Team United Kingdom
Please click on the Regional Director’s picture to read their profile.
The Alpha Group brings together entrepreneurs for peer-to-peer exchange and support in a unique, member-driven experience. Business owners and CEOs worldwide can be part of an exclusive group of qualified executives to brainstorm strategies, and realize the potential of increasing profit and growth.
Over 10 years corporate experience in multinational companies, with first-hand knowledge of, and experience with, various business challenges, different leadership styles, team development needs, and the challenges to implement organizational change as well as the professional and personal impediments that employees may face at the workplace.
Leveraging corporate and executive coaching experience to challenge and empower leaders and their teams to make sustainable change, internally from within, and in their interaction with others, and in the way they think, make decisions and take action on-the-job, to tunaround results.
Specialties:Corporate coaching, Executive Leadership coaching, Performance Management coaching, Organizational Change Management & Strategy Facilitation coaching, Stress Management / Work Life Balance coaching, Executive coaching, Team coaching, developing and delivering Workshops
Born and raised in Liverpool, Mark qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1979 and established his own business in 1986.
He formed a property investment company in the 1990s and it has grown to a gross value of £6 million.
In 2001 he joined BNI Bravo and as his business grew he sold the estate agency to concentrate on property management and surveying.
Mark moved the property investment company into development and it prospered until the credit crunch in the late 2000s.
In 2009 Mark rejoined BNI Bravo and set about rebuilding the chapter. The result was a spectacular success. It went from the worst performing chapter in the region to the best in the UK & Ireland, a position it held for the following 8 months.
As a result Mark was invited to help other BNI chapters reproduce the results of Bravo and in due course he was offered and purchased the franchise for BNI Manchester. He launched 7 new chapters in 6 years and was building the eighth when he sold the franchise in 2016.
Mark is also sales director of a house building company.
Diane Cannon is a powerful business driver whose entrepreneurial instincts and clarity of vision have carried multiple companies through rapid and continuos growth.
Diane started her first business in 2008 after serving 25 years within the banking sector, and has been an unstoppable force ever since. In every company Diane has ever been involved in, she has achieved outstanding personal and team results.
She is distinguished by her passion for business, her focus and commitment to meeting customer and market demands. Her contagious enthusiasm, extraordinary energy and dedication helps motivate people to deliver.
She is an energetic leader and motivator with a flair for getting things done which are two of her strengths as well as being a very determined person with tremendous drive and enthusiasm for everything she does.
As a Regional Director of The Alpha Group in Liverpool, Diane’s goal is to assist CEO’s to substantially increase the value of their company. During monthly advisory board meetings, Diane facilitates peer-to-peer exchange within a group of like-minded executives representing non-competitive business.
One of Diane’s clients has likened her to a Positive Diachotimy – “She has a vibrant, get-up-and-go, positive attitude and she uses this attitude to encourage others around her to show the same passion for success that she has. Her infectious drive ensures she gives 100% to her clients – pushing them on to be the best they can be. If walls or obstacles present themselves along the way, Di will refuse to buckle. Di will appropriately challenge business heads/owners to focus on what they need to do to move forward. She doesn’t sugar-coat bad news or sycophantically ‘support’ average ideas, Di encourages businesses to be honest and will offer feedback to develop their business. In summary it would be a wise move for any organisation to invest in bringing Di into their business – passion, drive & energy combined with extensive experience and business acumen.”
Andrew is a Chartered Certified Accountant and is a partner at G W Kelly & Company Chartered Accountants based in Bromborough on the Wirral.
He has always had a passion for helping his clients to look beyond the numbers and to develop and grow their business. Over the years Andrew has held business clubs for his clients and helped develop strategic plans, business forecasts and sales and marketing plans for his clients.
It is because of this passion that Andrew feels that The Alpha Group can help business grow beyond the traditional constraints that have always plagued small business – running a business has always been one of the loneliest activities.
The Alpha Group is there to provide help, structure and support to the business owners, as well as helping them grow their business by tried and trusted methods.
Andrew is a member of BNI Matrix and has been part of the leadership team since the chapter launched in 2014. He is currently Chapter President.
Outside of work he is married with 2 daughters, and enjoys playing golf and guitar. He is also Vice Chair of Governors at his daughters Primary School and before he was too old he used to belong to Wallasey Round Table and was Round Table Area Chairman in 1998.
Chairman, CEO, Director, Non-executive Director, Entrepreneur, Business Angel, Business Expert, Advisor and Mentor, Turnaround expert.
He has had over 80 Directorships including 13 listed Companies in London involved with 100’s of businesses, able to lead a business venture, with extensive knowledge and experience of SME multi sector business, management, growth, strategy, turnaround, financial and treasury management, IPO’s, PLC listings, venture capital and angel finance, reverse transactions, restructures and insolvency, interim and change management, consulting and mentoring, franchising, International business, mergers and acquisitions, sales and marketing, media, publishing and strategic direction Trained by Ford but since 1998 involved in listed PLC’s on AIM and PLUS. Completed in excess of 50 corporate transactions both PLC and private. Recently in turnaround, restructure, insolvency, high growth, strategy, turnaround, mentor, consulting and corporate finance/recovery sector. Raising business & angel finance (he is one himself). He has also been involved in a number of businesses from Australia that he helped set up in the UK and vice versa, also USA, Canada and Europe. Business expert with experience and skills in growth, expansion, finance, increased turnover/profit, sale/investment readiness ,increased shareholder value, sales and marketing, franchising cash flow problems, turnaround ,restructuring, insolvency
Self-motivated, flexible and proactive consultant and mediator, who has a full working knowledge of the hospitality industry, Alan’s aim is to make your project a complete success through experience and professionalism, specialities include resorts, brand development, pre-opening – opening, asset, facilities and estate management, very passionate about implementing succession planning and able to create relationships with local communities and corporate bodies alike from a career that has been developed working in various hotels, environments and locations home and abroad.
Amanda started her professional career working at IBM (UK) Ltd – working on fixed term contract in Warwick Sales Office, with the responsibility for registering new customers/hardware/software products to the IBM network and assisting with problem solving involving any newly-registered packages. Amanda was also responsible for writing and updating of all her team’s documentation in accordance with BS 5750 Regulations and training the team to follow it.
At the end of 1991, Amanda began a new job at the Office of Fair Trading. Her first role was as a Case Officer in EU Competition Cases, representing UK Government at meetings in Brussels in cases involving UIK businesses. She then moved on to managing budgets, producing monthly profit and loss accounts and budgetary forecasts for the Competition Policy Division and discovered she had a talent for the work. This led to a move to OFT’s Finance branch as Financial Planning and Strategy Manager for the Office. This involved managing OFT annual financial planning rounds, liaising with Treasury Department regarding all financial issues, producing the OFT’s Main and Supplementary Estimates each year, drafting OFT’s Departmental Plan to accompany the budgetary Estimates, managing the budgets throughout the year, producing monthly profit and loss accounts, forecasting future spending and analysing budget variance. In addition, Amanda was responsible for training all relevant staff to use the software correctly from the most senior managers to junior clerical staff. Finally Amanda worked with Finance colleagues to prepare the end-year Resource Accounts for Parliamentary publication.
In 2004, Amanda became very ill and chose to leave her Civil Service post, take a breather and decide where she wanted to go from there. She made the decision to train as a Life and Business Coach, offering confidence and self-esteem coaching to people with newly acquired medical conditions, helping them get their lives in order after a traumatic time. She became Director and Trustee of MS Action, a small charitable therapy centre for people with Multiple Sclerosis and other Neurological conditions in 2005. This involved hands-on management of the Charity alongside other Directors, including two years as Treasurer in change of all Financial planning and expenditure for the charity, writing and updating the Charity’s Business Plan and liaison with potential funders and the charity’s figureheads. As the charity is based in East London, since Amanda’s relocation to Warwick, this role is not as hands on, but she is still one of its Directors and a Trustee, so still involved in all the decision-making. In 20014, Amanda took on an additional Trustee role for the MS Therapy Centres National Committee and is involved in managing the finances and strategic plans for the Committee. She describes business coaching as the most satisfactory of all her work and has been looking forward to working with small and medium-sized businesses.
This desire stems from an early introduction to business when her father set up his own business in direct competition with his previous employer. Amanda suddenly learnt how satisfying business could be, but also how scary things could get at times. However a guaranteed holiday job had its benefits and Amanda took advantage, learning all aspects of the manufacturing business from sales and purchase office work, to shop floor production and packaging work. She even went out on customer visits and worked on the company stand at trade shows.
Now Amanda wants to spend her time working with SMEs in the Alpha group, providing support and leverage to challenge people to make sustainable change and grow their businesses.
Away from the challenges of business, Amanda is a Reiki Master/Teacher and a keen Stage Manager for a local theatre group. She is married and has a very stroppy cat who she says is much more work than her husband!
Team building and facilitation has been the foundation of Chalky’s working and volunteering life
Following eight years in the intensive world of RAF Aircrew, working within a team of 13 sensor operators, analysts and communication experts, Chalky then worked in a variety of sales environments, almost always developing a team. Politics was a slight diversion where Chalky grew the Scottish Young Conservatives from less than 300 members to the largest Political Party Youth organisation in Scotland, all in less than 11 months.
Working with Parish Councils in Cheshire may seem an environment without a team, however the role was to encourage existing Councils to do more with their vast, untapped resources, as well as helping communities that did not benefit from their own Parish Council to establish one. Both of this was achieved to the extent that Chalky was seconded to the National Association of Local Councils to expand this work across the North West of England.
Whilst this was going on, Chalky – along with Alison – was developing business interests and forming “The Chalis Partnership” (CHALky combined with ALISon) which now has interests in Network Marketing, Property, Coaching. Since March 2010 these interests have ensured that Chalky has been self-employed or director of their own companies.
At the same time, Chalky’s volunteering in the community included serving for 12 years on Middlewich Town Council (including as the Mayor), member and Chairman of the Middlewich Cemetery Board, member and Chair of the Middlewich Community and Youth Project, active involvement in many other groups and is still involved as a Freemason, trustee of an Almshouses project, Middlewich Business Forum and Young Enterprise.
All of this has combined to be the perfect learning environment for facilitating a board meeting, which are often easier than the community organisations where there is far less accountability.
After a successful career in the music industry running recording studios, writing and performing music and lecturing in audio engineering and music production, James decided to return to University to study his real Love: Human behaviour.
He studied Psychology, Communication and cross-cultural interaction at the Australian National University. He then received scholarships enabling him to do further research in the Republic of China and Thailand. Despite the psychology, anthropology and linguistic departments at the ANU inviting him to pursue a PhD, he decided he wanted to use what he had learnt out in the real world.
He trained in Coaching at Cambridge University and attended _Anthony Robbins and Chloe Madanes Centre for _Strategic Intervention.
James has hundreds of hours experience Coaching Business owners and Senior management from a plethora of industries in every continent except Antarctica.
James is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, passively capable in Cantonese Chinese, and can survive in Thai which involves communicating with the in-laws and ordering various curries and tasty snacks. He is still rather petrified by French grammar from his schooldays.
James has lived in Africa, Spain, the UK, Australia, the Republic of China, Hong Kong and Thailand. He and his lovely wife Pom now spend their time between Asia and Europe.
Sonia Brown Mbe
Sonia Brown MBE is an award winning business communicator, uber connector, coach, trainer, writer and diversity maverick with over 20 years’ experience in marketing, branding and life skills development. She is a leading authority on many areas of business, leadership, sales and marketing, as well as supporting individuals to achieve success in all areas of their life.
She founded the National Black Women’s Network; Let’s Talk Business Networking Forum and Sistatalk the UK’s leading online forum for women looking to connect with leading companies, decision makers and industry peers. More recently she launched the Inspirational Women’s Super- Summit in London (Thomson Reuters) and the Scottish Parliament.
Sonia has successfully worked with the who’s who in business and is endorsed by government departments and ministers, leading banks and financial institutions including top FTSE companies as well as working with a number of high profile champions including NatWest Business Banking, Lloyds Bank, Jaguar, LandRover, Google, ICEAW, British Bankers Association (BBA), Independent Television Network (ITN), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), American Express to name a few. She designed and implemented the Community Ambassador Programme, a dynamic social action initiative on behalf of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
(MOPAC) and the Metropolitan Police Service.
Sonia is a popular speaker and contributes to a number of radio shows,magazines and newspapers on women, diversity, public appointments and enterprise issues. She was the business editor at the Voice Newspaper and the former New Nation Newspaper. Sonia has a MA in Marketing and Communications; BA in Business Communication, as well as holding a number of professional qualifications in marketing, journalism and radio production. She is a certified NLP Practitioner.
With a passion for business and a demand for business mentoring, Sonia created EVOLVE; a six step accelerator membership programme aimed at solo and micro entrepreneurs. The programme looks to increase efficiency and profits by focusing on their internal and external processes. Participants who have completed the programme have been able to maximize their potential, improve performance and develop new revenue streams.
Sonia also works with leaders looking to function at a higher level and larger companies who are facing signature challenges or transformation issues. She will work with business owners and director in the Alpha Group setting coupled with the GOLD coaching programme, where they will see their businesses transformed, profits increased and more importantly making a ‘remarkable’ commercial impact.
Sonia has been named one of the Top 50 diversity figures in public life on the Global List nominated by readers of The Economist and is the International Alliance for Women (TIAW) 2015 World of Difference 100 Award Recipient for the economic empowerment of women and the BBI Honorary Woman Business Leader of the Year (2016).
Originally from Edinburgh, Alison has led a career in the public, private and charitable sectors.
Following attainment of a BComm from Edinburgh University in Business Studies, Alison put that immediately into practice by working through the ranks at the then independent department store Jenners, before becoming the Buyer of one of its largest departments. Within the first year of this position, by developing and leading a strong team, Alison smashed through sales targets that had been unattainable for years before.
Wholesaling then was the next step, running a £4m depot before joining the head office team to run the Commercial Department. This brought with it responsibility for supplier purchase negotiations and consumer marketing. With a budget of over £100m, relationships and getting the right terms were paramount to the success of the business nationally.
Moving to the charitable sector, Alison has run charities that support other local charities, known as infrastructure support. Bringing in monies to support communities in Cheshire and Warrington through to representing the North West as a Trustee on the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), this was a time to help use business skills to develop a more professional approach within local charities and community groups.
During this time, Alison also achieved an ILM Level 5 degree for Coaching and Mentoring, which was put into action to support local social enterprise development in Cheshire and Manchester.
On a personal front, Alison has been and continues to be actively involved in local groups. Alison was a local Town Councillor for eight years, with one year as Mayor; sat on the Borough Council for four years including becoming Portfolio Holder for Resources and is now still volunteering with four local community groups.