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, Slack and the SSi forum as well as running intensive learning days. I also lead online Q&A sessions and write the weekly newsletter. I’m one of the organisers of SSiW’s Online Eisteddfod and Welsh Bootcamps.

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.

Faye R

Course Production Lead
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Faye R

Course Production Lead

Role description: I coordinate course building with translators and voice artists, using our software to create content inline with SSi methodology. I’m currently working on courses for refugees and asylum seekers in Wales, as well as tester courses in Italian, Arabic, Scottish Gaelic, Irish and Basque. I’ve also been involved in creating content for the English courses so you may hear my voice in the mix too.

Time with SSi: Since 2020, first creating and editing content for English courses and more recently working on a few of our special projects.

Languages: English and everyday Arabic. I’m currently learning Welsh.

Interesting fact about Faye: I make music and I have a near enough photographic memory for people’s faces.

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

Work Based Learning coordinator
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Kai S

Work Based Learning coordinator

Role description: I’m the main contact for everything regarding Work-Based Learning, I cover online group sessions with Welsh learners when Deborah and Nia are unavailable, and I help with our education pilot. I’m also currently working with Faye on improving the way we share information within the company. I’m very flexible so I’m generally available to help wherever it’s needed in the company.

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.

Nia Ll

Learner Support
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Nia Ll

Learner Support

Role description: I organise and take part in daily group chats with SaySomethinginWelsh members in Slack. I support learners needing help as they work their way through the SSiW course. Through online and in-person activities I work at enriching our learners’ language learning journeys with Welsh culture and heritage. I also run weekly Welsh Speaking Practice sessions and I’m one of the organisers of SSiW’s Welsh Bootcamps.

Time with SSi: I’ve been working for SaySomethinginWelsh for over four years. I originally became involved when Aran reached out to the Welsh speaking community seeking volunteers to chat with learners, then there was no looking back.

Languages: Welsh and English, and I’m learning Irish.

Interesting fact about Nia: I run a Welsh postcard exchange club with my friend Aled who’s a postcard fanatic. I love working part time behind the bar in my local community run pub – a perfect role for me as my favourite hobby is talking! I also have an elderly Jack Russell called Sam who has become quite famous as he’s had books written about him in Welsh.

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.

Rob A

Software Engineer
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Rob A

Software Engineer

Role description: I write codes and programs. I build AutoMagic for iOS, which includes writing the code that produces the ‘faces’ video content.

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.