Who do you represent?
In essence, I represent West Midlands plc. Whether representing Directors of some of the UK's largest companies or those leading start-up businesses, it gives me immense pride to share member stories with other members and to broadcast their achievements to the wider UK and, in this global environment, to the wider world. Across manufacturing, the service industries, logistics, education and the third sector, the IoD has members in every walk of life leading every kind of team imaginable. They are a diverse and talented bunch with much to offer and part of my role is to share these valuable assets with the wider West Midlands community.
Which sectors would you like to attract?
We want to attract the leaders of tomorrow. Whilst many of our target audience will be young, dynamic and innovative people in their first flush of business, many will have grey hair and years of valuable experience. There is a shortage in the West Midlands of diversity at board level and for this reason we are particularly keen to attract a more diverse membership representing all genders and the huge range of ethnicities which makes the West Midlands such a unique and dynamic business culture.
What does your region offer business leaders?
The West Midlands is home to the IoD's Mastermind initiative; a fantastic concept which sees fellow Directors gather under Chatham house rules to share best practice, their issues, a meal and a glass of wine at some of the greatest venues across the region. These Mastermind groups provide a fantastic sounding board for Directors who can quite often struggle to hear voices beyond their own board and their own close knit circle. In addition, the region boasts one of the most diverse and certainly the youngest workforces in the UK and IoD membership provides an ideal way to access and maximise this unique and valuable asset.
What has your region done in the past year that you're particularly proud of?
Without a doubt, the student mentoring schemes that we operate in partnership with The University of Wolverhampton and Coventry University has been one of our shining successes. This initiative, originally conceived and nurtured by Dr John Phillips MBE, brings together those individuals who are full of drive and innovation with IoD members who can add experience, know-how and that all-important network of opportunity.
Continuing on that theme, I am hugely proud that the IoD has focused ever more closely over the last year in the West Midlands on promoting opportunity; be it access to best practice, tips on productivity or the promotion of dynamic talent. Tthis is the organisation to be a member of and this is the place to be.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?
In conjunction with our fellow organisations such as the CBI, the Chamber and the Federation of Small Business, I am keen to work in partnership to drive the recognition of talent within the West Midlands. Add to what others can offer, our professional development agenda and the incredible network we open up to members and it is truly a potent recipe for growth and dynamism. In addition, our members genuinely care. I am particularly looking forward to hearing the stories of how businesses are making a difference in their community and to understanding those stories in such a way that I can share them with a wider audience.
The West Midlands is not only doing terrific business but it's also a terrific place to do business and to do so on a fair and ethical basis.
Finally, what’s your personal business ethos?
My personal business ethos stems from the blend of individuals who have influenced my career to date. In essence, it's great to win but it's better to win as part of team. Better still, to win as part of a team that benefits others in the process. "A rising tide lifts all boats".