Interview with JT Chair, Meriel Lenfestey

Change seems to be happening at an ever-increasing pace, whether in our home lives or our work lives. In May’s Edition of Business Brief, JT Chair, Meriel Lenfestey, takes an insightful look into the future and how the telecoms industry – and in particular JT – is tackling modernisation, transformation and keeping pace with change.

Digital tech expert joins JT Board

A former executive at Openreach and the current Chair of one of the largest healthcare providers in Europe has joined the JT Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Mark Lam held senior responsibility for the UK’s fibre network and Chairs the Royal Free London hospital group. An expert in technology, Mark has many years of experience as a board member of health trusts and telecommunications and digital technology companies including as Vice Chair of Broadway Partners, which builds and retails fibre broadband in rural Scotland and Wales.

Meriel Lenfestey, Chair of the JT Board said: “Mark joins the JT Board with considerable experience having served on numerous boards representing private businesses and public and third sector organisations. As Chief Technology and Information Officer at Openreach he was involved in projects very similar to the work JT does in providing and maintaining critical telecommunications infrastructure. Mark’s experience and contacts will be an invaluable addition to the Board.”

A graduate of Oxford University, Mark is originally from Singapore. He has worked in senior management roles at BT Group, Siemens and Carphone Warehouse. Among his other roles and business experience is as a non-executive director of Games Workshop Group PLC, a FTSE 250 manufacturer of the fantasy miniature Warhammer figures.

Mark Lam added: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board of JT and am looking forward to working alongside my colleagues, pooling our combined experience in telecoms and technology to help JT grow. It is a great time to be joining the team as we work on our plans for new products and services that make the best use of technology to serve our customers and partners.”

How to stand out in a competitive world

As part of the IoD Jersey branch’s series ‘Real world advice and inspiration’, Katie Corbett, JT’s Chief Commercial Officer was asked to share her career path, lessons learned along the way and what advice she would pass on to directors of the future.

Read the full interview here.

JT boosts opportunities for local school leavers

Local students who want to launch their careers in an exciting industry are being invited to join one of the New Talent schemes run by JT. Following on from National Apprenticeship Week last month and now National Careers Week, JT is looking for students in the Channel Islands who want to make a great start to their career by gaining a professional qualification and earning while they learn.

Sixteen apprentices, bursaries and graduates are currently receiving on-the-job training, moving through various parts of the business so that they get the opportunity to see everything that the communications provider does. JT are also sponsoring a scholarship with the Jersey College for Girls foundation and will shortly be welcoming students on placement as part of their HND in computing qualification.

Sarah Gosiewska, Head of Talent at JT, said: “We are a rapidly evolving global business, committed to growing talented local people who we want to see achieving great success. It doesn’t matter whether they are starting from scratch or already have an idea about what their career might look like, the beauty of our New Talent schemes is that they help people identify the areas within the business they enjoy – helping them to grow in confidence and recognise where their strengths lie.  Each new starter is trusted to work in real workplace situations, knowing they have a network of people dedicated to supporting their growth. I love seeing how they thrive alongside our experienced teams.”

JT started the scheme in 2011 and are pleased to have seen a year on year increase in the diversity of applicants. Applications for new candidates closes 10th April.

Sarah added: “We want to hear from creative, organised, can-do local people who are getting ready for the world of work and have a genuine interest in digital technology. This is a fast paced industry so they must be willing to learn and work as part of a team. We firmly believe that learning should not stop just because formal education has.”

JT appoints new Non-Executive Director

A senior financial professional with over 25 years’ experience in the telecoms industry is the latest to join the JT Board as a Non-Executive Director.

Louise Easterbrook is the Chief Financial Officer of GSMA where she is responsible for overseeing the business and financial performance of the association, which represents mobile network operators around the world and hosts the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event, MWC. At GSMA, Louise leads a team of over 100 people managing all aspects of Finance, Legal, HR, IT, Project Services and Facilities.

Louise is also the Treasurer of GSMA’s Mobile for Development Foundation Board, set up to oversee a wide range of activities where mobile technology can provide solutions to development challenges for underserved communities.

Her career has included several senior roles at Vodafone and Cable & Wireless, including  Regional Financial Controller, Africa at Vodafone and Group Director, Investor Relations at Cable & Wireless.

Meriel Lenfestey, Chair of the JT Board said: “Louise is a well-known and respected professional within the telecoms industry and her experience and connections will be a huge benefit, boosting JT’s voice and presence around the world. We have exciting plans as we continue to invest in our mobile networks and services and with Louise’s work in high growth markets, her appointment adds further strength to our Board. With a genuine passion for inspiring and encouraging young people, Louise’s mentoring skills will be of great benefit to us all and I am confident that her background and focus will play a key role in helping JT with its long-term ambitions.”

Louise is a qualified Chartered Accountant and will be a member of the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee.

Louise Easterbrook added: “JT has built up a formidable reputation around the world for successful innovation and I am looking forward to helping the business as it takes further strides with its international activities. As a full-service global connectivity and business solutions provider, JT operates in an industry that’s changing rapidly, reaching into the lives of more people in the communities it serves as it delivers new products and technologies. It is a fascinating time to be joining the team and I am delighted to be working with such a great team of talented people.”

Meeting the experts at the world’s leading communications conference

A team from JT is this week attending the world’s largest gathering of experts in technology and mobile connectivity. The Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is the most influential event of its type and brings together global mobile network operators, device manufacturers, technology providers and all those with an interest in the future of tech.

As a business that uses technological innovation to benefit the communities it works in, the team from JT will see first-hand the latest equipment and systems and forging new partnerships with other like-minded companies and innovators.

Marcus Irwin, Head of Product Innovation at JT, said: “With more people and devices connected to the internet than ever before, the next decade will bring greater access to information and new forms of communication. MWC is the place to meet those who are leading change in our industry. It’s where you can network with tens of thousands of senior industry decision makers and witness how ideas become the next technology that will change our lives. We are always looking for ways to evolve our own mobile network so that it’s ready for the Channel Island’s expanding digital landscape.”

MWC Barcelona is on between 27th February and 2nd March and is organised by GSMA, the association that represents mobile operators around the world. Its partners include large multi-national corporations including Microsoft, Samsung and IBM.

Marcus added: “There have been some huge steps forward because of better connectivity. Technology is evolving all the time and we need to form partnerships with the innovators so that we can work on solutions to problems as well as identifying where technology can make our lives better, more efficient, and ever more connected. That’s why we’ll be there to meet those that share our desire to do the best we can for our communities and discuss how that should be delivered.”

Working together to deliver technology the green way

Local telecoms provider JT is making 120 refurbished laptops available to charities in the Channel Islands as part of its new initiative to support good causes. JT Community Giving was launched in November last year inviting schools, charities and other groups to apply for help, whether it’s for project funding, technology support or a request for volunteers.

In the first round of applications the scheme received a high number of requests for laptops from organisations that need help with their digital support services.

JT has partnered with local IT firm SystemLabs, who have kindly donated their time to refurbish the used laptops safely and securely, fitting them with new hard drives so as to extend their lifespan for continued good use.

Pip Carpenter, JT’s Head of Commercial Market, said: “One of our aims as a local business is to make a positive contribution to our community, and making use of IT equipment we no longer use seems like the obvious and sustainable thing to do. The JT Community Giving Scheme has opened up an opportunity for us to extend the life cycle of some of our devices while helping charities across the Channel Islands who are often restricted by budget limitation. These laptops have been restored to as-new condition, with complete cleaning, restoration, and necessary hardware replacement, it’s a great green alternative and means we can support groups that do so much to support our community.’’

Alex Blackwell, Chief Operations Officer at SystemLabs, added: “The incentive by JT to repurpose their old laptops is a great way to reduce waste and enable successful applicants to give the laptops an extended life and new home. Being offered the opportunity to work with JT to complete the refurbishment of their legacy devices and securely recirculate them met with our business values around sustainability and giving back to the Island.”

The second round of JT Community Giving is open now and closes on the 31st March. It’s open to all not-for-profit businesses based in the Channel Islands, as long as they can show the direct benefit the request will have on our community.

To find out more or to apply, please visit

JT reflects on a year of giving and looks forward to new partnerships

In 2022 JT’s people chose to support charities linked to autism and helped to raise over £40,000 across the locations where JT is based, with one of those benefitting being Autism Jersey.

With some support and several tech donations from JT, Autism Jersey organised many successful events and together produced a short JT Presents video to help spread awareness of the incredible personalised services and support the AJ team offer to autistic individuals of all ages, their families, and carers within our local community.

It was also the year when JT marked a decade of sponsoring the Autism Jersey Annual Golf Tournament which to date has raised nearly two hundred thousand pounds for people on the Autism spectrum, their families and carers in Jersey.

Lesley Harrison, Head of Charitable Services at Autism Jersey, said: ““We’ve had the amazing opportunity of working with the JT team over the past 12 months on a wide range of activities. Together we’ve not only raised funds and awareness of what we do but we’ve also been able to increase the product offering in the AJ Boutique on the Parade thanks to the generous donation of some of JT’s surplus stock. It’s been a really successful partnership, helping us to drive real change for autistic people and their families and we are very grateful for their fundraising, support and general ‘can do attitude.’’

JT also supports the charity challenges its own people take on. Whether they are abseiling, running marathons or organising jumble sales, what they raise is matched pound for pound. And, to spread its help and assistance across more not-for-profit organisations, schools and community groups, it has launched JT Community Giving which will be its main charitable focus from now on. The first round of applications has closed with 28 successful bids from across the Channel Islands set to receive help ranging from funding, devices, subscriptions and technical support to hands-on help from some of JT’s many willing volunteers.

Pip Carpenter, Head of Commercial Market, said: “The fantastic work that Autism Jersey does touches the lives of so many people and we are delighted that we have played a part in supporting this vital service. I’m so proud of everything that we’ve collectively achieved. The launch of JT Community Giving will help us to extend our support to lots more deserving causes. We’ve been truly overwhelmed by the number of applications received so far, and it’s great to see some of the deeply thoughtful projects already in plan for 2023 that we can help with. Being part of a community unites us all and I’m delighted that we can help in so many ways through our new scheme.’’

Health Check for Businesses: Just how digitally ready are you?

Businesses, no matter what their size, are facing many challenges, not least how to keep up with the latest advances in technology. Everyone talks about the effects of digitisation on the economy and the need for transformation, but what does that really entail and just how do you assess how technically fit your own business is?

JT are hosting a FREE Business Health Check Workshop on Tuesday 31st January, where they’ll be able to help any local small to medium sized business with an assessment of their technology usage and performance. Digitisation can represent an enormous change to some, but it also offers infinite opportunities. This informal workshop offers a chance to meet others that may have similar needs and allow JT’s team of product specialists to check the suitability of your current services and suggest ways that may save you money and optimise your business processes.

Examples of the areas that JT can advise on include cybersecurity, data storage and protection, how to use Wi-Fi more effectively and mobile applications and equipment.

Susan Sproston, JT’s Head of Business Sales, JT Enterprise said: “Regular business health checks are essential for understanding a company’s vulnerabilities and finding areas for growth. Carrying out an annual review helps to rethink the way we do things, making sure we stay relevant and convenient for our customers and clients. We want businesses to tell us about their challenges so that our team can share solutions that work for them, their teams and their customers. We also want to hear about their ideas so that we can help make those successful by matching the challenge to a solution.”

The event, open to any business, is on Tuesday 31st January at the Royal Yacht between 9:00 am and 11:30 am. Businesses can find out more about the event and sign up here –

Utilities come together to support The National Trust for Jersey’s ‘Green Grid’ campaign

Three of Jersey’s utility companies have joined together to support the National Trust for Jersey’s campaign to plant and restore the island’s hedgerows. Teams from Jersey Electricity, JT and Jersey Water will fund and volunteer their time to work together to create the largest continuous grid of hedge corridors in Jersey, by planting and maintaining an additional five miles around the island. This new five mile area of hedge planting will take place in the north of the Island in and around St John.

The ‘Green Grid’ partnership will enhance the existing grid of 26.5 miles of hedgerows which will help Jersey’s wildlife, landscape and natural resources to flourish.

Charles Alluto, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Jersey, said: “The ‘Green Grid’ project provides natural corridors for wildlife, enhancing biodiversity and helping to trap carbon. It’s such an important project for the island’s environment and we are so grateful for the support of these large island employers and are looking forward to working with their teams over the winter, as together we provide a much needed resource to make this happen. Without these teams the scale of the project really wouldn’t be possible.”

Daragh McDermott, CEO of JT Group, said: “Our people have supported the National Trust for Jersey for many years and we’re delighted that, three of the islands largest utilities can come together to give back to our community. As the providers of power, communications and water to islanders and business, we recognise the importance of protecting and improving our green spaces, making sure our contribution to this network allows it to thrive and contribute to island life.”

Chris Ambler, Chief Executive of Jersey Electricity, added: “Our core goal is to help Jersey realise its ambition to become carbon neutral to help reduce climate change, conserve resources and protect the environment.  It is great to be able to help build awareness of the wonderful work of The National Trust and play a real part in preserving nature.  I’m proud of the fact that our teams have come together to work on this project which is incredibly important to all our futures.”

Helier Smith, Chief Executive of Jersey Water, said: “All of our companies play a vital part in people’s lives, and we all have sustainability at the heart of what we do. It’s a natural thing for us to work together for this project as we focus on extending a ‘green grid’ on our island.’’

Financial support will also be provided by the Countryside Enhancement Scheme who have been a long-time supporter of the project.

The partnership is due to last for a year, but it is hoped that as more land becomes available for planting, then the project will continue for as long as it is needed.