New and notable appointments at Neuromod Devices Ltd, WellAir, Junk Kouture, and Xeinadin Group

By Business & Finance
19 August 2021
Pictured: Jane Smith, Chief Content Officer, Junk Kouture

This week sees new and notable appointments at Neuromod Devices Ltd, WellAir, Junk Kouture, and Xeinadin Group. 

Susan Whicard, Non-executive board member,
Neuromod Devices Ltd

Pictured: Susan Whichard, non-executive board member, Neuromod

Neuromod Devices Ltd, the Irish medical device company, has announced the appointment of Ms. Susan Whichard as a non-executive board member of the company.

Ms. Whichard has more than 30 years’ experience in the hearing industry, having worked as both a business executive and a practicing healthcare professional, as a clinical audiologist. Her appointment comes as Neuromod plans continued expansion of the availability of Lenire, its tinnitus treatment device across Europe and in the U.S., pending FDA approval.

A United States native, Ms. Whichard started her career as a clinical audiologist and established her own private practice. Later, she went on to represent her fellow professionals when she was appointed as President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), formerly the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, from 1992-1994. The Academy dedicated to the advancement of practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality audiological care.

Following this, she became Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at GN Resound. Ms. Whichard went on to become Vice President of Marketing at InSound Medical, a start-up company that developed Lyric; the world’s first and only 24/7, invisible hearing aid.

In 2010, InSound Medical was acquired by Sonova, in a deal worth $175 million and following the acquisition, Susan joined hearing aid company, Phonak US (part of the Sonova group) as its Vice President for Business Development and Industry Relations. In 2018, she started a consulting business focused on start-up innovation in hearing and healthcare.

Speaking on the appointment of Ms. Whichard to the board, Dr Ross O’Neill, CEO of Neuromod Devices commented: “I am delighted to announce the appointment of Susan Whichard as a non-executive board member of Neuromod Devices Ltd. Susan brings a wealth of hearing aid industry experience to the table, having worked at the coalface as an audiologist and in leadership positions in some of the largest hearing aid companies in the world. Her guidance will be important in this exciting and pivotal time for Neuromod as we prepare to enter the U.S market, pending FDA approval, and as we continue to expand our commercialisation and availability of Lenire in Europe.”

Ms. Susan Whichard said: “Neuromod is one of the most exciting companies in the hearing space and in Lenire, the company has developed an excellent device, backed up by robust clinical research and data, which brings hope for millions of people with tinnitus across the world. I am excited to be in this position to advise this company which has so much potential.”

Neuromod specialises in non-invasive neuromodulation technologies and has developed Lenire, the first non-invasive bimodal neuromodulation device for the treatment of tinnitus which has been clinically proven in large-scale clinical trials to soothe tinnitus symptoms. Tinnitus is believed to affect between 10 and 15% of the global population.

Kari Dixon, Chief Financial Officer, 

Pictured: Kari Dixon, CFO, WellAir

WellAir, a leader in delivering clean air and surface solutions to people around the world, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kari Dixon as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). At WellAir, she will lead the finance team to create long-term value and ensure the company’s sustainable financial strength.

“Kari brings a strong track record of driving results and accelerating growth by leading finance and strategy transformations in both public and private companies”

“Kari brings a strong track record of driving results and accelerating growth by leading finance and strategy transformations in both public and private companies,” said Todd M. Pope, President and Chief Executive Officer of WellAir. “Her extensive background in finance, strategy and technology will play a vital role for WellAir as we expand our product offering, accelerate our global market success and navigate the projected growth associated with increasing adoption of the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and surface solutions.” Ms. Dixon brings a wealth of cross-industry experience in accelerating companies’ growth, as well as raising capital, financial strategy, managing investor relations, strategic business planning, leading mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.

Most recently, Ms. Dixon served as Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis for Dentsply Sirona (NASDAQ: XRAY), the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies. In this role, she was responsible for global FP&A, led critical planning and analysis for the enterprise, strategic business process development and critical M&A projects such as the acquisition of Byte. She also served as the interim Head of Investor Relations. Prior to Dentsply Sirona, Ms. Dixon served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Treasury for Form Technologies, a leading global component manufacturer operating 28 design and production facilities in 19 countries.

“I am thrilled to join WellAir at such an important time in the company’s evolution,” said Ms. Dixon. “WellAir is leading the way in innovative air and surface disinfection technologies. The solutions WellAir provides are aimed at safeguarding the built environment across both healthcare and commercial sectors. Our mission is inspiring, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to serve WellAir’s customers, partners, community and team.”

Jane Smith, Chief Content Officer,
Junk Kouture

Pictured: Jane Smith, Chief Content Officer, Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture today announces the appointment of Jane Smith as Chief Content Officer ahead of the media and entertainment firm’s 13-city global expansion.

Coming with extensive experience at Board level, Jane Smith joins Junk Kouture with an impressive background and a broad and deep knowledge of the global media and entertainment business.

Speaking on the appointment, Jane Smith said, “Rarely do you come across an opportunity as timely and groundbreaking as Junk Kouture.  With its vision to enrich and empower the lives of young people across the world, through creativity and sustainability the impact we can have on climate change is real.  I am excited to join the growing team as Chief Content Officer at a pivotal time to help drive the global expansion of Junk Kouture and its commercial strategy.”

Junk Kouture is the world’s largest youth sustainability event. Using only recycled materials, students embark on a nine-month program of ideation and are challenged to envision, design, create and model wearable haute couture styled from everyday junk with the ultimate goal of qualifying for a spot in a Junk Kouture Grand Final.

With 15,000 Kouture designs created, 10 tours completed, 60 sold-out arena shows and a community of over 350,000 aspiring artists, designers, engineers and supporters, Junk Kouture is ideally positioned to scale into the 13 fashion cities of the world over the next 2 years. Over 1,000 schools in the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Italy and the UAE are already actively engaged with Junk Kouture with more joining the programme every week.

Smith joins Junk Kouture from the Endemol Shine Group, the world’s biggest independent production company, with annual revenues in excess of $3billion, purchased by Banijay in 2020.

“With over 20 years experience in the media and entertainment industry, Jane Smith has an impressive reputation and brings a wealth of experience to drive Junk Kouture’s global roadmap”, said Troy Armour, CEO of Junk Kouture. “Jane has worked in several of our new markets throughout her career and our growing team welcomes Jane’s knowledge and determination to bring Junk Kouture to international participants and audiences”.

Jane relocated to Dublin in 2014 and was engaged as a Consultant by the EndemolShine Group advising on the merger of Endemol and Shine and then joined the company in an executive role, responsible for driving the commercialisation of key digital brands and formats including Masterchef, Big Brother, Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror, Mr Bean and Simon’s Cat.

In 2018, Smith was promoted to Group Director, Brand Licensing and Gaming, adding digital and physical gaming to her remit.

Prior to EndemolShine, Smith held a senior role at twofour54, an Abu Dhabi government initiative established to lead the development of the nascent media industry where she held a senior role as Executive Director of Ibtikar (financing and distribution) and Tadreeb (talent development and training academy).

Smith first entered the media world with roles at Goldcrest Films and TV and Video Arts Television. She was appointed Head of Sales at the Jim Henson Company working across the Muppet brand portfolio globally. Following the sale of the business to the Walt Disney Company, she was a member of the start-up team at Hit Entertainment – the company behind the likes of Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine.

As International Sales Director she played a key role in establishing and growing the business,  responsible for all television and broadcast sales.  After 7 years she relocated to New York to join Sunbow Entertainment as SVP International, managing a portfolio of Hasbro owned toy-driven brands including My Little Pony and Transformers.  She moved back to the UK to join Flextech Television where she was responsible for IP management and investment across a range of fiction and non-fiction content for this BBC JV channel business.

Smith was also part of the team that established Entertainment Rights where she was a Plc Board member and held the role of Chief Commercial and Creative Director with global P&L responsibility across distribution, consumer products, gaming and digital as well as overseeing the creative development and production slates for the key brands.

Junk Kouture is engaged in the production and distribution of unique and creative content through various channels, including national and digital television networks, content rights agreements, filmed entertainment, live events, and the sale of consumer products featuring the Junk Kouture brand.

Simon Nice, Chief Financial Officer,
Xeinadin Group 

Xeinadin Group (‘Xeinadin’), the Ireland and UK-based business advisory and accountancy group, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Simon Nice as Chief Financial Officer.

Simon has over 30 years’ experience in finance having worked for both publicly listed and private firms and joins from Lloyd’s Register where he was Group Director of Finance. Simon has a broad range of experience from designing and implementing global financial strategies to managing corporate M&A and regulatory filings.

Xeinadin, which was formed in 2019 through the merger of over 100 small and medium-sized accountancy firms, has annual revenues of over £100 million and over 1,500 team members.

Simon will be responsible for leading the Group’s financial operations as it continues its development through acquisitions and organic growth, underpinned by its digital transformation and group integration programmes.

Simon joins as Xeinadin has bolstered its board with heavyweight hires; Alastair Marsh as Independent Non-Executive Chairman and Robin Williams and Martin Burgess as a Non-Executive Directors.

Derry Crowley, CEO of Xeinadin, commented: “We’re pleased to welcome Simon on board. His experience and knowledge from M&A to financial streamlining for both public and private companies will be invaluable as we work towards building our group further. Simon joins at an exciting time for the company as we act on our ambitions with a strong and enhanced board and big plans for the future.”

Simon Nice, Chief Financial Officer of Xeinadin, commented:“I’m really looking forward to working with Derry and the team at Xeinadin. The Group has exciting plans and a strong team which it will be great to be part of as we move to the next stage of growth.”

Alastair Marsh, Robin Williams, Martin Burgess, Independent Non-Executive Chairman, Non-Executive Director & Chair of the Audit Committee, Non-Executive Director, respectively,
Xeinadin Group 

Xeinadin Group (‘Xeinadin’), the Ireland and UK-based business advisory and accountancy group, has strengthened its Board with several heavyweight appointments. Predominantly focused on SMEs and owner-managed businesses, it aims to continue its development through acquisitions and organic growth, underpinned by its digital transformation and group integration programmes. 

Alastair Marsh has been appointed as Independent Non-Executive Chairman. A former CEO and CFO, most recently as Group Chief Executive Officer of engineering and business services organisation Lloyd’s Register Group, Alastair has experience across a wide range of sectors in listed multinationals and privately held organisations. At Lloyd’s Register Group he delivered a major change programme focused on data and digital transformation across its 250 offices in 80 countries. 

Robin Williams, who is currently Chairman of Keystone Law plc and FIH Group plc, has been appointed as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee. A highly experienced Chairman and NED with deep experience in the public markets and also private equity, Robin has previously led as an executive and been on the Board of FTSE250 and other full list companies, AIM-listed and private companies across many sectors.

Martin Burgess has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director. He will also chair the Board’s Remuneration Committee and be a member of the Audit Committee. An HR specialist, Martin has led change management programmes in large and complex international organisations with experience including Cobham plc, BAE Systems & AT&T.

Derry Crowley, CEO of Xeinadin, commented: “We’ve taken great strides in integrating the group over the past two years, through a wide range of initiatives including consolidating locations, introducing centralised back office services and investing in technology and marketing. Bringing in people of the calibre of Alastair, Robin and Martin, who have led major public and privately-owned companies across numerous sectors, will be invaluable to help steer the ship in the right direction as we continue our development.”  

Alastair Marsh, Chairman of Xeinadin, commented: “Derry and the team have done a fantastic job developing the structures, processes and culture to turn Xeinadin into a serious and differentiated player in the UK and Ireland business advisory and accountancy market. I have been hugely impressed by the team and am looking forward to working with Robin, Martin and the rest of the Board to help guide the business through the next phases of its growth journey.”