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***FULLY BOOKED*** IoD North West & IoM | Enterprising Women Conference 2019

17 Oct 2019
Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Manchester

Evolution or revolution? Change is everywhere – the challenge for today’s Director is not to learn how to accept it but how to orchestrate it and drive positive outcomes.

Join us for our 9th Annual Enterprising Women conference, taking place on 17th October at The Renaissance Hotel in Manchester.

Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the suffragettes, and the co-operative movement – and more recently the jet engine, computer and graphene – our region is no stranger to Evolution or Revolution. We now stand on the brink of a new decade, in the midst of political uncertainty and massive technological innovation, and we look to the inspiring women and men of the North West and Isle of Man to lead the charge!

The conference will help you to connect, develop and influence. It will bring together inspirational speakers and discussion sessions, providing unique insights to help you to innovate within your organisation, and grow in your role as a Director.

You will also have plenty of time to network with over 200 North West Directors and leaders over breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, and at our post-conference drinks reception.

Please note, we very much encourage men to attend this conference. So please join us, bring your colleagues, clients and friends and be a part of what is set to be a fantastic day.

Key details

Date & time: 17 Oct 2019 08:30 - 18:30
Location: Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Manchester
CPD Hours:

Prices from

56.00 GBP + VAT - Advance Member
75.00 GBP + VAT - Members
90.00 GBP + VAT - Non-members
600.00 GBP + VAT - Table of 8 (contact Lauren Mullan)

Event manager:
Miss Lauren Mullan
Contact phone:
0161 806 0890
Contact email:


Please note this a working agenda and further details will be added in due course. If you have any questions regarding the agenda please feel free to get in touch.

08.30 Registration, breakfast and networking

09.10 Opening keynote from Claire Ebrey, Regional Director at IoD North West

09.25 Introduction from Heather Wright | Conference Host 

09.40 The Change Mindset - Jenny Garrett, Managing Director of Reflextion Associates Ltd

10.00 What you can do with a big idea - Rachel Clacher, Co-Founder & Director of Moneypenny

10.20   Authentic Leadership, aligning your purpose and personality - Maura Jackson, CEO of BACKUP North West

10.40 Q&A with speakers 

10.55 Morning Refreshment Break

11.20 Conference recommences 

11.25 Discussion session: Exporting - how working with new people changes your business (sponsored by DIT) 

- Marian Sudbury
- Dr Marnie Millard OBE
- Diana Mather

12.00 The future of us - Danny Simpson, CEO of MID Communications 

Lunch and networking 

13.40 Event re-starts 

 Snakes and ladders - turning a crisis into an opportunity -  Dr Nighat Awan OBE, CEO of Shere Khan Group

14:15 Climate change, the greatest leadership challenge of our generation - Alice Larkin, Professor of Science & Energy Policy at University of Manchester 

14:40 Q&A session

14:50 Afternoon Refreshment Break

15:15 Event recommences with discussion session

15:20 Discussion session - Influencing beyond your authority - driving regional change

- Mike Blackburn OBE
- Dr Robina Shah MBE JP DL
- Marie Mohan

16.00 Closing remarks from Claire Ebrey, Regional Director of IoD North West

16.15 Drinks reception

18.30 Event closes


Dr Marnie Millard OBE
Nichols PLC

Marnie is Group Chief Executive for Nichols PLC.  She joined the company in 2012 as Managing Director of the UK Soft Drinks Division and was appointed to her current role in May 2013.  Marnie previously held senior roles at Refresco Gerber and Macaw Soft Drinks. 

Nichols plc is the home of Vimto, a soft drink which was established in 1908 by John Noel Nichols and today has a retail brand value of £90m.  The business operates internationally and turnover for the group is £130m.  Vimto is represented in more than 85 different countries.

As well as her Executive responsibilities, Marnie is a non-executive Director for Finsbury Foods and UA92.  She is also a member of the Management Board for the BSDA (British Soft Drinks Association) and was recently appointed as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

Nichols PLC supports Warrington Youth Club in their aim to support and inspire young people to achieve their goals and dreams.  
Maura Jackson 
BACKUP North West

Maura Jackson is CEO of the charity BACKUP, which provides opportunities for homeless young people to be safe, stable and develop skills for independence. She is an ambitious and determined leader and in a time of austerity she has taken risks that have paid off and quadrupled the size of this small homeless charity, with plans for further growth. She raised the profile of the organisation and re-branded it, with the sole purpose of tackling homelessness in the North West.

She was awarded as IoD North West & Isle of Man Director of the Year 2019 in the third sector category.

Alice Larkin
Professor of Climate Science & Energy Policy
University of Manchester

Alice is currently Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering and is a researcher in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. Alice trained as a physicist in Leeds, did her PhD in climate modelling at Imperial College, then worked in science communication. She returned to academia joining the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester in 2003 to research conflicts between climate change and energy policy. Her work on carbon budgets helped to shape the UK’s Climate Change Act and inclusion of aviation within policy frameworks. She became a Professor and Director of Tyndall Manchester in 2015, delivered a TED talk and was awarded a University ‘Researcher of the Year’ award in 2016. She has led large collaborative EPSRC projects on the Water-Energy-Food nexus and decarbonising shipping, and continues to work at the climate change-policy interface. In August 2019 she will take up the position of Head of School of Engineering, in a newly formed School comprising four existing Schools within the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University.

Rachel Clacher CBE
Co-Founder & Director of Moneypenny
Founder & Trustee of WeMindTheGap

In 2000 Rachel Clacher co-founded Moneypenny with her brother Ed Reeves and their pooled savings of £10,000. Today Moneypenny is the world’s lead provider of telephone answering, outsourced switchboard and live chat services, with offices in both the US and UK. Here Moneypenny’s team of over 600 annually handle in excess of 13million calls on behalf of 13,000 companies from its award-winning HQ – known as ‘the happiest office in the land’ - and is one of the ‘Top 5 Best Companies to Work For in the UK’. 

Danny Simpson 
MID Communications 

Danny Simpson is the CEO of MID Communications LTD, the largest independent franchise of Telefonica O2 UK, providing both B2B and B2C services across 17 retail stores throughout the Northwest and a business centre based n Rochdale.

The 15-year industry knowledge has seen Danny start his career back when GPRS was the only form of mobile internet and he also experienced the launch and impact of both 3G and 4G. He has also witnessed the release of the first ever iPhone in the telco marketplace along with many other tech gadgets like wearables, smart tech, innovative apps and especially tablets. Danny has seen how each of these have cannibalised the market in laptops to how the digital landscape has changed and works in our world as it is today.

Dr Nighat Awan OBE
CEO of Shere Khan Group

Nighat counts four highly successful and very diverse companies amongst her business achievements, encompassing fashion, floristry, food and most recently property and interior design. She is currently CEO of the Shere Khan Group of restaurants and curry products. Nighat is equally well known for her tireless charitable activities, she was former council member of the CBI and chair of the Ethnic Minority Business Forum - North West, part of the North West Regional Development Agency, she is currently UK Patron for Oxfam.

In 2004 Nighat was awarded the O.B.E. in the Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of her services to export and to charity.
Other accolades include: Outstanding Contribution award at Manchester's Food and Drink festival (2004), the Business Award in the Muslim News Awards for Excellence (2005) and the Entrepreneur Award in the Asian Women of Achievement Awards (2005). Nighat was a finalist in the Great Briton 2005 Awards, alongside such household names as Jamie Oliver and Dame Ellen MacArthur, and in July 2006 received an honorary doctorate from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Claire Ebrey
IoM & North West Regional Director
Institute of Directors

Claire is Regional Director for the IoD in the North West, covering Manchester City Region, Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Liverpool City Region and the Isle of Man. 

In previous roles she worked in Corporate Social Responsibility at the Co-op, running nationwide member engagement campaigns on issues including trade justice, climate change and human rights, where she used innovative channels such as film, theatre and photography to drive member interest and action. She was on the Board of a film academy for young people (which means you can find her on IMDb), and latterly she ran a £1.3m programme to support the development of independent co-operative businesses across the country.

Claire currently secured her Certificate in Company Direction, and is now studying for her Diploma, with a view to becoming a Chartered Director. She has a passion for bringing people together and believes that collaboration across all sectors, shapes and sizes of organisation, can drive real change.

Mike Blackburn OBE
IoD North West Regional Chair

Mike lives in the North West and until January 2018 was Chair of BT’s NW Regional Board, a role he held from 2007, and also Head of Digital Government in the UK until 2018.

Mike has a number of non-exec roles including Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership which sits at the heart of Greater Manchester’s governance arrangements, ensuring that business leaders are empowered to set the strategic course, determine local economic priorities and drive growth and job creation within the city region.

Mike holds a number of other Non Exec or Trustee roles :

Board member of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
Chair of the Institute of Directors (IOD) in the North West.
Non exec Director of Transport for the North

Mike was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2015 for services to the economy in the North West.

Marian Sudbury
Lead, Northern Powerhouse Exports and Investment, Department for International Trade

A Cambridge graduate with an MBA from Manchester Business School, Marian’s background as a senior business leader means she brings commercial acumen to the role of Global Operations Director for the Department for International Trade in the Northern Powerhouse. 

Marian has worked on behalf of major blue chip companies, charities and government, defining organisational direction and designing and delivering short and long-term commercial strategy.  She was made a Board Director in 2001 for planning and then setting up the international division within a Greater Manchester research firm.

Since January 2013 she has been working with the Department for International Trade leading on the delivery of foreign investment nationally and the growth of the Northern Powerhouse through both exports and investment. Her focus throughout is on growing the UK economy by helping high potential business in the Northern Powerhouse learn and grow through doing business overseas and high quality global businesses create wealth by investing in the UK.

Dr Robina Shah MBE JP DL CPsychol FRCGP (Hons) 

Robina is a Consultant Chartered Psychologist, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience at Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester. She is an author and academic with a specialist interest in psycho-social medicine, patient safety, person centred care, mentoring and leadership development.

She holds a diverse career portfolio in health, social care, higher education and criminal justice with over twenty years experience at board level including chair/non-executive roles and senior leadership roles with the Department of Health, the NHS, the Ministry of Justice, General Medical Council, Health Education England, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal Society of Medicine and the Charity Sector. 

Former leadership roles include: member of the Prime Ministers NHS Future Forum, Board Advisor to the National Patient Safety Agency, international work with the Institute of Health Improvement (US) and the World Health Organisation, Member of the Department of Health Standing Commission on Carers, Chair NHS Confederation BME Leadership Forum, youngest and longest serving Chair of the Board of Directors at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust (2000-2012), Lay Trustee of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Current leadership roles include: UK Health Service Ambassador National Emergency Services Memorial, Lay member, NHS England National General Assembly, President Elect, Royal Society of Medicine Open Section Council, Independent Director roles, FA Women’s Football Board, FA Disability Football Committee and Manchester FA Board, UK Chair, RCGP Patients and Carers Partnership Group.

Civic and Honorary roles include: 
High Sheriff for the County of Greater Manchester (April 2018-April 2019) Deputy Lieutenant for the County since 2006, 
Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Chief Ambassador for Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham Meet Your Future Campaign and GM Bridge. 

Marie Mohan
Chief Executive
Common Purpose UK

Marie joined Common Purpose in 2000, becoming Chief Executive of Common Purpose UK in 2014. Marie has a track record at Common Purpose of bringing leaders together to tackle complex social problems, to understand collaborative working and to develop their ability to ‘Lead Beyond Authority’. She has extensive knowledge of leadership development especially in the experiential field; helping leaders learn through practice.

Marie is experienced in transformational change programme design, management and delivery and has facilitated leadership programmes for emerging and senior UK leaders from the private, public and third sectors. Marie is highly skilled in developing trusting relationships within large and diverse groups that allow people to overcome differences, innovate and create new and challenging partnerships. She led 20:20, Common Purpose’s flagship UK leadership course, for five years. She brings passion and commitment to developing programme participants to be the best they can be for the benefit of their organisations and wider society.

Jenny Garrett
Managing Director
Reflextion Associates Ltd

Jenny Garrett is an Award Winning Career Coach and Leadership Trainer, with over 13 years experience of running a Global Business.

Jenny empowers people to make the transformation that they are seeking actually happen, that could be: navigating their career successfully finding work that is more on purpose for them or getting the best from their team.

Everything she does is aimed at either advancing gender balance, creating inclusive workplaces or equipping young people with the skills that leaders of the future need.
What she is best known for is her book Rocking You Role which is a guide to success for female breadwinners, delivering inspiring talks, career coaching, delivering leadership training, speaking in media, facilitating retreats and running teen conferences.

Diana Mather
Director & Senior Tutor
The English Manner

Diana Mather is a television presenter and writer who runs etiquette and international protocol programmes through The English Manner which has offices in Cheshire, London, Kenya, Uganda, Angola, Nigeria and India.  She has worked for Central Television, on the news team at BBC North and for BBC Select.  Recently she co-hosted a TV programme on manners in the US.  She is a regular contributor to television and radio programmes, giving advice on etiquette, image and style and has appeared on The Culture Show (BBC2), Blue Peter (BBC1), Inside Out (BBC1), BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Five Live, Radio Solent, Radio Leeds, Radio Manchester and Capital Radio, Kiss FM, Citizen Radio and NTV in Kenya.

Diana is the author of three books Surviving the Media, ImageWorks for Men and ImageWorks for Women, published by Harper Collins.  Her most recent books, published by Hodder & Stoughton, are entitled Body Language Secrets and Secrets of Confident Speakers.

Diana is currently under contract with Haynes to write books on Confidence and Speaking.


Conference Host

Heather Wright 
Advance Performance

Heather will be compering our conference. 
As one of the ?founding directors of Advance Performance Ltd, she has spent over 20 years studying the psychology of behaviour, performance and influence, how to inspire and motivate individuals, teams and organisations, developing practical tools to change the lives of others.
Heather is a dynamic and inspirational award winning speaker, delivering training, speeches and workshops throughout the UK, Europe, Africa and Australia. Her clients include The National Trust, The NHS, Boots Opticians, Rolls Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Pepsi Lipton International. 
Married with 2 children, Heather is a published author and has also attained black belts in 4 different martial arts. She has run marathons, cycled from Lands End to John O Groats and keeps bees.

Headline Sponsor



Drinks Reception Sponsor

Media Sponsor

Print Sponsor 

Venue Sponsor


Prices from

56.00 GBP + VAT - Advance Member
75.00 GBP + VAT - Members
90.00 GBP + VAT - Non-members
600.00 GBP + VAT - Table of 8 (contact Lauren Mullan)


Please tick here to indicate that you have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions for this booking.

  • Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel
  • Blackfriars St
  • Manchester
  • M3 2EQ

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