A company needs a strong board and the external directors making up Blazing Griffin with Peter van der Watt are Michael Boniface and Stephen Heslop.
Both work to help Blazing Griffin make the right decisions when pushing the business model forward and give direction and advice about operations, based on the great experience they have gathered in their own fields.
We got a chance to catch up with them and chat:
Please tell me a little bit about yourselves and what you’re doing at the moment?
Michael: “In addition to my work with Blazing Griffin I also run Reloaded Games European Operations and their APB Development Studio Reloaded Productions. APB Reloaded is a Free2Play online MMO and we have around 30 staff at the Edinburgh studio. I also undertake some advisory work to other companies in the technology sector including Proper QA a software testing company.”
Stephen: “I’m the owner of the Alternative Board in Edinburgh & Fife and have had a very successful career in Fast Moving Consumer Groups (FMCG) and most recently as CEO of the Real Good Food Plc. My skills and experience span a number of core disciplines from operational and commercial management to strategic planning. During my 27 years in industry my specialist areas have focussed around business development, rationalisation and turnaround scenarios.
“I have a passion for delivering superior results for both businesses and individuals, with a focus on achieving complete alignment within a business to ensure the business is capable of delivering its strategic plans; with a key element of my focus being the development of customer strategies, satisfying market demand and differentiating from the competition.”
What enticed you to join the Board of Blazing Griffin and excites you about the company?
Stephen: “I have known Peter for 15 to 18 months and he is an engaging character providing an exciting opportunity in a new sector for me. I love the company name and the discussions about a game set in Victorian times appealed too. So I agreed to join the board as I think I can help with the strategy and its overall development and guide it through the minefields of legal and financial matters.”
Michael: “I would say it was the limitless potential that I saw from the first time I met Peter and Richard (Firth). There is such passion in everything they do and they, along with the rest of the team, have a level of drive and ambition that makes the company a very exciting place to work.”
How do you see your roles progressing on the board and what are your targets?
Michael: “Right now I am focussed on working with the rest of the team to seek out the best opportunities for the company and solidify the company strategy for the short, medium and long term. As with the rest of the team I’m here to adapt my contribution depending on the company needs so what the future holds for my role will depend very much on the decisions we make today.”
Stephen: “With respect to the board role, its helping the company to do whatever it needs to do to succeed. I see myself as the point man for helping to raise money and fronting up investor type meetings.”
What are your hopes for Blazing Griffin throughout 2013?
Stephen: “In terms of 2013, it’s all about delivery, meeting the plan and launching Distant Star, and the other projects Blazing Griffin are working on, to schedule.”
Michael: “Growth and diversity, I want to see this company break new ground and be a leader in the sector, acting as a paradigm for success for new companies starting up.”