REIGNITE: Meet the Speakers

Meet the speakers

Michael Jackson - Moderator

Michael Jackson (2)

Global presenter & facilitator Michael Jackson has applied his communication & marketing expertise to audiences at well over 2 700 conferences & events across 46 countries.

This informative & inspiring communicator of innovative human & business change has addressed
& impressed audiences everywhere, including world leaders & global CEOs.

Jackson facilitates & delivers unique, memorable & personalised events to ensure his audiences become wholly engaged, think differently & leave every event enriched by the experience.

Rohit Talwar

Rohit Talwar (2)

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist who focuses on the future of meetings and events. He is the founder and CEO of Fast Future - a foresight agency that has helped more than 1,000 clients in over 70 countries to future proof their organisations by understanding and acting on what's coming over the horizon.

He was recently ranked by Kongres Magazine as the leading LinkedIn influencer in the meetings industry. His clients include major industry associations, convention bureaus, convention centres, global corporations, and governments. Rohit has co-authored and been the lead editor of nine books on the emerging future. He appears regularly in leading newspapers and on TV news channels around the world. 

Heather Lishman

Heather Lisman (2) 

A graduate of the University of Surrey, Heather had roles with DeVere, InitialStyle Conferences and Quality in Tourism before forming her own business in 2010 providing services to a diverse range of hospitality organisations.  In her role as Association Director of ABPCO she has used her business skills to bring the association events community together to promote and encourage excellence, share, learn and collaborate. 

By growing member engagement and increasing the profile and recognition of the PCO community, the association has flourished.

Samantha Hiew

Samantha Hiew (2) 

Dr. Samantha Hiew is the Director of ADHD Girls, a company with a dual mission to empower girls and women with ADHD to thrive in society and improve societal understanding of neurodiversity.

 Sam has a background in communications and a medical science PhD, which she harnesses to create thought-provoking digital campaigns, talks, workshops, and events.

Her work has been recognised with nominations in the "Stereotype Buster” and Community Choice" categories at the 2022 Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards.

Andy Lopata

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A specialist in professional relationships and networking for over 20 years, Andy Lopata was called ‘one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ by the Financial Times and ‘a true master of networking’ by the Independent and

A very experienced international speaker and podcast host, Andy is the author of five books, has been quoted in a number of other business books and regularly quoted in the international press. Andy is former President of the Fellows Community and a two-time Board Member of the Professional Speaking Association UK & Ireland (PSA) and a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute as well as a Master of the Institute for Sales Management.

He is also one of just 28 recipients of the PSA’s top honour, the ‘Award of Excellence’.

Laura Cappell

Laura Cappell

Founder of event-industry coaching company, No More Ifs Or Buts and event industry pledge scheme, Stress Matters. Laura is s business and career coach, working with teams from graduate level up to C-board.

 Breaking down subjects such as leadership skills, stress management and conflict management into manageable, fun and interactive sessions. 

Her work as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and as a coach on the Event Assistant apprenticeship programme, has also allowed her to develop a good understanding of the lives of juniors entering industry.  This broad overview enables her to adapt group and individual coaching sessions to suit the team.

Michael Foreman

Michael Foreman (2)

Michael Foreman worked in the Meeting industry for 20 years.  He sat on numerous advisory boards including best Cities, Tourism Montreal, Confex & The UK Meetings Show & acted as a Liverpool Ambassador.

He was a board member of The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) since 2009 & Chairman from 2011 – 2013.  In 2016 elected as an Honorary Life Member. After working for a number of Europe’s largest PCO’s,  in 2014 he founded Kindology to create good out of events and set up a consultancy advising Organisers, Associations and Industry stakeholders on Sponsorship and Partnership Strategy.

In mid 2016 he changed direction in his career to work in the Sustainability Sector and was appointed Managing Director of Don't Waste UK which provides sustainable solutions to commercial properties to improve and drive their ESG Agenda’s.

Ashleigh Taylor

ash taylor

Ashleigh is Head of Environment for Compass Group UK & Ireland who is an experienced and qualified professional working at a strategic level.

Responsible for environmental management across the UK & Ireland for a diverse portfolio of projects covering all aspects of food, vending and facility management services in our owned and client premises, she provides practical expertise and guidance.

She ensures that the business complies with all relevant environmental legislation, developing processes and tools to support the business, maintain the environmental management system, with a focus on managing our approach to single use plastics and food waste management.

A Full & Chartered Member of Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), Ashleigh has a breadth of experience and qualifications within various professional environments including local government, construction, agriculture, and facilities management.

Bev Hancock

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Bev is a conversational catalyst who believes that we build our future success one conversation at a time. She believes that we hold a magical and wise truth in the language and practice of UBUNTU – an African philosophy that means "I am because we are".

As an interactive speaker, event facilitator and engagement specialist, Bev energises the delegate experience by drawing their voice and expertise into the conversation. With master's degrees in business and executive coaching, Bev works with your teams to elevate their conversational leadership to build trust, psychological safety, engagement and results into their leadership dialogue.

There has never been a better time for leaders to communicate with compassion and power. It is Bev's transformative purpose to bring these skills to the world.

Jamie Ades

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Jamie is a creative and engaging manager, with sales expertise bringing 20 years of dynamic and diverse senior management experience from within all areas of the MICE industry, with a focus on venue sales and destination management.

In March 2022, Jamie was appointment as a beam board director, and Industry Relations Director, to forge and develop solid relationships at senior and government levels to ensure that our industry remains relevant and heard.

Jamie returned to ExCeL London in February 2022 in the role of Senior Account Manager - Conferences & Events, working with international event planners.  Before joining ExCeL London, Jamie worked VisitBritain in the role of Senior Destination Manager within the Business Events team, where he managed strategic partnerships with UK destinations to win more international business events and incentives.

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