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Our People

Our People

Stephen Davies


Stephen joined the company in January 2005, having previously been a Regional Director with Brambles Industrial Services in the UK and Netherlands.  He has an honours degree in Geology/Geography, a Master in Business Administration and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.  As Managing Director, Stephen oversees the running of the business in all its aspects and is passionate about Penderyn Distillery

As well as his role at Penderyn, Stephen is also Chairman of the Craft Distillers Alliance and a Director of Browns Hotel, Laugharne.
Our People

Neil Burchell


Neil has worked in the Food business for more than 30 years in categories stretching from Biscuits and Peanuts, through Fruit Juice to Yogurt and Ice Cream ! His business experience has been gained in both the UK and overseas including a two year stint in Moscow. He joined the business in mid-2011 to further strengthen the team and help lead the company to new heights.

Neil Quigley


A Chartered Chemist (MRSC), Neil graduated in 1988 with a BSc.Hons in Chemistry and Physiology and was subsequently awarded an MBA in 2000 from UWCN.  Having initially worked as a Research Scientist he went on to gain first hand experience across the Business Lifecycle in Product Development, Production, Logistics and Supply Chain before working in Sales and Customer  Relationship Management.  He has experience of both SME and large Corporate Organisations, having been the MD of a FTSE 100 corporation business, in sectors such as fmcg, pharmaceuticals, heavy industry and outsourced service provision.  Neil is responsible for operations across the distillery, maturation warehousing, bottling, packing and despatch.

Our People

Jim Swan


Dr Jim Swan has been involved with the Welsh Whisky Company since it began distilling and is their Master Blender charged with creating the unique style of Penderyn single malt. He is a consultant to the World-wide drinks industry and assists the quality aims of Blue Chip brewers, winemakers, distillers and cooperages as well as several small producers in five continents.

After graduating from the Heriot-Watt University in Chemistry he later gained a PhD in Chemistry and Biological Sciences from the same University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was awarded Fellowship of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and more recently a special award from The Malt Advocate magazine for services to the barrel industry. His particular areas of expertise include maturation in oak casks, product quality, distillation and blending. He has undertaken training courses on sensory evaluation of drinks and has managed UK Government and EU research programmes worth over £3M. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and has taken part in TV and radio broadcasts into spirits quality. He is a panel chairman judge at the International Wine and Spirits Competition."

Huw Thomas


A Chartered Accountant, having qualified with PWC in 1991, Huw joined Welsh Whisky in early 2011. With many years experience as the senior finance professional with SME’s in Wales, incorporating a wide range of sectors such as logistics, food processing, direct sales and construction, Huw is now responsible for all financial and company secretarial elements of the business. A graduate of Cardiff University, he holds a BSc (Econ) in Accountancy.

Giancarlo Bianchi


Giancarlo is responsible for the technical aspects of the distillery activities as well as the cask purchasing and maturation strategies.  He now also looks after sales with an emphasis on European markets.

Giancarlo graduated from Southampton University and obtained a PhD in Palaeoceanography from Cambridge University in 1999.  His research activities continued until 2005 when his interests took a new course with the setting up of his own fine furniture making business.  In late 2011 he joined The Welsh Whisky Company as Visitor Centre Manager.  Eventually, his academic rigour and knowledge of wood became important skills to support his current responsibilities.
Our People

Sian Whitelock


Sian previously worked for Brambles Industrial Services in a Commercial role, and had enjoyed prior Management roles in Quality Management Systems and Customer Relationship Management. After 17 years’ service with the company, she decided to take up a new challenge and joined Penderyn in 2005.

In addition to assisting and overseeing the day to day running of the business, Sian's role covers many 'behind the scenes' activities such New Product Development, Marketing, PR activities, Export regulation compliance, Stock Control and Purchasing.
Our People

Nigel Short


Nigel has been involved with Penderyn since well before the official launch in 2004, firstly as a Director and Shareholder, and later as Executive Chairman.

Born and bred in the Cynon Valley only a few miles from the distillery Nigel spent the first 25 years working in the steel industry world-wide and employed 1,500 people in six different countries, undertaking sophisticated on-site logistics.  Nigel also runs a 400 acre organic lamb and beef farm in Carmarthenshire.  He has coached junior rugby for several years and is a qualified rugby referee.