Onye Ebulu, Frank McKenna & Me
This was my first visit to a Downtown In Business (DIB) Network event titled ‘No ties Networking’. I was one of the first responders and gravitated towards the bar to claim my ‘cocktail’. My good friend Sarah Walmsley, Business Engagement Officer with One Connect, was already in situ. Sarah introduced me to Wendy Bowers, Business Development Manager at Growth Accelerator . As we chatted and joked about the venue and lighting or lack of, more people appeared around us. If you visit the Beachcomber you will understand exactly what I am talking about!
Another friend Lawrence Lakeland of St. James’s Place and his associate Mike Starkie joined us and we shared networking experiences. The events Co-ordinator, Chris McKenna from Down Town In Business circulated and asked us to pose for the Photo Gallery. As I chatted with Chris, Frank Mckenna, Chief Executive of DIB arrived and Chris introduced us to each other.
I asked Frank to be Frank about Down Town In Business and how it came to be. I am glad to say he was, Frank that is. In under ten minutes he shared with me his back ground as a politician rising to parliamentary assistant for Colin Pickthall, MP for West Lancashire from 1992-2005 and then onto deputy leader of Lancashire County Council.
When Frank set up DIB his vision was to be a conduit between Public and Private businesses and facilitate collaboration. He viewed himself then as a lobbyist. I guess that’s just the politician in him. It was only through constant demand from others that he set up a business introduction event – Frank is not to enthusiastic about calling his events ‘Networking’. The rest as they say is history. Frank has plans to grow his Downtown In Business Brand in other Northern cities, Leeds is high on his agenda.
After another photo call Frank and I exchanged contacts and agreed to have another conversation very soon. Tracy from DIB worked very hard and made more introductions. Onye Ebulu Exchange vision, Chris Chetwood, James Brearly & Sons, Tom Hamer Fair Phones Ltd, Kerry Springham, Presenting solutions Ltd
Most of the remaining time was spent discussing Kerry’s Driving speed awareness course. We stepped out of the gloom into the bright sunlight and bid each other farewell.
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