Our Team

Chris Rowland

Chris Rowland

Director

‘I passionately believe communities must have a stake in taking control of their energy generation to get to Net Zero. OVESCO was set up to show how that can be achieved and for other communities be inspired by and replicate’.

 As one of the founders of OVESCO in 2007, I have worked on the delivery of the following projects: from 2007-10, the Lewes District Council’s micro-generation grant scheme. In 2011, became one of the UK’s first roof top solar community share offers. In 2014, mentored 12 community energy groups resulting in the setting up of Community Energy South. In 2015, £1.2 million share off for Meadow Blue Community Energy to invest in a 5MW solar farm. From 2020-22, the OVESCO Team helped create CommuniHeat. We secured the Lottery Climate Action funding in 2022 for OVESCO, as part of Ouse Valley Climate Action. And in 2022 successfully securing planning for the 17MW Ouse Valley Solar Farm.  

I am a director of Meadow Blue Community Energy CBS, Ouse Valley Solar Community Energy CBS and a supporter of Community Energy England as well as the Transition Town movement.

Nicki  Myers

Nicki Myers

Project Manager

I have worked in the heating renewables energy since 2009 and have had a passion for energy efficiency in housing since 2003. 

I started working for Ovesco in the summer of 2020 and bring my commercial skills from my years in the heating industry as well as past experience with Ernst & Young and PwC as an international tax accountant. I live near Lewes and love walking on the Downs with my dog Mabel and enjoy refurbing houses in my spare time.

Frank Donghi

Frank Donghi

Technical Manager

Empowering Lewes and the surrounding areas with solar energy and support.

I have been busy the last five years helping East Sussex get off oil and move towards a renewable energy future. I am passionate about empowering people to reduce their carbon foot print and energy use. My role with OVESCO is all about shifting the area to decentralised renewable power solutions.

Claire Walker

Claire Walker

Programme Manager

I joined the team in January 2022 to help manage and oversee the operations of Ovesco’s energy advice work as well as supporting strategic development and growth of provision by attracting additional grant funding. I am a strong advocate for collaborative working and empowering communities to drive forward positive change. I feel privileged to be working in the dynamic and evolving field of community energy to help create a greener and more sustainable future for all.

Outside of work i try to make the most of Tidemills Beach (sssh! It’s one of our best kept secrets!) and enjoying stomping on the Downs and camping in the woods. Happy Days.

Emer Giles

Emer Giles

Communications Coordinator

I have recently graduated from the University of Sussex with a bachelor of science degree in geography. My passion for the climate led me to write my dissertation on the effects of eco-anxiety on gender, age and education. My experience in geography has brought to the team a new perspective of younger generations dealing with and tackling climate change. I had the opportunity to join Ovesco’s team as an intern before joing part time as their communications coordinator.

Ruth Rudwick

Ruth Rudwick

Events Manager

After many years working in the IT services industry I wanted to do something that would have an impact on my local environment, so I took the opportunity to go to the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester to complete a degree in Wildlife and Countryside Management. While studying for my degree I also worked as a Community Engagement lead for The Cotswolds National Landscape, organising events and fairs and engaging the public in the Everyone’s Evenlode project. I moved to Lewes in 2023 and have recently joined OVESCo as events coordinator for the LEAD Communipower project.

I am passionate about the environment and believe that local communities can have a big positive impact on our climate and biodiversity through decarbonisation. In my spare time I love walking on the Downs and volunteer with the South Downs National Park.   

Patrick Crawford

Patrick Crawford

Director

‘I have been working to combat Climate Change since 2006 and I believe communalities can make a real difference’.

I have been in Partnerships and as Business Development Manager with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) working with businesses, investors and universities; and supporting the community of Lewes as Director of the Lewes Pound CIC since 2009. With the help of the other OVESCO directors and my willingness to learn I am, delighted to be part of the guidance and inspiration that is OVESCO – delivering carbon saving projects, advising others and developing new partnerships and initiatives for the benefit of Lewes District and beyond.

Julie Salmon

Julie Salmon

Director

‘I am passionate about the environment and spent a number of years campaigning for Greenpeace and running a group of local activists in London. I have a Post Graduate Diploma in Renewable Energy in the Built Environment from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. I was a director of Orchard Community Energy Ltd between 2015 and 2022.’.

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and started my training as a corporate tax adviser with Ernst & Young in 1988. I have over 25 years’ experience working for a number of multinational companies, gaining significant experience in dealing with internal and external stakeholders, corporate governance and compliance.

Nick Rouse

Nick Rouse

Director

‘I have worked all my life as a engineer and we have the skills to build a future powered by renewable energy alone’.

With a BSc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, I have worked for over 30 years in the electronics and electrical engineering industry. While Chief Engineer and Head of Design/Development for Telcon Ltd, I worked on the design and development of the company’s products, principally electrical current and energy sensors, many of which are used in the renewable energy industry around the world. I also have an MSC from the Centre for Technology in Wales.

I have wide ranging technical skills in energy conservation and power generation and my own home is fitted with PV, solar thermal and a ground source heating pump.

Ollie Pendered

Ollie Pendered

Director

‘OVESCO is working towards a happy low carbon future where we can balance locally owned renewable energy with demand and supply.’

I joined OVESCO having set up the Barcombe Energy Group back in 2011 and have worked alongside the team here to help share the OVESCO model to groups around the region. In 2012 I worked with Ovesco and other regional energy groups to set up Community Energy South a regional energy group that acts for the voice for the sector in the region, supports community energy groups to capacity build and develop new smart energy models.  I am also currently Regional Director and representative for Community Energy England.Working with Ovesco is a real pleasure, mainly because they are such a pioneering community interest company but also because when I meet local shareholders and beneficiaries its so great to hear them speak proudly about Ovesco and its role in making Lewes District fit for the future.

Jan Hunter

Jan Hunter

Director

‘I am strongly committed to OVESCO’s work with renewable energy and its community investors’.

With a background in policy-related social and educational research and evaluation of public services, I worked for 12 years as a senior manager at the Audit Commission, inspecting and evaluating the management and delivery of public services and the use of public money. I have also worked with schools and local authorities as a consultant, been the chair of governors of a Brighton primary school, and am involved in a number of local community organisations.

Paul Bellack

Paul Bellack

Director

‘I built an eco home in 2005 in Lewes where I live with my wife and 2 daughters. I have been actively engaged in community projects and am passionate about renewable energy and the environment’.

I have worked for many years as an investment fund manager before setting up my own property company which is still running. In 1998, I joined 2 other entrepreneurs who had just set up the Ethical Property Co, which is now is one of the largest social businesses in the UK, owning and/or managing a total of 23 Centres across England, Scotland and Wales, and providing office, meeting, event and retail space to over 1000 organisations each year. I continue to be a non-executive director. As well as a non-executive director for both Ethical Property Europe and The Social Justice and Human Rights Centre Company Limited.

Nick Owens

Nick Owens

Director

Nick Owens is a retired management consultant.  After a degree in Economics he qualified as a Chartered Accountant, then worked in a variety of consultancy roles with C&L, Ernst & Young and PA Consulting, mainly in the health sector.  In 2010 he set up Owens Insight Ltd, to provide health IT cost-benefit and fund-raising assistance to NHS Trusts, becoming employed by the University College London Hospitals NHS Trust in 2017 as a project manager and programmer on their new clinical systems implementation. He retired from this in 2019 to do an MSc in Architecture & the Sustainable Environment at University of Kent. He is a shareholder in and the Treasurer of HKD Energy Limited, a community benefit society serving Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint, Keymer and Ditchling. He is also a Parish Councillor in Hassocks, chairing the Planning Committee. His keen interest is in enabling much greater energy efficiency, especially in housing. He and his wife Sally live in Hassocks and between them have 5 now adult children.