School pupils to enter the Dragons’ Den

Article summary: PETA has invited entrepreneurial school pupils to enter the Dragons’ Den challenge next month, which will involve creating a new product to solve one of modern life’s challenges.

Each team, which will comprise no more than five students, will conceive and design a product that could be rolled out commercially and build a business case for their concept.

The students will pitch their products to a hand-selected team of industry leads, our ‘Dragons’, at PETA’s HQ on Northarbour Road, Cosham, on Friday 11 February.

James SessionsThis week we introduce you to one of our Dragons: James Sessions, Chief Financial Officer of Prysmian Group, an electrical cable manufacturer headquartered in Milan.

After receiving a Master of Business Administration qualification from University of Southampton, James’s first role was as a management accountant and business analyst for manufacturing firm Dek in Weymouth.

He later worked as a logistics analyst for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare in Southampton before joining Pirelli Cables in 2004 as a commercial accountant.

James went on to become Pirelli’s Chief Financial Officer in Australia and New Zealand before the company was bought out and its cabling operation was divested as Prysmian Group.

He has been Prysmian’s Chief Financial Officer in the UK since 2021.

Outside of work, James enjoys travelling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and spending time with his family.

Kelly Sunderland is the European Human Resources (HR) director for electronics manufacturer PEI Genesis.

Kelly Sunderland

Kelly’s HR career began with the Civil Service at HMS Sultan in Gosport, where she also began her postgraduate Personnel Management degree, graduating in 1999.

She later worked in various HR and training roles for firms including Marconi Electronic Systems, Co-Operative group member ACC Milk and consumer finance company Cattles.

Kelly also worked for PETA for four years, running its corporate training team, before joining PEI Genesis as HR manager in 2009.

In 2015, Kelly was made HR director of PEI Genesis and has now also gained a Master of Laws degree from Robert Gordon University. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

In her spare time, Kelly likes to travel, including hiking in Cuba with her husband, and spend time with her family. She also likes to exercise and has taken on the 26-mile Thames Path Mighty Hike to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Tony Mason is the managing director of Pall’s UK companies, a global supplier of hi-tech purification and filtration services.Tony Mason

He is also the Vice President and Group Finance Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and has ultimate responsibility for the group’s financial compliance.

Tony joined Pall in 1985, working in operations finance, before being made the financial controller of the firm’s Portsmouth manufacturing plant and, later, the European Operations Finance Controller.

In 2014, as part of a global initiative, Tony led the creation of the Operations Centre of Excellence for Cost Accounting, based in Portsmouth.

That year he also moved from Operations Finance to partner the President of Pall’s global BioPharma business as Global Finance Business Partner.

In 2016, he became Vice President of Finance Shared Services EMEA, based in Portsmouth, where he co-led the transfer of transactional activities to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2021, Tony moved into his current role. Tony holds a qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Huw Chapman has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer of PETA for the last four years.

Huw’s career began after he graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He worked for Pall Corporation for almost 30 years, rising from his initial role as sales engineer covering the South West region to become the company’s managing director, its head of shared service and human resources director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He went on to work in various HR consultant roles with other firms before joining PETA.

Huw is a Bronze and Silver Expedition leader of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a South East council member of the Confederation of British Industry and a director governor of Ringwood School.

In his spare time, Huw likes to run and has a passion for riding motorcycles.

Find out more about PETA or get in touch if you’d like to know more about this event…


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