The Lancashire Ambassadors are a powerful network of leaders who understand that success for Lancashire will lead to success in business and a stronger more prosperous Lancashire for all.
Read the Lancashire Ambassadors Manifesto here
Conlon Construction – Michael Conlon – Chair
BAE Systems – Eddy Adair-Harrison
Blackburn Rovers – Steve Waggott
Booths – Nigel Murray
Forbes Solicitors – Pauline Wild
Panaz – Tony Attard OBE
PM+M – Helen Clayton
Qwala – Zak Khan
Sales Geek – Richard Few
Stonyhurst – Paul Sharples
Passionate about Lancashire, with a business located here and a desire to help drive future success? We’d like to welcome you as a Lancashire Ambassador >> Find out more here
Michael Conlon - Executive Chairman
Michael Conlon is Executive Chairman at Conlon Holdings, an award-winning construction group based in Lancashire. The group was originally founded by Michael’s father and uncles as ‘Conlon Brothers’ and celebrated its sixtieth anniversary in 2021.
He has undertaken various roles having started out as a site engineer/assistant site agent and rising through the company until his appointment as Executive Chairman in 2013. The company has carried out a number of prestigious projects, including in recent years the refurbishment of Preston Bus Station; extensive refurbishment of the Tudor era Wythenshawe Hall; the Peterloo Memorial in Manchester; the refurbishment and enclosure of the covered markets in Preston; the YMCA at Lakeside on Lake Windermere; and building the ‘Social Spaces’ areas and the School of Dentistry at UCLan. A current project is the Harris, Your Place scheme at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston.
Michael is a chartered builder and achieved an MBA at the Lancashire Business School in 1998. Amongst other interests he sits on the board of Creative Lancashire and the Dean’s Council of The Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise. He has been a trustee of the homeless charity, Emmaus Preston for 15 years. Michael was very proud to be appointed a Lancashire Business Ambassador in 2019.
Michael is the 2023 Chair of the Lancashire Ambassadors.
Eddy Adair-Harrison - People Director, Air Sector COO and Functions.
BAE Systems, help their customers to stay a step ahead when protecting people and national security, critical infrastructure and vital information. They provide some of the world’s most advanced, technology-led defence, aerospace and security solutions and employ a skilled workforce of over 85,000 people in more than 40 countries.
Eddy Adair—Harrison is the People Director for the Chief Operating Office organisation and central functions within BAE Systems Air, covering over 3,500 employees. Eddy completed an economics degree and started her career in financial services. As part of a graduate programme, she was offered the opportunity to develop into the human resources discipline and completed her master’s degree in human resource management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
She joined BAE Systems in 2007 at Warton and worked on various programmes within the air business, before joining the maritime sector in 2012 as the Head of HR for Type 45 and Type 26. Whilst her role in the BAE Systems naval ships business required her to be on site at either Glasgow or Bristol, she was able to remain living in Lancaster and travelled to those sites. After three years and on return from maternity leave, she re-joined the BAE Systems air sector where she has undertaken various head of HR/people director roles, before taking up her current role in January 2022. Eddy’s current role includes the exciting people and organisational strategic thinking, related to enabling, modernising and improving the air sector through technology, capability and people across combat air capabilities including Tempest, the next generation military fighter aircraft. Together with many others, Eddy has the aim of helping ensure that BAE Systems internationally and here in Lancashire continues to play a global role in the combat air sector.
Lancashire Business Directory: BAE Systems
Nigel Murray - Managing Director
Booths is a high quality independent food and drinks business with stores across Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cheshire. Booths employs approximately 3,000 colleagues and has 2 distribution sites plus 3 manufacturing units servicing its 27 stores and growing number of trade customers.
Nigel Murray joined Booths in November 2015 having spent his career to date in the food retail sector with Safeway, Tetley, Asda and Greggs.
Born and bred in Blackburn, Lancashire he attended Manchester Polytechnic (Met) where he gained a B.A.(Hons) in Accounting & Finance followed by a Post Graduate Diploma and C.I.M. professional qualification in Marketing Management.
Within Booths Nigel is a member of the Board and takes Executive responsibility for all commercial, customer, operational and people functions.
Nigel is a member of the Lancashire LEP Food & Agriculture sector group in addition to being a Lancashire Ambassador.
Home life is with wife Sue, their son and the dog. The daughter is currently studying English Literature at The University of Edinburgh, although now aspires to be a Medic.
Any spare time is spent watching cycling, reading about cycling, talking about cycling, tinkering with cycles and………cycling!
In 2021 Nigel rode the full Tour De France route (all 21 stages) as one of a team of 18 amateur cyclists to collectively raise over £1m for the charity, Cure Leukaemia. Nigel and the Booths team have raised well over £100,000 for the charity so far.
Lancashire Business Directory: Booths
Pauline Wild - Managing Partner
Forbes Solicitors has offices across the North but our roots are firmly based in Lancashire. We offer the full range of legal services to individuals, commercial clients and a number
of specialist sectors where we excel nationally.
Pauline heads up the Corporate team at Forbes Solicitors and handles a wide range of corporate and commercial work right from business start ups through to acting for businesses that are expanding or disposing of their business. More specifically those areas include formation, banking, joint ventures, contractual matters, equity fundraisings and investments, re-organisations and restructurings, disposals and mergers and acquisitions.
Pauline has also developed and is known for her experience in assisting clients and Insolvency Practitioners in insolvency matters. In particular, she specialises in acting on behalf of businesses and Insolvency Practitioners when buying or selling businesses in distress and/or restructuring.
Pauline also assists a number of Lending Institutions on a broad range of matters including drafting and negotiating banking documentation and carrying out and reviewing legal due diligence and structure documents on mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructures. Pauline acts for a wide range of clients including public companies, owner managed businesses, banks and financial institutions, shareholders, investors and management teams.
Lancashire Business Directory: Forbes Solicitors
Tony Attard OBE - Founder and Group Chief Executive
Formed in 1986, Panaz Limited, has spearheaded the design and technical advancement of flame retardant fabrics for the worldwide hospitality, leisure, cruise ship and healthcare sectors. The company today exports to 46 countries, operating worldwide through subsidiary companies in Europe and the USA and a global network of agents. Panaz has been presented with two Queen’s Awards for International Trade and Innovation, marking the company’s success in both export achievement and enterprise.
Tony is the founder and Group Chief Executive of Panaz Ltd. However, Tony’s activities and interests extend far beyond his Burnley boardroom. Tony is the current Chair of Marketing Lancashire and is Chair of Lancashire 2025, the Bid for Lancashire to become City of Culture on 2025. As such, Tony is a passionate advocate of Lancashire and business in Lancashire as well as a true Lancashire Ambassador. Tony was made an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2010 New Year’s honours and held the position of High Sheriff of Lancashire in 2018. Tony also sits on the Board of Creative Lancashire as well as NWTexnet, the British Contract Furnishings Association and the General Assembly of Manchester University.
Tony’s other positions and interests include:
- National President of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers charity,
- Member of the Guilds Court and Manchester University Department of Material Science Industrial Advisory Group
- Member of Manchester Metropolitan University Department of Enterprise Advisory Group,
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Directors,
- Associate of The Textile Institute
- Member of the Institute of Management.
Lancashire Business Directory: Panaz Ltd
Helen Clayton - Partner
PM + M provides independent accountancy and advisory services with local expertise. Operating from offices in Blackburn and Bury, PM+M has deep roots in Lancashire, and is proud to be widely regarded as one of the leading and most respected chartered accountancy, advisory and financial planning firms in the North West.
Helen has been a partner at PM+M for over 7 years, heading up the audit, accounting and advisory team. With over 25 years’ experience in advising owner-managed and privately owned businesses, Helen is committed to growing the PM+M brand and reputation across Bury, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
Helen works with clients across a broad range of industry sectors, with significant experience in advising the legal profession. Focusing on building strong relationships with clients, Helen aims to understand the ambitions of leadership and management, for themselves as individuals, as well as for their business.
People development is a key focus for Helen within PM+M, which is why she is drawn to people-based businesses and developing strong, long-lasting relationships. Alongside her role at PM+M, Helen also holds the position of Chair of Trustees at The Met in Bury.
Lancashire Business Directory: PM+M
Richard Few - founder and Chief Geek
Richard founded Sales Geek to change the way the world perceives sales and make world class sales leadership available for everyone not just large corporations. He has led from the front as the Geeky team has grown and flourished and won multiple awards for their ground breaking work. Weekends are for family, Reggie the bulldog and the rugby pitch, not always in that order. You might say that as a rugby player as well as a Sales Geek he specialises in conversions!
Unlike other Ambassadors Richard is not a native Lancastrian. In a former role he travelled up from Buckinghamshire to the company’s headquarters here, regularly. He was spending more and more time away from his family but gaining a real affinity for the county, the landscape and the welcoming nature and entrepreneurial spirit of the people. By the time it came to jump ship and found his own business, Lancashire was the obvious choice for Sales Geek. ” I don’t mind saying that, as a family we have fallen in love with the place and are fully committed to supporting our adopted home’s growth. As our company has grown, we have been determined to root our supply chain here in Lancashire, where you really can get anything, your business needs. Our office in Blackburn is our national centre for our franchises across the UK and will be our global headquarters as we launch in the USA and beyond.”
Lancashire Business Directory: Sales Geek
Simon Marsden - Enterprises Director
Set in the beautiful Ribble Valley, Stonyhurst College is an independent co-education Catholic boarding school and home to 700 pupils during term time. However, beyond the College’s excellent academic offer, very few people are aware of the breadth of commercial activity encompassed under ‘Stonyhurst Enterprises’.
Simon Marsden commenced his career in banking, moved into an education based private equity venture, followed by bursar appointments in two prestigious large day schools. He joined Stonyhurst in 2016 as Bursar and Clerk to the Governors.
Simon is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Management, and holds qualifications in accountancy, human resources, leadership coaching and business planning. Simon has been Chairman of the Northern Bursars’ Association and sits on a selection of independent schools’ advisory panels. He is a foundation governor of St Joseph’s, the oldest catholic primary school in the United Kingdom.
He and his wife Julia have four children, two of whom attend Stonyhurst.
Lancashire Business Directory: Stonyhurst Enterprises
Zak Khan - Managing Director
Qwala is a leader in retrofitting solutions. Founded by Zak Khan, the team is made up of trusted, knowledgeable and brilliant minds. Qwala people are driven by the power to make a meaningful difference.
Qwala tackle climate change whilst helping households and businesses reduce their energy bills by installing renewable and energy efficient measures.
Zak joined the police service after university, accredited as a detective and was soon identified as a fast-track promotion candidate. He completed a master’s degree in human rights whilst working for the police at the University College London and then succeeded in the national selection process for the acceleration promotion Fast Track Constable to Inspector programme (only an average of 40 officers nationally are selected each year).
During this time, Zak was also supporting his brother, with Euro Energy Group as a start-up business. They managed to double the company turnover and Zak decided to take a leap of faith to co-own Euro Energy Group, which he left to pursue further exciting ventures via Qwala. In May 2022 he was elected as a Borough Councillor for Hyndburn Borough Council, swinging the seat from the opposition party. He now proudly represents the ward in which he was born and raised.
Lancashire Business Directory: QWALA