Our team

Our Board

Sir Michael Lyons
Sir Michael Lyons
Non-Executive Chairman

Knighted for services to local government in 2000, Sir Michael Lyons has been chair of the SQW Group Board since 2013.

His executive career included 17 years as chief executive of three major UK local authorities including Birmingham City Council (1994-2002). Amongst a range of board, advisory and coaching roles, his non-executive career since 2002 has included: chairman of the BBC, chair of the English Cities Fund (current), non-executive director of Redrow Homes, non-executive director of Wragge and Co (now part of Gowling), Professor of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham, deputy chair of the Audit Commission, governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and chair of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Sir Michael has also led a number of government sponsored enquiries including The Role and Funding of Local Government (2007) and review of Public Sector Relocation (2004). In addition, he chaired the Lyons Housing review (2014) and the independent review of Invest Northern Ireland (2023).

Roger Quince
Roger Quince
Non-Executive Director

Roger Quince combines experience at board level in industry and property investment with consultancy in the field of public policy.

He is a co-founder, and former managing director, of SQW. As well as leading the development of the company to become one of the foremost in its field, he directed many of SQW’s flagship projects, principally in the science and technology sector. His consultancy experience includes a strong international dimension, with assignments spanning the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean, and several countries in Europe.

Roger is a former executive director of MEPC Ltd, one of the UK’s leading property companies, and was responsible for three business parks including Granta Park near Cambridge which is focused on the biotechnology sector.

He is currently vice-chair of a large multi-academy trust with schools in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and East London which he combines with the role of chair at a thriving regional theatre in Bury St Edmunds.

Rowena Burns
Rowena Burns
Non-Executive Director

Rowena Burns has held CEO, non-executive director and chair positions spanning the public and private sectors.  

Early public policy roles centred on Manchester’s Metrolink tram system, and on city centre economic development to position the City amongst Europe’s most successful regional capitals. This led to Director and Group Director roles in the Manchester Airports Group, where Rowena led the successful negotiation to remove Manchester airport from economic regulation and the acquisition of three additional airports. The belief that growth could best be secured by working in partnership across institutional and sectoral boundaries led to director roles with commercial property company Bruntwood Estates and CEO of Manchester Science Partnerships – a civic, academic, and commercial collaboration driving the growth of the life sciences in the North West.

 

Deep understanding of the complex conditions which support successful cities led to a portfolio of non-executive positions, including Chair of Manchester’s city centre management company, NED of the FutureEverything Digital Festival, Governor of Manchester Metropolitan University, and Director of Salford Royal Foundation Hospital Trust. Rowena is also a founder member and current serving Chair of Health Innovation Manchester – a partnership to drive innovation in health.

Our Board

Sir Michael Lyons
Sir Michael Lyons
Non-Executive Chairman

Knighted for services to local government in 2000, Sir Michael Lyons has been chair of the SQW Group Board since 2013.

His executive career included 17 years as chief executive of three major UK local authorities including Birmingham City Council (1994-2002). Amongst a range of board, advisory and coaching roles, his non-executive career since 2002 has included: chairman of the BBC, chair of the English Cities Fund (current), non-executive director of Redrow Homes, non-executive director of Wragge and Co (now part of Gowling), Professor of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham, deputy chair of the Audit Commission, governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and chair of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Sir Michael has also led a number of government sponsored enquiries including The Role and Funding of Local Government (2007) and review of Public Sector Relocation (2004). In addition, he chaired the Lyons Housing review (2014) and the independent review of Invest Northern Ireland (2023).

Roger Quince
Roger Quince
Non-Executive Director

Roger Quince combines experience at board level in industry and property investment with consultancy in the field of public policy.

He is a co-founder, and former managing director, of SQW. As well as leading the development of the company to become one of the foremost in its field, he directed many of SQW’s flagship projects, principally in the science and technology sector. His consultancy experience includes a strong international dimension, with assignments spanning the Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean, and several countries in Europe.

Roger is a former executive director of MEPC Ltd, one of the UK’s leading property companies, and was responsible for three business parks including Granta Park near Cambridge which is focused on the biotechnology sector.

He is currently vice-chair of a large multi-academy trust with schools in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and East London which he combines with the role of chair at a thriving regional theatre in Bury St Edmunds.

Martin Hess
Martin Hess
Non-Executive Director

Martin Hess is VP, Enterprise Services at Hewlett Packard, a US listed multinational information technology company.

HP is headquartered in California, has a market capitalisation of £30.86 billion and a turnover of £80.90 billion. Martin has sat on the HP UK board for eight years.

Within Martin’s current role, which he took up in August 2010, he is responsible for the growth of Enterprise Services (formerly EDS) in the UK&I, a $2.2 billion revenue business. He has been with HP since 2001 in a number of positions; VP, Global Accounts (Nov 2009 – Aug 2010), VP, Technology Solutions Group, UK&I (Nov 2004 – Oct 2009) and Sales Director, Financial Services UK (June 2001 – Nov 2004).

Prior to this he worked in a number of organisations in varied roles including being part of the startup management for Interliant, a French application services provider, he also spent 10 years at IBM in a number of management roles. Martin began his career at Imperial Foods as a graduate marketing trainee.

Martin has a degree in Economics and International Relations from LSE, and an MBA from London Business School.

Rowena Burns
Rowena Burns
Non-Executive Director

Rowena Burns has held CEO, non-executive director and chair positions spanning the public and private sectors.  

Early public policy roles centred on Manchester’s Metrolink tram system, and on city centre economic development to position the City amongst Europe’s most successful regional capitals. This led to Director and Group Director roles in the Manchester Airports Group, where Rowena led the successful negotiation to remove Manchester airport from economic regulation and the acquisition of three additional airports. The belief that growth could best be secured by working in partnership across institutional and sectoral boundaries led to director roles with commercial property company Bruntwood Estates and CEO of Manchester Science Partnerships – a civic, academic, and commercial collaboration driving the growth of the life sciences in the North West.

 

Deep understanding of the complex conditions which support successful cities led to a portfolio of non-executive positions, including Chair of Manchester’s city centre management company, NED of the FutureEverything Digital Festival, Governor of Manchester Metropolitan University, and Director of Salford Royal Foundation Hospital Trust. Rowena is also a founder member and current serving Chair of Health Innovation Manchester – a partnership to drive innovation in health.

Executive Directors

David Crichton-Miller, CEO of SQW Group
David Crichton-Miller
Group Chief Executive Officer

Passionate about innovation and SMEs, David Crichton-Miller joined SQW Group in June 2015 as chief executive.

David started his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, then raised venture capital to start up a disruptive services business (which continues to thrive). It was this experience that provided much of the inspiration for David’s deep interest in the challenges of start-ups and scale-ups and, for the last 20 years, he has worked in the support services sector, mostly with companies working with and for local and central government.

In recent years, David was invited to join the Board of Tate Enterprises, the commercial arm of the Tate galleries, of which he is now chair. He is also the chair of the CBI’s SME Council, representing the voices of smaller businesses on the Chairs Committee of the CBI. Finally, as a committed supporter of young and ambitious small businesses, he is a member of the Investment Management team of Oxford Innovation Finance and a Board observer on a number of companies that Oxford Innovation has supported with investment.

Kate Wright, CFO of SQW Group
Kate Wright
Group Chief Financial Officer

Kate Wright joined SQW Group in November 2016 and is proud of the positive impact the team has on places across the UK.

Prior to joining the Group, Kate held a number of senior finance positions in public, private and not-for-profit organisations including that of Group Finance Director for Concateno plc (now part of Abbott). Whilst at Concateno, Kate was a key part of the Group’s rapid growth (both organically and via acquisition) which created the European leader in the field of medical diagnostics ahead of its sale to US-listed Alere Inc in August 2009.

Kate qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte back in 2004. During her four years with Deloitte, she specialised in working with high growth SMEs across the Thames Valley including managing advisory work on two highly successful client IPOs. It was while working at Deloitte that Kate first realised the incredible impact the right support and advice can have on ambitious businesses, and the places in which they operate.

Executive Team

Jane Galsworthy
Jane Galsworthy
Managing Director
Oxford Innovation Advice
Richard Cooper
Richard Cooper
Managing Director
Oxford Innovation Finance
Jo Stevens
Jo Stevens
Managing Director
Oxford Innovation Space
Christine Doel
Christine Doel
Managing Partner
SQW
Luke Delahunty
Luke Delahunty
Managing Partner
SQW
Kathryn Seys
Kathryn Seys
Head of HR
Group HR