Member Spotlight: Al Mackin, Director – theEword

Wednesday, 4th August 2021

Each week we get to know one of our members a little better. This week it’s Al Mackin, Director of digital strategy agency theEword and founder of PropTech platform rebrix…

Career highlight?

Around eight years ago we created a piece of technology called Formisimo (Now spun out of the agency and called Zuko). We ended up winning a Tech competition and the prize was a week long fact-finding trip to Israel alongside other European startups. It opened doors for us but more than that it opened our eyes to the World beyond Manchester – which was important for us as a pretty young team. I also got to eat at a restaurant that only serves breakfast, and it’s open 24hrs a day.

Why do you love pro-manchester?

I’ve been involved with the organisation for many years, met lots of great people and been involved in organising events. The sub-committees are really interesting and for a couple of years I’ve been a judge at the MIMAs. It’s just fantastic to be involved and to get to spend a small amount of time with the amazing talent in Manchester.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just finished “Lights Out”, a good long-read on the last few decades at General Electric, post Jack Welch. Now onto “Caesars Palace Coup” which promises to “expose the power and greed of Wall Street”. What a final chapter that’s going to be.

What are you watching at the moment?

Is it wrong to say Love Island? If so, then I’m actually re-watching the last half-season of Billions.

Favourite band or artist?

Most of my music listening is whilst I’m at work so I have a lot of Kygo on as Spotify has (correctly) pigeon-holed me as someone who likes the lighter side of EDM.

Hidden / Useless Talent?

I’m pretty adept at Mario Kart iOS, which is both hidden (under a pseudonym) and useless as it offers myself and my family little-to-no value.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Take a beat. There are very few situations in life that require a split-second response and I think the right decisions appear when you give yourself time.

Favourite meeting place in Manchester?

Right now anywhere, outside. Manchester is beautiful in the sunshine, and for the last eighteen months I’ve been hidden behind glass or walls

Favourite place to visit in Manchester?

I have a soft-spot for Salford Quays, it’s a great place to walk a dog (or yourself) and it’s relaxing compared to the city centre.

Best concert / gig / performance you’ve been to?

I was one of the 280,000 people at Wembley to see Carl Froch fight George Groves. A great trip and experience, with a young Anthony Joshua on the undercard.

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?

I’d love to spend a day in the shoes of fellow Pro-Manchester member Steve Kuncewicz. Somehow he manages to juggle family life, a successful career and he’s on the radio every time I turn it on. To live that life for just one day…

What are you looking forward to most in the next 12 months?

Over the last six months the market has returned to pre-covid levels, and I would say pre-brexit levels. It’s an exciting time to be helping companies with their digital strategies. We have a great set of clients who are a joy to work with, and I have a wonderful set of colleagues, so I’m looking forward to the next year with them all.

Do you write a blog that you’d like us to share?