Board election candidates 2017

Voting is now open in Ukie's 2017 Board Eelction. There are 6 spaces up for grabs in this year’s election. Please see the rules here.

An email has been sent to the main contact from each Member company. This email contains the link to this voting page and the passcode which is needed to cast your votes. If your company has not received an email please contact David.

We strongly urge whoever is voting on behalf of your company to use all 6 votes available.

Voting closes 5pm on 14 September 2017. A list of the candidates with their full profiles can be seen below.

The results and the new Board members will be announced at the Ukie AGM at EGX on 21 September.

Thank you to all our voting members and all the candidates.

Please read the election rules here

Contact David if you have a question

Claire Sharkey

Claire Sharkey, Brand and Marketing Manager, Level Up Media -

I wish to apply due to my alignment with Ukie values. I wish to be able to contribute to helping individuals & groups, not just limited to what relates to my company. I have known what it's like to be unemployed, in or out of the gaming sector, worked freelance in gaming & have dedicate many hours during/outside of the business days to building my company's brand while also utilizing my own skills & personality to hopefully have some effect, however little, in a positive way.

I support diversity and inclusion, without being assumptions. I'm approachable, blunt honest & happy to listen to grievances or help with collating thoughts & ideas & unmatched in making a good strong tea/whiskey, which is vital during tension filled meetings.

Helen Burnill

Helen Burnill, Commercial Director, Mediatonic

On the management team of one of the UK’s largest independent game developers, since joining the games industry I’ve devoted my life to it. Having played a major role in Mediatonic’s growth to a group of studios, I understand the challenges faced by independent teams of multiple scales.

I believe fervently that independent developers often under appreciate their value, and wish to help change that perspective. I want to help expose the incredible opportunities in the industry for everyone - man, woman, minority or otherwise. With a large network of international contacts and partners including unusual experience in Asia, I understand how the industry varies in multiple global markets and where opportunities can lie for UK teams. I’m passionate, relentless, have helped grow many businesses, and been a direct beneficiary of the industry & UKIE’s support. With your vote, I’ll work tirelessly to give something back.

James Dean

James Dean, Managing Director, ESL UK

My passion in games began with the Commodore 64 which turned into a professional career after I created a PR and Marketing agency in 2006 mainly serving the gaming hardware industry.  This eventually led to me working with many games publishers, such as Activision/Blizzard, NCSoft, EA, THQ and Microsoft.  In 2013 I founded the ESL UK office after witnessing the lack of professional esports in the UK and the huge opportunity to blend interests of hardware companies, game publishers and many others through collaboration and partnership.

My pledge is to continue to drive and contribute to the esports ecosystem in the UK and assist UK based games publishers and developers embrace esports to grow their own communities, awareness for their titles, develop new titles and ultimately develop a sustainable revenue model around esports campaigns.  I believe I can offer Ukie members a large amount of insight to the esports industry while assisting Ukie to become the voice for the esports industry in the UK complimenting the fantastic work the organisation already does.

John Clark

John Clark, Executive Vice President, Publishing, Sega Europe

The games industry is vibrant, exciting and in constant transition. I am so pleased to have served on the board of Ukie as it has developed to be at the forefront of understanding the challenges and the requirements of the UK games industry. Aligning members ambitions and needs, offering the platform for guidance to promote success has been a real strength of Ukie. I feel that my unique insight into the games industry on a UK and global scale has made a positive contribution; understanding how to navigate challenges that we all consistently face is part of the value that I bring to the board- I'd be honored to continue.

Katherine Bidwell

Katherine Bidwell, Co-Founder, State of Play Games

Throughout my time on the Ukie Board of Directors I have passionately championed many issues I have felt strongly about, including diversity within the industry and the cultural significance of video games to a wider audience. I wish to be re-elected so I can continue to do this.

With 15 years experience in the industry and 10 years as Co-Founder of BAFTA winning games company State of Play, my experience means I can represent the point of view of independent game developers as well as broader industry issues with my experience of developing, publishing and promoting many successful games. Throughout my time on the board I've been a proud and passionate supporter of the UK Games Industry. It's an exciting time to be making creative games in the UK, something Ukie is excellent at supporting. It has been a privilege to be a part of this process in the past and I hope to continue to help Ukie with the fabulous work they do for the industry. 

Kirsty Rigden

Kirsty Rigden, Development Director, FuturLab

I have been in the industry for over a decade, initially as a game designer working for a variety of large companies, and for the last 7 years as Development Director at FuturLab. During my time at FuturLab I have been responsible for transitioning it from a small indie outfit into a successful and stable small studio, releasing and retaining our own IP.

I am seeking re-election onto the Ukie board to continue raising the concerns of small studios. Namely on skills shortage, funding opportunities, and the perception of our industry by the wider public and UK government. My background allows me to offer the board a different perspective on issues raised and to provide independent studios with a voice.

I love our industry and am passionate about educating people on the virtues and diversity of roles within it. Most recently I’ve been working with a local initiative to help children from low income families explore different technologies through play and creative problem solving. I am always striving to challenge perceptions on who can, and who does, have a career in games.

Mark Cox

Mark Cox, UK Head of Publishing, Riot Games

With Riot Games developing a publishing and esports organisation in the UK we feel that we should take an active role in helping shape and guide the UK esports and entertainment scene. It's vital we support the players, professional organisations and pro players across all franchises allowing this amazing sport and community to thrive, ultimately putting the UK on the map as a powerhouse in esports. At Riot we are committed to helping Ukie and its members learn and develop, as this ultimately benefits all UK gamers.

Ralph Ferneyhough

Ralph Ferneyhough, Director, Quantum Soup Studios

Hi everyone. I’m a relative stalwart of the games industry, with 30+ credits over 20 years, most notably in the LEGO series of games. Following a mid-life crisis, I took a step sideways and now run the Games Development degree programme at the University of Chester, but I’m also a co-founder and director of Quantum Soup Studios, a small indie working on its first game in conjunction with S4C. I’m a full BAFTA member, and work with BAFTA Cymru especially on their ties to the games industry. I therefore feel I’m well placed to span many disciplines: draw on my experiences in AAA studios; represent the smaller indie companies; provide an insider link to the academic world and their input into the next-generation of developers; and even give a voice to the Welsh games development scene. I’d appreciate your support to do this and hence vote me onto the Ukie board for the next term. Thanks!

Simon Barratt

Simon Barratt, Director, Barog Game Labs

I've been truly honoured to serve on the Ukie board for two terms and hope that I am re-elected for a third to continue represent both small to medium developers and all companies based outside of London.

I also am enjoying the work we’re doing on the AR/VR subgroup that I chair and hope to be able to continue that as the opportunities for these exciting platforms continue to emerge.

The last two years I’ve also been involved with skills programmes in the Leeds City Region area where I’ve managed to get Ukie and Digital School House more integrated. Similarly, I’ve been working closely with University of Leeds on their new Masters and am pleased their first cohort of students will be joining Ukie!

 Thanks for the support!

Stuart Walker

Stuart Walker, Head of Product & Development, Lucky Voice

As Head of Product Management & Development at Lucky Voice I have the enviable position of leading the product and software development of the UK’s leading karaoke platform, a claim to fame that not many can make. My desire for Ukie however is that it continues to create an environment within and around gaming that helps guide and lead our members to make a mark and a difference in our industry and beyond. My familiarity and involvement with our industry combined with my passion for connecting with people, I believe, would make me a valuable addition to the board. I’m passionate about promoting diversity within and through our industry at all levels and fully believe that the games industry has a critical part to play in social, work and educational diversity. I’m a big fan of everything that Ukie has been doing, I want even more partnerships, more networking opportunities, more presence in worldwide communities and more weight to the statement “I am a member of Ukie.”

Tim Woodley

Tim Woodley, SVP Global Brand & Marketing, 505 Games

I have thoroughly enjoyed my term on the UKIE Board and am seeking re-nomination.

My role at 505 Games requires me to be up-to-date on the many different facets of the industry and what challenges or opportunities they present: physical/digital distribution, premium/free-to-play business models, local/international issues, mobile/console/PC platforms, eSports, VR, AR, IP protection... This breadth of experience I believe is useful to the Board.

I am proud of the great work that Ukie does and the UK games industry as a whole. If I were re-nominated, I would ensure that it continues to grow in stature, that it is able to thrive in an ever-changing landscape, and that it continues to be “the best place in the world to make and sell games”.

Tony Gowland

Tony Gowland, Director, Ant Workshop

I’ve been in the industry for 17 years, with a range from AAA (Rockstar, Activision) to indie (Outplay). I now run my own micro-studio as well as being a founder of Edinburgh's first games-specific co-working space. 

In 2015 I joined the IGDA Scotland board promising to increase the chapter’s events output to help grow and solidify the Scottish development scene. We achieved this in great fashion. This increased visibility has seen attendance increase and has also seen the chapter recognised by government organisations as being a cornerstone of the community. 

I’d love to join the Ukie board to help extend their reach in Scotland and strengthen their events and build membership in the region.