Our Staff

Key contacts

Richard Ballantyne

Chief Executive

Richard Ballantyne joined the Association in 2007 and became the Chief Executive in 2016.

He represents the BPA to a number of industry bodies and is a member of a wide range of government stakeholder groups and European Committees.

Richard has in depth expertise in ports, transport and environment policy matters as well as a wide experience of the legislative process around the UK.

He sits on the European Sea Ports Organisation’s Executive Committee, the Maritime UK Board and is also a Director of Port Skills and Safety.

Before joining the BPA he spent five years at a Westminster political consultancy and was previously an MP’s researcher in the House of Commons.

Mark Simmonds

Policy Manager

Mark Simmonds joined the Association as Policy Manager in 2016 and leads on environmental and technical policy issues. He is also the Association Secretary and is a member of the BPA Council.

Before joining the BPA he spent five years working for an MP in the House of Commons as a senior researcher and speechwriter, focussing on business and technology policy.

Prior to that he worked in Government as a policy advisor and a Business and Systems Analyst at the Dreyfus Corporation, part of the Bank of New York Mellon in the USA.

Stuart Wealands

Communications and Events Assistant

Stuart Wealands joined the association in 2015 and assists with all the associations events and communications.

He manages our online and social media presence and also oversees the BPA’s e-news circulars and our electronic campaigns.

Stuart joined the BPA after previously working for a number of industry bodies and guilds in both the media and trade union sectors.

Sara Walsh

Executive Assistant

Sara Walsh joined the BPA in 2016 and is responsible for all the association’s administration and finances and also supporting Richard Ballantyne. 

She also has responsibility for the organisation of the BPA’s two flagship events; the Annual Conference and the AGM Lunch.

Prior to joining the BPA, Sara worked as a member of the events team and Assistant Company Secretary at Energy Networks Association, the trade body for UK electricity and gas distribution and transmission operators.