Board of Directors
Jon ArdenManaging Director
One of the founder members of Osprey, Jon previously enjoyed a long military career in the Royal Air Force, accumulating over 3,000 flying hours, serving as a front-line flight commander and participating in multinational air operations in the Persian Gulf. Jon has a Masters degree in Air Transport Management and is a respected advisor to the aviation market. A recognized expert in the area of aviation/wind turbine impact management, Jon also has considerable experience of supporting Government, Investors and Boards of Directors.
As Managing Director, Jon is responsible for leading the Company’s strategic growth plans.
Rich ConnellyChief Operating Officer
As our Chief Operating Officer, Rich is responsible for the day to day running of Osprey. He is also responsible for delivering a number of workstreams, including our framework agreement with the Welsh Government and developing strategic relationships with industry partners.
Rich joined Osprey after 27 years in the Royal Air Force. In 2012 he was seconded to the CAA, initially as Assistant Director of Airspace Policy before becoming Deputy Head of Intelligence Strategy and Policy responsible for oversight of all CAA safety policy development together with governance of its major programmes including spaceplanes, unmanned air systems and State safety.
Rich has extensive experience of working at a strategic level and managing organisational change. He has represented the UK in various international Air Traffic Management forums, been responsible for managing projects and operations at a National and International level and played a key role in the restructuring and re-organisation of the CAA. He has also delivered complex operational change, including the transition to electronic ATM systems in the en-route environment and the construction and development of facilities and procedures in the terminal environment.
Mark WakemanOperations Director
Mark joined Osprey in June 2017 from the CAA where he was a Technical Airspace Regulator responsible for the assessment of airspace change projects and the safeguarding of tall structures in accordance with CAA regulations. Prior to this, Mark’s 32-year Royal Air Force career culminated in 4 years as a reservist with the CAA, responsible for the safe co-ordination and notification of military and civilian special events, including all UK air shows and ceremonial fly-pasts.
Mark has extensive consulting experience working with NHS organisations to assist employees at all levels with the application of lean processes and methodologies to transform operational processes and procedures. Prior to this he completed a 28-year career in the Royal Air Force as a fast-jet navigator and Qualified Weapons Instructor, as well as completing several staff tours in the Ministry of Defence and the United Kingdom Air Warfare Centre. He has extensive experience in flying operations, instructional roles, synthetic and collective training, and the management and analysis of complex weapon system and aircraft trials.
Alice ThurlowFinance Director
Alice is a highly experienced Accountant and a Fellow of the ICAEW, joining Osprey in January 2016.
Prior to her current role, Alice had a 15 year career as Head of Finance & HR at Eden McCallum LLP, a management consultancy firm. She joined Eden McCallum in the start-up stages. By the time she left, it was a highly successful profitable business with two overseas offices. During her early career, she had roles as Audit Manager for two Accountancy and Audit firms, and as Group Financial Accountant for Kenwood Appliances Plc.
Alice leads the Admin and Finance teams within Osprey and, as a member of the Board she plays a pivotal role in developing our business and financial strategies and ensuring the two are aligned.
Steve ElksChief Technical Officer
Steve is an experienced Aviation Consultant and Chartered Engineer with a highly successful and proven record in delivering complex projects, requirements capture, risk assessment and safety management across a myriad of Air Traffic Management (ATM) equipment, processes and procedures. He has been providing specialist System Engineering and Safety Support to the MOD and Civil Air Navigation Service Providers for over 25 years.
Prior to joining Osprey in 2011 Steve served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) as an Air Traffic Control Officer for 24 years, specialising in ATM system and software engineering projects for the majority of that time.
As Chief Technical Officer, Steve is responsible to the Board for the technical integrity and excellence of Osprey’s output.
Pete SymonsBusiness Development Director
Pete has enjoyed 15 years in consultancy and 20 years in the defence industry having worked for a large defence prime contractor and global defence engineering consultancies. Pete joined Osprey in 2013 as a Principal Consultant technically leading airworthiness and certification projects for defence and civil clients. He was the Platforms and Air Systems Team Leader for 4 years helping to develop and grow the team and deliver on a range of technically demanding projects.
Pete is an experienced chartered systems engineer and airworthiness and safety practitioner with extensive knowledge of civil and military certification including the MRP, Def Stan 00-970 and civil certification codes on a wide range of fixed wing, rotary wing air systems and UAS. He is also an experienced Aerospace Battle Management (ATM/ABM) safety practitioner with a detailed understanding in the application of the MRP and related defence standards.
As the Business Development Director, Pete is responsible for the overall development of the business including sales, marketing and recruitment.