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Authenticity and Humanity in Business Leadership

( Trevor Worth and myself )

On Friday 20th January myself and Marjon business students were invited by the Founder and Managing Director of Portcullis Legals Trevor Worth, to attend the Portcullis Legal ICE Conference (I=Innovation C= Collaboration E=Entrepreneurship) . The conference was held at Plymouth Argyle and delegates were treated to an inspiring line up of speakers. This included:

Toby and Jo Gorniak MBE of Street Factory CIC

Toby and Jo spoke about their background and how dance inspired the development of Street Factory. What shone though in their talk was the life changing impact dance this has on children and young adults through the opportunity’s it provides

Jack Romero – founder of Mediterranean Airlines

Jack delivered an inspiring and emotional talk charting his early life in Lebanon, threats to his family and life – his move to London where in the face of great adversity he learned to be a pilot and eventually established Mediterranean Airlines.

Professor Dylan Jones Thomas OBE

Dylan explored some of the most current research relating to business and business expansions. Particularly interesting was the relationship between established business and business startups

David Barrett - Tamar Fresh

David discussed the generational family business and the challenges that he has faced as the business has developed. Emphasising the importance of family and the role of kindness in building good business relationships

Howard Davies – Salcolmbe Gin Company

Howard discussed the evolution of Salcolmbe gin from the early days through to the company now nationally recognisable brand. In particular Howard discussed how he and his business partner made that all to important leap from concept to through to reating, establishing and building the business

Katy Schnitzler of Mist Workshops delivered a deeply personal talk on the dMvastating and often unseen impacts of miscarriage and the how this led to the establishment of mist workshops offering support for reproductive issues.

Ross Hulbert – Spaceport Cornwall

Ross outlined the development of Spaceport Cornwall. Discussing the recent launch. Ross outlined what had been learned form the launch and the evaluable data that had been collected. Ross also discussed the development of Spaceport Cornwall, the facility and the infrastructure that is being put in place and benefits this will have for Cornwall and the country more broadly

The speakers represented a diverse range of businesses in different sectors speaking openly about their life stories and the reality of success and failure within business – and within life. There was a real emphasis from all of speakers on honesty, authenticity and humanity that ran along side the incredible stories of entrepreneurship and innovation. These are exactly the types of values that we are instilled in our business students, and of course it reflects Marjons values more broadly.

The Argyle venue itself is an inspiring location and really highlights the important role that Plymouth Argyle and sport more broadly plays in enhancing and strengthening communities. And this was reflected in the talks from both from Neil Dewsnip, Argyle’s Director of Football and Manager Steven Schumacher.

As well as the strong connections that Marjon has with Plymouth Argyle and the wealth of expertise at the university across multiple sports, I was also able to reflect the central role that Argyle and business has played in my own family history with my great grandfather Clifford Crookes being chairman of Argyle in 1966 as well as being a prominent local businessman having established the Challaborough Bay Holiday camp

(Clifford Crookes at Home Park)

For students these real world insights are invaluable and combined with the theoretical and practical business insights and tools provided by their academic studies they are well placed to move into the world and make a real difference

“As an alumni and Visiting Lecturer to Marion, it was fitting that Dr Borne and some of the Marjon Business cohort attended to listen to stories and journeys that inspire me every day”, added Trevor Worth. “It is through shared experiences across real life in the commercial world and the academic environment that students can start to plan a path for themselves in business as either entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs and to keep the doing good whilst doing business at the forefront of their minds”.


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