Organisers of the Kirklees Business Conference have drawn up a powerful line-up of speakers.
The co-founder of organic chocolate company Green & Black’s will give delegates the benefit of her business experience.
And Michael Steer, deputy head at Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury and “star” of Channel 4 documentary Educating Yorkshire, will join a special State of the District panel discussion by giving his views on the state of education in Kirklees.
The conference, which is free to attend, is being organised by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and takes place on Wednesday, October 15 at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.
Jo set up Green & Black’s with her husband Craig Sams in 1991 – since when it has gone on to become “bigger than Marmite” and “cooler than Prada”. In the Coolbrands Survey 2009, Green & Black’s was the only food brand to feature in the top 20.
In 2005, the brand was sold to Cadbury’s, but Jo remains in an ambassadorial role, travelling the world as the brand grows internationally in countries including the USA and Australia. In 2008, Jo and her husband Craig Sams collaborated on Sweet Dreams: The Story of Green & Black’s.
Delegates can join Jo and hear about her journey as a chocolate entrepreneur at the conference when she will share how she is changing the world of business – one square at a time.
Conferences manager Chrissie Slater said: “Jo has got first-hand experience of growing really fast and the challenges that brings.
“She conditioned her mindset and set some very simple disciplines and will be providing these tools to business owners to do the same for their businesses. “Sustained and steady growth is an absolutely necessity for a healthy economy and Jo’s contribution to the conference will be invaluable.”
Now back on the TV screens, Educating Yorkshire: One Year On revisits the academy, its pupils and teachers a year after the first series.
Michael Steer will take time out of the classroom to attend KBC and join a panel along with John Shinwell, managing director of Continental Wine & Food Ltd; David Parkin, of The Business Desk Yorkshire; and Andrew Hobson, managing director of Fantastic Media.
Michael said: “As a school, we are committed to the ethos of ‘educating the whole child’ and preparing students for life after education.
“This is why it is vital that we have solid links with business and a deep and mutual understanding of the skills and attributes employers are looking for.
“This can be integrated into the curriculum diet of all young people, to give them the best possible foundation for their transition from classroom to workplace.”
KBC is the focal point of Kirklees Business Week, which runs from Monday, October 13, to Friday. October 17.