We have built Regen into a successful social enterprise employing over 20 people promoting the uptake of sustainable energy – in a way that brings local jobs and benefits to local communities. As a relatively small organisation, we’re more nimble than most.
Our culture is entrepreneurial. Team members are encouraged to bring new ideas to the table and get into the nitty gritty of our sectors growth and development. Our people enjoy all the responsibility and autonomy they need to shape their role and have an impact on business success, confident in the knowledge that we’re all in this together.
We also understand the need to balance hard work with fun – living and working in the south west with its beautiful beaches and country pubs, makes that easier than most.
Meet the team
We’re delighted to introduce you to the people who have made us what we are today, full of talented people who want to make a difference.
Merlin Hyman, chief executive
Merlin leads Regen SW and is regularly called upon by the media and the industry to speak about the sector as well sitting on several government advisory groups.
Merlin is recognised as a leading figure in the development of renewable energy policy and its role in economic and social development. He sits on the government’s Shared Ownership Taskforce, working to provide communities with a right to buy into commercial projects, and the National Solar Strategy group.
Merlin was previously director of the Environmental Industries Commission, where he worked to ensure British companies succeed in the rapidly growing worldwide market for low-carbon products and services.
Cheryl Hiles, strategic director
Cheryl is responsible for Regen SW’s overall delivery as well providing policy and strategy guidance to clients including businesses, local authorities and government.
Cheryl is a founding director of the community interest company, Communities for Renewables. She’s a specialist in planning issues and led a number of initiatives to improve planning in the region. Cheryl wrote national guidance for the government on best practice community engagement and securing community benefits from wind energy.
Cheryl began her career as the planning and environmental policy advisor at the South West Regional Assembly, where she was instrumental in setting up the REvision 2010 project to establish sub-regional renewable energy targets.
Johnny Gowdy, commercial director
Johnny is a director of Regen SW and leads the development of our commercial projects. He is an industry-recognised expert in the south west offshore renewable supply-chain.
Johnny was pivotal in the setting up of the UK’s first Marine Energy Park, chairs the Bristol Tidal Energy Forum and is a member of the government’s Marine Energy Programme Board. He also co-authored the influential ‘Bristol Channel Balanced Technology Approach’ paper and was invited to speak to the Climate Change Select Committee on the Severn barrage proposal.
He comes from a background in management consultancy, having been a partner with the global consultancy firm Accenture working within their energy practice.
Membership services team
Rachel Hayes, head of membership and events
Rachel leads Regen SW’s membership services and events programme, as well as the organisations marketing and communications.
Rachel is the driving force behind the region’s largest renewables and energy efficiency exhibition, the Renewable Energy Marketplace and has developed the annual Green Energy Awards into a leading event for the supply chain. She is now developing the first Women in Renewables network in England and is also a director of Community Energy England.
Previously Rachel worked for the Tour of Britain’s marketing team and was part of an agency with clients such as Nokia and Vodaphone.
Jodie Sawatzki, events and membership coordinator
Jodie is Regen SW’s events and membership coordinator, supporting the deliverance of all core activities including Regen SW’s programme of events and membership initiatives.
Previously Jodie worked for NZ largest real estate company, Harcourts, reporting directly to the marketing manager and organised a charity event which raised over $10,000.
Joe Sellman-Leava, sales coordinator
When working with Regen, Joe is responsible for events support (including Renewable Futures and Renewable Energy Marketplace) and liaising with people about what Regen can offer to companies and organisations working within the sustainable energy sector – both through membership and though events.
In addition to his time with Regen, Joe is currently working with Worklight Theatre, and has worked on performances from Exeter to Edinburgh.
Community engagement and the arts
Chloe Uden, programme manager
Chloe is responsible for the coordination of Regen’s communities programme and has a special interest in developing her arts and energy engagement programme to help the sector reach new audiences. This unusual venture brings new voices to the debate around energy; adding colour and diverse perspectives to the energy challenge which in its turn provides new ways in to the subject, broadening engagement and revitalising discussion.
Published author and illustrator, previously Chloe worked for the Devon Arts in Schools initiative and toured as a puppeteer. Chloe has worked in the renewables industry since 2005, and she still likes to pull the strings having been part of Regen SW’s senior management team for a number of years.
Jodie Giles, senior project manager
Jodie is a senior project manager responsible for the delivery of Regen’s community energy support programme. Jodie engages with communities, developers and the wider renewable energy industry to support communities in the development of sustainable energy projects.
Jodie has ten year’s experience working in community engagement. She joined Regen SW from the Eden Project where she worked on community resilience, bulk energy buying, neighbourhood planning and social inclusion projects.
Technical services team
Tim Crook, head of technical services
Tim is a mechanical engineer with a broad range of experience in onshore heat consultancy, offshore marine renewables, building services and in the defence industries. Tim heads up Regen’s technical capability and provision of advisory services for both the private and public sector.
Tim joined Regen SW in 2010 after spending two years as Orecon’s mechanical design engineer and has since been on two secondments in industry, working with Mole Valley Farmers and Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Hazel Williams, head analyst
(Hazel is currently on maternity leave)
Hazel delivers public sector advisory services for local authorities and other public sector organisations.
She specialises in delivering data analysis, funding bids and planning issues. She wrote the West Dorset Local Energy Plan, delivered the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Renewable Energy Strategy and was invited to speak at the Bath & NE Somerset and Swindon planning examinations in public hearings.
Hazel has been working with south west local authorities for over seven years. Hazel joined Regen SW from the South West Regional Assembly, where she worked on the development of the region’s climate change action plan.
Onshore electricity, micro- renewables, energy efficiency and the built environment
Lee Richards, onshore programme manager
Lee is Regen’s built environment sector lead and manages Regen SW’s work within the onshore, microgeneration and built environment sectors. He is responsible for understanding the capabilities of businesses in the region, and delivering activities to improve and exploit this capability. He has a large depth of knowledge within the sustainable energy and low carbon sectors, including policy, legislation, supply chain and technical development, including sustainable energy developmental and deployment work.
Lee was pivotal in developing and managing the £6.3m Ready for Retrofit programme, one of the largest European Regional Development Fund business support programmes in the country.
Lee has worked assisting businesses in the region for the past 14 years and joined Regen SW from Promar International Ltd where he worked as a business consultant.
Alastair Mumford, senior project manager
Alastair is Regen’s heat sector lead and a business support manager on the Ready for Retrofit programme, growing the south west’s retrofit energy efficiency and microgeneration sector.
Alastair has been working in the south west energy efficiency and renewables sector for over 10 years. Much of this work has been with SMEs and the public sector, working to grow the industry and engage customers in its benefits. He has also conducted broader sustainability work including the first programme in the UK to increase recycling rates at university halls of residences.
Tamar Bourne, senior project manager
Tamar is Regen’s solar sector lead and a project manager in the onshore electricity team. She works to support strategic decision makers in the development of the sustainable energy sector.
She is the first point of contact for large-scale solar developers and for issues related to the grid and smart grids. Tamar sits on the government’s Smart Grid Forum.
Prior to joining Regen SW, Tamar worked as a policy adviser for the Sustainable Development Commission, which gave her an in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of government and experience of applying sustainable development thinking to numerous areas of policy-making.
Olly Frankland, project manager
Olly is a business support manager on the Ready for Retrofit programme, growing the south west’s retrofit energy efficiency and microgeneration sector.
Previously Olly worked with Enact developing Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation schemes and is trained Green Deal Assessor.
Joel Venn, onshore analyst
Joel is an analyst and technical lead for the onshore team, responsible for renewable energy resource capability analysis and data management. He undertakes GIS site finding, feasibility and resource assessments for onshore projects, responds to press enquiries, and produces the analysis and data for the annual Regen SW Progress Report.
Joel holds a MEng in Renewable Energy from the University of Exeter and came top of his year. Co-founder and general manager of SidEnergy and co-ordinated the initial membership share offer which is looking to recruit 500-1000 members.
Ian Godfrey, offshore programme manager
Ian is programme manager for our offshore sector work, engaging public and private sector groups to develop and support the supply chain.
He advises on policy and market progress and promotes the export opportunities for the growing south west marine energy industry.
Ian has worked in the marine energy sector for the past six years and joins Regen SW from IT Power Ltd where he worked as a senior consultant engineer on the development of wave and tide energy conversion technology. Ian has designed and installed a 100kW tidal device in the Humber Estuary and designed a 1.2MW tidal device. He also advised government on tidal fences as part of the Severn tidal power: feasibility study.
Kerry Hayes, offshore analyst
Kerry is an analyst for Regen’s offshore renewables work following her internship in 2012. She manages the supply-chain study database and produced the seventh edition of this industry valued document.
Previously Kerry completed an MSC in Marine Renewable Energy at the University of Plymouth.
Katrina Jackson, office manager
(Katrina is currently on maternity leave)
Joining Regen in September 2011 Katrina has become the central part of Regen SW’s team ensuring the office is the heart of the organisation and creates an effective and positive working environment.
Katrina is the main point of contact for PA support to the CEO and the Board, office management, contracts and project development support, human resources services, and support for the membership and events team.
Katrina has a BA hons in Geography and you can often find her with her nose in a National Geographic.
Susan Fallon, bids and claims manager
Susan is responsible for maintaining an overview of our projects. She brings to Regen a combination of the ability to be creative in problem solving, together with meticulous compliance with complex systems and procedures.
Susan joined Regen from the Energy Saving Trust where she was Finance Manager for a £4million EU funded project. She has spent five years in public service with the Homes & Communities Agency and ten years prior to that in international development. She is a highly competent business and project manager.
In her spare time, Susan is Treasurer for the charity Housing Justice.
Donna Marlow, finance controller
Donna makes sure Regen SW’s accounts are in order and manages project finances. She provides support for and works closely with the team to ensure maximum project delivery can be achieved using the financial controls as a basis.
Before Regen SW Donna worked as an auditor at award-winning accountants, Thompson Jenner LLP and is a qualified member of the Association of Accounting Technicians. Donna is a keen runner which helped her to save a man’s life in 2010.
Felicity Vivian, team administrator
(Felicity is currently on maternity leave)
Felicity is Regens team administrator. Prior to going part time between maternity periods, Felicity previous full time role was Merlin’s personal assistant and making sure that team members have sufficient administrative support to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
Felicity graduated in 2005 with a degree in Theatre and Performance. Prior to joining Regen SW she has worked as a senior administrator, in defence communications and also as an events manager.