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CEO Stories

CEO Stories

Author: Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

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CEO Stories is a podcast series that delves into the stories behind some of the Greater Birmingham region's leading or up-and-coming CEOs. The series is hosted by Henrietta Brealey, who in 2021 became the youngest CEO in the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce's 208-year history. Listen to find out what makes some of the region's finest leaders tick, who inspired them and what advice they would offer to aspiring CEOs. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce is the West Midlands' leading business support organisation, having acted as the voice of local business since 1813.
32 Episodes
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Jas Rohel openly admits her younger self would have dismissed the idea of a career in education. Fast-forward to the present day, however, and the entrepreneur and radio presenter is banging the drum for the sector in her dual role as Education Awards founder and co-CEO of charitable organisation the Titan Partnership. In this episode, Jas talks to Henrietta about how a spell teaching at Solihull College & University Centre led to her becoming a ‘disruptor’ who was determined to drive change in the education world. She did so through founding the Education Awards - designed to inspire and recognise success in the sector. It was her first foray into being an entrepreneur and she admits: “I did everything backwards!” Jas, who spent her early career working in the media, also discusses her passion for telling and sharing other people’s stories in her role as a presenter for On Your Radio Solihull, where she hosts shows about education, business and hospitality. Key topics: · Moving to London to pursue a media career · How she “fell into” education and teaching · Driving change in the education sector · Her “itch” to set up the Education Awards · Giving recognition to those working in the sector   · Stepping out as an entrepreneur for the first time · The job-sharing dynamic of her co-CEO role · Giving people a voice through her radio shows · Who has inspired and helped her career? Connect with Jas Rohel: X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/JRohel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jas-rohel-961519152/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jas_rohel Connect with us: Website: https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grbhamchambers X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/GrBhamChambers Email: ⁠press@birmingham-chamber.com⁠ Connect with Henrietta: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietta-brealey-86263b33/ X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/HenriettaLB About Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: We’re here to unleash the potential of Greater Birmingham’s businesses. Whether it’s connections with our extensive network, inspiring events that spark new ideas, expert led services, regional insight, or opportunities to build and raise your profile, we’re here to give your business the tools to reach your full potential.  We are unwavering champions and the leading voice for Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We’re in it for the long haul – we've been putting the us in business since 1813.  At every stage of your business’ journey, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team specialise in empowering businesses to build their networks, access opportunities and learn from best practice locally, and trade internationally. We love local, and we go global.  We are a vibrant community of forward-thinking organisations, that are proud to be shaping the future of Greater Birmingham - together. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Abbie Vlahakis was seeking a career change when Millennium Point “found her”. In this episode, South Wales-born Abbie talks to Henrietta about how her passion for learning developed into a career in finance, before ultimately leading to her current role as CEO at one of Birmingham’s most recognisable venues. We learn why Millennium Point’s dual purpose of being both commercial and charitable was a perfect fit for Abbie – and how her past experiences have led to ‘culture’ being firmly at the heart of her leadership. Abbie also discusses Millennium Point’s mission to create opportunities for the next generation through its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiatives. Key topics: · Lessons learned from growing up in South Wales · The importance of her education · Why she chose a career in finance · Why she moved to Birmingham · How Millennium Point "found me" · What surprised her about becoming a CEO · Millennium Point's support for STEM education · Why culture is the most important element of a business · Her advice for aspiring CEOs Episode Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by the Birmingham Black Business Show, taking place on Saturday 15th June. Tickets are £40. However, we have around 50 FREE tickets to give away - use he code CHAMBERFREE at the checkout to secure yours. Go to https://www.birminghamblackbusinessshow.co.uk/ More about Millennium Point: Website: https://www.millenniumpoint.org.uk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mahirsexperience/ X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/millenniumpoint LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/millennium-point-property-limited/ Connect with us: Website: https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grbhamchambers X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/GrBhamChambers Email: ⁠press@birmingham-chamber.com⁠ Connect with Henrietta: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietta-brealey-86263b33/ X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/HenriettaLB About Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: We’re here to unleash the potential of Greater Birmingham’s businesses. Whether it’s connections with our extensive network, inspiring events that spark new ideas, expert led services, regional insight, or opportunities to build and raise your profile, we’re here to give your business the tools to reach your full potential.  We are unwavering champions and the leading voice for Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We’re in it for the long haul – we've been putting the us in business since 1813.  At every stage of your business’ journey, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team specialise in empowering businesses to build their networks, access opportunities and learn from best practice locally, and trade internationally. We love local, and we go global.  We are a vibrant community of forward-thinking organisations, that are proud to be shaping the future of Greater Birmingham - together. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Mahirs Experience chief executive Harvir Sahota reveals his recipe for success – including how he scaled up his family’s Indian sweet shop business into an award-winning catering and events company that has been used by a string of illustrious names. Harvir and Henrietta discuss the firm’s evolution over the years and how his leadership has been shaped by the many different roles he has held within the organisation. We also learn about how Harvir and the Mahirs team used the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for a reset. And Harvir reveals some of the A-list clients who have utilised the firm’s services – from spiritual leaders to elite sportspeople and huge stars from Bollywood. Key topics: · The origins of Mahirs Experience · Harvir’s first steps into the business as a teenager · His approach to processes and operations · How Harvir became CEO of the business · Leading the company through the pandemic · Career highlights and Mahirs’ illustrious clients · The famous name Harvir would most like to cater for · The role of networking in Mahirs’ success · Mahirs’ future scale-up and expansion plans · The firm’s community and charity work · The entrepreneurs who have inspired Harvir More about Mahirs Experience:Website: https://mahirs.com/Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mahirsexperience/X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/MahirsExpLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mahirs-experience/TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@experiencemahirs Connect with us: Website: https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/grbhamchambers X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/GrBhamChambers Email: press@birmingham-chamber.com Connect with Henrietta: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietta-brealey-86263b33/ X (formerly Twitter): https://twitter.com/HenriettaLB About Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: We’re here to unleash the potential of Greater Birmingham’s businesses. Whether it’s connections with our extensive network, inspiring events that spark new ideas, expert led services, regional insight, or opportunities to build and raise your profile, we’re here to give your business the tools to reach your full potential.  We are unwavering champions and the leading voice for Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We’re in it for the long haul – we've been putting the us in business since 1813.  At every stage of your business’ journey, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team specialise in empowering businesses to build their networks, access opportunities and learn from best practice locally, and trade internationally. We love local, and we go global. We are a vibrant community of forward-thinking organisations, that are proud to be shaping the future of Greater Birmingham - together. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Zoe Bennett’s life changed forever when her father Errol was brutally murdered in 2011. After a long battle to achieve justice, she channelled her experiences into forging a successful career as an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author and founder of the Multicultural Business and Community Champion (MBCC) Awards.   In this episode of CEO Stories, the self-styled Motivational Queen shares her remarkable story with Henrietta Brealey – from her early roles working in market stalls and kebab shops, to overcoming traumas and setbacks to make it on her own in the world of business. Zoe, who is managing director of her own firm Training Personified, also tells us about the recognition she received for inspiring disadvantaged individuals and shares her top tips for networking. Key topics: How did Zoe take positives from something as traumatic as her father's murder? What inspired Zoe to start the MBCC Awards? How did she find the experience of starting up on her own in business? Why did she choose to focus on working with 'hard to reach' groups? What does Zoe wish people and businesses understood better about the people she supports? What are the highlights of her career as a motivational speaker? What are her top networking tips and what are the common mistakes she sees people make? More information on Zoe Bennett and Training Personified: https://motivationalqueen.com/ https://trainingpersonified.com/ Connect with us: Website: ⁠https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com⁠ LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/grbhamchambers⁠ X (formerly Twitter): ⁠https://twitter.com/GrBhamChambers⁠ Email: press@birmingham-chamber.com Connect with Henrietta: LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietta-brealey-86263b33/⁠ X (formerly Twitter): ⁠https://twitter.com/HenriettaLB⁠ About Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: We’re here to unleash the potential of Greater Birmingham’s businesses. Whether it’s connections with our extensive network, inspiring events that spark new ideas, expert led services, regional insight, or opportunities to build and raise your profile, we’re here to give your business the tools to reach your full potential.  We are unwavering champions and the leading voice for Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We’re in it for the long haul – we've been putting the us in business since 1813.  At every stage of your business’ journey, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team specialise in empowering businesses to build their networks, access opportunities and learn from best practice locally, and trade internationally. We love local, and we go global.  We are a vibrant community of forward-thinking organisations, that are proud to be shaping the future of Greater Birmingham - together. About this episode: CEO Stories delves into some of the most challenging experiences our guests have faced, as well as their successes. This episode contains references to violent crime and mental health challenges. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Season three of CEO Stories begins with Henrietta Brealey talking to a chief executive who has one of the toughest jobs in local government. Birmingham born and bred, Deborah Cadman has enjoyed a distinguished career in local government – including stints leading the West Midlands Combined Authority, Suffolk County Council and St Edmudsbury Borough Council. Her current role, leading Europe’s largest local authority in her home city, has proved to be the toughest to date – after Birmingham was issued with Section 114 notice in 2023. In this episode, Deborah discusses the challenge of leading through such a critical time in the council’s history. We also learn about various other aspects of her life and career – including her memories of growing up in Birmingham, her various roles in government through to her favourite things about her home city and some the individuals who have influenced her along the way. Key topics: What attracted Deborah to a career in public service? How would she describe the challenges facing Birmingham City Council? How does she handle the pressure of leading the council through those challenges? How does she switch off from the pressures of her job? Does she still see a legacy from the 2022 Commonwealth Games? Are there any individuals or leaders who inspired her through her career? What is Deborah's favourite thing to do in Birmingham? What's her biggest piece of advice to aspiring or up-and-coming CEOs? Connect with us: Website: ⁠https://www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com⁠ LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/company/grbhamchambers⁠ X (formerly Twitter): ⁠https://twitter.com/GrBhamChambers⁠ Email: press@birmingham-chamber.com Connect with Henrietta: LinkedIn: ⁠https://www.linkedin.com/in/henrietta-brealey-86263b33/⁠ X (formerly Twitter): ⁠https://twitter.com/HenriettaLB⁠ About Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce: We’re here to unleash the potential of Greater Birmingham’s businesses. Whether it’s connections with our extensive network, inspiring events that spark new ideas, expert led services, regional insight, or opportunities to build and raise your profile, we’re here to give your business the tools to reach your full potential.  We are unwavering champions and the leading voice for Greater Birmingham’s businesses. We’re in it for the long haul – we've been putting the us in business since 1813.  At every stage of your business’ journey, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team specialise in empowering businesses to build their networks, access opportunities and learn from best practice locally, and trade internationally. We love local, and we go global.  We are a vibrant community of forward-thinking organisations, that are proud to be shaping the future of Greater Birmingham - together. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
When Nasir Awan came to England in the 1960s, he could speak virtually no English. Today, Nasir is one of the West Midlands’ most successful business figures – and, on 17 November, 2023, he will become president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. In the final episode of CEO Stories season two, the boss of international wholesale firm Awan Marketing talks Henrietta Brealey through an eventful life and career – from humble beginnings in Pakistan to a career in business and charity that makes phenomenal reading. Nasir shares some of the highs and lows experienced along the way – including a tumultuous time in the mid-2000s when he came close to losing everything. It was a test of faith at “a time where I was emotionally at my very lowest.” However, that faith and determination drove Nasir on to successfully rebuild his business which evolved into one of the UK’s largest wholesale firms.   We also hear about his charitable work – including an impactful role as chair of Islamic Relief – and his plans as president of the Chamber when he succeeds Deb Leary this month. CEO Stories will return for a third season in early 2024. Find out more about Nasir Awan:https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-a-j-nasir-awan-mbe-dl-a6779726/https://twitter.com/Nasirawanuk Find out more about Awan Marketing:https://www.awanplc.co.uk/https://twitter.com/awanmarketing_https://www.facebook.com/awan.plc/https://www.instagram.com/awanplc/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Eman Al-Hillawi is passionate about driving change. The Entec-Si CEO has experienced several transformational moments of her own – including moving to the UK from Iraq as a teenager, switching careers from science to technology and meeting her business partner Peter Marsden, with whom she created the Birmingham-based consultancy. In this episode of CEO Stories, Eman talks to Henrietta Brealey about a successful career which has been built on people, relationships and creating great teams. We also hear about Eman’s role in bringing a ‘wow’ factor to the Library of Birmingham and the two unusual hobbies that keep her busy away from the business environment. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Jason Wouhra has a saying about family businesses – “it’s like being in the mafia – once you’re in, you can’t get out!” Jason is the chief executive of Lioncroft Wholesale Ltd, a ‘carve-out’ of the renowned East Ends Foods brand which was started by his father and uncles in the 1960s.    In this episode, he tells Henrietta about building on his family’s legacy by making his own mark on the business – despite initially having aspirations to be a lawyer. It’s a career that began stacking shelves on the warehouse floor as a young boy and eventually led to him negotiating the company's sale and subsequent buy-back of the wholesale arm. Jason also opens up about the complexities of working in a family business, the mentor who helped him find clarity regarding his career goals and what the future holds for Lioncroft Wholesale Ltd.   Find out more about Lioncroft Wholesale Ltd: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lioncroft-wholesale-ltd/ https://www.lioncroftwholesale.co.uk/ https://twitter.com/LionCroft2023 Follow Jason Wouhra: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drwouhra/ https://twitter.com/DrWouhra --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Whether it's “getting a telling-off” from the Ministry of Defence or making history in football’s oldest cup competition, Charlie Blakemore is no stranger to huge challenges. The Intercity Technology managing director’s successes in business and sport have been driven by an ability to bring the best out of his people. He talks Henrietta Brealey through a fascinating career – from engineering apprentice, high-pressure roles in the defence and aerospace sectors, through to his current position as a leader in the tech industry. Sandwiched in between was a semi-professional football career, in which he made history with Chasetown by managing the non-league underdogs to the third round of the FA Cup. Charlie shares his memories of that fairytale cup run of 2007/08, as well as discussing the similarities between being a leader in sport and business. Find out more about Intercity: https://www.intercity.technology/https://www.linkedin.com/company/intercitytechnology/https://www.facebook.com//IntercityTechnologyUK/https://twitter.com/Intercity_UKhttps://www.instagram.com/intercity_uk/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Birmingham Museums Trust co-CEO Sara Wajid’s “twin obsessions” of storytelling and equality set her on a path to becoming a respected cultural leader. The former arts and culture journalist was by her own admission a reluctant CEO with aspirations to “get something done in society”. She tells Henrietta Brealey how a secondment to Birmingham Museums Trust - the largest independent charitable trust of museums in the UK – in the role of ‘changemaker’ had a lasting impression on her career. “I became a bit obsessed with the place,” Sara admits. The opportunity to return to run the organisation later arose, in an innovative job-share role alongside the respected Zak Mensah. We hear about her passion for social justice, Birmingham Museums Trust’s progressive, community-led approach and the unique working dynamic between her and fellow co-CEO Zak. Find out more about Birmingham Museums Trust: https://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/ https://twitter.com/bm_Ag https://www.facebook.com/BirminghamMuseumandArtGallery https://www.instagram.com/birmingham_mag/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
“There’s a reason I work in the arts – because it’s exciting!” Caroline Miller’s passion for her profession is loud and clear as she talks Henrietta Brealey through the fascinating and varied career path that led to her becoming chief executive of Birmingham Royal Ballet. It is a career that has taken her from the box office to the boardroom – driven by a lifelong love of dance and a determination to become a leading arts administrator. Having overcome some personal setbacks, Caroline took the reins of Birmingham Royal Ballet– initially as interim CEO – in 2018 and was instrumental in the recruitment of global dance superstar Carlos Acosta to become the organisation’s director and creative driving force. Caroline tells Henrietta how, like Cuban phenomenon Acosta, she believes in taking risks – a mantra that paid off as the Birmingham Royal Ballet navigated the Covid-19 pandemic with some innovative productions. We also hear about some of BRB’s exciting future plans – including a forthcoming tour of the United States and the release of the highly-anticipated Black Sabbath – The Ballet. Find out more about Birmingham Royal Ballet: https://www.brb.org.uk/ https://twitter.com/brb https://www.instagram.com/bhamroyalballet/ https://www.facebook.com/bhamroyalballet https://www.linkedin.com/company/birmingham-royal-ballet/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Entrepreneur and author Raphael Sofoluke founded the UK Black Business Show from a place of "frustration and inspiration". The show has doubled in size since 2017 and has expanded into other parts of the UK - with the Birmingham edition returning to the NEC on Saturday 17 June, 2023. In this episode of CEO Stories, Raphael talks to Henrietta Brealey about what inspired him to create a platform for Black entrepreneurs and business owners, what he learned during the transition from his previous career into a full-time entrepreneur and why the show's expansion into Birmingham was an important step. As well as being an entrepreneur, Raphael is also a published author - having released the book 'Twice As Hard: Navigating Black Stereotypes And Creating Space For Success' with his wife Opeyemi. He tells Henrietta about the work that went into the book, including attracting some high-profile contributors. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce is a strategic media partner of the 2023 Birmingham Black Business Show - find out more and book tickets. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Mario Mazzochi was all set to return to his native Italy when he spotted a newspaper advert that changed the course of his career. The appeal of a top job with financial services giant Visa was too good to turn down for the Turin-born business leader, who would end up extending his stay in the UK. That decision would eventually lead Mario to his current role as CEO of Birmingham-headquartered financial services mutual Wesleyan. In this episode of CEO Stories, he tells Henrietta Brealey how he was impressed by the organisation’s distinctive business model and Birmingham’s appeal as “a transformative city”. He discusses the “Wesleyan DNA” and why it is central to the organisation’s role in the community. Mario also reveals his favourite things to do in Birmingham. Find out more information about Wesleyan: https://www.wesleyan.co.uk/ https://twitter.com/Wesleyan https://www.linkedin.com/company/wesleyan/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Ian Reid is the man who oversaw delivery of Birmingham’s golden summer. The chief executive of the 2022 Commonwealth Games joins Henrietta Brealey to provide his perspective on leading an organisation which mushroomed from a start-up into a workforce of thousands in a short space of time - before dissolving in the aftermath of the sporting extravaganza.  Reid discusses overcoming some of the well-publicised challenges around the Games - including a shorter delivery time after Birmingham replaced Durban as the host city, the threat posed by Covid-19 and recruitment difficulties.  We also hear about his favourite Birmingham 2022 moments, what he would like to see as a legacy of the Games and what he plans to do next.  Find out more about Birmingham 2022: https://www.birmingham2022.com/ https://www.facebook.com/Birmingham2022/ https://twitter.com/birminghamcg22 https://www.instagram.com/birminghamcg22/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/birmingham-2022-commonwealth-games/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Entrepreneur Oli Hills pivoted his business to embrace a social media revolution that has turned the world of content creation on its head. The CEO of social media publisher Updates Media - parent company of thriving social media news source Birmingham Updates – identified an opportunity to help businesses capitalise on the seemingly limitless potential of fast-growing platform TikTok. Updates Media was rebranded as Nonsensical – a TikTok-first marketing agency which is helping brands and organisations cut through to new audiences by creating video content that receives millions of views. Oli talks to Henrietta Brealey about leaving behind a career in investment banking to become an entrepreneur, how his first attempt at starting a business was inspired by his brother’s participation in an Iron Man competition and the pivotal moment in his career when he was offered the chance to become CEO of Birmingham Updates. And, with the social media landscape changing at a rapid pace, Oli also offers Elon Musk some top tips on how he can fix Twitter. Find out more about Nonsensical: https://nonsensical.agency/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/nonsensicaltiktok/ https://www.instagram.com/nonsensical.tiktok/ https://www.tiktok.com/@nonsensicaltiktok https://twitter.com/nonsensical_uk --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
SF Recruitment chief executive Saira Demmer kicks off Season Two of CEO Stories by talking Henrietta through the forensic detail that has gone into building her firm’s award-winning culture. The specialist recruitment business has earned a string of accolades for its workplace practices – including a place in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work list. Saira puts much of this success down to “giving employees a voice”. Saira also describes how she has adapted throughout her career, admitting she has often been “thrown into things I wasn’t qualified for”. Find out more about SF Recruitment: https://www.sfrecruitment.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/sf-recruitment/ https://twitter.com/SFRecruiters https://www.facebook.com/SFRecruiters --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
This bonus episode of CEO Stories focuses on business leaders who have been thrust into centre stage - sometimes in unusual circumstances.  In a recap of Season One, Henrietta looks at instances when some of her guests have found themselves in the limelight.  We hear from a CEO turned stand-up comedian, a chef who earned his shot at TV fame and a prominent business owner who unexpectedly went viral on social media.  A writer and storyteller also tells Henrietta about performing and receiving a critique of his first play.  Listen to this episode to hear from: Deb Leary, Forensic Pathways CJ Lloyd Webley, director/writer/entrepreneur Doug Wright, McDonald's franchisee Liam Dillon, The Boat Inn  CEO Stories will return for Season Two in January 2023. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
In the first of two bonus episodes of CEO Stories,  Henrietta Brealey explores who or what inspired some of the Greater Birmingham's business leaders. We hear from four high-profile Season One guests who tell us why they were influenced by life-changing experiences and key figures from the worlds of sport, media and the military.  Listen to this episode to hear from: Simon Caulton, Ones Leisure Trainers Colonel Richard Maybery, West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association Doug Wright, McDonald's franchisee  Deborah Hazell, Unity Trust Bank  CEO Stories will return for Season Two in January 2023.   --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
In the final episode of Season One, NEC Group chief executive Paul Thandi discusses his distinguished career in the leisure and entertainment industry. Thandi tells Henrietta Brealey that joining the organisation – initially as commercial director – was like “lifting the lid on 1,000 flowers and letting them bloom”. We hear about his role in transforming the NEC Group into one of Europe’s leading leisure and entertainment operations by shifting to a customer-centric, data-led approach, while increasing its portfolio of businesses.  Thandi describes the challenge of steering the group through several changes of ownership – and dealing with the impact of the pandemic in one of the hardest-hit industries.  He also provides an insight into what is next for the NEC Group under its ‘work, rest, live and play’ vision.  CEO Stories will return for Season Two in January 2023 Find out more about the NEC Group: https://www.necgroup.co.uk/ https://twitter.com/thenecgroup https://www.linkedin.com/company/nec-group --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
Liam Dillon is an acclaimed chef whose adventurous culinary career has led him to roles at top restaurants in London, Sydney and Copenhagen.  But none of those experiences compare to running his own business – The Boat Inn in his home city of Lichfield.  The Boat has been transformed under Liam’s ownership, achieving three rosettes and Michelin-recommended status.   Liam talks to Henrietta about how the transition from chef to business owner is “a different beast” and - why he compares running a restaurant to performing on a theatrical stage.  We also hear about his appearances on TV’s Great British Menu, his desire to give something back via a new education scheme and what it is like to work for MasterChef taskmaster Marcus Wareing.  More information on The Boat Inn: https://www.theboatinnlichfield.com/ https://twitter.com/TheBoatInn_ https://instagram.com/theboatinn_ https://www.facebook.com/theboatinnlichfield Follow Liam Dillon: https://twitter.com/chefliamjdillon https://www.instagram.com/chefliamjdillon/ --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/ceo-stories/message
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