I’m part of the management team and I think I have the best job in the LEP, because my role is really about making sure everything is set up to enable all of my colleagues to deliver. I get involved in quite a lot of different things including finance, HR, governance and public affairs. At the moment, the big focus is on developing a medium-term financial plan to take us through to 2022.
I’m really proud of our organisational culture. The team here has grown from 8 to 25 in the past couple of years, and everyone has brought an entrepreneurial, can-do mind-set to the organisation.
We’ve delivered some great work in that time and I’m really confident that we’ll go from strength to strength in the future – and, as someone that lives in the area, it’s really exciting to see how we’re helping to make the region an even better place for people to live and work in.
I’ve just come back from the Lunar Festival at Tanworth-in-Arden which was on 27 July – it’s the first time I’ve taken my kids camping, it was just a shame the weather wasn’t as nice as previous weekends!
And it would be remiss of me not to mention our Conference on 26 September – it promises to be a brilliant showcase of who we are, what we’ve achieved and where we’re going. Hopefully I will meet some of you there!
I am a huge heavy metal nerd. When I was starting to consider whether and where to go to university, Birmingham – the home of heavy metal! – was first choice. When I first came to look around in 2003, I was taken aback by how green it was, the vibrant cultural offer and the different characters of the suburbs. The city has been totally transformed in that time – not least through some of the projects we’ve funded!
I live in south Birmingham now, a stone’s throw away from Bromsgrove. I don’t get to attend many gigs these days but we regularly take our children to Cannock Chase and Kingsbury Water Park!
My undergraduate dissertation was on a little-known (and hugely under-rated) Irish post-modernist author who went by the name of Flann O’Brien. There’s so little written about him that I’m almost an expert by default – they might struggle to come up with more than 10 questions, so I’d fancy my chances!
They say you should never meet your heroes, don’t they? I’d have to go with Paul Auster, probably my favourite living novelist. I’m currently reading his latest publication, 4321, which is brilliant and his canon contains some of the best novels of the late 20th century, in my opinion.
Assuming I can use a historical figure, I’ll go with Bill Shankly, who managed Liverpool Football Club from 1959 to 1974. I’ve learned so much about life and leadership from Shanks and I’d love to talk to him about it all in person.