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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  1. I have known Stan Taylor since I moved to Huntinghdon at the beginning of 2006. I first met him at the Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce (part of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce) networking evening at the Old Bridge Hotel, Huntingdon. Stan was responsible for this initiative which has proved to be exceptionally successful.

    Stan was extremely friendly and welcoming to me as a prospective member, and it was largely due to his efforts that I joined CCC. I have met him many times since and can commend Stan with complete confidence. I wish him well on his retirement from CCC and in his new career with Huntingdonshire Regional College. A nicer man you will never meet!

  2. I was lucky enough to meet Stan at many of the Chamber's events and always enjoyed his company. On one occasion he visited iTEXS to do a good news storey on our expansion - unfortunately for him his car broke down so he had to wait until the recovery service could arrive to sort it out - It was a very pleasurable hour spent in his company.

    Good luck Stan you are always welcome at our office.

  3. I first met Stan just as I started up in business on my own, at, of course, a networking evening. This was shortly before he joined the Chamber and so you can imagine my surprise when I met him next, just after he had taken on his new role with characteristic enthusiasm.This was, of course, at another networking event, this one organised by the Chamber.

    One of your contributors mentioned how successful the networking events were at Huntingdon. It wasn’t always thus! I am sure Stan remembers one of the early ones, where the only attendees were Stan and I, then the new Huntingdonshire Chairman and one non-member who was trying to hard-sell us a rather dodgy sounding financial investment. It would have been a very long evening if Stan hadn’t been there.

    Stan is one of those people who are made of ‘the right stuff’ and it is a privilege to be able to regard him as a friend.

  4. I first met Stan at a networking event when we were both representing B2B magazines, about five years ago.

    Despite the ease with which we could have entered into a "competitive" relationship, sharing, as we did, the same clientele and "market area", I have always found Stan's atitude to be honest, friendly and fair. A real networker and a good example of how to work collaboratively to mutual benefit and on how to achieve positive outcomes for both of our businesses.

    A pleasure to deal with and a mine of information, it does not surprise me that Stan should have made such a positive impact on the business networking community.

    I know that my colleague Sidney will miss the chats and that he joins with me in wishing you all the best for your future. I am sure, knowing you, that it will be full of plans and projects - just make sure that you leave yourself some time to thoroughly enjoy them.

  5. There was no warmer welcome for new comers to the Chamber's events than the one offered by Stan Taylor. He made a point of making sure that you were introduced to others and made you feel at ease from the minute you arrived.

    Some people light up a room when they leave, Stan Taylor is one of these wonderful human beings who shine with life energy and light up the room when they arrive. He shall be greatly missed at all events.

    All the best Stan in your new endeavour.

    Best wishes

    Muriel Dahan, Joie de Vie

  6. I have known Stan many years in many capacities including time before his position at the Chamber. He is an asset to the whole community of Huntingdonshire and not just the Business sector. He is a Star networker and gets involved. Stan is a giver of his time and resources to all who ask. I have the pleasure of being able to call Stan Taylor my very good friend.

  7. I have known Stan for serveral years from sitting on the Cambridge Chamber. His cheery demaeanour and cheeky sense of humour will be a loss.
    I know how hard he worked for the Chamber and the success of the networking events is testement to his eoforts.
    And who will now take on the mantle of appearing in the most photos in the Chamber magazine? The gauntlet is down!

    Have a great, long and well-deserved retirement, Stan.

  8. I only had the good fortune to meet Stan on a couple of occasions. I just wish that it could have been more.
    Stan,you are a true gentleman and it was a pleasure to have met you.

  9. I have been trying to remember just how long it has been since I first met Stan. It must be 20 years, probably more. I was a life assurance rep. with Sun Life of Canada as I recall, and Stan was running his Office
    Furniture business from an old chapel in Buckden. Our paths have been crossing on and off ever since.

    When I first started reading Chris' article I had expected to be adding my best wishes for a happy retirement but clearly that is not Stan's chosen path. So I will wish him good health, happiness and good fortune in all things.

  10. Many congratulations to Stan and a big thank you for his help from all at the Greater Cambridge Partnership
    Martin Garratt

  11. Stan has been a tremendous support to local businesses. His good humour, ability to see the potential of 'connections' and encourage a network of sound businesses is beyond compare. We wish him every happiness in retirement and we have no doubt that his departure will be a great loss to the local business community.

  12. It is with great pride that we welcome Stan as a new employee of Huntigdonshire Regional College.
    Stan has been a good friend of the college for some considerable time.
    In his new role as senior Business Services Co-ordinator, Stan is responcible for providing help, support and guidance to the business community, with a special emphasis on explaining and organizing goverment funding.
    As you know stan has been higly active in building and supporting many networks and is a key member of many organizations.
    The college is committed to supporting and encouraging business, so we are working with Stan and taking his advise on how best we can fulfill our role within the community whilst alowing Stan to continue personaly with the good work he does with many others.
    Please do keep in contact with Stan and feel free to call him at the college whenever you like, his mobile is on order and Im sure he will let you know the number as soon as he gets it, but in the meantime you can contact Stan on 01480 379150.

    Steve Favell
    Business Development Manager
    Huntingdonshire Regional College.

  13. Stan Taylor was a true gentleman and a pleasure to work with. When I became Chairman of Huntingdon Chamber of Commerce Stan was a great support and help to me.
    He had true 'old school' charm and was an excellent networker.Not a presure salesperson, he always took time to explain the advantages of joining 'the chamber'at a pace to suit the prospective member. The fact is that Stan was an easy person to like we will be a great asset to HRC and I am sure will do very well.
    Stuart Gibbons

  14. Whilst I am not sure of the circulation of this relatively new medium, “A Blog”, I do hope that those Members that do find it or find out about it will tell any and all fellow Members that they can.
    This is for Stan Taylor, a friend to each and every one of us as well as a devoted Officer of our Chamber, some might describe him as driven. There can be few entrepreneurs, let alone employees that demonstrated the zeal, the unfettered enthusiasm that was Stan.
    Chris Thomas and I were recruited to the Cambridge Committee by Stan, and I have little doubt that most of you had Stan as your first point of contact with the Chambers; and would no doubt attribute Stan’s many qualities as being the reason you joined.
    Throughout my time on the Committee Stan has invested so much energy and time to the Chamber, I am embarrassed ans sad at the thought that he has been allowed, probably encouraged, possibly even made to retire.
    I am confidant that I can say if the Chambers were a Democracy, then Stan would be “re-elected” ad infinitum.
    As it is, he has left, and joined the Huntingdonshire Regional College, who recognised an opportunity when they saw one.
    I am known for my outspokenness, so I will live up to that reputation, by offering my thanks to Stan personally and on behalf of so many, if not quite all, of the Membership; and wish him well in his new position.
    Thank you, Stan.

  15. Stan has made an amazing impact on the Chamber's position locally; he is a master of the art of being known everywhere and involved in everything! Quite an inspiration!

    I know he will be missed by many members.

    Stan, I wish you a very happy and healthy future, and on behalf of Huntingdonshire Chamber I thank you most sincerely for all that you have done to support us over the years.

  16. Although networking primarily in Lincolnshire these days, during the period 2003-2007 I was a serial networker throughout the Peterborough-Cambridge region. And nearly everywhere I networked, there would be Stan Taylor - always friendly, always helpful and of course so useful to know because of his connections.
    The Chamber magazine became virtually the Stan Taylor home snaps album - can anyone have been on more photographs than Stan ?
    One of my more humorous images of Stan was when he pranced round Wood Green in a pair of tights pretending to be Henry VIII - all for a good cause of course.
    I wish every happiness to a genuinely helpful contact and a nice guy with it.
    Mike Stokes


  17. I especially remember the warm welcome from Stan at my first Chamber networking event at the Impington Holiday Inn. He had the unusual capacity (as I re-discovered on numerous subsequent occasions) to infuse the atmosphere with such a sense of joyful well-being. Certainly an exceptional man who will be missed by many.

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