Meet The Team

Meet The Team

With over 150 years of Electoral knowledge between us, we are confident that our team is one of the most experienced in the industry. 

From our experience, we are fully aware of the professionalism and integrity that applies to providing the high levels of service and quality this specialist sector expects. Our  team is here to help and add value to your elections. We will ensure that your election is carried out fairly and transparently, in the most cost effective manner, using systems, products and processes that will encourage involvement and enhance participation.

Directors

Simon Verdon

Chief Executive Officer

Simon Verdon founded the company in December 2009 to take advantage of his experience in providing similar services to Government. Simon has been delivering services to the Public Sector since 2003 and has been involved in Democracy since the introduction of Postal Voting Pilots in 2003 and has become an expert in electoral matters with his decades of experience. Formerly Simon has designed software solutions to support Postal Vote Verification introduced by the Electoral Administration Act of 2006 as well as working on a range of "big data" and communication lead products. He has subsequently specified what is believed to be a revolutionary EMS system that supports the modern business processes that underpin democracy, and not just the legislation by considering the need to build an EMS from a CRM!

Simon had a clear vision to create a suite of software called ElectorCentre that provides the most efficient solution to increase voter participation and engagement with the democracy process. Simon is an experienced Project and Stakeholder Manager with significant experience in process redesign and business process outsourcing. From a technical viewpoint he has experience in Information Security, Network and Windows Administration, SQL and Unix and has worked extensively in User Experience Management.

Grant Hazell

Sales & Marketing Director

Grant has been successfully selling election solutions to clients since 2003. Grant has been responsible for identifying new business opportunities and has been instrumental in our growth since 2013. Grant combines in depth knowledge with a customer friendly approach to ensure our clients receive the best service possible. He has good working knowledge of all our products and has completed the AEA Foundation Course. He has also been one of our training team particularly responsible for Particip8 our mobile canvassing solution. Grant also uses his print experience to advise on Electoral Print opportunities.

Claire Coleman Operations Director

Claire has responsibility for the overall client services strategy, project controls and Training and quality systems within Democracy Counts. Claire is responsible for our ISO27001 and ISO9001 accreditations. Claire is a Prince2 Project Manager and a SixSigma BlackBelt. She has 15 years experience as a Director and Senior Manager in business and has been involved in Government work since 2003.

Michael Coleman

Client Services Director

Michael has 20 years of experience supporting clients in a technical role and has been involved with electoral administration since 2006. He has experience in SQL, Unix, Windows and Network administration. Michael is also a Prince2 Project Manager with significant experience in managing complex projects. He is an expert in our product range and fully understands the requirements faced by the clients.

 

Client Services Team

Manni

Area Account Manager

Manni has over10 years electoral administration experience having worked at London Borough of Newham and Wyre Forest District Council. Manni then spent time working for IDOX as an Account Manager helping them with their print management and managed Postal Vote service. His working history means that Manni has good working knowledge of Strand and Xpress EMS software and can really empathise with Electoral Administrators and the struggles faced daily. Manni brings his 'can do' attitude to help clients get the best from our products and services.

Manni is also part of the training team at Democracy Counts particularly responsible for Elector8Lite our call centre version of Elector8. In the run up to elections Manni applies his technical knowledge to assisting our Support Team.

Manni is passionate about demonstrating how councils can save both time and money through the use of modern software.

 

Sales & Marketing Team

Jeremy

New Business Manager

Jeremy has over 18 years experience in the IT solutions field, selling into both government and the private sector. Qualified in Prince 2, Jeremy has managed the provision of IT and data solutions to a whole wealth of household brands.  An MSc in Computer Science gives him a technical edge which backs up his practical and friendly approach to problem solving making him an expert in providing the right solution for each client. He has good working knowledge of all our products and services and is an advocate for helping councils to save time and money.

Jeevan

Marketing Co-Ordinator

Jeevan has over 6 years of experience in elections, having recently performed a senior role in London Borough of Lambeth's elections team. Prior to Lambeth Jeevan worked at various London Boroughs including Hounslow, City of London Corporation and assisting in Westminster elections. He has led digital & data projects like tablet canvassing and procuring new systems. Jeevan holds the AEA Certificate has invaluable knowledge of elections and a good technical background. He has good working knowledge of all our software specialising in Educ8, ElectorCount Results and our Document Services.

Mark

Marketing Manager

Mark joined Democracy Counts as our Head of Implementation and Projects in order to ensure that all migrations to the Elector8 suite of products are undertaken in a consistent, professional and successful manner. 

Mark brings with him a wealth of experience from both the commercial side of the EMS software community and as a former electoral administrator. Indeed, Mark is the only person in the UK electoral community to have worked for multiple software suppliers as well as local authorities, the Electoral Commission and central government in the field of electoral administration. As a former Head of Electoral Registration at Lanarkshire VJB for five years with an electorate of over 500,000, Mark oversaw the authority’s transition to IER as well as several high-profile electoral events – including the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and 2015 UKPGE. 

 

Project Team

Paul

Training Manager

Paul was formerly of Ryedale District Council authority and then was Training Manager at Idox / Halarose. Paul is the owner of all our help and training materials and is a strong advocate of helping our clients get the best use from our software. He will be supplying engaging, hands on training sessions in your offices. Our initial training is for all users, in your environment. We don't believe in Train the Trainer or training in a classroom environment. You need to be happy that your whole team has had the same training, and the system works on your machines.

John 

Senior Project Manager

John McAdams, has over 35 years experience in the field of elections, 16 of which as Deputy Returning Officer in a Scottish local authority responsible for the conduct of STV elections for three Parliamentary constituencies and the West of Scotland Region of the Scottish Parliament, as well as Westminster, European elections and multi-member STV elections for his own local authority. John has a keen eye for detail and manages ballots for our non governmental clients, acting as a Returning Officer. John understands their constitutions better than they do and offers a friendly consultative approach to running elections. John is amazing at keeping things on track and ensuring the smooth running of all projects he's involved in.

Wayne

Product Owner

Wayne was Electoral Services Manager at Shepway District Council for nearly 6 years. He led a team of up to 20 staff that continually exceeded the national performance standards and canvass response rates. The role also involved undertaking working to tight legal deadlines, communicating with Councillors, Political Parties and their agents. Wayne also held two statutory roles as Deputy Electoral Registration Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer. He has also held the role of Deputy Chairman of the Association of Electoral Administrators.
 

Wayne left Shepway to work in the private sector for Xpress. The role entailed regional account management, onsite troubleshooting, delivery of generic, bespoke, new customer, regional and national user group training, review and maintenance of online help contents, training manuals and handouts.

Wayne has a keen eye for detail and knows that it's the day to day functionality that makes the best software - he's therefore a strong advocate of software which delivers a great user experience.

 

Client Care Team

Rob

Client Care Manager

Rob spent 12 years in the Royal Air Force as an ICT technician before becoming an ICT Manager. After leaving the RAF he became a production manager for ASDA Distribution before moving on to work for Claranet as a Service Desk Manager.

Rob's extensive experience means he brings both a passion for excellent client care and a comprehensive understanding of systems to the Client Care Team and ensures that this culture is embedded across our customer support functions.

Chris

Client Care Analyst

Chris is a support Analyst and is an expert with our software, networking, SQL administration and Cisco Networking as well as the management of the entire electoral process.

Mary

Client Care Analyst

Mary spent 13 jet setting years as a cabin crew member for Aer Lingus, before moving on to Virgin Atlantic. After relocating to the North West, she clipped her wings, quit flying and joined a recruitment agency before later moving to BMW.

 

Mary has excellent client care skills and brings a strong client-focus to our support activities. 

Zhenzhen

Client Care Analyst

Zhenzhen is well-known amongst the electoral administration community from her time at Halarose where her exceptional SQL skills, electoral knowledge and excellent client care skills made her a favourite amongst customers and colleagues alike.

Zhenzhen is our third-line support lead and helps our clients with their most complex issues, meaning she is a vital element of our client care team.

Rob

Client Care Analyst

Rob has over 25 years experience as a Learning and Development Trainer with worldwide exposure across various industries including; warehousing, transport, logistics, healthcare and legal.

 

He is an effective communicator with a strong customer focus and extensive experience in all manner of training from one on one coaching to classrooms of up to 30 people as well as remote training sessions.

Michael

Client Care Analyst

Michael studied Network Security Management at Southampton Solent University before joining us.

His depth of technical knowledge ensures that we have a well-balanced Client Care team that can deal with both software and infrastructure queries quickly and efficiently.  

 

Development Team

Chris

System Architect

Chris has 32 years of technical experience in a range of technologies (all types of programming from VB, .net, .asp, Java, php, WCF, WPF, SQL, Linq, C#). He has supported Elections and Registration for 7 Years.

Sean

Senior Software Developer

Sean has 21 years of technical experience in a range of technologies (all types of programming from VB, .net, .asp, Java, php, WCF, WPF, SQL, Linq, C#). Sean has 6 years Elections experience.

James

Software Developer

James joined Democracy Counts in 2018 and is fast becoming an integral part of the Development Team. He has been a major part in our development of our Citizen's Portal.

Divya

Junior Software Developer

Divya has 6 years of technical experience in a range of technologies. She is the one of the newest members of our development team and is enjoying the challenges of electoral administration.

Jonathan

Software Developer

Jonathan has a PhD in Astronomy and over 11 years of programming experience.

He's currently focused largely on development within Elector8 and our data-warehousing tool, which has become essential functionality for our users in the light of canvass reform.

Paul

Development Manager

Paul has 10 years experience in development technologies. His skills are SQL, VB6, C#, WPF and Web Technologies.

Richard

Software Developer

Richard has 20 years of technical experience in a range of technologies (all types of programming from .net, .asp, Java, php, WCF, WPF, SQL, Linq, C# and web).

Tom

Software Developer

Tom has 10 years of technical experience in a range of technologies (all types of programming from .net, .asp, Java, php, WCF, WPF, SQL, Linq, C# and web). He is one of the newest members of our development team and is enjoying the challenges of electoral administration.

Peter

Software Developer

Peter has over 10 years’ experience in developing line of business applications for both the public and private sectors. Having worked with both off-the-shelf and bespoke software projects, Peter has been exposed to a wide range of development platforms to produce and maintain desktop, web and mobile applications.

 

 

Testing Team

Rebecca

Testing Lead

Rebecca joined us in April 2020 and is our Test Lead. 

 

Rebecca has held positions as Product Owner and Lead Test QA, has 7 years of test management experience and has significant experience in Test Management.

Rebecca is responsible for coordinating our test execution and performance activities, ensuring that international testing standards are embedded throughout the team.

Vicky

Software Tester

Vicky works in our Testing team and has testing responsibility across all our core products.

Vicky is passionate about customer service and believes in involving every stakeholder in the testing process. She has been key in the roll-out of our hosted beta testing site that allows our clients to test new functionality early in the development life-cycle to ensure that our products are fit-for-purpose.

Martin

Testing Lead

Martin is our test automation lead, bringing over a decade of experience in working in testing teams.

Martin is focused on automating our extensive suite of test scripts to assure each of our development builds before releasing them to clients.

Our automated testing goes beyond the industry standard of assuring functionality alone, we also place a heavy emphasis on system performance throughout our testing cycles to ensure that our products are quicker and more streamlined with each new release.

Greg

Software Tester

Greg previously worked with DC from 2011 to 2015, he then took a sideways step into teaching until April 2019 when he came back to DC. His experience is in software and technology based operational management/technical support, working in retail and telecoms for past the 14 years.

Greg is an experienced user of our systems and really enjoys working with queries and complex requirements. He also brings a crucial client perspective to our testing activities.

 

And You?