DELEGATES on an esteemed leadership programme met for the first time in person at a glittering graduation ceremony.
The successful 20Twenty Business Growth Programme cohorts were joined at the event – held at Rossett Hall, Wrexham – by Head of Bangor Business School, Professor Bruce Vanstone, and joint sponsor Hannah Munro, Managing Director of ITAS software specialists.
45 representatives from organisations in Flintshire, Wrexham and north Powys received their Level 4 and Level 7 certificates, with all of them thanking tutors and trainers for having a positive effect on their professional outlook and strategic operations.
Lorraine Hopkins, Manager for the Leading Business Growth programmes at Bangor Business School, congratulated the 2022 alumni on completing the course virtually, and was delighted to be able to hold the graduation ceremony in person.
“We were thrilled to be able to bring delegates together to celebrate their achievements,” she said.
“Holding sessions and workshops online has been challenging but the cohort showed their resilience and adaptability, characteristics which will continue to serve them well in their daily professional lives.
“We could not be prouder of them all and are delighted to receive such positive feedback ahead of the start of our next programme this Spring.”
Lorraine added: “For many of them it was the first time they had met in person, so it was a real honour to have everyone in one place to mark this momentous occasion.”
Among those graduating was Scott Beddow, Procurement Manager at Chirk-based Archwood Group – the third person from the company to complete the 20Twenty programme.
Employing 125 people, the family-run business – a holder of the Investors in People Gold standard – has been designing, manufacturing, and supplying timber products for over 150 years.
Scott says completing the Level 7 CMI Programme – which is 80% funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through Welsh Government – has given them fresh impetus to go on and achieve even more in the future.
“Despite the whole programme being delivered virtually due to the pandemic it worked out very well, we still managed to network and meet new people and the resources provided made for an interactive, enjoyable experience,” he said.
“A lot of the group still keep in touch and share ideas, discuss our strategies and have grown together during the course, comparing styles, and knowing the difference between leadership and management.
“The tutors brought different skill sets and perspectives which opened our eyes to different ways of thinking. It was a really insightful and rewarding programme I would definitely recommend to any owner, manager or director in business.”
Earlier this year, Archwood – which includes the brands Richard Burbidge, Atkinson & Kirby, and Mason’s Timber – appointed an Environmental Action Group to develop a carbon footprint management plan focused on becoming a net zero organisation.
Scott says information and guidance received via 20Twenty will feed into that and other pivotal decisions going forward.
“My final project was around Change Management and is already part of our operations; ensuring we all communicate and collaborate across the company, that everyone is on the same page and each member of the team plays their part,” he said.
“Like many businesses we have faced challenges during Covid – especially in the supply chain – but we anticipated demand and possible delays, so it has worked for us.
“This kind of strategic thinking and scrutiny has benefited the company as 99% of our products are in stock – given what’s happened globally that’s a fantastic result.”
Scott added: “Archwood products are high quality and well established and that’s what we pride ourselves on. We’ve changed the way we do things and in tandem with what I’ve learned on the 20Twenty programme that puts us in a very good position.
“But ultimately it’s all about passion, and we love what we do here.”
For the latest news and information from Archwood Group, visit www.archwoodgroup.com.
NOTES: The 20Twenty Business Growth Programme is the only leadership and management course in Wales to offer an optional progression route from CMI Level 4 to CMI Level 7, including a Postgraduate Certificate, an Executive MBA and Chartered Manager Award. The programme is delivered by Cardiff Metropolitan University in partnership with Bangor University and subsidised by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.