Wales Co-operative Centre appoints two new directors to grow its commercial arm

Rhian Edwards takes the role of commercial director Joanne Jones joins as director of finances and resources

The Wales Co-operative Centre has today announced the appointment of Rhian Edwards as commercial director and Joanne Jones as director of finances and resources.

Their roles are to provide leadership and strategic direction for the organisation’s business development and commercial activities.

Ms Edwards continues her rise through the organisation’s ranks, having spent the last 12 months developing the centre’s first dedicated commercial consultancy service, Social Business Connect. Prior to this, she spent nine years delivering public sector facing consultancy for the Centre, working with high profile clients such as NHS Shared Services, Public Health Wales, Development Bank of Wales and Transport for Wales.

She has also managed a range of social enterprise business support programmes for the Centre in that time, including the £11m funded Social Business Wales project and the Business Succession & Consortia project.

Meanwhile, Joanne Jones is a new face at the centre, after a career covering audit, accounting and risk. A chartered accountant, her career started in an accountancy practice, where clients were predominantly not for profit organisations but also included manufacturing, retail and service companies. For the past four years she has worked at a private commercial healthcare company where she led on finance, HR and IT.

Derek Walker, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “We have been in business since the early 1980s. Our sustainability has been the result of strong governance, a reputation of delivery but also our ability to identify and nurture talent within our ranks. Rhian is a perfect example of this. From the first day she joined us, she has always showed vision and ambition to diversify our income base and find new ways to achieve our goals and strengthen our business.

“With Joanne alongside her we now have a strong leadership team in place to grow our commercial arm of the business and secure more contracts with the public and private sectors.”