Our management team
Prof. Adam Beaumont - Founder and CEO
As an ex-lecturer at the University of Leeds and a communications specialist within the MoD, Adam is a consistent innovator and technologist with a strong cyber security background. In 1998, he created telecommunications platform company, aql, identifying a need for software systems to be able to communicate with customers seamlessly.
He's a patron, trustee and governor - focusing on supporting organisations which inspire the next generation to be passionate about science and technology. Adam is a strong advocate of the Northern Powerhouse and the opportunities it creates through collaboration and communication. Adam has hosted and supported key events in the evolution of the Northern Powerhouse at aql’s restored Grade II listed historic city centre venue. He’s a tireless connector and collaborator.
His support also extends to investments – an active angel investor with a portfolio spanning healthcare, education, collaboration tools, and technology for social change. He also founded the not-for-profit investment platform NorthInvest which drives co-investment in startups across the North of the UK.
Jo Penkert - Finance Director
Jo has 19 years of business and financial experience across a range of highly regulated industries including Healthcare IT, Outsourcing and Financial Services, Distribution and Rail. She believes collaboration is key to her role and specialises in understanding how the Technical, Operational and Commercial Finance aspects of a business can best work together to generate positive and useful outcomes and decisions. Jo places an emphasis on ensuring that wider teams have the information needed to run the business by creating reports, assessing and continually improving processes, ensuring good collaborative conversations take place about hot topics and encouraging internal development and sharing of knowledge.
On a personal note, Jo loves Excel, enjoys taking online courses and speed quizzing for a bit of light hearted fun. Geeky but true! In contrast she also really enjoys the pleasure of Leeds life as it allows for a very fulfilling mix of family, friends and business in the city but also with great access to the Yorkshire Dales.
Ben Carter – CTO
Ben joined aql in 2015, and is a seasoned veteran in the telecoms industry having worked in senior roles for both telecoms startups and large corporates, including Vodafone, and Cable & Wireless. Ben has a passion for technology and is responsible for our development, network, datacenter management, and tech ops teams.
Ben’s a keen runner and on a typical Saturday morning you’ll find him organising his local Park Run.
Charli Land – Customer Experience Director
Charli leads our efforts to deliver amazing experiences for our customers, with management responsibility for our Support, Account Management & Service Management teams. Charli joined aql at the beginning of 2019 after spending 4 years successfully managing & growing a team of Account Managers at the UK’s leading provider of clinical software. Charli specialises in building strong relationships with customers and partners alike to ensure companies work together to achieve their goals in partnership.
Outside of work, Charli enjoys spending time on home improvements and interior design, ideally with a gin & tonic in hand.
Gill Brabham – HR & Business Services Director
Gill has operational and strategic responsibility for our people, regulatory compliance, business support and events functions. Prior to joining aql in July 2018, Gill’s career had been spent in the fashion industry, in a variety of HR and journalistic roles across exhibitions, trade and consumer publishing.
Gill is passionate about the transformational role HR can play in business, and works closely with the other members of the SLT to ensure aql is able to achieve its strategic aspirations through attracting, developing and retaining great people.
Outside of the office, Gill is a CIPD committee member, Samaritans listening volunteer and trainer, and is partial to long family walks, theatre visits and dry rose wine.
Oliver Ware – Security & Facilities Director
Oliver is a security specialist with over a decade of experience within the security industry. Oliver and his team ensure that our high security standards are achieved across the aql estate, so that we provide a safe working environment for all employees and customers. Oliver commits a lot of his personal time to career development, enhancing his skills within the security industry because he strongly believes there is always an opportunity to acquire new skills. This is something he is passionate about and he takes pride in ensuring new skills and best practice are implemented throughout the business.
When not working, he enjoys the simple things in life such as family time and being out in the countryside.