“Women’s sport is definitely one to watch right now”
Describe yourself in three words.
More like three phrases, but: optimistic, team player, loves variety.
What’s your biggest professional achievement?
It has to be delivering 92 per cent sales growth for William Grant & Sons over a period of five years, in a flat market.
How did you get to where you are today?
Through a combination of supportive parents, hard work and my wonderful family.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It might sound cliché, but the reason I love this role is that there’s no typical day. My time is very much about representing our 326 members, which are all very different. So my days are a mixture of meeting the huge variety of members, listening to their needs and understanding the opportunities and issues for each and how best to represent them to the different audiences, including the media, government and their stakeholders.
What have been the highlights of your company’s history, in your opinion?
Over the years, BFFF has earnt its reputation as one of the most well respected trade associations out there, because of its work in changing perception of frozen food throughout the food industry and with consumers, through extensive academic research and activity. We have recently celebrated the 30th Annual Product Awards, celebrating the best innovations in frozen retail and foodservice products and the future is bright as we build on the reputation of our Annual Business Conference, and have recently launched the inaugural People Awards, celebrating the unsung heroes of the foodservice industry.
What is your pet hate?
I hate queuing and will regularly walk out of a coffee shop if the queue isn’t getting any shorter – coffee or no coffee.
Give us a positive prediction for the food industry over the next 12 months.
I predict that the next 12 months will see a great rise in the profile of the food industry. Particularly as Brexit negotiations continue, the food industry is really going to be at the forefront with a range of opportunities and issues arising. Already monthly round tables have been taking place for the food industry, bringing us together to speak with a united voice, which is very promising.
What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?
Be authentic and credible, always be yourself and create a positive future that will motivate your team.
Who do you most admire?
I greatly admire Warren Buffett who is regarded as the world’s most successful investor. He’s consistently successful and quite an infamous and quirky character.
Which people/organisations or companies are the ones to watch right now?
B corporations are a really interesting group to watch at the minute, made up of companies that believe in ‘business as a force for good in society’. Each business is assessed on their social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency, aiming to be a business that benefits the people and environment around them.
Tesla is a business I watch with interest – consistently at the forefront of the latest technologies, they’re really exciting to follow.
And, finally, women’s sport is definitely one to watch right now, following a glorious World Cup win for the England women’s cricket team and stellar performances in the football World Cup. Not only are these teams delivering excellent results, but they’re providing excellent role models for girls and women in sport – it’s great to see.
Which words do you most overuse?
If you weren’t in your current position, what else might you be doing?
I’d most likely be in the city, probably working with funds and investments.
Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
In 2007 I cycled with a group of friends from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in aid of Cancer Research. We cycled 1,005 miles over five days and raised over £5,000, which was a great achievement all round.
Coffee and cake.
What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?
A traffic-free commute would be very well received.
How do you relax?
Playing sport mainly, I run quite a lot and find that really therapeutic.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who was good at growing businesses, developing people and a good team player.