The Port of Milford Haven has welcomed three new non-executive directors to its Board following a rigorous selection process, run in collaboration with Pembrokeshire County Council. Debra Bowen Rees, Erica Cassin and James Nyhan will begin their tenure later this year on 1st September.

Deb Barber © Roger Donovan, Media Photos

Debra joins the Port’s Board with a focus on stakeholder relations after standing down from her role as CEO of Cardiff Airport, a position she held since 2017. Now living in west Wales, Debra is establishing a portfolio career. She is also a non-executive Board member at Glas Cymru and is looking forward to this next phase of her career. She brings with her a wealth of experience in leadership and management with proven success at building highly successful, long-term stakeholder relationships at a local and international level.

The Port has a broad range of stakeholders and Debra’s skills will bring an important dynamic to the Board as it diversifies, and its stakeholder base broadens further.

Debra Bowen Rees said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of the Port of Milford Haven. I believe my previous commercial experience at Cardiff Airport and representing the Welsh aviation sector on a UK scale, in what has been a very challenging period, provides a complimentary perspective that will benefit the Port’s ambitions. I am passionate about west Wales as a place to live and visit but I also know that it needs a thriving and robust economy and I look forward to being a part of the Port’s strategic contribution towards this.”

Erica Cassin

Erica will sit on the Board as its HR specialist, having led both healthcare and financial services sector teams through organisational change, and successfully developed a highly engaged workforce. Most recently Erica held the position of HR Director at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, based in London, where she was accountable for an HR team of around forty people and a total workforce of around three thousand across the UK and Ireland. Originally from Cardiff, she has now settled in West Wales to build a portfolio career of non-executive and advisory roles.

Erica Cassin said “I am thrilled to be joining the Port, which is such an important employer and contributor to our local community here in west Wales. It’s an exciting time as it continues to diversify and evolve for the future. I am passionate about empowering and supporting people to learn and grow and look forward to helping the leadership team continue to foster a culture where every member of the Port’s diverse team is able to thrive and fulfil their potential.”

James Nyhan

James is an independent energy consultant with over 30 years of international experience in the energy sector, from traditional oil and gas, to wind, solar and other innovative sectors. James also had a successful career with Shell quickly progressing through a range of senior positions to become General Manager of Shell Energy Europe BV where he led the business in southern Europe for six years before becoming self-employed in 2008.

As the energy specialist on the Board, James’ commercial experience will no doubt prove invaluable as the Port looks beyond its current projects to other energy-based opportunities that will help secure the Port’s long-term success for future generations.

James Nyhan said “I am delighted to be joining the Port and look forward to working with the leadership team at a time of great change in the energy world in which the Port will be intimately involved. The energy transition brings many challenges but also many opportunities that I am keen to see exploited for the benefit of the Port and the wider community of west Wales.”

Debra, Erica and James will shadow Andrew Edwards, Anne Jessop and Rick Squires for a few months before their tenures come to an end.

Chris Martin, Chair of the Port of Milford Haven, said “We are delighted to appoint three new non-executive directors to our Board with such vast experience and expertise in their chosen professions. This will complement the existing colleagues around our Board table and we look forward to their enthusiastic support and wise counsel over the coming years as we strengthen our core business and enter the delivery phase of many exciting projects that are going to improve the future prosperity of Pembrokeshire.

“I would like to thank Cllr David Simpson, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, for his support through the process, recognising the strong collaborative working between the Port and the Council. I would also like to pay tribute to our three non-executive directors who will be leaving us early next year, Anne Jessop, Andy Edwards, and Rick Squires. They have contributed with great professionalism and they should all be proud of the lasting legacy they will leave around the Haven.”

Port of Milford Haven