August 18, 2020
What do you consider to be the greatest feat in business and why?
I have had the pleasure of working with some brilliant businesses throughout my career and it’s incredibly difficult to pick just one. I am consistently impressed with the entrepreneurs I’ve met were brave enough to start. To believe in an idea enough to be able to leave a job, invest your savings and risk failure can be incredibly scary and should always be commended.
What is the greatest physical feat you’ve witnessed by an individual and why?
While in COVID-19 lockdown, I was blown away by the story of Sir Captain Tom Moore and his fundraising work for the NHS. Having lived what sounds like an incredible life, serving in the Second World War and later running his own business, to have raised over £30 million for charity at the age of 99 is amazing.
What about by a group or team?
As a huge Newcastle United fan I’ve not seen as many impressive feats as I would have liked, but thankfully there have been a few. The most enjoyable was probably the four-all draw with Arsenal. Newcastle was losing four-nill at halftime and so it was just fantastic to watch us score four goals in 20 minutes and produce one of the greatest comebacks in Premier League history.
Which demonstration of intelligence/mental strength has most impressed you?
I am incredibly lucky to be able to work with some very intelligent people on a daily basis. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing clients, colleagues, lawyers, bankers and accountants come up with brilliant solutions to complex problems, innovate under challenging situations and pull off some genuinely brilliant things. I think we have some great minds in the North East business community and they’ll be needed more than ever in the difficult post-lockdown months ahead.
Which act of generosity has inspired you the most and why?
I’m a very proud trustee and co-founder of the charity CEO Sleepout, a charity that’s working hard to help fight poverty and homelessness in the UK. Since forming the charity in 2014, we’ve helped raise approximately £2.7 million and I’ve witnessed some amazingly generous acts. The work and dedication of the founder and chair of the charity, Andy Preston, is fantastic. Andy’s philanthropic work and commitment to giving back to the region is incredibly inspiring.