A big responsibility for anybody – but far from daunting for this remarkable woman whose career blossomed almost from the moment she was awarded her textile technology degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
Naturally this talented young Nottingham-born woman went into textiles and before long she found herself in a senior management role. Then she had the opportunity to show what she was capable of with industry giant Speedo and subsequently found herself head-hunted by the world-famous Adidas.
“I enjoyed eight successful years with Adidas in senior positions spanning customer service, business development and leading change programmes including the integration of the recently acquired Reebok operation,” recalled Tracy.
“It was a challenging but rewarding time that increasingly involved a great deal of travel across Europe and the USA”
However, Tracy was also a young mother who wanted to spend more time with her family, husband Nick and daughters Elizabeth, now six and Annalisa,(4)
“I took the life-changing decision to work for myself and set up Elianna my leadership coaching consultancy in which I used the skills I had learned over years in the corporate world,” she said. “I quickly picked up clients and things were going very well.
“However, I found myself alone and, for the first time in my professional life, not part of a team. By nature I was a team member and a team-driver. I needed someone to connect to and to communicate with.”
Tracy decided the best way to find that support would be to network with like-minded business people and living in Hazel Grove near Stockport decided to join not just one but two Business Networks, Manchester and South Manchester, groups that had generated tens of millions of pounds worth of business for members over the years.
“I immediately felt at home,” said Tracy. “I was welcomed by the members and found myself with like-minded people who were totally supportive and encouraging. As time went on I found suppliers and advisors among the membership and, of course, I also found new clients.
“It was refreshing to learn that the Business Network’s ethos is all about attracting high quality members for the long term. That way, members get to know and trust each other and are there to offer each other help and assistance when required.
“It’s not just about generating new business.”
“The whole concept was appealing. I could see why this group of entrepreneurs had made such an impact on the local business community. In fact I liked it so much I took the decision to buy into it.”
Tracy told Business Network England Director Helen Bennett that she wanted to bring the concept to Chester and won her full support.
“Chester is a city I have always loved and when I researched potential locations for a new Business Network, I saw that although the city had lots of networking groups, it did not having anything quite like the Business Network. I’m convinced the concept will succeed in Chester, partly because many of my trusted business contacts already live or operate from the city.”
Doors open to Chester’s first Business Network meeting at 11.45 am on Wednesday June 30th. Visitors will be able to enjoy an open networking session, after registration, before sitting down to a two course lunch. The meeting is due to finish by 2.30pm.
Visitors can also register for a free morning seminar by Britain’s leading networking guru Will Kintish, who will guide them through the basics of successful networking.
To register for a place at the inaugural meeting call Tracy on: 01244 220060 or email Tracy at: tracy@business-