Mike Lord


Mike Lord is the Chairman and CEO of Stiltz, Chairman of the British Healthcare Trades Association and previous winner of The Midlands Business Insider Award for Top Entrepreneur.

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Adam Collins


After years of helping small businesses achieve countless successes online, Adam knows the exact strategies to implement to help your business thrive online.

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Peter Reynolds

Partner, Lighthorne Partners

Peter is helping professional and business services firms master client management. He has been a salesman, key account manager, sales director, marketing director, and general manager with firms including The Mars Group, WPP, and Manpower Group.

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Nathan Littleton

DIRECTOR, Nathan Littleton - Build Credibilty, Win Business

Nathan is a marketer, professional speaker and author who specialises in helping businesses to grow by attracting and winning more customers.

Having started his first business at the age of just 12, he has become one of the UK’s best and brightest young business figures, with more experience than most people twice his age.

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William Taaffe


William is the Sales Director at RDS Big Data Solutions, a Derby based firm providing advanced business intelligence. Prior to moving into Big Data, William held a number of leadership positions within Information Security/ Risk, where he advised businesses around security preventative services, data protection and remediation work following an attack.

William has delivered seminars for major UK banking groups and bodies, acts as an ambassador for the BMF (Builders Merchants Federation).

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Darren Hodson

Partner, Smith Cooper Corporate Finance

Darren has spent 20 years in corporate finance with Smith Cooper Corporate Finance, Deloitte LLP and BDO Stoy Hayward LLP. He advises on mergers and acquisitions and finance raising and has successfully completed fund raises from £1m to £250m. He is passionate about the Midlands and working with local entrepreneurs to successfully drive results for them.

Darren has experience across a number of industries including automotive, specialist engineering, financial services, food and drink, and business services.

Smith Cooper Corporate Finance is a specialist boutique that advises SMEs.  The firm advised on 40 transactions last year ranging in deal size from £1 to £75m. Smith Cooper has a strong reputation for creating innovative solutions to meet its clients aspirations and objectives.

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Emily Nelson

Professional Track Cyclist, Great Britain

My name is Emily and I'm a professional cyclist on the track. I have represented my country since I was 15 and next year I am aiming to make the Olympic team. My first major World Championships was back in 2013, where myself and three others won the Junior Team Pursuit and became Britain's first junior team to win a world title. Following that I have picked up four European titles in various age categories and countless World Cup medals in the Elite category. In 2018, I won my first Elite World Championships title in the Madison- a new Olympic event for next year!

In 2018 I also represented England in the Commonwealth Games in Australia in five different cycling events, which was the most amazing experience. Since then I have spent nearly six months off the bike with an injury, but have been battling back to full fitness ready to fight for my place.

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Mark Wormald

Award Winning Sales Consultant, Trainer and Keynote Speaker

Mark is a sales professional with 30 years’ experience in engineering, sales and sales management in blue-chip companies in the technology sector including Canon, Northrop Grumman and major players in the IT industry.

Originally an electronics engineer by profession, Mark spent his whole career sceptical of salesmen, sales methods and sales training. His team now helps sales people, sales directors and engineers win business without being ‘salesy.’ He operates at both strategic and tactical level and is now in his 12th year as CEO of Sandler Training in the West Midlands.

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Phil Ives

Partner, Assay Advisory UK Ltd

Phil Ives is a Partner in Assay Advisory UK Ltd, a hybrid consulting and corporate finance business which helps business owners to achieve clarity around the true value of their businesses; develop an ‘investor lens’ mindset and empowers them to accelerate to a transaction/event. He is also a Global Partner in Shirlaws Group.

Over nearly 20 years, Phil built and ran a number of highly successful B2B media companies across all continents and serving all major industries. Without exception, every business Phil has run or advised has enjoyed significant, rapid and sustained growth, even through the depths of major recessions.  Two of his companies were ‘gazelles’ – technically speaking, businesses that grow at a minimum of 25% per year for at least five consecutive years.

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Chris Pook

D2N2 Growth Hub Manager

Chris leads the Growth Hub team and works closely with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, delivery partners and other key stakeholders to ensure the service is effective in delivering its primary aim – to support local businesses.

He is responsible for the project delivering its targets associated with the European funding and reporting progress to funders and the Project Board.

Chris maintains links with Government departments and other Growth Hubs across the country to understand best practice and evolve the Growth Hub as a valuable resource for supporting business growth in the local economy

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Adam Bates

Hardy Signs

Adam leads the marketing team at Hardy Signs Ltd who have recently been awarded manufacturer of the year by East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. With over 20 years’ experience in the signage industry, Adam offers insight in to the world of digital signage and it’s use as one of the fastest growing marketing tools in the world. Adam and his marketing team are passionate about helping their clients stand out from the competition – to ultimately increase their sales and profit.

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Beryl Pettitt

Director, Ridgeway Marketing

Most businesses find that marketing is expensive, but in fact there are lots of things you can do to market your business which won’t cost you a penny.

Beryl Pettitt will give you Ten Top Tips to Improve your Marketing for Free, which have been proven to help businesses grow their client base and increase sales.

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Sandra Quinn-Smith

Owner, ATB Accounting & Training

Sandra Quinn-Smith is an experienced and accomplished trainer, who provides all those wanting to gain knowledge and/or qualifications in Accounting, Bookkeeping and Payroll to do so in a friendly, supportive and straight forward way, to simplify and make accessible what can be at first glance a confusing and complicated subject.

She has always worked in the accounting industry and after a career break to have her daughter, re-trained as a lecturer in business and accounting and worked for 17 years in further education colleges, where she attained Senior Lecturer status.

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Peter Matthews

Capital for Colleagues

Peter has over thirty years’ experience of working with consulting and advisory businesses, investment management businesses, professional services and blue chip clients.

He has particular expertise in the field of employee ownership and has worked with Employee Owned Businesses (EOBs) in the UK, Ireland and the United States for the past twenty years. In his current role of Partner, Advisory with Capital for Colleagues, his focus is on advising companies that want to become employee owned, be that structural, cultural or financial advice and supporting their growth post transition.

Peter also acts as a Trustee for a number of Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs).

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Kevin Huffington

Managing Director, Central Occupational Health

Having spent many years advising companies on best practice in workplace health and wellbeing, Kevin is an established figure in the Occupational Health (OH) sector and leads a multi-disciplinary team of OH specialists at Central Occupational Health.

Kevin spent his formative years in the British Army, travelling extensively and serving in many different military operations, including in Africa and the Middle East, whilst specialising in Arctic Warfare and Survival Training.

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John Salsbury

Regional Director, Lime Licensing Group

Having spent nearly 30 years in the corporate world, John has gained a wealth of sales and marketing experience and knowledge, which he now uses to help businesses grow their profit lines and build their brand awareness both in the UK and overseas, using the tried and tested licensing and franchising methods. John himself is a franchisee who joined the Lime Licensing Network at the start of the year.

Lime have designed nearly 100 franchise models and sold over 2000 franchises and consider themselves experts in their field, winning numerous awards and accolades.

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Chairman, Mistral Associates

John is a Director and current Chairman of specialist SME Business Growth Consultants, Mistral Associates Limited.

John’s experience has included Executive Directorships of over half a dozen companies, three of which were Finance Directorships over a thirteen year period of significant engineering subsidiaries of the UK’s largest diversified industrial PLC. John has also been Managing Partner of a mixed professional practice of Chartered Company Secretaries and Chartered Management Accountants when in public practice. Previously, he was head of Group Purchasing within a major industrial group of companies before transferring to finance, and therefore also has a strong commercial background.

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Darren Stanton

Human Lie Detector

Darren has been a regular in our TV screens since 2010 following a career dealing with liars cheats and criminals as a police officer.

Darren is the UK’s no 1 body language expert dubbed the human lie detector.

He has been a guest on BBC1 One Show, ITV This Morning and Judge Rinder's crime stories to name but a few.

He is author of psychological success book 'Project Jam Jar' and is a keynote speaker.

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Harry Atkinson

Managing Director, GHA Solutions

Harry has worked in the software professional services sector since 1986 undertaking various roles as director, programme director and project manager. Before working in this sector, starting as an engineering apprentice with British Steel he gained extensive hands on experience undertaking various roles in the UK manufacturing sector gaining a full exposure to all facets from shop floor to boardroom.

Bring over 40 years of experience to the ERP sector he now specialises in advising, guiding, mentoring companies through the process of change. His speciality is leading or recovering high value, high profile or high risk multi international projects. He has the ability based on his experience understand and deliver the business needs from the boardroom down to shop floor, building the necessary confidence with all levels of the organisation to achieve goals and objectives.

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Steve Megson

CEO, Distinct Recruitment

Steve has been helping business increase the quality and levels of inquiries their business without breaking the bank - Steve has the answers. With a successful track record stretching back 32 years; from business start-ups to global corporations. His no-nonsense approach will save time, money and help you get even better results.

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David Bowler

Director, Sibbald Accountants

Through his experience of helping hundreds of Owner Managed SMEs to improve their results, David will explain the 5 key profit drivers for businesses, and provide some simple tips on how to leverage improvements in each one to generate significant improvements in bottom line results.

David will then discuss the key tax planning considerations for Owned Managed Businesses, and how by using these you can generate substantial tax efficient wealth for you and your family.

Finally, David will share with you his key time saving tips that have helped his clients reduce their working hours from 60 hours per week to less than 40 whilst achieving the results above.

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Richard Beaumont

Managing Director, Bromley Wood Associates

Working across the UK, Richard Beaumont is an internationally renowned Procurement Consultant and Business Advisor with over 30 years’ experience across multiple industry sectors. Specialising in helping SMEs to reduce procurement spend, reduce supply chain risk and build innovation through great supplier relationships; Bromley Wood Associates will conduct a diagnostic of your business and then help you to achieve sustainable growth and profitability through transformed procurement.

After a career journey from Army Officer to MD to McKinsey Consultant to CPO, Richard realised that his passion was helping businesses to transform their procurement. His real excitement was found in helping SMEs, who lack resources and experience, to get the results that great procurement can achieve. To achieve this, Richard founded Bromley Wood Associates.

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Ken Feast

Business Development Director, Natwest

With over 15 years experience in the banking sector working for RBS and Natwest, Ken spends his time helping SME businesses across the East Midlands access vital working capital funding. Ken specializes in providing Invoice Finance and asset-based lending facilities to a variety of businesses across the region. Ken is a committee member for Nottingham Professional Services, an independent voice for Nottingham’s professional sector. The main objective of NPS, is to invigorate business activity through better networking across all levels in the city. When he is not banking, Ken is the DJ and match night announcer for the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club and during the hockey season you will find him on match nights down at the Motorpoint Arena leading the cheer!

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Leigh Turner

Business Change Manager, EOS

Leigh started his business journey by opening post at the Queen’s bank but quickly realised he had a gift for explaining things to people in a way that they understood. Progressing through multiple investment banks, playing with software he moved to the East Midlands. Fed up of being a small cog in a huge corporate machine, it was time to branch out and test how much he could influence business. Working in a business of 500 employees he found EOS and realised this was it, this was how he could effect real change.

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Charlotte Szeptycki

HR Specialist, Mushroom

Charlotte is an HR specialist at Mushroom. With a Masters by Research and experience in implementing successful HR services in growing companies across numerous sectors, she is dedicated to solving HR and administrative headaches for business owners who don’t necessarily have the time or knowhow to do so themselves. Charlotte works as part of the wider Mushroom service ecosystem which exists to help people make more time by taking care of their business and administration so they don’t have to.

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Amber has worked in employer engagement at the University of Derby for six years, joining the University back in 2013. Passionate about providing accessible opportunities, Amber has been involved in developing a range of events and programmes designed to enhance the employability of our students and graduates. Amber is experienced in developing mutually beneficial relationships within employer engagement and leading teams to provide a comprehensive and quality service to an external audience.

In her role as Graduate Transitions Manager she is focused on creating events and initiatives with external organisations that support graduates in their onward journey. She is also responsible for managing an ESF funded project around higher-level skills that supports SMEs in the D2N2 region to access our student and graduate talent.

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