MEET THE TEAM

The Business Isle of Man Executive Agency is structured as a public-private partnership to best facilitate the promotion and development of the niche domestic and export sectors on the Island. The team is therefore made up of private sector board members who are 'Sector Champions' for a wide variety of industry sectors, and Business Isle of Man employees including political representation. 

Sector Champions
Business Isle of Man Team
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Stephen Bradley MBE

Chairman

Stephen is an experienced director, skilled in negotiation, business planning, coaching, advertising and retail. He has an extensive professional background, and holds an MBA in Strategy Development from The Open University.

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Carol Glover

Entrepreneurship

What is your business background?

Carol is a ginger, punk inspired, Disruptive Leader, Speaker, Coach, Mentor, Podcaster and Edutainer from the Isle of Man, who unlocks world-class performance by connecting leaders to their Maverick Mindset. She’s held Intrapreneurial leadership roles across the world retailing, the public sector, distribution management, and voluntary organisations, supporting entrepreneurs and leaders worldwide. Executive roles have included Head of Halfords Auto Business, Promoter of IOM TT, & latterly Head of Tech for a retail business and Commercial Property Director. She’s been a successful generalist leader in a specialist world – one of the most in-demand skillsets for the 2020s. Today via her Maverick Maker business she speaks on and coaches and mentors, founders, leaders and businesses to think differently, increase personal and business productivity and create opportunity out of change. She recently co-created “Encoded Potential” which helps emerging leaders and entrepreneurs unleash world-class latent skills and potential for themselves and their teams. She produced the Entrepreneur Development Strategy for IOM Chamber of Commerce that generated over 150 small business members and more importantly a strong and growing  mutually supportive community on Isle of Man.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency Board?

Like all economies, the Isle of Man economy is dominated by entrepreneurial small businesses. With over 3000 micro-businesses (employ 0-9) and almost 600 employing 10- 250, these businesses represent approx. 99.5% of businesses and 86.5% of employment. Yet they rarely have a “voice”, due to the fragmentation and disparate range they cover, and that they are working so hard “in” their businesses. Key though is how many are agile, nimble, connected and in emerging and creative sectors, exactly where IOM should be focused for the future. To me it is key that the challenges, barriers and opportunities represented by these businesses are highlighted, understood, and supported to grow.

What is your favourite thing about doing business on the Island?

The Island has a number of strong USPs: Biosphere, well-connected business networks, diverse and growing skillsets, increasing collaboration between entrepreneurs and accessibility to Government. There is high potential to become a world exemplar of  “Small is Beautiful” - the economic model of the future.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

The Island's best-kept secret is the brilliance, kindness and potential of its young people. My fave spot is anywhere, that forward-looking, positive energy and attitude-filled Mavericks, who  “think different” and “hang out”.

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David Hester

Manufacturing & Engineering

What is your business background?

My background is all engineering related. Since graduating in Mechanical Engineering in the mid 1980’s, I’ve had roles from pure R&D through to design and manufacturing; and I'm now the managing director of Swagelok Limited, an Isle of Man company employing 240 people working across all of these engineering disciplines.

I’ve worked for large multinational companies as well as smaller start-ups; and across several sectors from aerospace to food and drink; and in several countries. I’ve lived and worked on the Isle of Man for 15 years and am Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Engineering and Manufacturing committee, a Director of Bladon Jets, a Director of Junior Achievement, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE, Fellow of the RAeS and an IoD qualified Company Director.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Isle of Man Board?

The Island’s engineering & manufacturing sector has had a strong partnership with Government over the past several years which has resulted in several businesses growing; and an expansion of the vocational training programmes being supported at UCM and in the schools. I see this public/private partnership as a good way to align the needs of industry and Government and form strategies and policies that are mutually beneficial.

Business Isle of Man is a vehicle for expanding this partnership across several sectors that are all important to the economic success of the island. I think that my skills, background and interests will enable me to make a useful contribution to the Board.

What is your favourite thing about doing business on the Island?

The Island offers a rare combination of natural beauty and accessibility to the countryside with the ability to find challenging and interesting roles in world-class businesses. It has a unique history and values its heritage but can also be bold an innovative in its approach to new business opportunities.

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Steve Pickett

Sector: Logistics

What is your business background?

My career in logistics began in 1988, as an 18 year old. Initially as a driver, then moving into the transport planning department, promoted to a management position and a sales development role responsible for establishing the Isle of Man as a key territory. During this period, I worked with many local retailers, wholesalers, many of the Island's existing businesses and was offered a Directorship with my employer then in 1997.

Over the next 3 years I developed a national UK home delivery service for a major mail-order retailer and national delivery service to a high street retailer, from which I gained a valuable insight of what large organisations require from a logistics partner. Establishing Trade distribution Limited (TDL) in 2000, which is part of the H&B Group of Companies, TDL is now recognised as one of the leading freight operators in the Isle of Man, with several operating centres running multiple contracts in the UK and employing over 100 staff. During my time with H&B, I have also worked closely with my fellow colleagues in hospitality, wholesale drinks & brewing, convenience & forecourt retailing, where I have been able to develop a deep knowledge of the local markets.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business IOM Board?

Having spent the past 30 years connected in one way or another with the Isle of Man and resident for almost 20 years, the Island has played a major part in my life and lifestyle. My wife and I have raised three children who have benefited from all that the Island has to offer and I am very grateful for the business opportunities that have developed from my decision to move to the Island all those years ago. Now is the time that I am ready to give something back, if I can help in any way to make this beautiful place even more attractive to those who are already living and operating here, or if I can influence and promote economic growth for the benefit of all, then I am willing to give up some of my time. With the blessing and support of H&B, I hope that I can assist the Business Isle of Man Agency with their endeavours to support island businesses, create a robust logistics strategy to sustain future growth and prosperity, and through collaboration with my fellow board members, ensure that the Isle of Man fulfills its potential.

What is your favourite thing about doing business on the Island?

The Isle of Man has provided me with many opportunities, but not just locally. Through contacts made here, we have developed a significant UK logistics network, in fact the UK is now the largest regional sector of my business. Without the loyalty and support I have been shown from the Islands businesses, this may never have happened. The great thing about doing business locally, you are often dealing with business owners and leaders, who know what they want and who would prefer to deal with a local operator. I meet with my customers on a regular basis and don’t have too far to travel to see them.

What is the Island's best-kept secret?

The Island's best-kept secret is its natural beauty. I often take a ride on my motorcycle, traveling down valleys and over mountains, the views are just stunning.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

There are so many fantastic views on the Island but one of my favourites is looking out to sea on the west coast from Dalby or Niarbyl.

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Jo Pretty

Education

What is your business background?

For twenty years, Jo worked in a range of sectors including, manufacturing, utilities, personnel recruitment and health.  Since 1999, she has worked within all aspects of education and training (Higher Education, Adult learning, Secondary Education and Further Education and Apprenticeships).  Her most recent role was Chief Executive and Principal of a medium FE/HE UK college and Director of LOWES, a specialist training company.

Alongside this, she has also undertaken self-employed work, and was also Owner/Director of a successful small fabrication/engineering company for seven years; which affords her the fortunate position to fully understand the challenges that businesses face.

Jo has worked within a wide range of sector skills academies, on regional employer boards developing vocational qualifications, and has worked with the University of Suffolk (previously University Campus Suffolk) both as part of their Senior Management Group, in the formation to the new University status and in the development of qualifications.

Jo is now Principal of the University College, Isle of Man, where she is a strong advocate for working closely with public and private sectors to ensure that a full understanding of the talent and skills requirement for current and emerging sectors is known and planned for, and with an understanding that UCM has a critical role to play to support the Isle of Man economy.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency Board?

She was keen to join the Business Agency Board so that UCM could work to support the many businesses on the Isle of Man in all sectors. She is inspired by innovation and enterprise and wishes to support new growth for the Island.  

In addition to this, Jo sees a future in expanding the Islands education and training provision to new markets that could lead to international student growth.

What is your favourite thing about doing business on the Island?

Jo sees learning as a continuous activity. From formal knowledge based learning; skills based learning; personal growth and learning to live together in our society.   Life on the Isle of Man is about all of these, and importantly, is in our culture – there is a balance of experiencing, playing and creating and doing so, at the right pace. This makes our businesses strong.

She also believes we are fortunate to have, what has been lost for many communities; a unique mix of the past, present and future on the Island – which is our best kept secret!  

How can you be contacted?

Through the Business Agency secretariat.

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Stephen Smyth

Construction

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Dave Taggart

Biomed

What is your business background?

For most of my career I worked in the management consulting profession – first as a consultant and later as founder and managing partner of a boutique international strategy consulting company (Junicon) working primarily in healthcare and life sciences.

Across more than 1,000 projects, I worked with various large and small clients, including many of the biggest healthcare companies in the world, Fortune 500 technology and financial services companies, healthcare providers, national governments and the UN. From 2000 to 2016, I was based in the USA, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a managing partner of Junicon, I was both an owner and executive leader of an organisation that grew to 50 people worldwide, and lived through the challenges that face a business from start-up through scale-up to steady-state success as an SME.

In 2016 I returned to the Isle of Man for family reasons. I also exited Junicon, and became a founder of a pharmaceutical development company based on the Island: Glycyx Therapeutics. We have four development projects, in cancer, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and dialysis.

I have also been a Board Member and/or adviser to approximately 20 venture-backed technology and Biomed companies, and continue to work with several of them.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Isle of Man Board?

I was born in the Isle of Man in the 1970s, and have seen the Island go through several cycles of growth. In that time, many of the drivers of economic success on the Island stemmed directly from Government policies – which have attracted and retained several of the key industries on which the Island now depends.

Meanwhile, it is increasingly evident that technology and invention are becoming less important as rate-limiting factors to innovation and economic growth than legal readiness and societal acceptance of change. Thanks to its small size, tight networks, and high level of autonomy, the Isle of Man has an enormous opportunity to lead in these areas. Jurisdiction is one of our primary sources of comparative advantage.

The Executive Agency structure provides a great venue for the business community to engage with Government at the frontiers where policy and business meet, and to help inform national economic strategy. Serving on the Business Isle of Man Board is an opportunity to impact the future success of the Isle of Man. The Island will always be part of me, and me part of it, so I am committed to contributing what I can to its success.

What is the Island’s best kept secret?

Not sure how secret it is, but the options for a home chef to purchase ingredients are fantastic for such a small population. We know about the celebrated local produce, which includes great seafood, some of the best chorizo I’ve ever eaten, and a brilliant range of fresh herbs – among many other things. Perhaps more surprising is the fantastic selection and variety of authentic international ingredients that are available to serve our vibrant and diverse community – including Thai, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Indonesian, Polish, Bulgarian…. It may sound unlikely, but I truly find the Isle of Man a better place to buy culinary ingredients than the San Francisco Bay Area was!

Notwithstanding that it would be nice to have some options to buy sashimi-grade fish safe to eat raw…

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Phil Taylor

Hospitality

What is your business background?

I worked for a start-up food business in Dubai for two years prior to moving to the Isle of Man in 2010 to start Rock Food Concepts. We opened our first venue in that same year on the North Quay, 14North. Following the restaurant’s success we were able to expand the business opening bath&bottle, Little Fish Café and most recently Little Fish at the Bay. In the Spring of 2018 we started the investment arm of Rock Food Concepts, investing in start-up Smoo.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Isle of Man Board?

The Isle of Man has so much unfulfilled potential and it is my hope that the Business Isle of Man Board will help the island realise some of this. Being part of the process was too great an opportunity to turn down. On a more personal level the hospitality industry is often the forgotten industry on the Isle of Man and I felt it was important that our views were represented.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

I bought a house last year with views of the sea, you can’t beat it.

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Lawrie Hooper MHK

Political Member for Business Isle of Man

Lawrie Hooper MHK email address
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Tim Cowsill

Head of Business Isle of Man

What is your business background?

My first connection with Business IOM and the Department for Enterprise is when I was at university when I worked for the department under the step scheme. After successfully finishing university I then went to work for RBSI on the Island and have worked there under a number of different roles. I then decided that the experience I had gained in the bank put me in a good position to add value to the Business Agency supporting and helping businesses develop.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency?

It was a no brainer for me to join the Business Agency. I have been such a supporter of Manx businesses that this business development role seemed to fit my skills set. Supporting the domestic economy is a real challenge but the welcome I have had from the sectors I look after has been brilliant. It’s a great job to be the link between government and businesses.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

Like many Isle of Man Residents I am a petrol head. My absolute favourite place and thing to do on the Island is riding my motorbike (Bonnie) up the Sloc (I actually prefer it to the mountain course) then go the long way home via Peel for a crab bap from the breakwater kiosk. Perfection

How can you be contacted?

Tim.Cowsill@gov.im

Tim Cowsill email address
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Kirree Gooberman

Business Development Manager - Exports

What is your business background?

Born and educated on the Isle of Man, I joined the merchant navy from school and ran away to sea, qualifying as a Deck Officer through Plymouth University and South Tyneside College. I served worldwide with Shell Tankers on oil, gas and bulk carriers, responsible for navigation and cargo operations; my favourite place to trade was the Far East, exploring Singapore, Vietnam and Japan and enjoying experiencing the cultures, people and food of the region.

Seconded from the Shell Fleet into London head office, I worked in the bustling, frenetic and fast paced environment of the shipping and oil trading floors, working in ship operations and post fixture. I returned to the Isle of Man to work for Shell in Recruitment, Management and Development of their international ship staff, continuing to travel worldwide for recruitment and to facilitate training.  During this time I studied a Masters for Business Administration at Warwick University.

After a career break, during which I volunteered on the IOM Food and Drink Festival Committee, I returned to work for Assystem IOM, an engineering service provider in the aerospace industry, initially as Project Manager then as Business Manager for IOM and Prestwick offices.  I worked on multiple projects for Airbus, Spirit, Bombardier and Safran, on aircraft including A320, A350, A380, A400M and Global 7000/8000.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency Board?

I joined the DfE in July 2018, as Development Manager for Exports.

I applied for the role as it was a job that really excited me: working in a variety of sectors, with each one interesting in its own right, containing some gems of businesses right here on the Isle of Man.

Within the role I am able to use my skills, knowledge and passion for the Isle of Man to support the sectors and individual businesses to ensure the Isle of Man is a prosperous and vibrant place to live and work.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

Kayaking from Port St Mary to The Sound, exploring the coves and caves around the Chasms.

Kirree Gooberman email address
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Rachel Hopkinson

Business Development Manager - Domestic

What is your business background?

I graduated from the University of Bath in 2017 with a degree in Business. During my four years at Bath I completed two 6-month industry placements. The first was working for a tech start-up company in London where I was Junior Marketing Manager. The second was a dual-role at SMP Partners in the Isle of Man where I spent half of my time in the eGaming licensing team, and the other as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.

Following this, I returned to the Isle of Man to work as I secured an ACA training contract with PwC. Here I worked in the audit team and completed my certificate level of ACA studies.

In October 2018, I joined the Department for Enterprise Marketing team. I worked for a short time as the Marketing Executive for the Business Agency before moving to the Enterprise Team to develop my management skills and gain a broad overview of the work going on within the Department. In this role I primarily assisted the Department’s Enterprise Support team, promoting their range of financial assistance schemes to local businesses. I also supported Central Registry and other overarching Department initiatives.

Earlier this year (2020) the opportunity came up within Business Isle of Man for this Business Development role. I applied and here I am!

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency?

I am passionate about making a difference to living, working and investing in the Isle of Man. I wanted to take this role within Business Isle of Man as I care about supporting businesses and making a change.

The role excites me as there are a number of projects with huge scope and potential positive impact which I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into.

I am also a people person who sees the value in collaborating, developing relationships and listening to feedback - therefore, I think this role will suit me well!

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

I love the South of the Island. You’ll find me watching the sunset from Cronk ny Arrey Laa (just off the bottom of the slock) or Foraging Vintners on Port Erin Beach.

How can you be contacted?

You can email me at rachel.hopkinson@gov.im or call me on 01624 687175.

Rachel Hopkinson email address
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Mark Gledhill

Project Manager for Biomed

Mark Gledhill email address
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Matthew Gardner

Development Coordinator

What is your business background?

Completing my undergraduate education at the island's Nunnery campus I gained a great understanding of how businesses operate and more specifically their role within the Manx economy by undertaking a number of sector specific research projects. Following the successful completion of my undergraduate degree I joined Barclays Bank working on a variety of interesting projects within their credit operations team. From Barclays I further broadened my knowledge within the financial services sector at Nedgroup Investments in an administrative position.

More recently I have completed a Master’s degree in E-business from Newcastle University. This further education was extremely beneficial in expanding my knowledge of how contemporary technologies can support and transform businesses, something which I'm looking forward to utilising in this role.

What was your inspiration for joining the Business Agency?

Eager to return to the Island after my master’s degree the opportunity to join the Business Agency was extremely exciting to me with the ability to support the future growth of the domestic and export sectors on the Isle of Man. Previously working within smaller businesses I appreciate the importance that government support can make to these organisations and by joining straight from a research intensive master’s degree I’m looking forward to utilising these skills to complete valuable research projects for the Agency.

Where is your favourite spot on the Island?

The Isle of Man has such breathtaking viewpoints it’s hard to pinpoint my favourite down to just one! In my free time I love to go out exploring with my camera and by living in the south of the island one of my favourite viewpoints is Spanish Head that looks over the Calf of Man and out to sea. This area is particularly special at sunset on a calm summers evening when you can see dolphins and seals around the sound.

Matthew Gardner email address

Business Isle of Man is responsible for securing the Isle of Man's status as an internationally respected economic hub for the export of high value added products and related services.

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