Liv Garfield, Severn Trent
Liv Garfield is chief executive of Severn Trent, appointed in 2014, and a former chief executive of BT’s Openreach business where she oversaw the £2.5 million rollout of fibre broadband across the UK. At 38 she was the youngest female chief executive of a FTSE company, and listed at number ten in Fortune Magazine’s hottest rising business stars. She resigned from the board of Tesco last year to concentrate on her Severn Trent role.
Geoff Childs, Extra Energy
Geoff Childs is the former managing director of Birmingham-based Extra Energy, a residential and business energy supplier set up to rival the big players in the industry. He is now managing director of Inenco Direct, an independent energy broker managing gas and electricity for clients in the UK and Europe. He is also MD of energy consultancy Genergy Consulting.
Tony Cocker, E.ON
Tony Cocker is chief executive of Coventry-based E.ON’s UK business. He was previously chairman of E.ON’s energy trading arm in Düsseldorf. He has held several senior posts with the Westwood Park-based energy supplier including head of corporate strategy and director of the generation business. He was previously with Bass plc. E.ON employs 12,000 people in the UK.
James Villarreal, Glide
James Villareal is owner and managing director of Glide Utilities, the Birmingham city centre-based tech utilities company. Glide was named in the London Stock Exchange’s “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” list for 2016. Entrepreneur James Villareal dropped out of university to launch Glide, aimed at helping landlords bill students for utilities. The firm now turns over £17 million. He is founder and chair of the Institute of Directors West Midlands Young Directors Forum.
Richard Harpin, HomeServe
With HomeServe, Richard Harpin has turned an emergency plumbing business backed by South Staffordshire Water into a multinational company. The Walsall-based home maintenance and insurance firm is building up its overseas business – in particular in the United States. The business turns over around £265 million a year. Customer numbers now stand at 6.6 million with more than two-thirds of them outside the UK. Richard Harpin is a significant shareholder and chief executive at HomeServe.
Alan Jackson, Intercity Communications
Alan Jackson set up his Birmingham-based telephone technology company as Intercity Mobile in 1985, just as the surge in demand for mobile communications was taking off. Now, it is one of Europe’s leading providers of mobile, fixed line and cloud telephone services. Intercity has well over 70,000 users. The company has expanded its portfolio beyond mobile communications to include fixed broadband telephone systems, ethernet services, email hosting, bespoke communications systems and vehicle tracking.
Ed Hall, Comux
Comux, based on the Innovation Campus at Birmingham Science Park Aston, is the operator of the Local TV Multiplex in the UK. Launched in 2013, it broadcasts 20 local television channels on Freeview with Ofcom licences for a further 14. It delivers local TV stations to more than 14 million homes. Ed Hall, who founded media company Canis, of which Comux is a subsidiary, also founded Comux and acted as its chief executive. He is an active media entrepreneur who has served on professional industry bodies in Europe, Asia and Australia and has produced news programmes and documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
Lisa Trickett, Birmingham City Council
Lisa Trickett, Labour councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath, is Birmingham City Council’s green champion. She holds the cabinet portfolio for a “smart, green and sustainable city”. She has responsibility for leading the city’s environmental agenda, including climate change, carbon reduction, energy and food security and green planning and transport issues. She chair’s the city’s Green Commission and also chairs the Cycling Forum. She is working with the award-winning Birmingham District Energy Scheme, supported by funding from Innovate UK and other research institutes, to explore methods of reducing reliance on fossil fuels by making best use of district heating networks.
Charles Chance, Nimvelo
Charles Chance is the founder and managing director of Nimvelo, a company set up to provide phone services tailored for start-up businesses. It is an internet-based communications business, looking at effective ways of working, including cloud-based phone systems. He has launched and run a number of communications and online businesses, having originally been IT manager for Walsall-based not-for-profit organisation Breathing Space which helped aspiring entrepreneurs set up businesses. Nimvelo is based on the Innovation Birmingham Campus.
Sir Peter Rigby, SCC
Sir Peter Rigby’s Tyseley-headquartered technology division, SCC, is benefiting from increased demand for cloud services. The division’s investment in data centres has topped more than £50 million and UK data centre and cloud revenues for SCC have grown by nearly 70 per cent, with contracts with Gist Aggregate Industries, BOC, IBM, Oxford Council, the CAA and the Highways Agency. The firm employs more than 6,000 people. Sir Peter also has interests in airports – he owns Coventry Airport – hotels, real estate, aviation and financial services.