Tuesday 17 March 2009

Profile - Stan Taylor

From Portrtaits and Lighting at HBN AGM08

This is a celebration of a great networker who was the face of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce for many businesses in and around the south of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and into the Fens.

Before joining the Chamber four and a half years ago, Stan had been with a successful interior design company and in business development for a B2B magazine.

He joined the Chamber just as John Bridge OBE was taking a vigorous approach to revitalise the Cambridgeshire Chambers and combat the national trend in declining membership within a very restricted budget. Whilst John was dealing with the strategic issues, Stan came in to provide a complementary strong interface on the ground with old, new and prospective members for his area.

One of John’s inspired innovations was the generation of the “Local Chambers”, Peterborough, Huntingdon and Cambridge, where local business people would volunteer their services (free) to support the Chamber and its activities locally. When I became the first Chair of the new Cambridge Chamber (and later when others took on the role), Stan was a key contact point on the Cambridge Committee and rapidly became an increasingly familiar and welcome face at events.

With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, Stan was soon the first warm welcoming point of networking meetings, who ensured that new faces were integrated into a more open style of networking, as opposed to the closed cliques that one might have formerly associated with the Chambers. His easy manner also won over many potential new members as he travelled around the South of Cambridgeshire.

Stan’s competence and networking skills meant that he assumed increasing responsibility, becoming the prime mover in setting up the Ely and Fenland Chambers. He began representing the Chamber on external bodies when John’s couldn’t attend, such as the Huntingdon Town Partnership, HDC Local Procurement, the Economic Development Forum and Business Against Crime. Stan was also proud of his assistance in setting up the St Ives Town Initiative networking.

John and the Chamber’s team had nurtured new special interest groups within the Chamber, such as the International and IT sectors. There were now also the free informal evening drop-in sessions which complemented the local Chambers and required Stan’s presence.

Many of us members were astounded by Stan’s apparently limitless energy, that would have him at a Chamber breakfast at seven in the morning to still mingling with attendees at an informal networking meeting in Huntingdon in the evening!

However, the increased workload and regular long working days that were a consequence of the Chamber’s success were taking their toll. Stan hit a bleak midwinter low when illness, the current economic climate and looming required retirement at 65 from the Chambers in April 09 all came together.

Fortunately, the return to health and the opportunity to continue utilising his networking skills for a new employer have had Stan bouncing back to his positive self. He is now with Huntingdonshire Regional College as their Engagement Coordinator (regular hours and time off in lieu!).

Stan is recognised as an excellent networker beyond the boundaries of any position he holds and respected for it by business people from all fields, Therefore –

If you know Stan, please add your comment or reminiscence below!

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