OUR STEERING GROUP
Khalid Saifullah is Director of Star Tissue UK and Chair of the Hive Network. Established in 2003, Star Tissue manufactures away from home hygiene paper products, providing private label products to major suppliers and distributors in the personal hygiene, catering and medical markets in the UK and Ireland. Khalid has previously been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and has featured in the Guardian’s annual poll of the 50 ‘most influential people in the North’.
Miranda Barker is Chief Executive at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber lobbies for its members and the wider business community, engages in public-private partnerships for economic regeneration, and provides support services specialising in international trade, purchase & supply, internet services, training and business mentors. Miranda has been involved with Chambers of Commerce for over 20 years and has worked professionally as the owner of an SME, a director within a Plc and an environmental consultant.
Nicola Clayton is Director of Business Development & External Engagement at Blackburn College. Founded more than 127 years’ ago, Blackburn College is a unique Educational Institution in that it has Sixth Form provision, extensive Further Education provision and a top rated University Centre; it is a ‘one stop shop’ supporting student progression, attainment and employability, serving the whole community with a full and relevant academic offer in the heartland of Pennine Lancashire.
David Sharpe is a Director of Pierce Group. He is also president of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Pierce are specialist providers of business advice and accountancy services to predominantly family run and owner managed business. Established in 1929 and based centrally in Blackburn, Pierce provides a wide variety of services including Corporate Finance, Forensic Accountancy, Business consultancy, tax planning and audit and tax compliance.
Ian Brown represents the third generation in the family business of Graham and Brown. Formed in 1946 the company supplies wall decorative products to consumers worldwide. Having entered the business in 1984, Ian’s role as CSR Director has seen the company develop a strong environmental strategy. More recently Ian has managed the company’s logistical operations at Shuttleworth Mead which services the distribution of goods from the UK to retailers and consumers worldwide.
Mark Lomas is Director at Lomas Office Furniture and Stationery Ltd – a Blackburn family firm for over 30 years. Mark has worked in the company since leaving school, helping to transform the business from a second hand furniture retailer to the designing and delivery of innovative workspaces. Services offered nationwide include fit out and furniture supply, along with a dedicated stationery team supplying all of the north west from the company’s Blackburn showroom on King Street.
Michael Hill is Managing Director of Optima Control Solutions Ltd. Located on Capricorn Park in Blackburn, Optima boasts a team of professional engineers providing expert industrial control solutions worldwide. After serving his apprenticeship at Cobble Blackburn Ltd, and subsequently graduating from Manchester University, Michael held positions at Kennedy and Donkin Consulting Engineers (Manchester) and Eurotherm Drives Ltd. (West Sussex) before he and a colleague formed Optima CS and set up in Blackburn in 1995.
Danny Davis the Head of New Business for Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Lancashire.
Born and raised in Blackburn, the Red Rose County, he also spent ten years working and living in Tenerife and thanks the hospitality industry for his dedicated work ethic. Working for Blackburn Rovers is an honour for Danny and he enjoys working and supporting his birth town. He was also the main drive to attract Elton John to Ewood Park in June 2017.
Brian Bailey is Director of Strategy and Funding at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. Brian has worked for the Council for 16 years, becoming Director in January 2011. His role is externally-facing to support the emerging Combined Authority arrangements in Lancashire, develop post-16 skills and links with business, maximise external funding opportunities for the Council and the Borough and further develop HIVE. He has led the Council’s engagement with business culminating in the creation of HIVE in 2012. Other responsibilities include chairing the Lancashire European Network and acting as lead officer for the Lancashire LEP on EU matters.
Educated at universities in Sheffield and Liverpool Brian is a town planner by profession and has previously worked for local authorities in Liverpool, Salford and Durham specialising in land use planning, grant funding initiatives and economic development.