A SKILLED AND DIVERSE TEAM

At the Magical Mushroom Company, we are committed to being a great place to work. We are an accredited living wage employer and certified by the Living Wage Foundation.

We are a fast-paced, energetic and focused team, taking pride in delivering a high-quality product that works in harmony with nature.

Our people are the driving force behind our success bringing their passion and commitment to the product and workplace every day.

You can see evidence of this in how much we’ve achieved since our launch in 2019.

With a diverse mix of industry backgrounds, our multi-skilled workforce are inspired by our ambition and excited for what the future holds.

We are now regularly seeking employee feedback through the Gallop Q12 ongoing employee survey that measures employee engagement. All this helps our team provide the high levels of service our clients expect.

Executive

Paul Gilligan
Chief Executive Officer

Leading the company’s vision and implementation of strategy, Paul has a wealth of international management experience across a broad range of industries from construction to food retailing and spent 14 years at Sainsbury’s in senior roles, winning a number of industry awards. He was recently awarded an Innovate UK grant leading to a patent file and listed as co-inventor.

Founder of MMC Holdings International Ltd in 2020, which controls all the subsidiary companies in the UK and Europe, has been the driving force behind the company’s large-scale growth and identity.

Continues to focus on leading the talented team and maintaining a positive culture, making the Magical Mushroom Company® a great place to work, while helping more companies significantly remove polystyrene as a packaging solution.

Robert Allen
Chief Operating Officer

Joined MMC in August 2021. Rob is leading the company’s ambitions around Quality, Lean Manufacturing and industry-leading process standardisation, along with the achievement of ISO 9001. Undertakes key responsibilities for our Mushroom® Packaging operations around the safety of all our employees, quality sales/business development, industrial design and production.

Rob has 20 years’ experience working across many markets including automotive, transport and medical most recently as Director of Operations at McLaren Applied.

With a Masters in Business Administration and a first-class degree in Engineering, Rob first worked at BMW in 2001 then started his journey at McLaren in 2008 with roles in quality, engineering, ultimately running operations in McLaren Applied.

Lisa Hayes
Chief Financial Officer

Heads MMC's financial controls, joining in July 2021; responsible for cash flow, cost culture, payroll, financial planning, delivery and corporate governance along with detailed financial modelling and managing the relationship with our external accountants Haines Watts LLP.

Lisa is a qualified ACA accountant who has more than 20 years’ industry experience built across SME to PLC companies with European branch expertise after commencing her career with Barclays in the City of London.

As Head of Finance for an e-commerce SME, she was responsible for implementing rigorous financial controls and systems. Has worked as a financial controller within 3i Group plc and Kal Tire, which has overseas operations including manufacturing plants.

Natalia Peliugaeva
Chief of Staff

Joined the team in 2020 and works relentlessly behind the scenes to solve problems, liaise with stakeholders and is the link between the team and the CEO /Board. Natalia is the custodian of MMC’s strategy & culture and leads internal and external communication, investor relations, balanced scorecard and company meeting management.

Has a background working in corporate finance at a boutique investment bank in London, where she supported all stages of the deal cycle, specifically leading the research team, fundraising and sell-side transactions.

Qualified with a BA in International Economic Relations and MSc in Business & Financial Management from Durham University

Board

Ryszard Bublik
Non-Executive Director

Ryszard is strategic advisor to the CEO, MMC board and an expert in company financing. He has extensive experience of developing growth strategies that will deliver shareholder value.

Acts as Non-Executive Director with more than 25 years of advisory experience and has a wide network within the MMC investor network and beyond.

Started his career in investment banking before joining international advisory firm Brunswick focusing on financial transactions and crisis work. Most recently he founded Social360, an industry-leading social media monitoring and analysis company.

Andrew Crimmings
Non-Executive Director

Key member of the board and a founder investor, Andrew provides advice on strategy and other board decision-making and assisted in the formation of the new holding company in 2020.

Provides advice on new construction fields of use and represents the investors as investor chair with a vote on board motions.

Has worked in the construction industry for more than 25 years. Founder and owner of Calfe Crimmings, a specialist decorative arts company in the construction market, which he has run successfully for more than 20 years.

Dr Sally Beken
Non-Executive Director

Sally is an industry expert in polymers with over 30 years’ experience in research, innovation and collaboration and in her role of Non-Executive Director advises MMC on sustainability policies, environmental accreditation and carbon measurement.   

 Currently, she is the manager of the materials team at Knowledge Transfer Network with polymers again a speciality; also founder and network manager for the UK Circular Plastics Network. Leads the team at Innovate UK for the Sustainable Smart Plastic Packaging challenge.

Qualified with a BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Polymer Science, both whilst studying at Birmingham University.

Thomas van Haren
Non-Executive Director

Thomas represents our partner and lead investor Ecovative Design LLC on MMC’s Board of Directors and is Director Of Business And Strategy for MycoComposite™ and Mushroom® Packaging at Ecovative.

Before joining Ecovative, worked as Vice-President at HSBC on deal origination and as an analyst in emerging markets, before embarking on an MBA at Columbia Business School to follow his MSc in International Affairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

In the role of Non-Executive Director for the Magical Mushroom Company®, Thomas will help the CEO with growth and capital deployment strategies. He also has a vote on board resolutions.

Advisory

Greg Nugent
Executive Creative Director (Consultant)

Greg acted as Board chair for the first 18 months and has had an immeasurable impact on the strategy, direction and branding of the company, including the Magical Mushroom Company®️ name. He is now focused on MMC’s next stage of branding and communications.

Held roles of Chief Marketing Officer both Eurostar during its move to London St Pancras, and London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, sitting on the executive board of LOCOG. Chair of Nottingham Board for Culture and Creativity and recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts from Nottingham Trent University.

Runs his own influential bespoke communications agency, founder of Harder Than You Think films, which has produced a double Emmy-award winning film, Rising Phoenix, about the history of the Paralympics on Netflix and was the Creative Director and Producer of the COP26 ‘Earth To Cop’ opening ceremony.

Jon Hartland
Senior Leadership Advisor

Jon has acted as board and leadership advisor since company inception and has been inspirational in guiding the team on HSE, risk management, process, leadership, company scorecard, values, performance management and management structure.

On retirement, was Sainsbury’s longest-serving director and held a number of senior roles including interim Board Retail Director, with financial and operational responsibilities for 1,650 stores. Continues to be joint chair of the Sainsbury’s veterans along with his role as chair of Sainsbury’s archive and new museum project.

Jon acts as Chair of the MMC board in a consultancy capacity and continues to assist the company maintain high-quality corporate governance.

Peter Lumley-Savile
Legal Counsel

Responsible for contracts, intellectual property, and all other legal aspects for MMC and sites as an advisor for MMC Holding International Ltd and Magical Mushroom Company®’s Europe boards. Integral to MMC on all contract negotiations and legal advice.

 Peter is a Partner at Keystone Law with solid experience as a commercial lawyer, spanning a broad range of relevant sectors and transactions.

Has particular experience in advising on and drafting contracts in the technology, publishing and media, commercial insurance, hotels and leisure, retail, manufacturing and technology spaces, as well as in intellectual property and consumer protection.

Robert Del Naja
Creative Consultant

In his role for MMC, Rob is helping bring together a number of exciting creative innovations, set to be launched in 2022.

Robert is an artist, musician and activist most noted for co-founding Massive Attack; pioneering street art techniques; and multi-disciplinary innovations in the use of data visualisation and AI technology executed within the realms of art, music and documentary.

Has written multiple film scores such as 2008 Palme d'Or-winning film Gomorrah.

In 2009, he received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. He was presented with a Royal College Of Art honorary doctorate in 2021.

Leadership

Ziggy Fried
CTO / Director of e-commerce

Both a founder investor and CTO, now leads MMC’s IT functions and heads up the Magical Mushroom Company®’s online shopping presence as director of e-commerce.

Responsible for managing end-to-end digital technology, cloud infrastructure, security, business intelligence and innovation. Leads data integration process and analysis.

Ziggy is a highly skilled technologist with more than 25 years of experience which includes many high-profile front-end applications for some of the biggest luxury automotive brands before helping build Harvey Nichols in-house digital platforms and running its global e-commerce platforms.

Stuart Townsend
Head of Operations

Leads plant operations and manufacturing daily business activities. Responsible for managing resources, developing and implementing an operational plan and ensuring that procedures are carried out according to the company’s process standardisation.

 

Also responsible for overseeing all phases of the new plant opening process, making sure new MMC plant projects are operational on time within scope and budget; led the opening of Attenborough and Sofia plants.

Stuart brings extensive experience with over 30 years in the food retailing sectors, having held several senior positions in a variety of roles including marketing, Head of Corporate Internal Communications and managing large flagship Sainsbury’s stores with teams of up to 600 people.

Lisa Stanger
Senior Consultant (People and Culture)

Assists the CEO in leading the business and cultural plan ensuring that Magical Mushroom Company® becomes an employer of choice. Played a pivotal role in helping define MMC’s HR strategy, values, company scorecards and performance management process.

Has a proven track record of working with CEOs as part of board and leadership teams to address growth opportunities. Successfully aligns business and people plans while ensuring future organisational performance and sustainability.

Lisa served on The Coal Authority board for 11 years, leading its people strategy, delivering the transformation programmes and measuring success against plan.

Sarah Bhyrodin
Head of Sales

Sarah provides first-class sales & service for all MMC’s current and future customers with a clear focus on identifying new sectors and blue chip clients.

An experienced sales leader with a track record of building strong relationships, business development and account management with over 12 years of sales experience

An advocate for sustainability, Sarah was previously a Retail Account Manager and held various sales positions in the technology sector for over 8 years with Hewlett Packard.

 

Management

Eddie Ford
Chief Mushroom Officer

Began as Esher’s dynamic Plant & Operations Manager playing a vital role in designing and embedding the growing process at MMC and overseeing the team to make sure production is always on target.

Now a pivotal member of the senior management team with responsibility for quality of products in Esher and our new plants in Attenborough and Sofia. Liaises with clients when projects move into the prototype stage. Also working on the move toward automation and on our continued success in scaling. 

Spent two decades in the horticulture industry, including managing a busy garden centre and running his own successful landscaping business for 10 years.

Bozhidar Stoyanov
Country Manager - Sofia

Responsible for setting up MMC’s new Sofia plant and company structure, along with implementing the manufacturing processes, Bozhidar is a qualified engineer with an MBA and MSc in Chemistry.

Has more than 20 years’ experience in manufacturing working in industrial management, manufacturing and supply chain field as an executive in medical, construction and multinationals with P&L responsibility.

Bozhidar has more than 10 years’ experience in successfully implementing lean processes at multiple factories. Responsible for managing several successful production start-ups, launching these businesses and boosting them in fully operational condition.

Natasha Walker
Business Development Manager

Natasha educates clients on the wonders of Mushroom® Packaging and converts into using MMC solutions and has successfully helped lead the company’s sales direction toward repeats orders and large-scale manufacturing.

Focused on customer relations and development of strong sales structures, ensuring business is driven by environmentally friendly standards and sustainability.

An experienced business development manager with 10 years of experience working with European and U.S. companies helping them access foreign markets. MSc in Nutrition and Public Health and background in consulting roles with B2B companies in FMCG and sports-related products.

Ryan Little
Head of Industrial Design

Ryan is responsible for designing all packaging solutions for clients and has led the design function since inception. Produces initial designs and 3D prints for growing prototypes and supplies clients with everything from detailed Augmented Reality renderings to fabrication drawings.

Twenty years of experience in 3D modelling and an experienced Design Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry, Ryan is skilled in AutoCAD, photography and graphics.

Wealth of knowledge in free form and geometric shape designs and recently listed as co-inventor on a patent file for an Innovate UK grant.

Ashleigh Williams
Website Manager

Ashleigh manages e-commerce customer metrics, web pages, images, videos, blog posts, guest articles, reviews and is responsible for social media and case study publications.

An experienced online manager in the e-commerce industry with a keen eye for detail, who has helped successfully lead the new corporate and e-commerce site.

Prior to joining the Magical Mushroom Company® worked as a Website Manager for a fashion company and has used these skills to create the photography style and product shots which reflect MMC’s identity.

Ian Chan
Plant Manager – Attenborough

Ian is one of our latest recruits overseeing day-to-day operation of our Attenborough site, applying his extensive production knowledge to drive customer satisfaction through high-quality, on-time delivery. 

 Has 14 years’ experience working with the food production industry, the last 8 of which have been spent working for Melton Foods. Ian has a MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and LLB (Hons) in Law.

Whilst working for Melton Foods held many senior positions including Senior Frontline Manager, Area Leader and more recently Area Manager.

Jeanette Branwhite
Compliance Manager

Jeanette is responsible for assisting the COO in promoting, implementing and developing the safety culture within the whole MMC estate.

Handles all requirements in terms of fire, health and safety and standard operating procedures for environmental compliance. Ensures laboratory data capture and recording are met.

Extensive experience in compliance at both unit and operations level. Fifteen years’ experience with Sony, Compass, Sodexo and most recently CH&Co group as Operations Support Manager and all roles involving risk and health and safety processes.

Israa Shah
Finance Manager

Responsible for the management accounts, consolidation and management reporting. She will help to implement strong financial controls across the business as we continue our expansion.

Israa recently joined the MMC team and is a finance professional with more than 10 years’ industry experience built across SME to PLC-size companies. An accounting professional and ACCA part-qualified.

Skilled in financial analysis, management accounts, financial reporting, controls and operations.

Cora Lavery
People & Culture Lead

Responsible for the day-to-day running of the People & Culture department and qualified with Level 5 CIPD Diploma in Human Resources Management.

Cora has a strong background in administration and management support, these skills have been vital in the key role of setting up MMC’s People & Culture department from scratch.

Worked for global packaging company within the food and pharmaceutical sector as sales co-ordinator supporting clients with after-sales enquiries and services. Now focussed on the company HR metrics and maintaining the culture that makes MMC a great place to work.

Noura Ouled Saka
Quality Lead

Noura is responsible for implementing the company Quality Management System and Lean Manufacturing Culture through the leadership of COO. Qualified engineer in manufacturing and logistics with more than 7 years of work experience.

Previously held positions of Operating System Site Leader at Honeywell and Continuous Improvement Manager at Matis Aerospace, working on operational excellence, digitalisation, innovation and quality.

Holds a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification and Dale Carnegie certification in teams management, and pursuing a MSc in management consultancy and organisational change.

Alison Kealy
Lead Technician, Esher

One of MMC’s first employees and now responsible for leading and training the growing number of technicians under MMC’s Head of Operations. 

Alison has particular responsibility for achieving a consistent growth quality, in line with customer expectations an agreed and documented bespoke specification.

Deputies for Plant Manager, helps the production team operate, set up, clean and troubleshoot equipment and records information ensuring all required procedures are followed to grow the perfect product for our customers.

 

 

Zainab Vayani
Environmental Scientist (Lab)

Runs the MMC environmental laboratory writing reports, conducting plate test experiments and analysing contaminants around the company’s plants.

Simultaneously studying MSci Natural Sciences at UCL after receiving the London Opportunity Scholarship with research specialising in atmospheric chemistry and its environmental implications.

Team

Sacha Storrie
Finance Executive

Assists the Group Financial Controller in overseeing the company’s financial data and processes along with responsibility for accounts receivable and payable. Reconciles the accounts for MMC and ensures efficient invoice processing with both clients and suppliers.

Brittany Smart
Sales Co-Ordinator

Supports the sales team and coordinates the timely dispatch of all our samples and prototypes  to new and existing clients. Also acts as an effective liaison between the plants and our growing customer base.

Daniel Noble
Machinery & Tooling Technician

Daniel is responsible for the production of all tray moulds with the relevant tooling equipment, ensuring each machine is producing its maximum output whilst also maintaining a high level of quality for our customers.

plant teams

consultants

Gavin McIntyre
Senior Scientific Advisor

Key advisor/mentor to CEO and advises Magical Mushroom Company® on the complex science of growing Mushroom® Packaging.

The Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Ecovative Design LLC. Has led all mycological material and biological process development in the company's strides to replace synthetics.

Oversaw research and development during Ecovative’s early product launches, and is a listed inventor on more than two dozen of the company's issued and pending patents.

Chris Clarke
Branding Consultant

Has supported the Magical Mushroom Company® since inception and he has been instrumental in helping form the brand, tone of voice and digital activation.

Chris is a branding expert and creative director with over 20 years’ experience running agencies. He was Chief Creative Officer of Digitas LBi for ten years, during which time he won D&AD and Cannes Lions awards and gave speeches around the world.

Chris believes purpose-led businesses can contribute positively to society and the environment and has helped brands like Samsung, Coke, Absolut and AstraZeneca produce meaningful creative work. He was once voted one of the 50 most influential people in advertising.

Matthew Soh
Engineering Consultant

Matthew is an experienced process engineer and is currently working with MMC to incorporate state-of-the-art automation systems into its manufacturing processes.

With a focus on bringing processes in line with Industry 4.0 and beyond, in order to improve flexible production capacity and service quality, ultimately, to improve customer satisfaction.

Matthew graduated in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester in 1996 and he has since headed the Manufacturing Operations of the Process Engineering and Product Development functions pertaining to industrial equipment and machinery.

 

Dr Mark Thornton
Science Consultant

Mark has acted as a consultant and scientific advisor to MMC since its inception and leads us  on grant submissions and execution of the company’s microbiology protocol controls.

Has PhD in Cell Biology and Pharmacology from Imperial College London and MSc in cell & structural biology from University of Manchester. His professional experience spans lab-based scientific research, new product planning and corporate strategy.

Mark is an experienced senior executive who has held various roles in strategic development within the life sciences, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including as Director of New Product Planning at Shionogi Inc and International Business Analyst at Roche.

Sheldon St. Clair
Head of PMO

Dr Sheldon St. Clair is responsible for ensuring that all MMC’s business projects are executed effectively and efficiently.

Highly experienced results-focused Portfolio Management Office (PMO) Leader with more than 15 years of hands-on experience in roles of increasing responsibility within banking, finance and manufacturing.

Current focus is around tracking the company risk log and the next stage of MMC’s balanced scorecard and the successful project planning and opening of Beeston, Mycelium 1.

 

Paul Murfin
Construction Project Manager

Paul ensures that the current and new MMC plants' manufacturing equipment is installed and calibrated safely, correctly and on time.

Working in engineering for 25 years, the majority of them in railway infrastructure projects and construction management, Paul has broad experience combined with a passion for construction and high output delivery.


Skilled in both project management and project engineering from concept through to construction and delivery of multimillion-pound projects, he sets a high standard of work on site through front-end intervention and design. 

 

Careers

Hiring Soon