will enable me to add real value to the EGP. I am confident that the collaboration and unity of purpose I have seen across 10 local authorities, together along with the progressive and innovative approaches being taken to some of the challenges facing our economy, will lead to exciting times ahead and I am looking forward to playing a full and active role within the board.”
Commenting on the appointments Frank Holmes, Chair of the Economic Growth Partnership, said:
“Having experienced and talented leaders on our Board is essential and I am delighted to be able to welcome on board two individuals of the calibre of Karen Thomas and Richard Selby. Their respective skills and experiences combined with their different perspectives will further compliment the considerable range of expertise we have around the table. I am confident they will add real value to the team and look forward to working with them”.