Friday, 26 September 2014

IoD West Midlands - Free Networking Drinks Event at The Swan, Stafford, on 14th October.

Location: The Swan Hotel, Stafford

Date: 14 October 2014

Time: 17:30 - 20:00

Quality networking in the relaxed setting of The Swan, an 18th Century coaching inn, brought to you by IoD West Midlands.

Member price: Free of charge

Non-member price: Free of charge

The IoD West Midlands region covers the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire, as well as the urban areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and the Black Country and is made up of over 1,800 directors and senior decision makers.

The regional head office is found within the IoD West Midlands Hub in Birmingham. Local branches can be found in Hereford and Worcester, which covers Herefordshire and Worcestershire; Coventry and Warwickshire, covering Coventry, Warwickshire, Birmingham and Solihull; and the Black Country, covering the Black Country, North Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Headed up by Regional Chairman Jason Wouhra, the IoD West Midlands host a programme of seminars, business breakfasts and special events which give members the opportunity to listen and question business leaders, politicians and decision-makers.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Mills CNC's MD joins Midlands Aerospace Alliance colleagues from the Eurofighter Typhoon Supply Chain to visit No 3 (F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby

Paul Hooper-Keeley, Managing Director of Mills CNC Limited, joined members of the Midlands Aerospace Alliance who were invited by Group Captain Johnny Stringer, Base Commander, RAF Coningsby, and Wing Commander Ian Townsend MA, Officer Commanding 3(F) Sqn to visit and see the Squadron at work.

This was a superb opportunity for 20 MAA colleagues to see the Eurofighter Typhoon that more than 70 MAA member companies help manufacture or support close up and meet the pilots who fly it every day.

Paul Hooper-Keeley and the Midlands Aerospace Alliance with No 3 (F) Squadron at RAF Coningsby
About RAF 3(F) Squadron

RAF 3(F) Squadron is a front-line fighter squadron:

•Formed in 1912 and celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012.

•First Squadron to fly heavier-than-air aircraft.

•Moved to RAF Coningsby in 2006.

•First operational front line RAF Typhoon squadron in 2006

•Provides permanent Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) for southern UK, ready to be scrambled in 10 minutes.

•Participated in Operation Ellamy (UK participation in Libya) 2011.

•Helped provide Olympic Games security 2012.


Schedule of Visit

•Squadron visit: who we are, what we do, what Typhoon can do and why.

•Aircraft visit (see the jet up close).

•Simulator visit.

•Review a key part of Squadron training in use.

About RAF Coningsby

Today the workplace of 3,000 military and civilian personnel, RAF Coningsby has been an RAF base since before the Second World War.

The following Squadrons are based there: -

•No 3 (Fighter) Sqn - the First Front Line Typhoon Squadron.

•No XI Sqn - The first multi-role Typhoon Squadron.

•No 29 (Reserve) Sqn - The Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit.

•No 41 (Reserve) - Test and Evaluation Squadron.

•The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight which operates five Spitfires of various Marks, the only flying Lancaster in Europe, two Hurricanes, a Dakota and two Chipmunks.

A massive thank you to Darin Tudor of the Number 1 (Fighter) Squadron Association who spent 12-months organising this fantastic visit.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

CIMA West Midlands’ ‘Women in Leadership’ event at The Rep, Birmingham, on 7th October

Come to meet four inspirational speakers from a variety of business sectors within the West Midlands. These ladies have been very successful in their particular field and will talk about what they have achieved and how they did it.

We are pleased to welcome: -

Yvonne Mosquito - West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner

Liz McKenzie - Corporate Services Director, Wesleyan Insurance

Nicola Fleet-Milne - Managing Director of FleetMilne Property

Lynda Kettle - Vice President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts (RBSA)

Following the presentations, there will be a Q&A panel session. The evening will conclude with drinks and a chance to network with the speakers and other fellow guests.

This event is open to all - everyone is welcome. Email Julie Witts at to book your free place.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 3AH

6pm for 6.30pm - Arrival, registration and buffet served

6.30pm – Presentations

Speaker Details

Yvonne Mosquito, West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, was elected as a councillor to Birmingham City Council in 1996 and has served as an executive member of the Birmingham City council cabinet, chair of the labour group and deputy chief whip.

Yvonne has chaired several committees including Birmingham City council's people and organisation committee, the West Midlands immigration strategic board, the social cultural and health board and the Birmingham housing benefit review board. She has chaired local ward committees including Ladywood, Nechells and Sparkbrook districts, and has been health authority representative on the Perry Barr Primary Care Group.

Yvonne was formerly vice chair of West Midlands Police Authority, where she served on several committees, including chair of the personnel committee and vice chair of the equalities committee. Yvonne also represented West Midlands Police Authority at the National Association of Police Authorities.

Liz McKenzie, Group Corporate Services Director, Wesleyan Insurance

Liz McKenzie joined Wesleyan in October 2010 as head of corporate planning. Prior to this, she trained as a production engineer before spending nineteen years at Toyota in a variety of roles, including business and production planning, project management and continuous improvement. Twelve months after joining the Society, Liz was made director of HR and corporate planning.

She joined the board in January 2014 as group corporate services director with responsibility for the company secretary and corporate planning functions. Liz is also chair of Wesleyan's charity advisory committee, which has helped the society raise more than £1.3 million for local and national charities, including recently, over £180,000 for Birmingham Children’s hospital.

Nicola Fleet-Milne is owner and commercial director of award winning agency, FleetMilne Property. With prestigious offices in Birmingham’s Colmore Business and Mailbox District, FleetMilne specialise in selling, letting and managing premium properties.

Nicola set up FleetMilne Property in 2004 in a prospering market and has successfully guided the business through interesting times. The team at FleetMilne are excellent at what they do and they draw on all their knowledge and experience to offer a comprehensive service which has maintained the reputation as market-leading property agent in Birmingham.

Nicola herself is a former ‘Birmingham Young Professional of the Year’ category winner and an active member of the city’s thriving professional community. Nicola is the relationship director for the professional membership organisation BPS Birmingham, board member at Colmore Business District, a trustee of Birmingham Hippodrome and mentor to young talent.

Lynda Kettle is vice president of the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts (RBSA), membership secretary of the Birmingham Watercolour Society (BWS), a member of the Birmingham Art Circle and a member of the Birmingham and West Midland Pastel Society.

Lynda trained at Birmingham College of Art, specialising in theatre design. She was a stage and costume designer for London and Midland theatres, progressing to a career as a production designer for BBC television. She is a creative designer for over 200 high profile productions.

Lynda will talk about her career at the BBC and explain how she became well known within the Birmingham art world. She will share her experiences of a woman in a prominent role and will offer some advice on developing leadership skills.

What you can gain: -

Below are URLs for the CGMA and CIMA Thought leadership reports on Women in leadership and Leadership.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Business Networking Event in Birmingham on Thursday 18th September brought to us by Edge Creative

Edge Creative are kicking off the networking season with a fantastic EDGE Forward event at the Drop Forge in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to showcase your business and build significant relationships with the right people.

This free of charge high calibre event featuring both directors and decision makers is not to be missed. Make sure you reserve your place today.

18th September 2014
The Drop Forge
10 Hockley Street
B18 6BL

From 6pm to 8pm

To confirm your place email Edge Creative at and I’ll see you there.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Barclays support Mills CNC Limited with banking facilities to fund June MBO

Barclays support Mills CNC Limited (“Mills”) with banking facilities to fund a management buyout and continued growth plans.

Based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Mills is the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools into the UK and Ireland.  Over recent years, the company has invested heavily in its service support to the specialist engineering sector to provide a full suite of services including turn-key design, warranty, breakdown and contract servicing, parts, finance and training.  The company has experienced fantastic growth in challenging conditions since the previous management buyout in 2008, with turnover now forecast to be in excess of £60m and growing.

A new senior management team has been promoted from within the company to ensure continuity.  The number of Board directors has been increased to reflect the greater management needs of the company as a result of its strong growth over the past few years.

The outgoing Directors have gifted a significant shareholding to an Employee Trust for the long term benefit of the company’s employees. The Trust will help support the retention and attraction of new staff with a long term incentive scheme linked to company performance.

Further investment in the company is planned, with new office space and extra staff to improve customer service, further grow the Training Academy and facilitate future growth.

Nick Frampton, former Managing Director, Mills CNC Limited said: “We have developed a close working relationship with Barclays over many years. They took a keen interest in our succession planning and were able to deliver a funding structure that worked for all parties.”

Paul Hooper-Keeley, Managing Director, Mills CNC Limited said: “We see Barclays as one of our key business partners and are appreciative of the support that we receive from Gareth Farbon and his team. This has been, and will continue to be, vitally important for the evolution and growth of our business.”

Gareth Farbon, Relationship Director, Corporate Banking at Barclays said: “This is an exciting new era for Mills CNC as they implement strategic plans for further sustainable growth. As a longstanding client we value the relationship and look forward to working closely with the new management team to provide the expertise and support they need to fulfill their strategy.”

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Whittle Wonders team receives sponsorship boost from Mills CNC and the CNC Training Academy as it sets its sights on victory in Dubai.

Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland, and its independently-operated CNC training division, the CNC Training Academy, are sponsoring a team from a local Leamington school as it takes on the world at this year’s International ‘F1 in Schools’ competition in Abu Dhabi in November.

Both companies have agreed to donate £1000.00 each to the ‘Whittle Wonders’ team from North Leamington Secondary School who, after being crowned National Champions earlier this year, are representing the UK at the event.

The team, comprising four students aged between 17 and 18 from the School, are confident that the sponsorship they have received from Mills CNC, The Training Academy and other local and national companies and organisations will help them win the much coveted Bernie Ecclestone Schools’ World Championship Trophy.

Says Mills CNC’s managing director, Paul Hooper-Keeley: -

“The ‘F1 in Schools’ competition is a fantastic initiative focused on changing young people’s perceptions and attitudes about careers in engineering, science and technology.

“This is something we are passionate about here at Mills and recognise that if we cannot attract sufficient numbers of well-qualified, highly-skilled young people into manufacturing and engineering – the UK’s future growth and economic prosperity will be severely affected.

“The ‘F1 in Schools’ competition, with its emphasis on innovative thinking and design-for-manufacture knowledge and skills, ticks all the right boxes for us and that’s why we are proud to be sponsoring the Whittle Wonders team.”

To cement its relationship with Mills CNC and the CNC Training Academy the whittle wonder’s four-student crew was invited to Mills CNC’s Technology Campus in Leamington at the end of August to meet senior managers, take a tour of the facility and see a number of high-performance Doosan machine tools being put through their paces.

The ‘F1 in Schools’ competition

‘F1 in Schools’ is a truly international event with teams from over 40 countries taking part.
The competition is holistic in nature and requires participating teams not only to use and apply CAD/CAM software and manufacturing methods to design, test, make and ultimately race miniature F1 cars on a 20 metre track – but also to demonstrate their understanding of the wider commercial, financial and marketing imperatives involved in running a business – specifically one in the motorsport (F1) sector.
As far as Whittle Wonders’ miniature car is concerned – the focus for the team was on designing and manufacturing a light-weight, aerodynamically-sound and structurally-robust car powered by compressed gas that could reach speeds in excess of 70mph.
The team is confident that the model they have created (and which will be unveiled at the event in Dubai) will beat off stiff competition expected from the German and Australian teams (in particular) to claim a top-of-the-podium result.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sir Peter Rigby to speak at CMI’s 21st Annual Crystal Lecture, ‘Creating a World Class Business from Scratch’, at Wolverhampton on 23rd October 2014

The CMI say, “We would be delighted if you (and any guest you may wish to invite) could join us at the Crystal Lecture entitled “Creating a World Class Business from Scratch”, to hear the presentation and participate in a discussion on: The importance of a clear vision in building a substantial business, how real Entrepreneurial skills provide competitive advantage, highlighting secrets of success and how to re-set perceptions on Entrepreneurship and its contribution to British economic growth.

Speaker - Sir Peter Rigby

Sir Peter is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Rigby Group, which he founded in 1975 with £2,000 savings, the parent company for a portfolio of privately owned and highly successful businesses operating across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Diversifying from its origins as a principally technology-led business, Rigby Group has evolved - through smart, strategic acquisitions - into a £1.8 billion portfolio business. With two generations of the Rigby family at the helm, Rigby Group has built a distinguished reputation as both an investor and business operator; renowned for its independent thinking, seamless execution and a peerless approach to acquiring and nurturing businesses to unleash their potential.

Date: 23 October 2014

Start Time: 6:00 PM

End Time: 8:30 PM

Capacity: 300

Venue: Millennium City Building, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton

Questions about this event should be addressed to Events Administration at or by telephone on 01536 207461.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Mary Portas announced as the key note speaker at the Finance Director’s Forum on board the Aurora from 8th to 11th October

Opening Address 2014 - The future of customer needs, behaviour & community values by Mary Portas

Mary Portas, Chief Creative Officer at Portas, retail consultant, television personality and government adviser on the future of the high street in Britain will headline this year’s Finance Directors’ Forum. A huge variety of influences have impressed upon Mary the importance of responsible corporate behaviour and a very deep respect for the drivers of all of our economic engines – the people who pay for them.

Tasked with finding solutions to the long term decline of Britain’s shrinking high streets in 2011, she offered the government 28 separate recommendations, many of which are already bearing fruit. From leading efforts to re-create British clothing manufacturing to re-imagining charity shops as profitable community hubs, Mary Portas’s vision of how we will live and shop in the future is well placed to illuminate her topic: The future of customer needs, behaviour and community values.

Mary Portas is widely recognised as one of the UK’s foremost authorities on retail and brand communication, and has a multitude of expertise; business woman, advertising executive, retail expert, Government adviser, broadcaster and consumer champion. Beginning her retail career in John Lewis, Boots, Harrods and Topshop, she joined Harvey Nichols, progressing to the Board as Creative Director in 1989. She was credited with leading its transformation into a world renowned fashion store. In 1997 Mary left Harvey Nichols to launch an agency, Yellowdoor, which has made its mark in the creative advertising landscape and in January 2013 she re-launched her agency with a new name and brand: Portas.

Inspired by her weekly ‘Shop!’ column in the Telegraph Magazine, Mary began her television career in 2007 when her efforts to rescue failing independent boutiques were documented by the BBC2 series Mary Queen of Shops. Mary’s continued advocacy of our High Streets led to her receiving a commission from the British Government to lead an independent review. She delivered her report on the future of our High Streets to the Prime Minister, in December 2011, outlining 28 recommendations to rescue failing High Streets, and her work has been a catalyst for community regeneration, and the re-visioning of high streets across the country.