Scroll down to meet our Advisory Board or read on to meet the Excite-ed team…
Julia Bateson – Managing Director
Julia is responsible for Excite-ed’s overall strategic and operational management, quality assurance, partnerships, sustainability and the expansion of Excite-ed across the UK and Asia. Julia comes from the education sector where she led a nationally acclaimed, cutting edge ICT school, based in a professional football club. As well as being a Local Authority Adviser, she has supported school leaders across the East of England and London for Canterbury Christ Church University developing quality out of school hours learning opportunities for vulnerable children and young people. Julia is a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Ambassador and Video Game STEM Ambassador for UKIE (UK Interactive Entertainment). She is a successful project manager and public speaker. Julia is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, London where she is a tutor. Julia is a ‘Thought Leader’ blogging on Cybersafety issues for the Educationalappstore.com. She currently teaches game design, computing & digital technology, part time, in a primary school to keep her ‘finger on the pulse’. She is a school Governor who chairs an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ (2014) Children’s Centre.
Adrienne Arthurs – Marketing and Business Development Director
Adrienne is fascinated by digital technology, is a gamer and is the creative mind behind all things Excite-ed; responsible for the creation of Excite-ed products and marketing. Adrienne has more than two decades of experience as an Extended Services consultant, a family and community development coordinator working in schools, working with teenagers with additional needs, with pre-schools, also working in business development in the commercial sector and delivering training to adults and young people.
David Pyne – Director
David is an experience entrepreneur in the world of school communication technology and the corporate sector. He is committed to bringing innovative technology applications into schools and has worked with several hundred schools to refresh and bring their IT systems up to date allowing cutting edge equipment, software and apps to be used by students and staff. David is a parent who understands the importance of young people enjoying safe digital experiences in preparation for their future employment.
Catherine Sleath – Social Finance Officer
Catherine is great at developing organisations. She has a strong track record of carefully managing processes and liaising with agencies. After graduating, Catherine pursued a career in fundraising and Event Management for a national charity. During a career break to raise a family, she has taken on a number of voluntary roles including Chair of the Management Committee of a local Playgroup and more recently as Church Warden of St Andrew’s Church in Hertford – an active, busy church where she is involved in major fundraising projects and grant applications.
Catherine is determined to ensure that Excite-ed grows to meet it’s full potential for the benefit of children, young people, parents, carers and teachers alike.
Matt Wasser – Excite-ed Burma Project Leader, Associate Designer and Coder
Matt runs our Excite-ed App Development programme at the Myanmar International School, Langon, Burma. He is a rare breed because he is both an experienced graphic designer and flash animator who managed to do what he always said he wouldn’t: he learnt to code. And he actually finds it fun – in fact he can’t get enough! Matt is a first generation gamer, who started with an Atari home console, who wishes he’d been taught coding and video game making skills at school so now he’s teaching students to do exactly that! He’s delighted to be working with Excite-ed so that future game designers can start younger. Matt worked with us to develop our second app – Cybercafe for Apple and Android devices. He also makes lots of great apps for children under his brand Frosby.
Nusrat Khan – Excite-ed Associate Diversity Consultant
Nusrat has years of experience supporting the development of Multi-ethnic groups and organisations. She was a local authority consultant acting a a skilled negotiator and partnership builder working with Complementary Supplementary Schools and community groups. She is also an interpreter. Nusrat brings knowledge and experience of cultural diversity to projects that support children and young people. Nusrat is a trained Critical Friend and is skilled in project development.
Alex Bateson - School Facilitator
Alex is an experienced facilitator who delivers online game design sessions in schools. He has worked in London for more than two decades developing employment opportunities for young people and young adults. He delivers business, enterprise and career workshops to teenagers in London and Hertfordshire. Alex is qualified in Information, Advice and Guidance and assessing the suitability of premises for work experience and apprenticeships. He is a Employment and Training Adviser in Hertfordshire with years of experience of monitoring equal opportunities in the work place and employment training contracts. He has also worked in ‘London theatre land’ as a stage technician and has run his own painting and decorating business.
Astra Cozens – Illustrator
Astra is a talented intern who has worked on PlanetExcite-ed and our second app, Cybersafe. She graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2011 with a degree in 2D digital animation. In addition to this Astra loves the arts, illustration and character design.
Introducing the Excite-ed Advisory Board….
Ian Cheeseman – Head of Simplification, Lloyds Bank
Ian has worked across the Lloyds Banking Group for the last 30 years. Today Ian leads the Insurance Simplification portfolio including the transition of Insurance Operations into Group Operations. He spent his first 15 years working in the Branch Network then Business Banking moving to Operations where he lead a portfolio of improvement projects including the removal of paper based reporting from across the Group and leading the development of the Groups offshore operations. In 2005, Ian was appointed as the Executive Assistant to the Managing Director, Group Operations which included a secondment to Group CEO, Eric Daniels. More recently Ian was the Delivery Programme Manager within the Groups Simplification Programme where he delivered the enhanced customer account switcher process. Ian, a keen sportsman, is married to Hatidje and enjoys travel to new destinations across the world.
Natasha Dodds – Head of Marketing and Communications, Capita
Natasha has worked in communications and marketing for more than 20 years for corporates, trade associations and charities. She now heads up marketing for the Real Estate business at Capita. Prior to joining Capita, Natasha managed communications for Creative & Cultural Skills, the sector skills council for the creative industries. She is passionate about getting businesses involved in communities. It was while working for Capita in Barnet that Natasha linked up with Excite-ed to run a schools digital game design championship, the winning app is now available on app stores. She has also worked in the charity and trade association sector, where she instigated a highly successful PR campaign for electrical safety involving TV’s most popular DIY rescue show. Natasha’s been involved in many high profile and complex marketing and PR campaigns. In her role at Capita, she launched Gas Safe Register, which won awards for PR and brand development. She rolled out employer communications for the government’s automatic enrolment into pensions scheme. Natasha recently led communications for two major contracts with Barnet Council, which included the launch of a new joint venture regulatory services company. Natasha is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
Justin Smith – CEO and Founder, The Educational App Store
Paul Chiriac – Marketing & Sales Manager, The Educational App Store
Paul Chiriac was appointed as Educational App Store’s sales and marketing manager in 2013, tasked with broadening the store’s community and developing the product offering for educational institutions. Prior to this, Paul has used his marketing and PR skills in companies across industries like FMCG, Investment, Software and Retail. His knowledge and interest in mobile learning industry allow him to offer an agnostic view on the explosive growth of educational apps and mobile educational content. Paul’s hobbies include photography, pottery, fine art and antiques.
Deborah Scott Anderson – Founder, Climate Gardens
Deborah writes a highly successful gardening blog Climate Gardens. She has 25 years corporate experience as a communications consultant in London which includes the PR consultancy Hytner Anderson. Since 2008 she has moved on to become a social entrepreneur developing Climate Gardens, as sustainable digital environmental enterprise which has achieved a first Google ranking above RHS and the BBC.