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Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / February 2015 / THE MONTH IN FOCUS: MIKE ASHTON

Date: 05/02/2015

Hello. I hope 2015 has started well for you all.

When I was told I would be writing a blog, my first fear would be trying to remember what I’m doing for the month without the help of Deb! After racking my brain, it turns out that it’s been quite a start to the year, with plenty more to look forward to in February and the months ahead.

January started off with a fun twist, as the Chamber team took over Worcestershire County Cricket Club for our staff away morning, where we tried our hand at ‘Chamber does the Apprentice’, which I am still convinced was fixed due to my teams fantastic idea not taking the top prize!

There have been a number of insightful events we have been involved in this month, including hearing from Gatwick Airport on their growth ambitions. This was the second part of our series of events around the Airports Commission, which is looking at increased aviation capacity to ensure British business needs are met.

The end of the month also saw me speak, alongside numerous public and private sector leaders from Worcestershire, at the World Class Worcestershire event in Birmingham. There is much to feel positive about regarding investment in the county.

Things hardly slowdown in February, in fact, things only get busier – which is always a good sign! We are holding a Big Business Debate on devolution in partnership with the LEP, FSB and IoD, in order to get local businesses talking about the prospects for devolution and what it could mean to their business. We are lucky enough to have Mary Rhodes, BBC journalist, chairing a panel that includes Gary Woodman and me – good luck to her!

The end of February will see UKTI hosting ‘TradeSafe – TradeGlobal’ at Sixways Stadium. In conjunction with the counties burgeoning cyber community, the event will inform businesses on the importance of good cyber security practices whilst trading with overseas partners and the range of support available. This is an event that new and existing exporters should definitely not miss out on!

The rest of the month will see final preparations and the countdown begin for our first Business Expo of 2015. We are lucky enough to be joined by keynote speaker Kevin Gaskell, former MD of Porsche UK and BMW UK, Dr. Adam Marshall, who heads up the Policy and External Affairs team at the British Chambers of Commerce, and the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball team, who will be setting up a half-court so businesses can challenge their colleagues, other businesses, or, if they are feeling brave enough, my team of unbeatable Chamber board members! As I am sure many of you are now aware, GB Wheelchair Basketball are in preparation mode for the forthcoming European Championships, which are being held in Worcester later on in the year. We look forward to supporting them over the coming months.

Thanks for reading my first blog post and I look forward to seeing you all over the coming weeks and months.


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Mike Ashton

Chief Executive

Mike began his career in his native North-West, where he was Head of Enterprise at Liverpool John Moores University from 1994-2001. The extensive business engagement experience he gained in that role was enough to earn him the Chief Executive’s position at Greater Manchester BusinessLink (Chamberlink), a company that offered business support across the 10 council authorities that form the Greater Manchester umbrella. In May 2007 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. 

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