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Big hitters, rising stars and GlobalWelsh ‘pioneers’ celebrate growing achievements of diaspora initiative

09 Nov, 2018

More than 170 key members of Wales’ influential diaspora initiative have today gathered in the capital for the inaugural ‘GlobalWelsh’ cwtch - a winter social celebrating the best of Welsh achievement and ambition.

Along with its original founding members and patrons including Heath Davies and David Buttress, attendees will today learn that the newest investor into the growing global initiative is to be aviation business leader Mike Powell.

Mike has invested to help GlobalWelsh build Wales’ first community of influential diaspora, with a future goal of having a GlobalWelsh presence in every country in the world. Mike’s donation will help the initiative create more opportunities and connections - like the Pelican Products, Inc initiative which took place in September this year.

Mike Powell is an example of one of Wales’ most successful exports and typical of the kinds of powerful connections that GlobalWelsh pioneers are able to harness through their association with the community.

Who is Mike Powell?

After beginning his career in aviation research, he became part of Wizz Air’s ambitious leadership team and his involvement meant the company would become the world’s largest low-cost airline IPO when it listed in 2015. In February 2017, he became Executive Chairman of Flybondi.com, Argentina’s first low-cost airline.

In 2017 FlyBondi completed an investment round of USD 75 million, expecting to transport 10 million passengers in 5 years and double the air travel market in Argentina. He is also an Executive Chairman for Caribbean airline Flycana and Non Executive Director for Istanbul-based Pegasus Airlines.

Keen to give back to Wales following his career success, Mr. Powell is hopeful that his experience and knowledge could help others in the community who harbour similar ambitions and aspirations.

Speaking of his investment at the Principality Stadium today, Mr. Powell said:

"It’s been an honour being here today and seeing the impact GlobalWelsh is already having on the ground, via its community around the world. Indeed, the fact that so many of their pioneers have flown in to be here today is testament to the strength of feeling and support people have for this initiative.

“Put simply - we are here to help one another and we’re proud to be a part of this global family. From my own experience in the aviation industry, I can tell you that no matter how far you travel from home - you never stop feeling that strong connection to Wales.”

GlobalWelsh founder Walter May added:

“What Mike has achieved is truly exceptional. Starting a successful airline business is a huge challenge, doing it in various jurisdiction on two continents is something few people have done in any industry sector. Mikes global knowledge and experience brings a unique perspective to GlobalWelsh and I very much look forward to his contribution as a Founding Patron in the years ahead.”

The GlobalWelsh Cwtch Members of the GlobalWelsh community who donated to the cause were invited to attend a day of celebrations to mark more than a year of exciting initiatives, programmes, and events all designed to help the Welsh diaspora grow.

Attendees were greeted by GlobalWelsh Chair and WRU CEO Martyn Phillips and Wales Rugby Team coach Warren Gatland, before witnessing the top secret ‘Captain’s Run’, normally closed to members of the public. Guests for the pre-lunch panel hosted by broadcaster Guto Harri include David Buttress (Founder of Just Eat, Chair of the Dragons), Dylan Pugh (Spotif), Tecwyn Davies (Premier League) and Rhona Parry (Equifax).

The day also includes an evening gathering in Welsh cultural hub ‘Milk and Sugar’ in the Old Library, where entrepreneurs from growing global businesses Tiny Rebel, Creo Medical and Sure Chill will discuss their participation in the ‘Meet the Makers’ initiative, hosted by Pelican Products, Inc in Los Angeles.

What is GlobalWelsh?

GlobalWelsh aims to use the talents, skills, and goodwill of Wales’ global community to enrich the lives of Welsh people with life-changing, impactful opportunities, and connections between members.

The initiative aims to create meaningful impact in terms of the trade, investment and mentoring possibilities between members - and to be a place for ancestors and those with an affinity for Wales to reconnect with Wales.

Since the official launch of GlobalWelsh, members from more than 37 countries have signed up to become both community members and pioneers.