Meet the HT2 Labs Team

We are a vastly experienced, growing, global team, including a number of recognized thought-leaders, authors, and engineers amongst our ranks.

Dr Bryan Keating

Non-executive Chairman

Bryan Keating CBE, FIOD, FRSA, BsC is our non-executive Chair. He has been involved with high tech companies for over 35 years as well as serving on the Boards of several governments and academic bodies including Vice-Chair of InvestNI and Chair of the Apprenticeship and Youth Training Forum.

He was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise promotion in 2006, an OBE in 2013 and a CBE in 2019 for services to economic development in Northern Ireland. Bryan is also a Fellow of the IoD and Royal Society of Arts, as well as a visiting professor at the University of Ulster.

Louise McElvaney

Director of People and Performance

Louise is Learning Pool’s Director of People and Performance. She started her career in the financial industry with Bank of Ireland and Deutsche Bank, in a variety of roles before moving to HML in Derry in 2004 in an operational process role.

Louise has been with Learning Pool since its foundation, taking up a full-time role 7 years ago to prepare the business for scalable growth, create a people-oriented approach and deliver world-class customer service.

Passionate about providing people with an opportunity to grow and develop in their careers, Louise implemented a company-wide improvement program to ensure Learning Pool remained an employer of choice and a fantastic place to work.

Sam Barbee

Sales Director

Sam has worked with Learning Pool since 2007 and has led our whole sales team during that time. He has a passion for learning technology and its ability to solve the business challenges of organizations.

He’s worked with a range of clients that include Tearfund, The FA, Jurys Inn, Houses of Parliament and Tescos.

Before Learning Pool, Sam worked in the recruitment industry first in engineering, then telecommunications. He also currently serves as a director for an addiction recovery charity, ARC Fitness.

With 4 kids, the bulk of Sam’s time is consumed with his ‘superstars’. As much as possible, he enjoys getting out to Donegal and spending time either up a hill or out in the ocean.

Deborah Limb

Chief Operations Officer

As Learning Pool’s Chief Operations Officer, Deborah is responsible for ensuring our customers have an excellent experience from the moment they start using a Learning Pool product or service. Whether implementing technology, designing and building learning content or providing customer service through our helpdesk, the Operations team are committed to ensuring our customers’ success.

Deborah enjoys long walks with her lovely whippet Alfie, gardening and she’s recently been trying to get her mum to pass on her skills of crochet and knitting (mixed success).

Donald Clark

Non-executive Director

Donald was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005

Donald has 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, social media and mobile learning projects and designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many design awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’

Daire McCaughley

Chief Financial Officer

Daire heads up the Finance Team here at Learning Pool. He’s a qualified Chartered Accountant who has been in leadership positions in several large Tech and Property companies. He joined the team in 2018 and his role is to ensure our resources are deployed to where they can deliver maximum impact and on Learning Pool’s strategy for market growth.

He’s a keen cyclist, both road and off-road, who’s most happy when beating our CTO Mark Lynch to the top of a mountain in Donegal.

Mark Lynch

Chief Technical Officer

Mark has been with Learning Pool since 2010. In that time, he has helped shape the technical and product direction of the company. He led the development of Adapt, a project that has revolutionised the mobile learning experience, not just for our customers but across the industry. Prior to joining Learning Pool, he held a variety of roles including software development manager, SCRUM master, product manager, and technical architect. Today, Mark is focused on driving our innovation agenda and leads a large team supporting 2 million learners across all our products, alongside over 20 technical and product specialists within his team.

Duncan Shores

Chief Commercial Officer

Duncan is Learning Pool’s Chief Commercial Officer with responsibility for our Marketing, Sales and Customer Engagement teams. He previously held commercial leadership positions at Oracle Corporation and Experian and has significant experience across a range of disciplines in technology-based, solution sales environments. As a fully qualified business and personal coach, Duncan jumped at the opportunity to move into learning technologies and help our customers increase their business performance through people development.

Outside Learning Pool, Duncan enjoys spending time with his family, keeping fit, playing music and the occasional cryptic crossword. He’s also volunteered as a mentor for The Prince’s Trust since 2007.

Paul McElvaney

CEO of Learning Pool

Paul is Learning Pool’s founder and CEO. Since 2006, he has grown the business from a modest team of 5, to the success story it is today, with 7 sites and almost 200 employees. Paul’s ambitions center on providing world-class customer care to our 750+ global clients, driving continuous innovation through Learning Pool’s product set and nurturing the talent within his team.
Paul was awarded ‘Director of the Year’, from the Institute of Directors in 2016.

Willow Taylor

Senior Chewer of Mail

Willow is responsible for providing ‘off-site’ security at one of home-office locations. This usually involves warding off hostile takeover bids from feline competitors and vetting all mail prior to allowing her owner, Craig, to open it.

Chloe Yelland

Junior Designer

With a degree in illustration and a diploma in graphic design, Chloe loves all things to do with art and design. When she’s not creating compelling visuals in the HT2 Labs office, Chloe can be found running, painting, taking photographs or walking her Golden Retriever.

If that wasn’t enough, Chloe also regularly plays Korfball (us neither…)

Delia Akkouche

Foreign Wooffairs

Delia aime s’asseoir sur son lit sous le bureau de Ollie et quand elle ne le fait pas, elle le suit aux toilettes.

Jon Brydges

Implementation Manager

Jon joined HT2 in September 2018 having founded and managed two profitable businesses within recruitment and the emerging 3D printing sector.

A geek at heart, Jon uses his commercial and technical skills to ensure clients exceed their expectations when using HT2 products.

When not at work, Jon makes furniture from old pallets & scaffold boards, jogs around South Oxfordshire and is always in search of a new local brewery to sample.

Manny Mullaney

Chief Layabout

As Chief Layabout at HT2, Beagle Manny can often be found basking in the sun or curled up next to his trusted human, James.

When Manny does eventually awake, he can be seen strutting his stuff around the office or hiding under tables, waiting to pinch bits of food out of staff members hands!

Jasper Betts

Head of Shoe Redistribution

On a busy day at the office, Spaniel Jasper can probably be found redistributing various staff members shoes throughout the office in a game of hide and seek.

In his spare time, Jasper likes taking his human, Ben, for long walks in the Oxfordshire countryside, as well as searching for food left unattended!

Dr Nigel Downing

Nigel is an established leader in experiential learning, and a regular speaker at HR events. His passion is for education, and how the use of business simulations can accelerate learning.

Brian Helweg-Larson

Board Member

Brian founded ProfitAbility and has designed more than a hundred simulation-based courses for worldwide clients in over 20 different industries.

With a team of simulation designers to continue his work, he now concentrates on new forms of learning, and new kinds of simulation using emerging technologies.

John Yates

Board Member

John joined the City & Guilds Group in 2010. He has held a number of roles during his time at the group, including CEO of the Group’s joint venture in India and Managing Director of ILM.

His current role sees him providing oversight and leadership to two of City & Guilds’ Corporate Learning businesses, Kineo and The Oxford Group.  John has vast experience across education, learning technologies and digital product development and, his skills lie within business leadership and development.

David Starr

QA/Support Engineer

David joined the HT2 team mid 2018 after seven years as a freelance content creator, working both for business and selling directly to the public.

Outside work he spends his free time experimenting with digital content creation.

Zach Newton

QA/Support Engineer

Zach joined the HT2 team in early 2018. He has a love for all things tech and a good pop culture reference.

When not working hard to provide customer support and communication with our development teams, he will be binging his favourite shows on Netflix or playing his video game of the month.

Chris Bishop

Software Engineer

Chris is another of our 2017 starters; joining as part of our software development team, he uses his experience in a number of programming languages to work on integrations as well as core code development.

Though he spends his working week in Oxford, his weekends are spent down on the coast in Hampshire where he enjoys living life by the sea.

Ryan Smith

Software Engineer

Ryan joined us after graduating from Oxford Brookes University, where he won the John Birch prize for the highest grade average in the University.

When he’s not injuring himself on a cricket field, he consults with people on all things xAPI and helps develop xAPI products and services such as Learning Locker and the Moodle xAPI Plugin.

Josh Wilkinson

Software Engineer

Josh has been developing learning software for the best part of a decade. He is passionate about software and likes to explore new innovations. He enjoys learning new skills and putting them into practice to find new creative solutions.

Aside from software Josh loves all things techy, and lives his life in ‘the cloud’. When he’s not in the clouds, he can be found watching movies, cycling or playing the guitar.

Ollie Newton

Lead Graphic/UX Designer

Ollie is a Creative Developer and Graphic Designer at HT2. He has an avid interest in Comic books and is always game for a chat about the shocking ending of last week’s episode of Game of Thrones.

Mostly though, he uses his passion for design and artistic skills to create great visuals and iOS apps.

Ian Blackburn

Product Manager - Learning Locker

Ian joined HT2 as a Solutions Architect in Summer 2017, working between our in-house and client technical teams to design and implement effective learning programmes; and taking on additional Product Manager responsibilities later that year.

Away from work, Ian is a Liverpool FC supporter, and a keen amateur footballer for his local team.

Pete Thorne

Product Manager

Pete is now an experienced developer but was once a classroom teacher before transitioning into online training.

He likes to tinker with things to continually improve the user experience and deliver features that make a difference to trainers and learners alike. Outside the office, Pete is a normal geek.

Libby Webb

Marketing Executive

Libby joined the HT2 Labs team as a Digital Communications Officer in June 2018, having graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Media and Communications [BA Hons].

Libby enjoys all things health and fitness related and, you’ll often find her satisfying her wanderlust by jet-setting across the globe.

David Steingesser

Implementation Manager

David joined HT2 in 2017 after spending the previous 7 years working in Technical Support and IT-related positions in Education and Business SaaS companies. He has an avid interest in learning new technologies, and is passionate about helping client’s get the most out of products they may have questions around.

In his spare time, David likes checking out new restaurants, bands and films. When the weather is nice, he also enjoys long hikes with his wife and pug.

Craig Taylor

Customer Success Manager

Craig’s been involved in the training/L&D field since 1993, when he cut his teeth in the training-delivery world while serving in the British Army.

His subsequent roles have been in the rail, nuclear, healthcare, and financial sectors, where he has helped people to understand the value that current and emerging technologies can bring

Miriam Lydon

Software Engineer

Miriam has a degree in Law (with New Zealand Law) from the University of Nottingham and high-end sales experience, she moved into Software development in 2019.

Outside of work, Miriam teaches several fitness classes and has a keen interest in hiking, climbing, and ornithology.

Anna Lloyd

VP Product Management

Anna leads the product and marketing teams at HT2.

Anna is a highly experienced digital education and training specialist, working in education and training product development and management for the past 10 years.

Having worked as a senior leader in large education companies, Anna has lead teams developing and managing a wide range of learning products reaching hundreds of thousands of learners.

Nicole Kastner

Sales Manager

Nicole has over 10 years’ sales experience. She discovered her passion for sales and customer service while working at high-end retailers during college. Over the last few years, she has focused her interest in the evolving world of software and technical sales.

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School. Though originally from Minnesota, the educational hub of Boston is now where she calls home. She enjoys occasional 5k runs, visiting local breweries and taking her dog Spencer to the beach.

James Lindberg

Senior Account Executive

James joined HT2 having spent the previous 10 years selling cutting edge technologies in industries including oil & gas, 3D printing and scanning, and video technology. He has found that he enjoys teaching others the intricacies of new technology, and how it can help their day-to-day lives.

James has degrees from the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maryland. In his free time he enjoys camping and other outdoor activities; and dreams of someday owning an absurd amount of woodland and building his own house there.

Alan Betts

Principal Consultant

After careers in Financial Services and Academia Alan brings business acumen and a deep understanding of the learning process but most of all he cares about people and works hard to understand the needs of both customers and staff.

Outside of the work environment he is passionate about all sports but particularly cricket with a carefully curated collection of Wisdens dating all the way back to the 1880s.

Dr Ben Betts

Chief Product Officer | Board Member

Ben leads the passionate product team at Learning Pool and is a globally-recognised thought-leader in Learning Technology with more than 15 years industry experience.

His doctorate research broke new ground studying the impact of gamification on adult social learning. He has authored and contributed chapters for four books in the last two years, published peer-reviewed academic papers and presented at TEDx. When he’s not in the office he can be found watching, and occasionally participating in, all forms of sport.

Gagan Basrai

Account Executive

Prior joining the HT2 team, Gagan’s previous experiences included pursuing new pipeline generation from a blend of outbound and inbound prospecting. By establishing a deep understanding of our clients business, he is able to provide guidance to organizations developing learning iniatives.

Before calling Boston home, Gagan is a native of Northern California earning a degree from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. In his spare time he enjoys playing basketball, petting strangers dogs, and eating various cheeses.

James Mullaney

Technical Director | Board Member

James leads our development teams and has more than 10 years of experience in learning tech.

Aside from day to day management of development, James is in charge of all infrastructure and ensures HT2 stays operational 24/7. With his loyal hound Manny at his side, he is also book keeper for all in-office sweepstake/wagering opportunities.