In Chamber Shoes - Alison Henderson, CEOAll members
A look back at the couple of weeks before Easter, when it felt like everyone else was getting ready for annual leave!
Charity Clothes Swap EventSunday 02 April 2017
So I'm cheating a bit as this first entry is a while back, but I just wanted to give a shout out to the amazing group of people who got together to work with my good friend Jackie Campbell, who fundraises tirelessly for Roxburghe House and Rachel House. Lots of gorgeous women turned up to grab a bargain, and I'm delighted to say that we helped raise £4K in sales on the day with a further £1k plus in ticket residue to add. A feel good Sunday indeed!
From 3rd to 7th AprilMonday 03 April 2017
Well this week was chock-a-block with meetings, starting with a full day of team annual reviews, a new menu open evening at Italian Grill and a catch up on the Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Action Group at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.
A meeting regarding office space for the Chamber, an update with Callum Falconer on Dundeecom and the decommissioning agenda, followed by a Trustees Meeting for the Chamber's charity, The George R Donald Fund.
In amongst all of that we celebrated Tartan Day at the City Chambers, where we heard from Susan Wilson, who is the Principal Officer for the U.S. Consulate General in Edinburgh, and Dundee's Lord Provost Bob Duncan. We have much in common with our transatlantic cousins, from our own versions of Dennis the Menace to identical Rabbie Burns statues and much inbetween. We enjoyed a tasting from Arbikie Distillery and created international connections. Thanks to Cllr John Alexander for making things happen!
Employer EngagementThursday 06 April 2017
Thursday started with a Directors' Operational Group at our offices at City Quay - a chance to catch up on any decisions we need to take, prepare for the upcoming Board meeting and discuss operational issues.
At lunchtime we thoroughly enjoyed the new menu at the Apex Hotel, where Brett, the GM, and his not-so-new Head Chef have been working hard to create a menu full of local produce and an atmosphere in the Brasserie where you can go and have a business lunch and be sure that you and your guests will have a great experience. The highlight from the starters was the White onion soup with St Andrews cheddar, and the venison pie pictured was perfect for main (Apex's version of the Dundee Peh!).
Then it was back to the office to Chair the Dundee Employer Engagement Group, which will help agencies be more coordinated when it comes to approaching employers, be reactive to employer needs by signposting to others in the group and help connect employers to the support that is in the city when it comes to finding the right people, the right training solution or the right support for managers. A good first meeting!
I'll stay in the office too Dan, I promise!Monday 10 April 2017
So this week we hit holiday season as most of the team take some time off to enjoy the school holidays and dismantle a kitchen - wonder who will come back feeling most rested ;)
I blocked my diary off as a 'stay in the office' week then proceeded to do exactly the opposite - sorry Dan!
I've enjoyed a great meeting with Professor Derek Stewart at JHI hearing about their projects and city deal proposals, a personal development session which has made me think about organisational and personal values, and a good catch up with Angela Vettraino, the Developing Young Workforce team manager on what's been happening with her. Then a great close to the week with a really positive meeting with a member...hopefully tell you more about that soon!
I fully intended my week to be focussed on at my desk work, but what transpired was engaging, informative and lots to follow-up on, so holding the fort while others take their holidays has lots of benefits - and wins you brownie points too!
The Insights image is one from their social media last week which really resonated with me - if you don't follow them already - you definitely should do!
International ambitions, connections and business benefitsTuesday 11 April 2017
Together with Scottish Chambers of Commerce, DACC and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce have planned a business mission to China later this month. Tuesday saw us get together at Malmaison to prepare and plan further with those travelling.
DACC's aim is to make connections, establish relationships and fact-find to develop business opportunities for local businesses, as part of this national programme which will see Business to Business connections made, delivering revenue for Scottish businesses, opening of new markets for exporters and attract inward investment. At the forefront of my mind is ensuring our Dundee and Angus businesses can benefit - if you are interested in trading with China, promoting your products or services, or are looking for investment, please drop me an email and let me know - either in advance of the visit, so that I can keep that in mind as I am there, or afterwards as we look to make the most of the connections we'll be making.
Scottish and UK trade is very important to our business community, but looking outward and connecting with contacts and customers globally is becoming increasingly important and we're proud to be able to play a part in this on your behalf.
Teenagers, Supercars and LeucharsSaturday 15 April 2017
So, now that my son is 18 I no longer get to enjoy a picnic in the park for rolling of eggs - in fact its a miracle of its own if he gets up while it's still light at the weekends!
So we swapped rolling eggs for the (very fast) rolling of tyres as he got to finally enjoy part of his birthday - a driving experience in supercars!
He carried off his most 'laid back excited' facial expression for over four hours on Saturday as he drove a Porsche Boxter, a Lamborghini Huracan and a Nissan GTR! He also enjoyed hot laps with a driver in the Lotus - why oh why did I not treat myself when I bought this experience for him?
Anyway, maybe we'll bring some of that fun and excitement to the Chamber - if not, it won't be for the want of trying. Making sure our region has got lots for people to see, do and experience will bring visitors flocking and keep them here for longer too.
Next on the wish list is a trip on the Tay with one of our new members, Pirate Boats - watch this space for your next adrenaline rush!