Most influential people in business part 2

Michelle Michael MBE

Michelle Michael MBE

Over the coming months Business Leader Magazine will be profiling the most influential business figures across the region.

Below is the second segment, focusing on North Somerset. Here is the second ten, which are in alphabetical order. Here is first installment

Cllr Derek Mead

A towering figure on the North Somerset business scene, Derek is the founder of Mead Realisations – a major property developer in the region – and is involved in a number of other businesses, including Puxton Park and Tutto Restaurant.

Most recently, Derek has spearheaded the ‘Save the Tropicana’ campaign; resulting in the Secretary of State halting the demolition of the building. Also elected as a North Somerset Councillor in the last year, Derek’s business influence in the region is undeniable as he tirelessly works to improve business conditions in his home town of Weston-super-Mare.

Michelle Michael MBE – Grand Pier

A commercial lawyer in Bristol for eight years, before teaming up with her brother Kerry, who ran his own insurance brokerage; Michelle has built two successful businesses with her brother – one an award-winning insurance company and the other an award-winning garden centre.

Both businesses were sold by the time Kerry and Michelle had acquired the iconic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare.

Resurrecting the Pier from the ashes, Michelle and her brother Kerry have been instrumental in reviving its fortunes and re-creating an iconic North Somerset business and major employer.
Passionate about tourism and leisure, Michelle was awarded an MBE in 2012, sits on the management committee of BALPPA, a national association for tourism, and works tirelessly behind the scenes to improve tourism, business and enterprise.

Nunzio Notaro – Notaro Homes

N. Notaro Homes Ltd was established in 1984 and has become a large healthcare provider in the South West spanning 3 counties. Nunzio Notaro, Managing Director, established the family business when he purchased his first home in Torquay, Devon, caring for individuals living with long term alcohol abuse.

Utilising his skills as a builder, he took to redesigning and refurbishing existing properties to care home facilities. The company now has an annual turnover of £15m and has grown to employ 560 staff across 10 care homes and an expanding homecare and live-in care agency.

Dr Paul Phillips OBE – Weston College

Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College – Dr Paul Phillips OBE has transformed the college, catapulting it from a £6m to £30m plus turnover. In this time he has pioneered new approaches to education, turned the college’s academic performance around and played a leading role in the delivery of the North Somerset Enterprise Technical College.

Dr Paul has also put North Somerset on the radar of government and the wider UK, with his campaigning around autism, prison reform and the role of education in society.

Dr Paul Phillips OBE

Dr Paul Phillips OBE

Eddie Robinson – Smarts Architectural Aluminium

Eddie Robinson heads up Smart Architectural Aluminium in Yatton, which over the past 30 years had grown to become one of the UK’s leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of bespoke architectural aluminium extrusions with sales in excess of £40m.

Eddie has led the company through a major growth period with impressive year-on-year financial performance and the opening of a new 320,000 sq/ft purpose built facility. The company has a skilled workforce with over 200 employees.

Hayden Rushton – Britannia Windows

Few business leaders have shown entrepreneurial spirit quite like Hayden Rushton of Clevedon based Britannia Windows. The firm was started by his father, but after taking the helm Hayden leveraged geometric growth by going on the acquisition trail.

He has acquired a string of distressed companies from receivers as well as actively targeting potential acquisitions within the double glazing industry, creating an empire that is expanding rapidly across the UK, creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

Robert Sinclair

Robert Sinclair

Robert Sinclair – Bristol Airport

Since joining as CEO in 2008, Robert has steered Bristol Airport through challenging economic conditions, registering growth in passenger numbers every year since 2009 – the only top ten UK airport to do so. Last year 6.1 million passengers passed through the terminal.

A development plan to enable further growth to 10 million passengers per annum was approved by North Somerset Council in 2011, alongside a comprehensive Section 106 agreement, including: planning obligations relating to surface access, noise, air quality and the local community.

Several component projects, such as the construction of three new aircraft stands, have since been completed. Work is currently underway on a £6.5m central walkway which will reduce departure lounge congestion at peak times, and an on-site hotel could be in place by next summer.

Nick Taplin – DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House

Turning one of the region’s best known country clubs into the leading four-star, boutique-style hotel, health club and spa, requires a vision and determination that for most would prove too arduous – even for the most determined of individuals.

But most people aren’t Nick Taplin, entrepreneur and co-owner of DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House in Congresbury.

With a steely determination and infectious enthusiasm, Nick, who lives in Wrington, has almost single handedly transformed the sleepy giant, affectionately known locally as just Cadbury House, into one of, if not the biggest success story in the county.

Employing 250 full and part time employees, as well as using numerous local suppliers, the venue is an integral part of the local / regional economy. In terms of figures, average occupancy in the hotel has been consistently high at around 75%.
Turnover is approaching £10m with a targeted profit of £3m with the venue now ‘punching above its weight’.

Martin Thatcher – Thatchers Cider

Martin Thatcher is a fourth generation cider maker, and Managing Director of Sandford based Thatchers Cider. Since becoming Managing Director in 1992, he has driven consistent growth across the company, maintaining a firm focus on the issues that are core to the company’s philosophy – heritage, family values, quality, provenance and expertise.

Successfully achieving national listings in the multiple high street retailers, and with the firm’s flagship brand Gold, the UK’s no 2 best-selling draught cider, Martin has ensured that the name of Thatchers remains synonymous with the highest quality craft cider at home and abroad. Martin has transformed Thatchers into a global player and earlier this year the company started to export Gold to Australia in a significant partnership with Coopers Brewery.

Cllr Derek Mead

Cllr Derek Mead

David Turner – North Somerset Council

David is Strategic Director of place based services at North Somerset Unitary Authority.

Joining North Somerset in 2003 he supported the development of the West of England Partnership and more recently the creation of the West of England Local Economic Partnership.

He is a strong advocate of positive development management and the need to bring the public and private sectors closer together in order to bring forward appropriate development at a time of economic restraint.

David has pursued a pro-business and enterprise agenda and has engaged with business leaders to encourage growth and inward investment.

He has also ensured that North Somerset is recognised outside of the region as a credible business destination.