Aran J

CEO
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Aran J

CEO

Role description: I keep an eye on all the plates we’ve got spinning, work with team leaders to make sure projects are on track, talk to potential partners and lead on methodology.

Time with SSi: I’m one of the co-founders of the company – we formed as a company in 2010 after launching our first course in 2009. We released the first course 4 days before my daughter was born, which in hindsight wasn’t a particularly fine piece of scheduling.

Languages: I speak English and Welsh, and I can hold enjoyable conversations (with plenty of entertaining mistakes) in Spanish and French. I’ve a fair amount of Italian, Arabic, and German, but not enough to hold a conversation. I can also say ‘I want to watch the football at the weekend’ in Manx, which would be more helpful if I liked football.

Interesting fact about Aran: I’ve swum with dolphins in New Zealand, ridden a horse through a herd of zebras in Zimbabwe, driven from Seattle to New York, lived in Germany, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and Dubai, I used to own a royal python called Dylan and I’m passionate about meditation.

Catrin J

Marketing and Communications
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Catrin J

Marketing and Communications

Role description: I assist a creative agency in improving our company profile. I provide interesting content for our social media platforms and website and encourage learners to get involved in our forum community.

Time with SSi: I’m one of the co-founders of SSi and spent some years volunteering before officially coming on board in 2019

Languages: Welsh, English and a small smattering of Spanish

Interesting fact about Catrin: I enjoy the challenge of fine art drawing and the freedom of walking in the hills. I can stand on my head and love a good karaoke. I used to be a full time nanny to the rich and famous and I’m currently writing my second Welsh novel.

Catrin Rh

Office Manager
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Catrin Rh

Office Manager

Role description: I run the SSi office. I develop and implement new administrative systems, look after SSi clients and process invoices and salaries. My skill set is administration based, so I’m often responding to random queries, which keeps me on my toes and my job interesting.

Time with SSi: Since July 2021

Languages: Welsh and English

Interesting fact about Catrin: I was instrumental in establishing a Rowing Club in Moelfre, Ynys Mon (Anglesey) that now boasts 48 members! From day to day I work from a recording studio which I share with my hubby who’s a musician!

Deborah M

Tutor and Learning Support Manager
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Deborah M

Tutor and Learning Support Manager

Role Description: My main role is giving daily support to Welsh and Spanish learners via email, the SSiW Community Chat Slack platform, and the SSi forum as well as helping with the testing of new course material. I lead online Q&A sessions which are available for any of our subscribed learners to join.

Time with SSi: I began learning Welsh with SSiW in 2009, started volunteering in 2010, I then became part of the team in 2015.

Languages: English, Welsh, Esperanto, Spanish, a little French, German and Japanese, and I’m currently learning Basque

Interesting Fact about Deborah: I’ve been a nomad for most of my life – I’d lived in 5 different houses and 2 different countries by the age of 5! I now live in the Basque Country, and given the amount of hard work and dedication that goes into learning Basque, I’m not planning on throwing that away by moving again!

Dr Joanne P

Chair of the Board
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Dr Joanne P

Chair of the Board

Role description: I’m mainly responsible for leading the board and contributing to strategic planning

Time with SSi: I have been with the company since the summer of 2021

Languages: English and French

Interesting fact about Joanne: I hold first (BSc Joint Hons Medical Cell Biology and Biochemistry) and second degrees (PhD, Dept of Medicine) from the University of Liverpool. Walks in nature feed my soul, particularly in North Wales and I indulge my creative side with painting.

Ivan B

Developer and Systems Administrator
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Ivan B

Developer and Systems Administrator

Role description: I maintain SSi’s network and server infrastructure, write backend and frontend software, and provide second-line technical support to learners.

Time with SSi: I started at the very end of 2013, though before that I’d been a member of the SSi community since January 2010.

Languages: Native English, fluent in Welsh and French, conversational in German and Esperanto, mostly-passive Spanish and Italian. I’ve held very basic conversations in Swedish and Manx in the past, but probably couldn’t do so anymore. I’ve dabbled in Finnish, Japanese, Polish and Mandarin, but couldn’t string a real sentence together to save my life.

Interesting fact about Ivan: I often enjoy learning about things by creating my own versions of them. As such, my hobbies include writing music, designing and implementing retro computers, and devising constructed languages!

Jeff L

Director of Tech
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Jeff L

Director of Tech

Role description: I’m mainly responsible for overall tech strategy, management of tech portfolio including SSiBorg, and oversight of developers

Time with SSi: I started volunteering in about 2015, starting with improving the quality of audio recordings, I then moved into volunteer course production (Welsh and especially Spanish), then became an official part of the company in 2019.

Languages: French, dabbled in German, I’ve picked up some Spanish while producing the course, and of course: Welsh!

Interesting fact about Jeff: In my spare time, I’m a musician: drummer first and have a nice collection of Ghanaian hand drums, a singer second and saxophonist a distant third (I have a tenor, an alto and a soprano sax, but at this point I fear that I can’t really play any of them!

Kai S

Head of Learning and Special Projects
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Kai S

Head of Learning and Special Projects

Role description:I work with schools, the National Centre for Learning Welsh and different companies and organizations to offer SSiW in these places and improve learning. As part of this, I interface between users and Tech to make everything run as smoothly and intuitively as possible. I also run online sessions with Welsh learners.

Time with SSi: I have been volunteering with SSi since 2017, getting involved in a wide array of tasks. In 2019 when I moved to Wales full time, my involvement with the company intensified and in 2021 I officially became part of the team.

Languages: Welsh, Finnish, English and Italian. I’ve also dabbled in some Swedish, Spanish and Mandarin.

Interesting fact about Kai: I had always planned on studying maths or physics at university, but at some point I stumbled across the Welsh language and fell in love with it. I soon became immersed in Welsh culture and developed a passion for Welsh literature, so I changed my mind and ended up applying for a different degree course.

Nick P

Non Executive Director
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Nick P

Non Executive Director

Role description: I oversee partnerships and marketing.

Time with SSi: I officially joined in the Summer of 2021, but I had previously been introduced to the company by Global Welsh in 2019 – at the height of the Covid pandemic!

Languages: English and French and I’ll be starting my SSiWelsh course this year!

Interesting fact about Nick: As a complete sports nut I have been lucky enough to attend many football, rugby and cricket World Cup finals – unfortunately, though, none of them featuring a Welsh team! But who knows what the future may bring.

Richard B

Developer
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Richard B

Developer

Role description: Industrial Placement. I am currently doing an MSc at Aberystwyth Uni. and joining SSi for a year as part of the course.

Time with SSi: I whipped through SSIW at the beginning of 2018 when I was driving around. I was amazed by the whole approach and hugely impressed by its effectiveness.

Languages: I did a bit of French and a bit of Welsh at school – my Anglo-Saxon is very strong. I decided to sit the Uwch3 exam (2022) post covid. It was extremely interesting to compare the material and approach of the ‘conventional’ with the SaySomethingIn method.

Interesting fact about Richard: I have two rescue dogs who love Aberdyfi beach and come to Uni with me everyday. I was born in Brecon. My father was Welsh first language but my mother was from London, so we never spoke it as a family.

Rob A

Software Engineer
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Rob A

Software Engineer

Role description: I design, develop, test, and maintain internal software applications.

Time with SSi: I joined in January 2022

Languages: English, Welsh

Interesting fact about Rob: I moved to North Wales in 2017 and immediately started learning Welsh with SSi. I fell in love with the whole concept of SSi and became keen to be involved with the company. I’m a dog owner and keen walker and I’ve just bought myself a welding machine!

Tom C

Head of Education & Special Projects
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Tom C

Head of Education & Special Projects

Role description: I focus on applying the SSi methodology to language learning in schools, starting with Welsh for English-medium schools and developing English for Tamil-, Sinhalese- and Mandarin-medium schools.

Time with SSi: I started creating experimental SSi programmes in 2016 with Portuguese and Chinese. I officially joined the company in May 2021.

Languages: Spanish, a reasonable amount of Chinese and French and I’m working on Welsh, Portuguese and German

Interesting fact about Tom: I have 8 children, I play jazz piano and I’ve written books on problem-solving published in 6 languages.

Zola H

Marketing Research Intern
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Zola H

Marketing Research Intern

Role descriptionI will be using my research skills to investigate the  language e-learning marketplace and propose innovative solutions. 

Time with SSiI am Jamaican and a current postgraduate student at Bangor Uni. I will be working with SSi during July and August 2023. 

LanguagesI am a native speaker of English and Jamaica Patois (creole). I am an intermediate speaker of Spanish and I am currently trying to learn Galician, French and Welsh. 

Interesting fact about meI love lemon cake but only learnt to bake one in April of this year!