CEO Blog: 2018 Round Up

Wednesday, 19th December 2018

To say 2018 has been a busy year at pro-manchester is an understatement.

It was a great honour for me to take over as chief executive in September this year and what an excellent few months it’s been.

This year it has been great to welcome our comms manager, Mel who has made brilliant changes to our internal and external comms; our sector group manager, Ilona who has made a huge difference to how we approach our sector events and committees driving the 12 key sectors forward confidently and our membership and events manager, Katherine, who has taken on the roles of both Katie and Claire with ease while they’re on maternity leave, bringing in a wealth of new fabulous members to our network.

Speaking of Katie and Claire, we are delighted to have also extended our ‘Mini pro-mers’ team with the addition of their lovely daughters Margot and Millie.

Further expansion to our extended team of committee members saw us welcome (and please bear with me as this is a long list) Adam Richmond as chair of our Transport & Infrastructure group; Suzanne Benson and Heather Gray as co-chairs of the Property & Regeneration Group; Sian English as co-chair of our Retail & Ecommerce group; Charlotte Lewis as co-chair of the Healthcare group, Rich Brown as co-chair of our Hospitality group and last but certainly not least, Sarah Lawless as chair of our Food & Drink committee.

The work and efforts of all of our committee members never goes unnoticed by us as a team. They help us to stay in the loop with the 12 key sectors of growth in our region and help to drive the excellent awards programme the team puts together each year.

June saw PwC’s Jane Forbes step down in the most glamourous way, I’m sure you’ll all agree at our Annual Dinner, making way for Evershed Sutherland’s Alistair Cree, who has already had an impact on the organisation since July.

Alistair officially addressed our members for the first time as chair at our AGM in July, highlighting his passion for helping young professionals to expand their network and aim high.

Once again, all of our conferences went without a hitch. We saw the return of the Big Social Media Conference which took to etc.venues in July and was completely sold out. It was a pleasure to host this with our sector group manager, Ilona.

Our two staple conferences; the business conference and our economics conference descended on The Lowry Hotel to completely sold out audiences with a wealth of experts sharing some great insights.

It’s also been great to get more involved with Mayor Andy Burnham’s office with our involvement in both the Green Summit and a visit to Mansion House in London, where we discussed the Industrial Strategy for the region at length. This is set to continue in 2019 with a dinner with the mayor, details of which will be announced in the new year.

Personally, it has been great to expand my network to benefit pro-manchester by getting involved on the board of the City of Trees Trust, MMU’s Business and Law faculty and the Greater Manchester Business Representatives board too. Of course, it has been a pleasure to continue my work as a trustee of Forever Manchester too, a cause very close to my heart!

Looking ahead at 2019, with the recent strategy day myself and the team had – it’s looking hugely positive. We’ve had a record amount of nominations in for the Made in Manchester Awards.

I’d like to wish all of our members, supporters, committee members, board and the wider Greater Manchester business community a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Here’s to 2019 being the best one yet for pro-manchester.