20 November 2017
Communication specialist Cathy Connan is taking over as Chair of professional services membership organization, Coventry & Warwickshire First, from Michael Durkin, Relationship Director at Santander plc.
Under Michael’s stewardship Coventry & Warwickshire First launched the incredibly successful YoungPro, a celebration of the next generation of leaders in the professional and financial services sector. Looking ahead to her year in post, Cathy intends to ‘shout about’ the professional services capability in the sub-region.
“Collectively our members advise local businesses on everything from complex mergers & acquisitions and investment decisions to HR strategy and communication campaigns,” said Cathy.
“Comprising the leading professional services businesses in the region, our member firms and the technical experts within them, are recognised in their specialist publications as leaders in their field. Businesses can get the advice they need right here, without having to go to Birmingham or London.
“This year we intend to shout about this capability, celebrating our members’ achievements in a re-invigorated FirstPro Awards programme. We are introducing completely new categories to reflect the collegiate approach of the region and moving to a new venue – Coombe Abbey – for the April awards dinner.”
Cathy will be supported by Vice Chair James Oliver, Relationship Manager at Yorkshire Bank. The two are working closely with the Young Professional network to build on the success of the inaugural YoungPro. YoungPro 2018 was launched in September at Mallory Court, nominations for the awards, taking place in January 2018, are open now and the new category of Apprentice of the Year has been introduced.
A series of new initiatives, design to inform and connect members, is also being introduced. These include:
– A programme of private dinners, beginning in November with a dinner at which Ian Harrabin, Managing Director of Complex Development Projects and Ian Flynn, Inward Investment Manager at Invest in Warwickshire, will lead the discussion.
– A members-only Leaders’ Breakfast, at which local politicians will outline their vision and answer questions from members on its impact on theirs and their clients’ businesses.
– Coinciding with International Women’s Day will be a forum in which the region’s female leaders can share their experiences with the next generation, who in turn will benefit from relationships that will help them develop their careers.