Tell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently
I’m MD of Livewire Performance, a global corporate training company. We design and deliver bespoke training programmes.
I started off as a trolley dolly on the Hovercraft, but was so seasick, the passengers had to look after me! Not a good start to my career, but by being grounded due to the seasickness, they threw me into training – the best move ever! I then moved to the States to experience 1st class hospitality and customer service for myself, I knew this would come in handy but didn’t know why!
I personally specialise in hospitality and we bring people and property together, whether it is turning around distressed shopping centres or launching new ones, in the USA, Europe and Middle East. My team deliver high-level strategic programmes as well as soft skill training courses globally too and we work in collaboration with associates and clients, a great model.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Running an office in Dubai and the UK through the recession!
What’s been your greatest achievement personally?
Well the above jumps to mind! BUT… being part of a team that turned around a highly distressed mall in Georgia USA, where there was prostitution, drugs and a drive by shooting. Through our mystery shopping, consultancy and training programmes, it was turned around in 10 months with all retailers in double figure profits. High-level hospitality is now integral with ALL employees, be they management, valet, safety and security and house keeping.
If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you be doing?
Running an animal sanctuary! I do a lot of caring for, re homing and homing animals that need a home, help or healing – one day I will do this full time!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Jessica Pryce-Jones – She saw the potential in me and trained me up in her time to make me the trainer I became, even though it was going to cut her training project with my employer (as I was the client!) – no ego, she saw what I should of been doing and so I jumped, from client to provider!
Debbie Cook – the 1st brilliant female boss I ever had (while I was the training manager at Pfizer head Office ) I learned how to see the other side of a problem or issue and how that helps to resolve a situation.
What does the future hold for you?
Due to the success of our hospitality programme a Sheriffs office in the States has commissioned us to design hospitality in law enforcement, to encompass jail staff, officers and civilians. Hospitality is the differentiator, whether selling products or influencing people, hospitality cuts through and highlights lots of other issues that need addressing. It’s a fabulous place to start and end, and makes those people more communicative, professional and able.
We were filmed for the ABC network in the USA this year around mystery shopping in shopping centres in London and LA; and this has raised our profile and we are now working in several States across the US – but bringing it back to the UK and Europe. We have a very exciting, pending project in Abu Dhabi coming up that will surpass anything we have done so far, an exciting time indeed!
I’m on the Committee for the Retail Trust, which is enlightening and rewarding – you have to put back into the industry that has treated you so well.
Clients include media, multi-family apartments, councils, shopping centres, developers, corporates, banks, retail, construction, designers, and government among others, and we love what we do and have fun through learning! No chalk and talk, pure, experiential training and it works!
Co-founder of The Fix – networking group, which was launched last week – with Gensler architects and the FX Magazine – where we promoted Pop up business