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MEET OUR PRESIDENT & CEO, DARREN ROWLES

Qualifications

2003 – BSC in Biomedical Science and Toxicology, University of Wales Institute Cardiff

2017 – Master of Business Administration, University of Bath

Experience

A commercially-minded scientist, Darren joined Sona after 14 years’ experience in the diagnostic and nanoparticle industry.

He previously worked for one of the leading providers of technologies to the global diagnostics market, where he specialised in product manufacture and development in the area of noble metal nanoparticles and lateral flow diagnostics.

Darren is a key opinion leader at industry seminars and conferences and acts as an advisory board member to the World Gold Council.

Enthusiastic, driven and goal-oriented, Darren is ideally suited to lead Sona into its next phase of growth. His knowledge and experience will be vital as we develop our product range and introduce them to new markets.

Specialties

Business leadership and development, team management, strategy, innovation, nanoparticle fabrication, lateral flow diagnostics, product manufacture and market entry.

Other interests/hobbies

Passionate about corporate social responsibility and the link between business and the community, Darren has led a number of civic improvement projects and mentorship programs in his native Wales.

Since 2015 he has been a Grow Movement volunteer consultant, mentoring small business owners in Africa.

Outside work he is an avid Welsh rugby fan and committed family man who enjoys spending time with his wife and two young sons.

In his own words

"Sona’s products are genuinely unique and have the potential to transform competitive markets. I am looking forward to the challenge of growing the business while continuing to produce innovative new products."

More from our President & CEO

Darren Rowles, who has 15 years’ experience in the diagnostic and nanoparticle industry, has been appointed to lead Sona through its next phase of development and beyond. We asked him about his life and career and what he has planned for Sona.

What made you want to join Sona?

I had been aware of Sona’s work for a while and was really impressed; I could see the huge potential of its products. I thought this was a company I would like to work with. So, when the opportunity came up to actually work for Sona, I jumped at the chance.

You’ve worked in the diagnostic and nanoparticle industry for many years now, so in your opinion what makes Sona and its products different?

This industry is crying out for new technology and innovations. There are very few new products that come to market and very few companies that can actually deliver on what they promise. Sona has new and unique products that are ready for the market. In fact, it is going to disrupt the market and provide something better than the competition. This is a company that can definitely deliver on its promises. And it will continue to innovate and provide new products to meet the demand in the years ahead.

What really makes the company special is not our products but our people. Team Sona is more than just a buzzword, it’s an ethos that really means something. Sona would be nothing without the vision, expertise, passion and perseverance of its people. I know we’ve got something special that needs to be nurtured, and that is going to be a vital part of my role as CEO.

What is your priority?

We’ve got huge plans for Sona but we’re going to take it one step at a time. The next two to three years is our main focus; we want to build a sustainable company.

My immediate priority is to ensure the reverse takeover and stock listing is a success and that we achieve financial sustainability.

Then I want us to focus on growth, through continual innovation, producing new products and entering new markets. I strongly believe in corporate social responsibility, and long term I want us to look at an educational outreach programme, bringing science to schools in our communities.

What first inspired you to pursue a scientific career?

I was always interested in science in school, but what really inspired me to study it seriously was when I visited my cousin Mark and saw diagrams of organic molecules on his wall. I was really interested in what they were and that sparked started a long conversation about science between the two of us. By the end I knew that was what I wanted to study.

Who is your science hero?

There are so many but the one that springs to mind immediately is Sir Isaac Newton. He was simply one of the most influential scientists of all time who changed our understanding of the universe and our place in it.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Family is really important to me, so when I’m not working there’s nothing I like more than spending quality time with my wife and our two boys. At weekends we’re always out seeking adventure or having exciting new experiences. Moving to Nova Scotia gives us a whole new world to explore.

If you weren’t a scientist, what do you think you would be doing?

Honestly, I would probably be a teacher, nurturing young minds to fulfil and exceed their potential. I strongly believe education is key to creating a better future for individuals and society. It can break entrenched cycles of poverty and deprivation and can set you free to explore the wide world we live in. To enable this for just one person means you’re making a difference.