Business West appoints top marketer as new chairman

Kye Parkin
Communications Executive | Business West
17th August 2017

Business West has appointed one of the region’s top marketeers as its new chairman.

Iain Wolsey has held senior marketing positions in the UK and is the founding partner in the Bristol consultancy of Wolsey Meech.  He takes over the role of chairman from Mark Mason who held the post temporarily and who remains on the Board.

Iain Wolsey said:

“I am delighted to join the board of Business West, whose role is far reaching. I firmly believe in the importance of the leadership and business support role that it plays at local, regional, national and indeed international level.

“I think it’s more important than ever for Business West to continue to stand up for business with real belief, as we have seen in Manchester with the Northern Powerhouse and in the West Midlands.

“It means punching a bit above our weight, but if we want to be regarded as part of the club of giants, we do need to stand with the giants.

“And we have to find ways of being really relevant to the businesses we represent in the region.

“I think that government needs to listen to us because here at Business West we represent not just business but the people those businesses employ in the region.”

Iain, who is married with two daughters and lives in Bristol, has held a string of key marketing jobs on major consumer brands before setting up his own international consultancy in 1992.

He has previously been marketing director of Gateway supermarkets as well as being on the main board of Somerfield supermarkets and their marketing director.

Iain was in the 1970’s marketing director of another large supermarket chain, Fine Fare, which was later merged with Gateway. He was also head of marketing for WH Smith.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West said:

“At the heart of Business West’s success is our ability to engage with and listen to the concerns and hopes of thousands of local businesses. 

“However, our success also relies upon the willingness and ability of the chairman to guide the company in taking policy leadership stances based on interpretation of these various and sometimes conflicting views.

“I am delighted to welcome Iain who, with a career spanning almost 50 years, brings with him a wealth of business and marketing knowledge and I have no doubt that Business West will benefit from Iain’s experience in this area.

“It is vitally important to attract business people from a wide range of backgrounds to take up positions on our board. Reflecting the rich diversity of our members and clients at board level will help us to better understand the needs of the businesses we serve.

“Our Board of Directors is made up of unpaid volunteers, giving freely of their time and business expertise and we greatly value their help in the development of Business West.”

Business West has also welcomed to the board, Dr Jonathan Frost OBE who until recently had been with Johnson Matthey for 16 years, latterly as Technology Strategy Director.

Iain and Jonathan will join existing directors – Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor of UWE; Peter Rilett, Chairman of North Bristol Hospital; Mark Mason, Exec Chairman of Forrest Brown; Alan Fletcher, Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Wiltshire; Nicky Alberry, Chair of Excalibur; Ian Bell, Executive Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and Initiative; Richard Bonner, UK Cities Director at ARCADIS; Mike Godfrey, OBE, Chair of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative; Sarah Pullen, Regional Managing Director at Trinity Mirror PLC; Janine Woodcock, Managing Director of Zingg Ltd.

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