After four years teaching at schools in Greater Manchester, Arlene joined the Training, Education and Development team at UKFast to help transform IT education in the North West. Arlene and the team work with 60 schools and more than 60,000 students in the region to promote digital education.
The programme that they are building includes a double award-winning apprenticeship scheme and has developed UKFast’s own workforce into one of the most qualified cloud technology teams in the country.
Holly has helped create a whole new way for small retailers to operate in the online era by providing them with a digital platform, support, and her knack for spotting products that will sell, and businesses with potential.
In Holly’s spare time while working as an Advertising Manager, she held design-led craft fairs around London, where she realised that small businesses needed a platform to sell their products beyond town halls and assembly rooms. The internet provided an obvious solution and with her former Publicis colleague Sophie Cornish they founded notonthehighstreet.com. A home for small businesses where they could advertise and sell their creations.
As the online marketplace grew in popularity, it became an award-winning, multimillion pound business, going from serving 100 enterprises to 5,000, selling over 200,000 products. Having built one of the most successful UK online retailers Holly turned her attention to the broader change affecting small businesses and the future of retail. She founded Holly & Co, offering help to startups in need of advice.
The UK’s Ambassador for Creative Small Businesses has advice for big businesses as well. Holly is the author of Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table and Shape Up Your Business. She reveals the secrets to maintaining work-life balance whilst setting and achieving your goals; confidence, the rules of negotiation, and excellent team management.
As Enterprise Relations Manager at Shopware, Vincenzo Pollicino connects customers and partners with robust enterprise solutions that leverage growth. With a multifaceted digital background, Vincenzo has supported various startups in Germany as eBusiness Manager, specialising in SEO / SEA strategy development and implementation, project management and social media campaigns.
Vincenzo has been working actively with Shopware since 2015, acting as Project Manager for multiple projects in Germany and the Czech Republic. He joined the Enterprise Relations team in April 2018 consulting with customers and prospects on their digital transformation journey with Shopware.”
Gavin is a veteran of over 10 years in the email marketing industry After a stint in New York to setup dotmailer’s customer success division, Gavin has joined the companies though leadership team and is a keen blogger and speaker.
He has worked closely with organizations in both the B2B and B2C sectors such as EDF Energy, British Cycling, Vizio, Asana and Copa Airlines in the UK and US, helping them to build their email programmes to drive increased customer lifetime value, loyalty and ultimately return on investment.
Having led PushON for 12 years, In 2017 Simon transitioned from Managing Director to Business Strategy Director where he could apply his considerable experience in digital transformation to PushONs digital consultancy service. Simon has spent more than two decades operating within the digital sector, initially in a corporate environment, before becoming embroiled in the early days of the Manchester digital community. Alongside his business partner, Roy Wilding, he pivoted PushON out of an incarnation of a previous successful digital business. Steady planned growth has seen the business gain recognition as one of the North West’s leading eCommerce agencies. The business’ expertise in eCommerce development and its particular skill with online marketing has led to a raft of peer reviewed award wins throughout the North West, UK and Europe.
Simon also has a reputation for “sticking his oar in” to drive the digital sector forward. He is a council member for Manchester Digital, lectures at local universities and was a founder of SASCon, the infamously expert digital marketing conference. He speaks at events, organises events and largely keeps himself busy both in the sector and in the community. He has four children available to keep him stressed and is the gofer for a local under 10s football team. When he finds the time to go out, you’ll most likely find him seeing a loud band somewhere.
Founder of eCommerce startup Mercarto, which allows anyone to launch an online store in minutes, Sean Brown is passionate about creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to create online stores and enabling product makers and innovators to amplify and grow their own brands.
Sean’s previous venture, Hatch, an influencer marketing platform, was brought in house by high-profile social media marketing agency, Social Chain. Sean went on to found and direct Social Chain’s product innovation and eCommerce division, before leaving to launch Mercarto.
A former dive instructor and passionate marine conservationist, Sean works alongside diving research and development project Cape RADD in South Africa, encouraging entrepreneurs to create innovative marine environmental solutions.
Jon is the Founder and Managing Director of Space 48. They are one of the UK's leading eCommerce consultancies for retailers looking for fast growth or international expansion. Space 48 has delivered award winning eCommerce websites and strategies for clients including Charlotte Tilbury, Oak Furniture Land and Better Bathrooms.
Jon is currently writing a book about the myths of the eCommerce world which shines a light on the challenges faced in what is such a fast moving industry. It is due for release later this year.
He is also the creator of Mage Titans, a not for profit international developer conference that he has rolled out to 5 cities around the world including Mexico City, Milan, Valencia, Austin and Manchester.
Jon would like the UK to be a global leader in eCommerce and believes this is possible through learning, development and sharing of knowledge.
Paul is an ethical hacker and a deeply experienced educator. Paul has trained many different groups from primary and secondary pupils, head teachers, national and international conferences and government. During Paul’s time at Secarma, Paul is involved with high value clients; advised on policy and compliance; conducted research; presented at international conferences and advised the Police and Scottish Government on cyber matters.
Jonathan Bowers joined the UKFast team in 2004 and rose through the ranks to the position of Director of Communications before becoming Managing Director in April 2012, when Lawrence Jones took on the role of CEO.
Now responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, Jonathan works with the directorship and senior management team, focusing on clients and the team. He is also heavily involved in training, recruitment and political and corporate relations.