Please tell us briefly about your career to date and what you are most proud of
"My business career started with an apprenticeship within print. I then migrated to a
creative and marketing background which led me into starting my own business in 1996
and which still continues to operate. In 2017 a customer of mine Ellgia asked me to get
more involved with their business as they’d bought an operation in Scunthorpe but
weren’t getting a great deal of traction, I initially started in a consultancy basis to bring
the brand recognition to a new area of operation and discovery. In 2019 I was asked to
become a full-time employee as both a Director and shareholder, which was a great
honour. I have 2 moments within my career that I’m most proud of. 1) Starting my own
business with no capital investment into me and the business Origin8 still thriving today
even without my stewardship. 2) Helping Ellgia to become one of the most recognisable
brands and businesses within the region, the business since I joined has seen
exponential organic growth from circa £18 million pa to circa £27 million for this current
year. I’d like to think that although not all my own work the due diligence and
commitment I’ve shown is however big or small paid a part in seeing a business with a
fantastic ethos become a major player in the waste and recycling sector."
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Doncaster businesses today?
"I feel that Doncaster has all the ingredients to be a major player in both the business world and also a fantastic place to live. The challenge is overcoming the stigma of days gone by and to get the message clearly through that ‘Doncaster is open for business’ I myself not from the area have been guilty myself of being dismissive of the borough and having now spent the past 3 years working in the area feel that Doncaster no longer needs to hide its light under a bushel."
What is the best thing about Doncaster and what do you think are the borough’s
"For me Doncaster has everything, from its people to its infrastructure and its location. All the key ingredients are there, a fantastic airport with huge potential, the A1M with the direct access straight to the South or further North and also with numerous ports within 50 miles. Doncaster really is a City all but in name and I think with the right push is ready to explode onto the business landscape as a major player for both importers, exporters and also technology and entrepreneurial ambitions. If I was starting a business again now Doncaster would certainly be a place of great interest with the potential to unlock the South of Yorkshire as the place to work, rest and play."
What would you like Doncaster Chamber’s priorities to be for the next 12 months?
"I think it’s important that the Chamber continues to fight the good fight and not be scared to put its head above the parapet and to challenge things on both a National and Regional level. Having worked with many Chambers previously the Doncaster Chamber is already by far the most pro-active and dynamic one I’ve worked with. I’d urge the Chamber to continue its upward trajectory and to push the boundaries by engaging with as many organisations as possible to make sure that the Doncaster Chamber is always the first Chamber that anyone thinks of and wants to be associated with."
What would you like the Chamber to be famous for in three years’ time?
"I’m not really concerned that the Doncaster Chamber needs to seek fame as that’s purely vanity. I’d put sanity before vanity and would want the Chamber to be noted for being open to all, from a one man band, to a multi-national organisation, with the one common goal success breeds success.
Unfortunately Chambers of commerce these days are perceived as a little old school and if I hadn’t had the opportunity to engage so often with the Doncaster Chamber my views would probably be the same having worked with other Chambers purely to get a logo on an email signature. The Doncaster Chamber is different and should remain different, punch above its weight, feel like a true family but also have the sharpened teeth and cutting edge to not care about either fame or infamy. Put simply the Doncaster Chamber needs to be about the people, for the people and with the people."