The people behind the packaging

We’ve built a strong and experienced team with diverse skills. Together we bring a range of industry leading expertise, perfect to create planet positive packaging for a world of applications.

Paul Gilligan

Director / Co-founder

Paul leads commercial, business development and operations, and relishes overcoming the complex challenges often faced by start-ups. He brings a wealth of international management experience, across a broad range of industries, from construction to food retailing. Paul spent 14 years at Sainsbury’s in a range of senior roles, where he won a number of industry awards.

“It’s been fantastic to team up with two great friends, to bring to the market a product which will make a real difference to the world, it’s something we’re all very passionate about. Most brands are trying to incorporate sustainable initiatives into their businesses, and we’re delighted to be able to help them.”

Emma Brogi

Director / Co-founder

Emma’s passion for sustainability led to her interest in the unique properties of mycelium, and the formation of the Magical Mushroom Company. Emma is responsible for product management, sustainability, accreditation, and helps manage partnership relationships. She has a deep interest in natural products and the beneficial properties of plants and worked for over 10 years in the field of complementary therapies.

“I’m excited to be working with such an incredible product and supporting companies to reduce their impact on the planet. We've only just scratched the surface of Mycelium’s potential. Our aim is to develop a range of regenerative solutions that contribute positively to the environment.”

Ollie Boyd

Director / Co-founder

Ollie is responsible for overseeing the design and implementation of the company's key products and services. He has over 20 years of experience in design leadership roles and a proven track record in delivering award winning solutions for leading global brands, including the successful design and launch of VW Group's first ever direct-to-consumer retail channel.

“We were motivated by a growing concern over the impact plastic is having on our planet. Thankfully pioneering companies are responding to this sense of environmental urgency by adopting ground breaking solutions like our biomaterials platform. A new mindset for business is emerging and creativity has never been more important.”

Jon Hartland

Board Retail & Leadership Advisor

Jon advises the Magic Mushroom Company board on strategic decision-making and colleague engagement. His extensive experience involves a number of senior roles for Sainsbury’s including Central Retail Director and interim Board Retail and Operations Director with full P&L responsibility for 1,584 stores. In fact, on retiring in 2019 he was Sainsbury’s longest serving Director.

“My aim is to help strengthen and guide the team. During 20 years a director of FTSE100 company, I’ve developed genuine business instincts around commercial opportunity and risk. Hopefully, these will be extremely useful to the company going forward. I’d love to play a very small part in making the world a better place”

Gavin McIntyre

Senior Scientific Advisor

Gavin McIntyre co-founded Ecovative Design LLC, to solve environmental challenges through biology, he oversaw research and development during the company’s early product launches, and is a listed inventor on over two dozen of the company's issued and pending patents.

Gavin has supported the Magical Mushroom team since its inception and has been a key mentor in helping the company open its first Mycelium based packaging plant. “I'm delighted to be assisting the MMC team and see the UK as being ready for this type of change”

Dr Angel Medina

Mycology Consultant / Partner

Dr Angel’s role with the Magical Mushroom Company involves leading the extensive research and development work. He’s a Senior Lecturer in Food Mycology at Cranfield University and a Council member of The British Mycological Society. With 20 years of experience working with fungi his wealth of knowledge on modifying the way they grow allows for further development of materials and even more applications.

“The opportunity to have fun with fungus while tackling some of the most important environmental issues the world is facing was the ‘perfect match’ for me and my research group at Cranfield. I’m convinced that eco-friendly packaging is going to be the future of packaging worldwide.”

Dr Mark Thornton

UK Science Advisor

Dr Thornton assists the Magical Mushroom Company in leading R&D teams plus strategic innovation. He earned his PhD in cell biology and pharmacology from Imperial College London. His professional experience spans lab-based scientific research, new product planning and corporate strategy, putting him in a unique position to help the company fulfil the promise their technology brings.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the impact microorganisms have on our lives, and how we can use them as an elegant way to solve problems. From food and drink production to medicines and now sustainable packaging–the possibilities are endless!”

Dr Naomi Rintoul

Soil Scientific Advisor

Naomi currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in Soil Science and Environmental Management at Canterbury Christ Church University. She carried out her undergraduate degree at the University of York, along with her PhD which investigated the effects of elevated ozone on a grassland community. Naomi was a sessional lecturer at University of York before moving to CCCU, where she teaches on a variety of specialisms.

Eddie Ford

Lead Technician

Eddie is Lead Technician, which makes him responsible for the grow cycles of our product. He has spent almost two decades in the horticulture industry, and works closely with the team to make sure product growth is always on target.

“We’re all so passionate about developing what is a much-needed answer to one of the big problems of the modern world. I really see eco packaging as spearheading a necessary change in how businesses operate. Key to the direction the world has to take.”

Ryan Little

Product Designer

Ryan brings over 20 years of experience in 3D modelling and award-winning projects plus a wealth of knowledge in freeform and geometric shape design. Ryan helps the company cover everything from detailed photo-realistic renderings to fabrication drawings, and CAD/CAM routines with his passion and knowledge for efficient 3D structure. He has a talent for three-dimensional thinking and understands mycelium’s constraints and possibilities.

“I’ve worked with the team before and am really excited to be involved in such a ground-breaking idea. I believe we all need to use less, and what we do use needs to have no impact on the planet.”

Gabby Bennett

PR & Marketing

Gabby is our PR and marketing expert. She’s spent 22 years delivering high impact PR for Sky. She also has wide ranging experience advising and influencing senior stakeholders up to CEO, CTO and CMO. While at Sky she advised on several strategies for the company’s corporate social responsibility campaigns with WWF, and British Cycling. More recently Gabby set up an independent food store, offering a high-end alternative to supermarkets for residents of West London

Ziggy Fried

Technology & IT

Ziggy is responsible for managing our end-to-end digital technology choices, cloud infrastructure, and data integration. He brings over 25 years of experience to the company. A highly skilled technologist and member of the Harvey Nichols senior IT management team. Where he helped build their in-house digital platforms, team structure, agile development practices and the running of their global ecommerce platforms.

“I believe that we can all individually do our part but collectively it can make a much bigger difference. When the Magical Mushroom Company approached me, it was like an epiphany. The product potential is so versatile, the opportunities are endless. I can see a day when all polystyrene has been removed.”

Peter Lumley-Savile

Contracts & IP Lawyer

Peter is in charge of contracts, intellectual property, and all other legal aspects for the Magical Mushroom Company. He has solid experience as a commercial lawyer, spanning a broad range of relevant sectors and transactions.

“I’m really excited to be involved with such an important initiative. As a consumer I’m appalled by the amount of plastic packaging we are forced to buy and throw away. Eco packaging is well overdue, and if it’s not adopted universally within a very short timeframe it is nothing short of criminal in my opinion.”

Graham S. Norton

Business Consultant

Graham plays an important role in supporting MMC management, defining and delivering financial planning. His recent corporate experience was strategy development at multinational Cape plc, Coffee Republic plc. He has also worked with SME companies with a focus on ensuring the management has a consistent flow of financial information.

“I have a great deal of experience building business plans and cases and also the integrated financial plans that support them. I am delighted to bring this valuable experience to the team. I really believe in near future we (the world) will look back in astonishment at the way we used plastic based packaging”