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Fareham: Roots to Growth speaker will take positive line on Brexit

By Dan Teuton
28 September 2016

Business in Hampshire will survive and prosper whatever the outcome of the UK’s Brexit negotiations. That’s the message a high-flying company executive will give to hundreds of the county’s business leaders at a special conference this autumn.

Gail Thomas, managing director for Europe and Asia of £150-million turnover Southampton company TW Metals, is hosting a Brexit Breakfast at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce’s Roots to Growth conference.  This will be held at the Ferneham Hall in Fareham on October 20.

Thomas says: “Companies will always find solutions, whatever decisions the Government makes, to ensure trading continues successfully. We just get on with it. We are all so deeply inter-connected across Europe, with hugely significant amounts of trade being carried out, that pressure can be levered to counter possible embargoes and sanctions.

“I’m hoping the Brexit Business will spark an ongoing debate. I sit around the table with French, Germans and Italians and hear about political turmoil in countries across the EU, so Brexit may well be just the start of a new Europe.”

Hampshire Chamber’s fifth annual conference is designed to bring members and business leaders together for a day of inspiring presentations and networking opportunities alongside a business exhibition.     

Also featured will be Jody Scheckter, the South African-born 1979 F1 champion who now owns the multi-award winning 2,500-acre organic Laverstoke Park Farm at Overton near Basingstoke. He will discuss how to build a successful business from scratch without compromising any ideals.

In addition, John Denham, former Southampton Itchen MP and cabinet minister who is chairman of think tank the Southern Policy Centre and a visiting professor at the University of Winchester, will talk about how companies can ‘grow' their people and skills.

Gary Jeffries, chairman of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and a partner with property consultancy Hughes Ellard, will focus on business growth. 

David Stevenson, head of Alt Finance UK, will address delegates on alternative ways of funding business growth.

Andy Stanford-Clark, IT research engineer who leads a research team at IBM, will talk about “The Internet of Things” and future business opportunities.

Sandra Sassow, chief executive officer and co-founder of Hampshire-based SEaB Energy, manufacturer of waste-to-energy systems, will give a talk.

Leanne Stewart of Fareham-based niche publishing company Mercator Media will be looking at Growing Your Customer Base.

There will also be a panel of experts, including Kevin Stansfield of ActionCoach, Jeffries, Stevenson, Stanford-Clark and Steve Driver of Spirit Circuits, answering questions on challenges to growth.

The conference will begin with the Brexit Breakfast at 7am. The guest speakers’ programme will begin at 9am before concluding with a buffet lunch until 2pm.

The conference is backed by financial experts Smith & Williamson and ActionCoach Business Coaching. The event also includes business exhibition stands.

The conference costs £30 +VAT for Hampshire Chamber members and £40 +VAT for non-members. To book a place visit


Fareham: Roots to Growth speaker will take positive line on Brexit

Gail Thomas, Europe and Asia MD of Southampton-based TW Metals