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Our Ambassadors

Our Employ Autism Business Ambassadors are senior decision-makers representing a cross-section of the UK’s economy. They are enthusiastic in their support of Ambitious about Autism and are committed to helping us bridge the gap to employment for young autistic people across the country.

Employ Autism Business Ambassadors draw on their networks and expertise to engage with potential Employ Autism partners and funders, through meetings, events and other opportunities to connect. 

Watch the film that our Business Ambassador Group have contributed to, telling us why they’re so passionate about Employ Autism and Ambitious about Autism. Thanks to ATOS and Magnus Schoeman and Craig Allen, who made the production of this film possible. 

For more information, please contact Eleanor Hull, New Business Lead.

Simon Clements

Simon Clements

Director of Workforce Transformation at CapGemini Invent

Simon Clements is Director of Workforce Transformation at CapGemini Invent, where he supports clients with HR transformation, strategic workforce planning and talent management.

As Executive Sponsor of Capgemini's CAPability employee network, Simon is working to promote disability inclusion, accessibility and neurodiversity programmes across their UK businesses and with clients and partners.

In his spare time, you'll find Simon either exploring the great outdoors, pulling out his hair (what's left of it!) at an Arsenal match, or at an art gallery, museum, gig or restaurant!


Matt Davis

Co Owner of Red Brick Road

Matt Davis is Co-owner and executive Creative Director of Red Brick Road, whose clients include Ginsters, Shpock, Hillarys, Yorkshire Building Society and Hilton Hotels.

He blogs about his son Isaac who has autism at, and is also a parent patron of Ambitious about Autism. As a champion of neurodiversity in the workplace, he speaks publicly about his experiences as an employer and mentor.

He is also a trustee at Autistica. Most recently, Matt has been a mentor for Create not Hate, an initiative set up by Trevor Robinson OBE to bring more diverse talent to the advertising industry.


Marilyn Swinney

Marilyn Swinney

Managing Director and Head of Institutional Sales UK and Ireland at Principal Global Investors

Marilyn, born and raised in Malaysia, is an entrepreneurial minded Business Development professional and a CFA charterholder with more than 17 years international experience within asset management working with Pensions, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

Marilyn is severely visually impaired and an active champion for Diversity and Inclusion. She is particularly passionate about seeing more inclusion of “people of determination” (Disabilities & Neuroabilities) within the Financial Services sector, and has chaired a Disabilities Awareness Network and worked with charities including Blind in Business and VICTA.

“I believe that everyone can learn how to see things differently with what resources they have and in so doing sows seeds that can push boundaries for not only themselves but also for the people they can invest in”.



Jim Berrisford

Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Partnerships at Rezoomo Talent Acquisition Software, Owner of Berrisford Associates and Co-Founder of RCIRCLE

Jim is Chief Commercial Officer at Rezoomo. He has been working in the recruitment arena for over 20 years and has his own consultancy with involvement in several other roles, including a voluntary position as REC regional director. Jim now works in the recruitment technology sector and has a wide range of global connections whom he interacts with on a daily basis.

Jim is also a champion, ally, and speaker on neurodiversity having worked in the sector early in his career in a firm set up by social services, which recruited in the health care sector. During conversations around inclusive technology, recruitment, and best practice he hopes to help make a difference while increasing awareness and support. Originally from the Isle of Wight, Jim now lives in Northern Ireland and is a big motorsport fan.

He trained as a chef and being an aspiring actor, he currently co-hosts his own show and has even had his five minutes of fame, albeit in the background, on Game of Thrones.


James Hollis

James Hollis

Talent Acquisition Business Partner for Novartis Pharmaceuticals

James works as a Talent Acquisition Business Partner for Novartis Pharmaceuticals focussing on the recruitment of life science professionals for Novartis both in the UK and globally. Prior to this, he worked as a parliamentary assistant and caseworker in the private office of a senior UK cabinet minister before beginning a career as a recruitment consultant at the Acacium Group specializing in clinical recruitment in the DACH region.

James became active as a disability advocate while working at Acacium and was appointed co-chair of the company’s employee disability support group ‘UNIQUE’. He has sat on various panel discussions covering neurodiversity in the workplace and continues to advocate for Autism along with other disabilities at Novartis in conversation with senior leadership.

In his free time, and when he is not learning yet another foreign language, James enjoys going to the gym, travelling to Europe, and Top Gun.


Dom Hilleard

Dom Hilleard

Director – Ethical Leadership Search & Digital Recruitment Projects – Rethink Group & Non Exec Director at CXK & MYT

Dom is an Ethical thought leader with over 20 years’ experience delivering innovative "People, Talent & Tech / Digital Recruitment & Project Solutions” with a wide range of clients in the social / profit for purpose space with RTM which is part of the Rethink Group. Dom has particular focus on innovative talent acquisition, people development, leadership and change solutions that are redefining recruitment. Dom is also a Non Exec for CXK & MYT who are in the Social Mobility space

Dom has a personal interest in Autism as he has twin identical boys who have been diagnosed.  Dom is very interested in raising awareness and helping to play a part in bridging the gap with neurodiversity and employment


Neil Patel, Global IT Director at Apax Partners

Neil Patel

Global IT Director at Apax Partners

Neil is the Global IT Director at Apax Partners, where he is responsible for leading and executing on the technology strategy of the firm. He channels his 15+ years of working in IT by advising a number of technology start-ups and charities with their technology strategies and roadmaps, often providing support to see them deliver on their growth plans.

Since his partner’s five year old daughter was diagnosed with autism, Neil has taken a personal interest in raising awareness of neurodiversity, with a particular focus on improving the levels of diagnosis, support and inclusion to families affected.



Paul Cunningham

Chairman & COO of Daymer Bay Capital

Paul is Chairman of Daymer Bay Capital, a specialist in outsourced asset raising for the fund management industry. He is also an active investor in small and medium-term businesses and acts as a mentor and advisor to several CEOs.

Prior to this he started and ran several businesses in the retail, design, and manufacturing sectors. Paul is a passionate advocate of the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit in everyone’s life and believes that with the right levels of awareness employers will come to see hiring neurodivergent people as entirely routine.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys cycling, tennis, reading, and low-quality DIY.


Sally Cairns

Chief People Officer at Global Media and Entertainment

Sally is the Chief People Officer at Global Media and Entertainment where she is responsible for creating a great employee culture and fostering diversity and inclusion.

She worked with children's homes in the UK and Australia for many years and is passionate about supporting young people to achieve their potential and take care of their mental health. She is a Trustee of Make Some Noise, Global's national charity, that funds projects helping disadvantaged children, young people and their families across the UK. She is also on the Board of Trustees of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

She started her career as a commercial lawyer and has a Masters in Sustainability Leadership. She has two amazing teenage children who are neurodiverse.


Dr Magnus Schoeman

Dr Magnus Schoeman

Customer Solutions Manager, Amazon Web Services

Magnus works in AWS’s customer solutions management team where he helps Financial Services organisations accelerate their adoption of cloud computing.

Before joining AWS, Magnus was the Head of Financial Services, UK&I and Global Client Executive Partner in Atos. His background spans 20 years of experience in leading client relationships through growth and transformation in a range of sectors (Financial Services, Insurance, Public Sector, Retail, Health, Transport and Logistics, Industrial Minerals).

Magnus has a PhD in Microbiology from Imperial College, London University. He is a visiting lecturer at Cranfield School of Management where he specialises in innovation management. In his spare time, he authors a blog on rainforest conservation and enjoys running and cooking. Magnus has a personal interest in autism through his older son being diagnosed at an early age.


Nick Medd

Senior Managing Director, Teneo

Nick is a Senior Managing Director at Teneo within its People Advisory division (formerly known as Ridgeway). He is a headhunter, a keen sportsman, a passionate believer in the value of teams, and the critical importance of diversity to sustainable success.

Through direct family experience, he has learnt more about neurodiversity in recent years and is an advocate for this precious resource in the modern work-place. Nick has over 30 years of experience in international banking and finance.  After leaving HSBC where he was a Managing Director, he joined Ridgeway Partners in 2011 (now known as Teneo People Advisory) and today advises on leadership roles across banking, asset management (including private equity), and the broader infrastructure of wholesale financial markets.

Nick is a qualified executive coach and holds an honours degree in Economics from Kingston University and an accreditation in coaching from Middlesex University.



Dan Snape

Director of Convenzis Group Limited

Dan is the Director and owner of Convenzis Group Limited, a family run business that provides politically accurate in person and virtual conferences to advise senior managers on current changes in policy. With over 14 years’ experience in B2B publishing and events, offering B2B marketing and networking is Dan’s passion. With personal integrity rated highly in Dan’s personal values, he enjoys nothing more than working with like-minded individuals and assisting them in achieving their personal and business goals. Working with customers to understand their real needs and deliver high-value solutions to help them grow their business is extremely important to him, so working with his team on demonstrating strong account management skills is an essential part of Dan’s role.

He has personally had a deep connection since his early career days with charities, through donations, volunteering, marketing, and supporting. One day Dan would like to run his own charity, either to rescue beagles from scientific testing and cruelty around the world or to support people of all ages living with disabilities to have access to equal opportunities in business. 


Rob Ford

Senior ITSM Consultant at DWP Digital

Rob has over 20 years of experience working in the IT industry and specialises in running Digital Service Management Transformation programs. He has worked for numerous global organisations, across multiple sectors in both senior management and consultant roles. In each of these roles his focus is always to drive service improvement and add customer value, either through transformation, or building new teams and capabilities.

Rob is a dad to three and his middle son Thomas has a formal autism diagnosis and now attends a special school in the south west. This real-world experience means that Rob is all too familiar with the challenges autism can bring and the resulting apprehension for the future.  

As a Business Ambassador for Ambitious about Autism, Rob is keen to use his experience and network to increase the awareness of the charity and work with organisations to create a culture of inclusion.

Tom Marchant

Tom Marchant

Business Development Manager at Capita Modular People Solutions

Tom leads Capita’s Neurodiversity Novus programme, an employment initiative launching careers for neurodivergent individuals in Business Analysis, Data & Analytics, Project Management, and Software Development. In 2021, Tom was part of the team that launched the Neurodiversity Chapter launch of Capita’s Ability Network.

After receiving autism and ADHD diagnoses in 2019, Tom spent the subsequent months researching neurodiversity and was stunned when he encountered the autism employment gap. Tom was impressed with the way Ambitious About Autism has helped autistic job seekers in various sectors and job roles and is keen to promote Employ Autism with his network.

Tom leverages his 10 years of experience in technology sales and recruitment by mentoring autistic jobseekers in his spare time.