Meet our Board Members

Dedicated group of professionals supporting local businesses

Askar Sheibani

Chair of the Board


An adventurous entrepreneur and campaigner with a social conscience.

Built an international telecommunications business, “Comtek Network Systems”, starting with only £50 capital.

Comtek Group now has offices in Deeside (Wales, HQ), Reading, Frankfurt, Belfast and an R&D/ manufacturing operation in Silicon Valley, California due to the acquisition of SORRENTO NETWORKS. Sorrento Networks has moved most of its R&D and manufacturing to Wales, making it the only British owned manufacturer of WDM products in the UK.

Askar has always focused part of his time working closely with business communities, local authorities, Welsh and central Governments. He vigorously campaigned and encouraged the Welsh Government to designate Deeside as an Enterprise Zone. He launched a campaign for the establishment of Full Fibre Digital Connectivity infrastructure in North Wales. Askar was appointed by the Welsh Government’s Economy Minister in 2013 to promote entrepreneurship in Wales. Since his appointment, he has created a community-based Business Entrepreneurship Network (BEN), a network of successful local entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.

Askar received a prestigious “Local Hero” award from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Fast Growth Business journal for his work in promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship in North Wales.

Askar holds the following appointments:

1- Chair and founder of “Deeside Business Forum”. A grassroots business membership organisation with over 2000 members and supporters throughout North Wales and North West England.

2- Chair and founder of Business Entrepreneurship Network (BEN).

3- Fellow and Board Member of Wrexham Glyndwr University.

4- CBI UK, SME Council member.

5- Vice President, UK Journalists Charity

6- Board Member, North Wales Science (Techniquest).

7-Chair and founder, UK Fibre Connectivity Forum. A fast growing association of Telecoms Organisations in the UK.

8- Chair, North Wales Growth Deal Business Delivery Board (private sector arm of Growth Deal Board).


Askar’s past appointments:

1-Member of a ministerial advisory board with the Department of Trade and Industry (1999-2005). Appointed by the following secretary of states:

Rt. Hon Stephen Byers MP, Rt.Hon. Patricia Hewitt MP, Rt.Hon. Alan Johnson MP.

2- Area Chair and board member Raglan Housing Association (1998-2010).

3- Chair of a Youth and Community Centre in Reading (1997-2005).

4- Chair and a board member of a landscaping Social Enterprise business for socially excluded young people (Reading 2000-2002).

5-Business Challenge Panel, BIS London (appointed, by UK Government Business Minister), 2011-2012

6-First Chair of Deeside Enterprise Zone, appointed by the Welsh Economy and Business Minister, Edwina Hart AM.

7-Member of Business Advisory Board for the Secretary of State for Wales, Rt.Hon. David Jones MP.2012-2014.

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