Mentor Connect is our members only mentoring programme. The programme aims to bring together and connect inspiring mentors with our members, enabling them to build and establish their own relationship.
Mentor Connect is different from normal mentoring programmes because we do not match our mentor/mentees. Our team facilitates the initial introductions to connect the mentor and mentee together, thereafter leaving it up to them to make the magic happen, and decide whether they are right for each other.
To be introduced to a mentor, email email@example.com with ‘Mentor Connect’ in the subject title, and the name of the mentor you’d like to be introduced to.
Meet our mentors:
Dean Bonas, Go-To-Market Director, Virgin Media|Liberty Global
A commercial leader who has spent the last 12 years with Virgin Media / Liberty Global and prior to that a stint at Orange UK. Dean has taken on a number of roles within the group including a four years at the European HQ in Amsterdam leading. Whilst at Group Dean lead transformation programmes focusing on our distribution and network expansion strategies. Dean’s leadership style is ‘inspirer & motivation’ and enjoys distilling complex problems into simple solutions. He currently leads the Consumer Go-to-Market team and leads the MDU Transformation Programme.
Ioanna Pappa, Learning and Development Lead for Consumer at Virgin Media
I have 12 years’ experience in HR and L&D roles and I have worked for Diageo and Virgin Media in that time. I am a qualified NLP coach and an MBTI practitioner. I currently lead a team of 30 very talented individuals who scope, design, and train as well as evaluate learning for our front line onshore and offshore customer services employees. This includes all our customer services agents as well as our install and servicing engineers. I live in Hampshire with my husband who is a civil engineer and our 6 year old son who is very energetic! J I am originally from Greece but have lived in the UK since 2003 when I came over to study.
Karen Andrew, Head of Customer Experience & Assurance at Virgin Media
I work at Virgin Media as Head of Department within the Lightning division. Previously to Virgin, I worked within the retail sector for ten years, managing stores and projects for the Arcadia group throughout the UK as well as spending a year at Hamley’s Toy Store in central London. I have worked my way through many promotions and roles over the 18 years at VM and I have been fortunate to have had great support from some amazing leaders. Outside of work you will find me in the gym doing my best to stay fit and healthy or in my kitchen with my new found skill of cake decorating.
Katrijn Major, Head of Mobile & FMC, Virgin Media
I’ve been working with Virgin Media for 6 years moving between B2B and B2C in roles ranging from product management, commercial and strategy. I credit the successes I have had to the network I have built and the uncomfortable situations I put myself in. I feel strongly that being well rounded in terms of life/work and enjoying the job you do is critical to happiness. I’m excited about being a mentor and keen to work with others to help them find their best path.
Keith McAleese, Global Account Lead, NTT DATA
Global responsibility for managing all NTT work with Liberty Global. Worked for NTT DAT for 5 years, prior to that I worked for Detica for 5 years and Accenture for 10 years. I am experienced leading business transformation and large scale system implementation programmes (£70m +) across the telecommunications and media industry over the last 20 years. I have 3 children, 11, 9 and 8 months old.
Nnenna Ilomechina, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Nnenna Ilomechina is a Managing Director with Accenture Strategy, currently running the Industry Strategy practice for Communications, Media and High Technology clients in the UK. Nnenna earned her MBA from London Business School & Columbia Business School and her Bachelor in Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In her spare time, she also enjoys mentoring, exploring different cultures and luxuries through travel, music, experience journalism and photography, and is on the Development committee for the London Music Masters, a nonprofit focused on bringing classical music instrument tuition into under-privileged schools.
Richard Sinclair, Executive Director for Connectivity, Virgin Media
As Executive Director for Connectivity, responsible for Broadband, WiFi and associated products. He was previously GM, Ultrafast Broadband at TalkTalk PLC, running the technological and commercial deployment of FTTP. He was Ofcom’s Delivery Director for the London 2012 Olympic Games. He has worked in Financial Services too, as Group COO of Ashcourt Rowan PLC, delivering operational restructuring, change and technology. Earlier, Richard had an exciting career in the British Army, where was decorated with an MBE. Hobbies include running, breaking surf and being outdoors with his children.
Sarah Eve, Customer Project Manager at Virgin Media
Sarah has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 14 years. Since 2015, Sarah has been working on Major Programmes, delivering optical backhaul solutions, initially as project coordinator, and more recently as a project manager. Prior to becoming a project manager, Sarah has worked as a provider representative and project support coordinator, delivering services for SME, corporate and public sector customers in Central and Greater London. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys studying holistic practices including reiki and aromatherapy and is an advocate of self-development, self-empowerment and the power of positive thinking.
Sarah Molly, Senior Field Change Manager at Virgin Media
I’ve worked in the telecommunications industry since graduating in 2014, in a variety of operational and project delivery roles. In my career so far, I’ve lead teams of front line customer service engineers, large teams of FTTP network planners and various programmes of change activity across Openreach and most recently, Virgin Media. I’m passionate about supporting people to develop their skillsets, take themselves out of their comfort zones and increasing diversity in roles that have traditionally been male-dominated.
Sasha McFarquhar, VP Strategic Real Estate & Infrastructure, Liberty Global
I am currently Chief Operating Officer and Head of Strategy for Liberty Global’s Technical Real Estate and Infrastructure company, more broadly responsible for our Global Strategic Real Estate. I began my career as a finance lawyer in the City, moving in-house to Liberty in 2012. Since then I have held two further roles, transitioning out of law via Structured Finance into a commercial role within Strategy. I have benefitted from the mentorship of some inspiring women throughout my career and would like to be able to offer the same to others.
Sharon Hegarty, Marketing & Ecommerce Director for Virgin Media
I’m a senior executive and marketer with over 20 years of marketing experience in the telecoms, media and entertainment sectors having worked for in large fast-growth companies, including Sky, TalkTalk, Warner Music, Three and Vodafone and now Virgin Media. I love what I do have extensive experience across brand, strategic marketing planning, advertising, digital performance marketing, and sponsorships. I live in London and have two children, a son of 13 and a 15-year-old daughter. In my spare time, I enjoy running, going to the gym, singing in a choir and generally spending time with my children, family and friends. My personal purpose is to ‘inspire others and pay it forward’
Siobhan Gallagher, MD Communications, Media & Technology at Accenture
Siobhan is a Managing Director in Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology (CMT) industry sector and is responsible for Sales across UK & Ireland. Since joining in 2006, she has worked with clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Australia and USA. Prior to joining Accenture, Siobhan was a Senior Program Delivery Lead with Vodafone Group. Alongside her leadership role in Accenture, Siobhan is a Trustee on the Board of the Accenture Retirement Savings Plan and an advisor on the Board of Aqua Africa Ltd.
Why is mentoring important?
Do you want to move your career forward? Would you like to
develop your leadership skills as well as help others learn, grow, and improve
their skills? Or would you like to find someone who can help you do these
things? You can. Through a mentoring partnership.
More professionals these days are actively pursuing mentoring to advance their careers. And whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, these types of partnerships can benefit your career. A mentoring partnership can be rewarding to both people, personally and professionally. It’s an opportunity to develop communication skills, expand your viewpoints, and consider new ways of approaching situations. And both partners can advance their careers in the process.