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Member's Spotlight

Michael Luby
Managing Director
Sales Synergy Group

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? The most significant achievement has been the growth of our client base and sales figures in a challenging market. By prioritising the development of robust, long-term relationships and delivering bespoke sales strategies, we've enhanced our clients' business growth and reinforced Sales Synergy Group's position as a frontrunner in sales consulting and outsourcing. Also being nominated as “Most Promising New Business” was fantastic too.
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months?
 
Our recent introduction of a new CRM system posed a significant challenge, impacting our operational efficiency during the initial phase. To tackle this, we conducted comprehensive training and created a feedback loop with the software provider, addressing issues promptly. This approach mitigated potential service disruption and significantly improved our internal processes, enhancing our service quality and efficiency.


3. What motivates you each day?  The opportunity to profoundly impact our clients' businesses motivates me daily. Implementing strategies that transform sales performance and contribute to their success is immensely satisfying. It's about more than numbers; it's about empowering growth and achievement.
 
4. What do you love most about your role?
 The diversity of businesses I engage with daily is what I love most about my role. It’s fulfilling to devise custom solutions that meet sales challenges and support sustained success and growth.
 
5. An interesting fact about Sales Synergy Group? 
An intriguing aspect of Sales Synergy Group that many might not know is our deep-rooted application of psychological principles in sales strategies. By understanding the underlying motivations of our clients' customers, we develop more effective and empathetic approaches, contributing to our high client satisfaction rates.
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?
A cherished spot in West London is the serene Holland Park, particularly the Kyoto Garden within it. It offers a tranquil retreat where inspiration and peace can be found amidst nature. This park is a testament to the balance we strive for at Sales Synergy Group between vigorous business activity and the need for thoughtful reflection.

Nicolle Brooks
Corporate Partnerships Manager
Link UP London

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? Working on some exciting developments for Social Impact Solutions, the Corporate Skilled Volunteering programme that I’m heading up at Link UP London. We have been invited to develop a programme of employee volunteering events together with Amazon UK to span 2024 as their strategic partner for Employee Skilled Volunteering. We can’t wait to get Amazon employees engaged with some truly high-impact Skilled Volunteering events that are going to make a huge difference to many small London charities.I have a background in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, and there’s nothing I love more than getting professional skills out there into communities!
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months?
 

Link UP has been in the business of skilled volunteering since 2016, but our corporate programme Social Impact Solutions just launched in early 2023. We are a small Community Interest Corporation with limited budget for marketing, so getting the word out about our new programmes is a challenge. I think we’ve been very thoughtful about using our owned marketing channels, piggybacking off a core set of ‘ambassadors’ and supporters, and letting our great early results speak for themselves. As a result, we’re delighted with the early traction we’ve seen for our corporate programme so far.
 
3. What motivates you each day? 
 I’m about to celebrate my one-year anniversary at Link UP London and have been hugely energised by being part of this team.  Working from home for several years over the pandemic period taught me how much I value the human connection, learning, and fun that comes from being together with colleagues.  I’m grateful to our tight-knit Link UP team for motivating me each and every day!
 
4. What do you love most about your role at Link UP London?
 It has to be the ‘light bulb moment’!Our proposition can take some explaining but when someone really gets what we mean by Skilled Volunteering, they love it! I’ve come to look forward to the moment in the meeting when someone’s eyes light up – which, as a team, we refer to as the ‘light-bulb moment’ - as they grasp how powerful it is to find volunteers with professional skills and bring them together with charities that desperately need access to skilled advice.
 
5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance?
I’ve been a working mum for over a decade now, working across the corporate, government, and charity sectors. For me the single most important thing toward achieving work-life balance is trust.  Everyone needs to find a company and team who trusts them enough to let them manage their own time and gives them the space to achieve great results on their own terms.
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?

I’m a huge fan of the Saatchi Gallery for amazing exhibitions.  As a native Californian I’m always on the lookout for good Mexican food, and consistently enjoy Mestizo on the King’s Road.

Paul Martins
New Business Development Manager 
Broadway House 

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? It’s between achieving record sales for Broadway House, and driving 40% membership growth as Chair of the Westminster Venue Collection.
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it?
 I have been less mobile recently due to a sporting injury. However, in redoubling on virtual meetings to then subsequently follow up in-person, results suggest the additional contact only strengthened discussions to deliver business returns.
 
3. What motivates you each day? 
 Taking pride in my responsibilities, both personally and professionally, by delivering on promises.
 
4. What do you love most about your role at Broadway House?  
The autonomy to drive progressive results which sees the business, clients and good people in my colleagues thrive.
 
5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance?
Being organised and realising that time is our greatest gift and asset.
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?

Duck Island with the quaint little cottage in St James’ Park: a sanctuary for wildlife but also for the thoughts of many significant figures as well as my own.

Robert Myers
Manager 
Dakoda's Dance Academy

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? The biggest success this year would be holding our own production of Peter Pan in the theatre with over 160 of our students ranging from 4 – 17 years. With over 600 costume changes and many props. The students only had a few months to learn the routines and combine them into a great 2-hour show. All in aid of Great Ormond St Hospital 
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? 
Customer interaction has changed. I have found customers to be a lot less patient. This is more difficult when you are dealing with young children. We have really had to up our game in terms of pre-emptively answering questions and having the right information to hand. 
 
3. What motivates you each day? 
Watching my business grow, thank yous from the children and parents. Mainly my wife however, with either the carrot or stick method ;-) 
 
4. What do you love most about your role at Dakoda’s Dance Academy? 
Introducing parents and children to our classes. Seeing them come back each term and saying their child loves the class. Knowing we started with only 3 students 11 years ago. 
 
5. What helps you relax when you’re not at work? 
 I love to travel; however, I have to take my work with me. Relaxation comes slowly when you are self-employed. 
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the one of the two boroughs?
 I love the Museums. Took my son to a sleepover at the Natural History Museum. Great fun and an amazing opportunity. 

Medina Williamson
Head of Sales
The Lansdowne Club

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? My biggest achievement is growing sales in the events, bringing my network and net worth of clients, introducing the Members club, maximising team effort building whilst building trust and confidence with the clients, creating new sales and vision.
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? 
In my recent role, we had an unhappy client who was unhappy with the offering. I offered to speak with the client and took the time to listen to the concerns. Once everything was explained and the benefits and enhancements were available, I offered the client various options to help resolve any reservations they may have.
 
3. What motivates you each day? 
The chance to make an impact. It is important that I am part of something that is bigger than myself.
Learning something new. Learning is what I love about my job the most and I would do it even if I didn't get paid.
Finding innovative solutions. Finding innovative ways of approaching a problem or helping the team solve an issue is my creative drive.
Staying curious. Every day brings something new and different, and that surprise is motivating to me.
Working with great people in a great culture I’m challenged and at the same time encouraged to find creative ways to solve problems. I'm grateful to be working with great leaders who inspire me every day to be passionate and to love my job.
Having fun; every call or meeting, even the tough ones, are always balanced with a personal connection, laughter and a bit of fun, as we spend much of our time at work, I enjoy it.
Sharing knowledge and helping others succeed I really appreciate how open we are about what we learn and develop, we try to push our knowledge out beyond the team.
 
4. What do you love most about your new role at the Lansdowne Club? 
Flexibility. When you have the chance to spend time with family and friends and pursue hobbies, you’ll feel ready to face a new workday.
Great expectations which are goal orientated, offering of fair pay which makes me feel valued with quality benefits; an open-door policy, with variety of tasks and responsibilities.
 
5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance? 
When I have the chance to spend time with family and friends and pursue hobbies, you’ll feel ready to face a new workday.
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the one of the two boroughs?
My favourite place to visit and a gem spot would be Holland Park. The unusual and charming formal gardens, relaxing fun and great location for bars and restaurants.

Cllr Sidney Yankson
RBK&C Council & Executive Council member

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1. What has been your biggest success recently? Advocating for businesses by asking the lead member on Kensington Council to see if more can be done to help businesses that are suffering because of the pandemic.


2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? Kensington and Chelsea is a favoured destination for visitors to the many excellent bars and restaurants in the borough. Local residents living near to these restaurants and bars have told me that they are concerned about the rising level of anti-social behaviour (“ASB”) that occurs from time to time caused by the high numbers of visitors to these establishments. The businesses, however, need the customers. Therefore, the challenge is how to attract customers, but deal with the ASB. In March 2023 I attended an ASB conference at Kensington Town Hall with council officers, the police, and other Councillors. I advocated on behalf of my local residents in order to find solutions to this issue. In particular I suggested more police officers on the streets and wardens at particularly busy areas. These suggestions have been taken on board by both the police and the Council officers.


3. What motivates you each day? I served for six years in the British Army Reserve during my twenties. Those (tough!) years taught me how to be resilient, to solve problems, to think outside the box, to get on with people from all walks of life and to try for a win-win. I use those skills so that I can be the best councillor for my local businesses and residents, by listening to their issues and solving their problems. That keeps me motivated.


4. What do you love most about your role at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea? Our borough is very diverse. As a barrister I have to listen and communicate effectively. I enjoy the challenge of ensuring effective communication between the businesses, residents, and the council. Not easy, but I like a challenge!!


5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance? I am always keen to give back by helping others. Therefore, I regularly volunteer and dedicate time to my charitable activities. Whether that is volunteering with my old British Army Reserve unit by meeting with veterans who live alone, or distributing food to residents to stop food waste, or visiting old age pensioners with my Livery Company. I also enjoy supporting my international development charity to tackle energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Helping others helps my work-life balance.


6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the one of the two boroughs? It’s not so hidden, but I love the Italian Garden in Kensington Gardens. It’s always calming to sit and read, whether that’s early on a winter’s morning, or late on a summer afternoon, the Gardens are very peaceful and relaxing.

Peter Avis
General Manager
Galvin at Windows & 10° Bar

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far? I think my biggest successes this year have been setting up our student engagement programme here at Galvin at Windows and keeping the team together through a very difficult period.


2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? One of the biggest challenges we have faced in recent months has been the recruitment issue. To overcome this we have looked at different pools of talent, for example, working with people who have served time in prison but are now looking to get back into work.

3. What motivates you each day? Coming to work every day knowing we are making a difference to people’s lives and working with my team, who are so amazing, motivates me every day.

4. What do you love most about your role at Galvin’s? I love that I am given the freedom to do things my way and the trust we have within the industry. Also, working with Chris Galvin and learning from him every day is something I really love about my role.

5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance? My children running around and my love of mediation and yoga.

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough? My favourite spot in the borough has to be Kensington Gardens. I love my walks there and looking at the palace always reminds me of my first day in London. My favourite hidden gem is the team room on Wrights Lane, they do the best muffins in town, and I love a lunch at Kitchen W8, always feels like being back home.

Dee Corsi
Chief Executive

New West End Company

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far? We might only be a few months into 2023, but we’ve already enjoyed a great start to the year. After a busy Christmas, with shoppers returning to the West End to enjoy all of the wonderful festive experiences on offer, we saw spend in January that even outperformed pre-pandemic levels. While we’re well aware of the challenges ahead, we’re optimistic that we can weather the storm and have a fantastic year of growth in the West End.  We’re still on track to hit our key target of returning to an annual turnover of £10 billion by the end of 2025, having made strong progress over the last 12 months.
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? Of course, the Chancellor’s decision to overturn the reintroduction of tax-free shopping towards the end of last year was a major blow. While it’s great to see international tourists back on our streets, we could be seeing so many more if we had the most enticing environment for them to come back to – and that means having tax-free shopping back in place. We’re certainly frustrated, but undeterred. We’ve redoubled our efforts to persuade the Government to reconsider its position, in order to give our high streets the best opportunity to grow and thrive.
 
3. What motivates you each day? I feel very privileged to represent one of the most iconic retail and leisure destinations in the world. We work daily to make London's West End the most diverse, sustainable and inspiring place to visit and do business. On a personal note, striving to be a good role model for my children is what gets me up in the morning.
 
4. What do you love most about your role at New West End Company? The hugely varied nature of the role. Being a member organisation that represents over 600 businesses from retail to hospitality and leisure, means that no two weeks are the same at New West End Company. The services that we provide to the district – such as our cleansing and security, our destination marketing channels that drive footfall and spend, as well as our lobbying to the Government on behalf of our members for policies that create jobs and promote long-term good economic growth – all make me so proud. They allow us to make a valuable and tangible difference to the area and the businesses that we represent.
 
5. What helps you relax when you’re not at work? Although I work in the West End during the week, I love to come in at the weekend with my family and enjoy it as a visitor. Shopping with my two girls is their favourite pastime.  From a quick trip to the cinema in Selfridges to lunch at Market Halls in Oxford Street, there is something for every member of my family. Outside of the West End I also find running is a great way to relax and destress after a busy week at work.
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough? The core streets are our backbone and I love nothing more than to take a stroll around the district to see how it is adapting and changing all the time. We have such a great selection of retail and food and beverage experiences on our doorstep, but my personal favourites are the Dyson Beauty Lab, where you can have a quick blow dry mid-shop, and Willows On The Roof at the top of John Lewis – it is such a great spot for a catch up with friends.

Yuda Galis
Director
Galor Personal Chef Services

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1. What has been your biggest success of the past 12 months? We have had a record amount of private chef placements in private houses and we have also carried out placements in super yachts, an area we invested a lot of time and energy in last year and it's been wonderful seeing this materialise.  


2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? It's become harder to engage passive candidates as following the pandemic and the current world economy, markets have become uncertain. By being the expert in our field, creating great working relations and understanding the needs of our candidates we are still attracting top talented people.

3. What motivates you each day? My family.

4. What do you love most about your role at Galor Personal Chef? The buzz that it gives me every time we make a positive change in people's lives.

5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance? Having a well organised schedule is key to a healthy work life balance. When I'm working I'm working and when I'm with the family I'm 100% committed to that time.

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough? We're lucky as there are so many great places to eat and drink in the borough; one which I'm currently enjoying is Pascor Restaurant on Kensington High Street.

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?

Having the full team back in the office together after the disruption of the last few years or just celebrating 25 Years!!

2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it?
The uncertainty of the ever-changing property market, continually thinking of ways to adapt, overcome by working hard together as a team and the loyalty of clients.

3. What motivates you each day?
Knowing I have my dog to keep happy and a team to guide.

4. What do you love most about your role at Susan Metcalfe Residential?
Being the boss!

5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance?
Time with my dog in the Kensington Gardens and when possible getting into the countryside.

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?
The Bullring, Royal Hospital, Chelsea or Chelsea Cellar or Stecca  (local restaurants).

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?
The biggest success of the year, has been winning a Bronze Award for Honey Corn’s Elemi & Frankincense Anti-Ageing serum in the Free From Skincare Awards. I’m delighted about it! Especially since it was our first time entering an award.
 
2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me has been securing the right kind of investment to propel my business forward to the next stage. There is a huge appetite for UK products globally because of the care, quality and high standards of workmanship that goes into what we produce as a nation.
 
3. What motivates you each day?
Making my dreams a reality 
 
4. What do you love most about your role at Honeycorn UK?
Being my own boss and 100% independent
 
5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance?
Attending Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Chamber of Commerce events, it’s a great mix of networking and pleasure, I’ve met so many lovely people from different business sectors and the events are always fun!
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?
I do love the Mitre in Holland Park it’s a great place to eat, drink and watch people go by in the leafy surroundings. 

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?  Although I may be on the cusp of losing my Mojo, I’m told by clients and my Partners that I’m still a source of creativity, pragmatism, and “outside the box” strategies, something that is sadly becoming increasingly rare. Clearly word of mouth still counts, as I have lots of recommendations from happy clients of all sizes, as well as their advisers.

2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months and how have you overcome it?  “Cash remains King”! Can I say that?  No? “Cash remains Regal then”! Turnover is not all it’s cracked up to be …..Reminding clients of the value of the service we provide.

3. What motivates you each day? A cliché of course, but every day is different. Looking after some very high profile and challenging clients who expect the best. “Service” is paramount and my leading by example to my younger Partners and Staff. We must be creative, proactive, and commercial, giving clients “best advice”, yet remain ethically compliant at all times. We have the expertise and resources, as well as being a member of the Integra Network, to be a genuine alternative to the big firms of accountants.

4. What do you love most about your role?  I was the firm’s Managing Partner for a number of years, followed by Senior Partner for the last ten years (I believe I have been the longest in these combined positions?) during which time the firm has grown thanks mainly to my excellent Partners, especially Robert Moore my successor as Managing Partner, and Staff, many of whom are ex Russell Group. So, I guess, this might be encapsulated as a sound bite by “driving the firm forward with a vision and strategy that yields results”.

5. What helps you relax when you’re not at work? Although I live in Chelsea during the week, currently water-based activities at my weekend home at Shaldon in Devon, not just on the water but also perfecting my “tumble turn”! Also, Rosslyn Park Rugby.

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the two boroughs?  “Brinkley’s” on Hollywood Road (natch !) and at the other extreme, Brompton Oratory where I was lucky enough to be married.

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?  
Rolling out the RBKC/Westminster Health Equality Project in a few weeks where we helped 17 local businesses.

2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months and how have you overcome it?  
Rebuilding the PBC team as Interim CEO following the departure/retirement of several senior staff from late 2021 - mid 2022. We now have a fabulous, highly talented and motivated new team!

3. What motivates you each day?
Operating in the vibrant Kensington & Chelsea business community and working with my great colleagues.

4. What do you love most about your role at Portobello Business Centre?  
Helping businesses grow and overcome challenges.

5. What helps you to find the perfect work-life balance? 
Still searching for that!

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the two boroughs? 
Difficult to name just one but I would say either Da Nadas (serving fabulous Argentinian empanadas) or Golborne Deli, both in Golborne Road.

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?  

 Timeless launched the Costa Coffee Drinkware Ecommerce Website, with fully managed warehouse integration for our client.

2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it?  

Our biggest challenge has been to identify the clients that don’t respect and value our services. In order to overcome this, we review our prospects to determine which will work in partnership with us, to provide our service to.

3. What motivates you each day?

Developing and cultivating the culture within the business so our team remains stronger, agile, and able to meet our client’s technology challenges head on.

4. What do you love most about your role?  

The people! Relationships, respect and values amongst our employees, our clients, suppliers, and prospects! We like interesting people!

5. What helps you relax when you’re not at work?

Socialising with good company and going to car meets

6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the two boroughs? 

Kyoto Garden is a wonderful place! Very tranquil and such a beautiful place with the Japanese plants and a stunning waterfall

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1. What has been your biggest success of the year so far?
Buying my house!

2. What is the biggest challenge you have come across over the past few months, how have you overcome it? 
Commuting into the city each day after moving, overcoming it by ensuring job satisfaction stays high and making the most of the city when here.

3. What motivates you each day?
For work, all my colleagues – we have a great team across the company.
 
4. What do you love most about your role at The Sloane Club?
Meeting new people and the fact that no day is the same!
 
5. Tell us an interesting fact about The Sloane Club most people might not know?
We celebrate our 100th Birthday this year!
 
6. And finally, where’s your favourite spot or hidden gem in the borough?
I adore Chelsea Physic Garden

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