The Landways Team

Management

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Chris Smedley

Chief Executive

 

Chris is the Chief Executive and co-founder of Landways.

Chris has over 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry. He is the former Chief Executive of Geo Networks which he co-founded in 2002. Geo was the first specialist provider of leased optical fibre in the UK, originally owned by Hutchison Whampoa and latterly Alchemy, a UK private equity fund. The business grew from zero turnover to over £40m in just over a decade and in 2014 was sold to Zayo, a US fibre infrastructure provider for $294m.

Prior to Geo, Chris started life as a solicitor at Linklaters & Paines where he practised in the firm’s litigation department. In 1997, he was appointed Legal Director of Colt Telecom where he was a member of the senior management team, eventually with responsibility for the Property, Public Policy, Project Office and HR departments, as well as the Legal team.

Chris holds a degree in European Law (LLB Hons) from the University of Warwick; a Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law; and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court.

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Mike Ainger

Chief Strategy Officer

Mike is the Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of Landways.

He has 30 years’ experience in the transport, communications and engineering industries, including 10 years in the UK rail industry and over 15 years in senior management roles in the telecoms sector.

Mike was Chief Operating Officer of Geo Networks from 2004 to 2014 and is the Founder Director of nuron, which delivers innovative monitoring and management technology for utility networks.

Mike is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

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David Castledine

Commercial Finance Director

As Commercial Director, David is responsible for identifying investment opportunities and then structuring long term partnerships with both property owners and our customers. David also takes responsibility for Finance.

Prior to joining Landways, David worked as a Finance Director within Capita, and before that at Geo for over 10 years, latterly as the Commercial Finance Director. He has also held various Commercial and Finance roles spanning over 20 years in companies such as Hutchison Whampoa, Deutsche Bank and EDF Energy. David holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham and is qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

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Michelle Coffman

Operations Director

As Operations Director, Michelle is responsible for ensuring the engine of the business runs smoothly. Michelle leads the team who manage the asset portfolio working closely with our customers. Michelle also takes responsibility for IT, Facilities and HR.

Prior to joining Landways, Michelle worked at Geo as the Facilities and HR Director and has also held various HR roles spanning over 20 years in companies such as PwC, Hutchison Whampoa Vodafone and IDI Gazeley (a Brookfield owned company). Michelle holds a BA in Psychology and Management from University of Wollongong and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

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Nick Ballard

Commercial Director

As Commercial Director, Nick is responsible for commercial trading operation, including the building of the strategic partnerships which underpin the Landways proposition. Nick leads a cross functional consultancy team who work closely with customers creating world class technology solutions, for stadium and other high-density venues and locations.

Prior to joining Landways, over a 20-year period, Nick has worked in various senior commercial roles within the wholesale infrastructure side of the UK telecoms industry, including Cable & Wireless, Virgin Media, Geo, and most recently holding the position of Director of Mobile at Zayo International.

Nick holds a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science from the Birmingham University and has representative and championship honours in athletics and triathlon, both at elite level and more recently as an age group athlete.

Sales

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David Ferguson

Commercial Manager

David's main focus is on our customers, building on early interactions, developing those into long term, mutually beneficial relationships.

Before joining Landways, David ran the North Wales office of FibreSpeed, the JV  set up between Geo Networks and the Welsh Government to bring competitively priced, advanced digital services to poorly served areas of Wales.

David brings 20+ years of commercial and account management experience to the team, all gained within the technology sector. He holds a BSc Hons in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Queens University, Belfast.

Design

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Hugo Read

Solution Design Manager

As Solution Design Manager, Hugo is jointly responsible for customers’ infrastructure design, including amongst other things radio modelling (Wi-Fi, DAS and small cell), traffic modelling, surveillance equipment, smart screens and LED lighting.

Prior to joining Landways, Hugo worked as a Business Architect for the Civil Service and before that as a software designer and engineer in several different industry sectors. Hugo holds a Masters degree in Telecommunications and Networking from UCL and a BSc Joint Honours in Maths and Physics from the University of Manchester.

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Nathan Kelly

Solution Design Manager

As Solution Design Manager, Nathan is jointly responsible for customers’ infrastructure design which includes duct, fibre and power systems, backhaul, data centre colocation and audio systems.

Prior to joining Landways, over a 20-year period, Nathan has worked in various network infrastructure planning roles in the telecoms industry, including Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Geo Networks. Prior to joining Landways, Nathan held the position of Fixed Infrastructure Technical Planning Manager for Group at Liquid Telecom.

Projects and Operations

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Howard Beckman

Head of Operations

As Head of Operations, Howard is responsible for the day to day management and maintenance of Landways infrastructure, service offerings and customer portfolio to ensure the high quality standards we pride ourselves on are consistently delivered.

In today’s always-on, always connected society, Howard works closely with all internal stakeholders, operators and service providers to keep the vital infra-structure network running.

Prior to joining Landways, Howard has amassed 24 years’ experience working in the Telecommunications industry including operational management positions at Cable and Wireless, 186K, Global Crossing and BT Wholesale. Most recently during his time at Magdalene he was wholly responsible for the outsourced operational management and maintenance of Geo Networks’ passive and active infrastructure from its evolution through to its acquisition by Zayo. In addition, Howard was also responsible for the Telefonica national core switch site estate.

Howard holds a degree in Civil Engineering with Management (BEng Hons) from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

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Mike Dixon

Head of Projects

Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the Telecommunications and Electrical Engineering industry, including 14 years with London Electricity and 18 years in Senior Project Management roles within the UK and oversees. Mike was Head of delivery with Geo Networks from 2004 to 2014 and successfully managed a Delivery function accredited to 18001 Health and Safety, 9001 Quality Management systems, having delivered a portfolio of projects against tight deadlines, cost and quality by utilising key suppler agreements and virtual teams to meet customer and business requirements.

Mike is a Incorporated Engineer of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and holds a Diploma in Business Engineering Management from the University of Warwick

Office

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Garth Colan

Contracts and Commercial Manager

Garth has over 15 years’ experience working in commercial and operational management roles across a number of industries including IT & telecoms.

Garth’s previous experience includes roles as a Commercial Director at Capita, Programme Manager at FibreSpeed (a special purpose vehicle and former subsidiary of GEO Networks formed to deliver wholesale fibre broadband services to businesses in North Wales) and commercial management roles at HP and BAE Systems.

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Chris Blackband

Finance Manager

Chris is the Finance Manager at Landways, and prior to joining the company was an Internal Auditor at a FTSE 100 company.

Chris has an array of financial experience including, cost accounting, financial reporting, taxation and internal controls. His career began at a firm of Accountants where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW.

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Karen Muhammad

Office Manager

As Office Manager, Karen is responsible for the day to day running of the office and is the go to person to help make the rest of the team’s day tick over smoothly.

With over 10 years’ experience in various roles in office administration, management and operations in the fashion retail and supply industry, Karen is acknowledged for her organised and holistic cohesive approach in running an office and brings with her a shared passion of creativity and innovation.

Karen holds a BA in Design Product Marketing Development Footwear, A Secretary/PA diploma and is IOSH Managing Safely certified.

Howard Holdings

Howard Holdings Limited is the parent company of Landways Management Limited.

Board

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Chris Smedley

Director

 

Chris is a founding Director of Howard Holdings.

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Mike Ainger

Director

Mike is a founding Director of Howard Holdings.

John Siegel

Director

John is a founding Director of Howard Holdings.

John focuses on Internet Infrastructure and Enterprise IT Services investments. John is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Contino, euNetworks, Landways, Lemongrass, New Signature, SummitIG, and TerraPact. John previously served on the boards of ICG Communications (acquired by Level 3), New Global Telecom (acquired by Comcast), Presidio (acquired by American Securities), GTS CE (acquired by Deutsche Telekom), mindSHIFT (acquired by Best Buy), FDN Communications (acquired by NuVox), Virtustream (acquired by EMC), Cologix (majority stake acquired by Stonepeak), Cloud Sherpas (acquired by Accenture) and Zayo (NYSE: ZAYO) and represented Columbia Capital’s interests in Mpower Communications (acquired by TelePacific). Before joining Columbia Capital, John worked in Morgan Stanley’s Private Equity Group, where he specialized in investments in the telecommunications/data services arena. He also held positions with Fidelity Ventures, the private equity division of Fidelity Investments, and the Investment Banking Division of Alex. Brown & Sons, Incorporated. John received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Evan DeCorte

Director

Evan is a founding Director of Howard Holdings.

Evan focuses on Broadband Infrastructure and Cloud/Enterprise IT Services. Evan is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Landways and TerraPact. Prior to joining Columbia Capital, Evan was the Head of Marketing and led the Voice Business for Roshan TDCA, Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications provider. Before joining Roshan, Evan was as an analyst with JPMorgan Chase’s foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives group in New York. Evan received his B.S. from The George Washington University, where he double majored in Economics and Political Science.