Meet our Team

We are a team of over 80 talented people with a common goal: enabling small and medium sized businesses to achieve more with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

Preact is led by an experienced senior leadership team who each have at least 20 years of service and have grown with the company.

Selom Bulla - Managing Director

Selom Bulla - Managing Director

Selom worries that he actually started working at Preact before some of its youngest employees were born! Yep, he’s that old…

His Preact journey started as a six-week vacation job in the summer of 1995. The following year he was offered a full-time graduate role before he worked his way up to owner and MD (and the primary butt of office jokes).

He likes to think he’s honest, ambitious and tries to do his best by everyone, but the reality is that everyone simply seems to laugh at his fashion sense and driving. But who needs sartorial elegance when you’ve created such an amazing company? He’s still achieving his dream, and he’s not even close to being done.

Selom loves creating a super-progressive, customer centric, people-first culture and says he feels blessed to work in a supportive environment with an incredible team. His desk is where the buck stops, or as he likes to put it ‘where the good intent should start’. He’s always happy to turn his hand to any aspect of the business and would never ask a team member to do anything he wouldn’t.

Out of the office Selom adores his mum’s Ghanaian cooking and likes nothing more than spending time with his long-term partner and their three children aged 13, nine and four. A word of warning though – with his fave TV show being Love Island and best film The Sound of Music, those kids will at some point in their lives get a little embarrassed about Dad!

His favourite saying is ‘If you fail, fail fast, adjust and go again!’ – you can have that for free any budding MDs. Just don’t copy Selom’s fashion, er, flair!

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Ian Mennie
Professional Services Director

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David Gaston
Head of Solution Design

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Sarah Dobson
Head of Projects

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Ben Wells
Head of Account Management

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Martin Prosser
Technical Pre-Sales Lead Consultant

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Leanne Mennie
HR & Operations Director

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Rhian Barstow
Operations Manager & PMO Lead

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Bogdan Ciobanu
Head of Product Engineering

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Sean Lonergan
Service Delivery Manager

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Warren Butler
Marketing Director

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Ian Mennie - Professional Services Director

Aye, Mr Mennie the professional services director is a Scot – and don’t the staff love to remind him! And apart from the Scottish banter, employees tease that he’s married to the real boss of the company, HR Director Leanne.

Ian started at Preact straight after Edinburgh’s Napier university in August 2000 in a support role – and happily admits his first and favourite solution to IT problems was ‘have you switched it off and on again?’

He’s moved on since then (thank heavens) and over the years has been involved in the delivery of projects in numerous industries for different sized organisations. He loves getting feedback, with comments such as ‘technical ninjas’, ‘tip top service’, and ‘listened to our enquiries and was able to answer them clearly and swiftly’ all demonstrating Preact’s values are being delivered by the team.

As another ‘lifer’ at Preact, he’s also another lover of the company. He says it’s the perfect working environment - hard, fast, fun and extremely rewarding where customer and team feedback drives everything they do.

With a son and a daughter, and a dog Cooper, Ian’s busy at home but he does admit to having a streak of meanness - he says he loves to drag his wife kicking and screaming every year on a camping holiday. We feel your pain, Leanne.

Ian’s also passionate about travel and football, and finds coaching his son’s youth team both a learning experience and hugely fulfilling.

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David Gaston - Head of Solution Design

Dave, or DG to his colleagues, is another long termer at Preact, having joined the company as a placement student back in 2008.

Having worked his way up to become Head of Solution Design, he knows the technical side of the company inside out, which is why he can say with confidence ‘if you’re using a spreadsheet you’re doing it wrong!’

He’s passionate about the company and also feels that he’s part of one big family, especially when company boss Selom ‘affectionately’ sacks him on a night out. Apparently, this is a good thing though because it means he likes you – we’ll take your word for it.

Dave says that working at Preact is hard graft, but the rewards more than make up for it and he gets a buzz out of being in the Solution Architecture team and making ‘awesome things happen with the stack’.

He says his biggest accomplishment is his kids and spending time with them makes for the perfect night in. That and a board or computer game or two and an episode of Big Bang Theory, especially if he’s eating a meal he didn’t have to cook himself.

However, it’s not all sitting down as Dave enjoys some airsoft action and travelling to warmer climates – as long as there’s a pool, and it’s not too warm.

He also confesses to owning too much Lego for a grown man – we don’t think this is a sackable offence, but perhaps don’t mention it to Selom on a night out.

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Sarah Dobson - Head of Projects

If you need a project managing Sarah will always rise to the occasion – just like the soufflé recipe she’s trying to perfect.

Sarah continues to inspire her team with her work ethic, just as she did when she came for her interview. Despite undergoing chemotherapy at the time and having very little hair she still made it and secured the job.

Her positive attitude – and, by her own admission, occasional hare-brained schemes – has cemented her place as cornerstone of the Preact management team. She describes work at Preact as ‘fab, busy, sometimes frenetic, but overall… fab!’

It’s been quite a journey for Sarah, who originally wanted to travel the world studying remote tribes. But now she’s hooked on CRM and relishes her work at Preact, particularly when it comes to building strong relationships with clients and helping them achieve the change they’re seeking.

Her colleagues describe her as master of persuasion as she’s often able to convince them to get onboard with new projects. This fearless attitude in the office doesn’t extend to films though, as she says that anything with a 12 certificate or above has her hiding behind a cushion.

Sarah has a real sense of adventure and loves the great outdoors, especially the Alps and the huge skies and clean air. Never one to stand still, Sarah’s been known to travel to more than 12 countries in two weeks during the road trips she enjoys with her husband – we just hope he can keep up!

Even when she’s at home she’s on the go and can often be found on her indoor bike, or rustling up a culinary treat in the kitchen. However, it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure – to Sarah a jacket potato is the food of the gods.

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Ben Wells - Head of Account Management

Ben is another Preact ‘family man’ and credits his love for the company to the belief boss Selom and the team had in him when he first joined.

At first cash was king for Ben, who shunned University to go and work at a golf club. But he soon saw the error of his ways and at the ripe old age of 21 headed to Bristol to complete a Marketing and Sociology degree.

He joined the software industry fresh from uni and to this day finds its humorous that he’s in the industry he is because, by his own admission, he’s a ‘non-techy’.

Ben sees every day as a new opportunity to build strong, long-term relationships with customers and ensure that they’re happy with the service they’re receiving.

“I get to deal with people from all walks of life and I like each day being different. I love the satisfaction of knowing we are helping organisations in so many ways to be better and to succeed.” Clearly a man who’s happy in his work!

Ben is known as Wellsey around the office – a nickname that has stuck since his footballing days and although he doesn’t play much now, he still loves watching the beautiful game, and any other sport for that matter.

Asked what his Preact colleagues might say about him, Ben was cagey, but did imply there was a tale or two to be told about the Christmas parties, but we couldn’t extract the details from him!

Ben is proud husband and father of three and enjoys nothing more than family pizza and movie nights at the weekend. He’s still a bit of an action man at heart, but more the armchair kind – any movie that’s loud with plenty of explosions keeps him happy.

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Martin Prosser - Technical Pre-Sales Lead Consultant

Martin’s colleagues often see him as the office midwife. Why? He likes to think it’s because he always delivers on time and nothing to do with him being a dad of six!

He joined Preact nine years ago and attributes his rapid career progression to a drunken promise made by the boss, Selom Bulla, after dragging him along to a stag do. Obviously, he’s great at his job as well.

Martin is a people person through and through and relishes speaking to new clients and helping them find a solution to the CRM pain points. And if he can save them money along the way, that’s an added bonus.

It’s hard to contain Martin’s enthusiasm for Preact and its progressive culture - he sees the team as one big happy family, until it comes to the office quiz which is when things get competitive. He says: ‘I’m not sure I’d ever play monopoly against them!’

One of his proudest moments is helping the company achieve ISO27001 accreditation, but this pales into insignificance compared to his resounding victory on the Company Go Karting Day. There’s that competitive streak again.

He describes himself as a ‘mad Gooner’ – we won’t hold that against him, much – and football is close to his heart, which is probably why one of his favourite quotes is ‘A goal without a timeline is just a dream’.

He likes to think his banter and sense of humour brings an added dimension to meetings – we doubt Preact's contingent of Spurs fans would agree though.

Outside of work he can be found either watching or captaining his local Sunday League football team or enjoying spending time with his partner and kids. Another favourite quote of Martin’s is ‘Always give 100% in everything you do, unless you’re donating blood’ – there’s that famous sense of humour at work right there.

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Leanne Mennie - Operations & HR Director

She may be HR & operations director, but Leanne says she’s happy to answer anything and do just about anything the business needs. That’s dedication for you – and she even married the professional services director, Ian so she’s definitely a team player.

In fact, she sees the whole Preact team as one big family. Working here is more than a job for Leanne, especially as ‘someone’s always got your back’ which she loves. This supportive environment reaps rewards and is reflected in the amazing team of talented individuals who have grown in the nurturing, inclusive and supportive environment.

Another long-timer, Leanne has been at Preact for 22 years working in variety of roles, although she’s always been drawn to HR as she’s passionate about people. Leanne says she likes to think she’s caring, empathetic and supportive but MD Selom calls her ‘the dragon’. Hmm… But we’re glad to know he’s been called worse apparently!

Preact places great emphasis on the work/life balance which means Leanne gets to spend quality time with Ian, their two children and Cooper the cockapoo.

She also enjoys cooking and anything outdoorsy, with biking, walking and running among her favourite pastimes. Her ideal Friday night in would be snuggled up with the kids, Ian and dog watching a film with a cup of tea – her favourite drink in the world.

So, what about that camping trip hubby drags her on every year? Why doesn’t she enjoy it? According to Leanne it rains every time they go. Now, we feel your pain even more!

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Rhian Barstow - Operations Manager & PMO Lead

Rhian is such a fan of the company she just can’t stay away! A few years after joining in 2014 she took a gap year but soon found herself back in her old seat at Preact.

Rizzle, as she’s known to her colleagues, is not afraid of hard work and gets a buzz out of helping to solve problems across the business while supporting her team.

Her big break came when she was promoted to her current position as Operations Manager and says Operations & HR Director Leanne Mennie, was her inspiration as she used to hold the same position.

She revels in creating the best systems for client’s businesses and, like her colleague Dave Gaston, her mantra is ‘no more spreadsheets!’

Rhian is particularly keen on the flexible working hours on offer at Preact. She’ll certainly need them to fit in all the walking and running she enjoys outside of the office, that and reading the novels published by our lovely receptionist, Julie.

Some might say that Rhian has intellectual leanings with her love of history – her favourite TV show being The Last Kingdom, while The Other Boleyn Girl is at the top of her book list. However, there’s an outlier when it comes to movies with My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the top of her list!

Back to travel – it’s clearly in her blood, with New Zealand, Canada and Rome some of her favourite destinations. With Preact’s unlimited leave policy she can certainly indulge in this wanderlust – just as long as she always comes back!

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Bogdan Ciobanu - Head of Product Engineering

It was game, set and match for tennis fanatic Bogdan when he was offered the job at Preact and he’s such a fan of the company he can never see himself leaving.

He joined the company after being ‘kindly adopted by the UK’ following his departure from Romania, and describes himself as the office baby as he’s only been there for three years.

During his brief time at the company, he’s already seen huge growth – the build team alone has ballooned from 8 people to more than 30, which reflects Preact’s rapid growth.

Bogdan’s colleagues say his passion for work is infectious and when it comes to tennis he’s obsessed, having played professionally until he was 15.

Bogdan loves Preact’s culture, together with the awesome, approachable people, the opportunities to work on the latest tech and the willingness to adopt and embrace change, while improving the lives of others.

Outside of the office his other passion when he’s not on the court is learning about the Mafia, with Scarface being his favourite film, closely following by The Godfather.

So back to him saying he’ll never leave the company - maybe they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse?

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Sean Lonergan - Service Delivery Manager

When it comes to delivering exceptional service, Sean doesn't pull any punches - literally! Preparing for his next charity boxing event, he’s as comfortable in the office as he is in the ring.

Sean keeps his colleagues entertained with occasional bursts of spontaneous singing. They say he’s got the voice of an angel – we hope they’re right as they once signed him up for the X-Factor.

He joined the company straight from university as a member of the support team, before working his way up, and has never looked back.

He says the company has a culture like no other, and that a genuinely caring attitude permeates throughout. He says that while other organisations may use the word ‘family’ to describe their dynamic, it’s truly the case at Preact.

Back to boxing and Sean says he takes any challenge that clients throw his way on the chin and he’s adept at designing and implementing new processes to improve customer service.

And he’s clearly built a reputation for having a head for figures with his Mythical Data Beast nickname.

Out of the office Sean can usually be found in the gym, but he also enjoys some more laid back pursuits as well, such as video gaming and reading, with the Harry Potter books being his favourite way of relaxing.

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Warren Butler - Marketing Director

If you want some cracking marketing strategies served up with a lush teriyaki salmon, Warren is your man. A great home cook, Warren is also the marketing director for Preact and has been with the company since 2001.

He was originally in a customer service role, but soon picked up marketing responsibilities, taking ownership of the website and email marketing and it grew from there. A true example of an employer spotting those hidden talents!

Warren has enjoyed being involved in watching Preact – a small underdog company in the beginning he says – grow to become a respected partner within its industry. A top dog indeed now.

It’s hard to get Warren off the subject of Preact as he quite obviously adores the company (we hope his wife understands!) and he still gets a buzz out of working for such a progressive business that puts its people at the heart of everything they do. This is reflected in Preact’s policy of developing a supportive, diverse and inclusive culture. Flexible working and unlimited holidays are also on offer.

Despite being a self-proclaimed man of few words, one of his job highs is speaking to customers to understand their experiences with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Preact.

Back to the cooking – Warren is a little bit of a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, what with his veggie plot and throwing his own garden produce in the pot. He’s gets a bit dizzy trying to remember how many times he’s watched his favourite movie Vertigo but is steadier when talking about his large collection of diecast model F1 cars. It’s not all boys with toys though – he assures us these are an investment!