Andy comes from an ordinary working class family in Grantham, Lincolnshire. His father was a plumber and his mother a nurse. He went to The King's School in Grantham, a grammar school even though he initially failed the Eleven Plus. He received a first-class BEng Hons in Gas Engineering from the University of Salford in 1987 as part of a British Gas scholarship, spending a year on the job in the gas industry. He started as a graduate trainee engineer with British Gas. In 1988, he worked for Manchester-based Hopkinsons Group, one of British Gas's suppliers, as a marketing manager. In 1992-3, he studied for an MBA at Cranfield School of Management where he came top of his class.
In April 1994 he was contacted by a recruitment consultancy looking for bright young people to join Asda - the hottest company around at that time having transformed the UK supermarket sector. He began at Asda as a Marketing Manager for Archie Norman and was noted for his determination and eye for detail. In 1998 he became Corporate Marketing Director; then in 1999, he became European own-label director.
At the end of 2000, Andy asked the chief executive Paul Mason if there was any chance he could take over George (worth about £1bn a year on its own in the UK). ‘My parents and my wife's parents were in the Midlands and I was in Leeds at head office, and George was run in the Midlands. I wanted to move, so the children could see more of their grandparents.'
It was seen as a 'cheeky' request as he had no background in fashion, but he did have knowledge of product development. Just two months after he tabled his wish, George Davies, the founder of George, resigned and Andy got his job. Under his tenure, George overtook M&S as the UK's largest fashion retailer by volume. After four years, he moved back to Leeds, to be Chief Operating Officer, managing the stores and distribution centres. In 2005, CEO Tony DeNunzio resigned, leaving Andy shocked, but he was then offered the post of CEO. He signed the contract on the day before his birthday – he was a 39-year-old chief executive for just a few hours.
Andy came back to the University of Salford in May 2007 to officially open the Business School, during which he said ‘I take pride in my association with Salford’.
In 2008 he won The Grocer Cup for Outstanding Business Achievement, one of the grocery industry’s top accolades.
Andy has numerous interests outside of work: he is a keen sportsman who, for fun, will cycle 100 miles. He says he genuinely believes in the connection between an active mind and an active body and wants to encourage teenagers to do more sport. In 2010, Andy cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats as a part of Asda’s Pedal Power team, raising over £2.2 million for charity.
Born in 1937 to Ernest and Elsie, Alan graduated with a BSc from London School of Economics, and has a PhD from Churchill College, Cambridge. He has held academic posts at Southampton University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, The London Business School and the University of New South Wales, Australia. He was a member of the Securities and Investments Board and was Group Economic Adviser to Barclays Bank. He was Deputy Chairman of the Economic Policy Committee of the OECD, and was a founder member of the UK-Japan Group. From 1991-1997 he was Chief Economic Advisor to H.M. Treasury and head of the Government Economic Service, before he became a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England.
He was a founder member of the UK-Japan 2000 Group. He is currently a Senior Adviser to Credit-Suisse First Boston, a member of the Advisory Board of London Economics, a consultant to the G7 Group, New York, an executive editor of World Economics and a governor of the National Institute. He chaired the Gambling Review Body and was a member of the Burns Committee on the future of the BBC. He conducted the Inquiry into the then Home Secretary David Blunkett and a visa application, and was knighted in 1997. Since 1999 he has been Provost of The Queen’s College, Oxford.
Sir Alan’s connection with Salford came about in 1999 as a consequence of Chairing a Government Body charged with reviewing all aspects of gambling law. He produced an exemplary report clearing up anomalies, addressing new regulatory needs and judiciously proposing to extend somewhat consumer choice while retaining and, in many ways, strengthening appropriate consumer protections; the bulk of his proposals were incorporated into the Gambling Act of 2005. Government for the first time had the ability to ensure that commercial gambling is carried out in a socially responsible way, with adequate resources put into place to ensure that help is available for those who get into trouble with compulsive or excessive gambling.
Early on, Sir Alan most graciously and generously agreed to serve as a member of the Advisory Board to the University’s Centre for the Study of Gambling and, in that capacity, he continues to provide great and illustrious service to our University.
Sir Alan wrote The Politics of Economic Planning in 1976 and enjoys music and gardening in his spare time.
At the age of 14, Grant began his catering career, helping in his father’s fish and chip shops and cafeterias in Salford, one of which was located on Chapel Street; a stone’s throw away from the University. Aged 16, he attended the University (then Salford Technical College) and achieved distinction grades in his catering examinations.
He began his career as a chef for hotels including the Midland Hotel, Manchester, Broughton Park and Preston. Following this he transferred to management status at the Embassy Group. Chapman progressed rapidly and was a General Manager for a luxury hotel in Norwich within 4 years.
With his entrepreneurial skills, Grant became self-employed and formed Chapman Holmes in 1988 with school friend Stuart Holmes. Despite working from home, the company rapidly progressed: in which they catered for over 50 events in their first year of operations.
In 1990, Chapman Holmes’ big break came when they were contracted to cater ‘The Official Opening of the Conway Tunnel’ with 2000 guests, spanning 4 days. Involved was the organising of logistical support, interior design, cuisine, security and venue. On the final day 600 dignitaries attended, of which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was the guest of honour.
Since its creation, Chapman Holmes has become one of the country’s leading providers of outside caterers and corporate event services. To date some of the clients include Prince’s Trust, Bentley, Barclays, HMV, The National Trust, Ford and Cheshire Polo Club.
Peter is a world-renowned architect who was born in 1939 and educated at Oxford University. He was on the steering group for the regeneration of Pier 8 at Salford Quays and helped influence the decision to build a theatre on the site by drawing a sketch of the Royal Albert Hall on the plans for the area.
He was instrumental in developing the Laganside area in Belfast and was on the jury to judge entries into the competition to develop the new visitor facilities at Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. He was also involved in the development of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and Lansdowne Road in Dublin, and is helping on the project to build a new national stadium in Belfast.
Peter often worked with Sir Peter Shepheard, before Shepheard’s death in 2002, and Gabriel Epstein, and their work was typically modest and suited to the programmes of housing and education in which they specialised. In 2006 Peter was awarded an OBE for his services to Economic Regeneration in Northern Ireland.
Sir Ralph was a British businessman, recipient of the Queen's Award for Export Achievement for his work in the pharmaceutical industry, and professional baritone. Educated at Salford Grammar School, he won a scholarship to Manchester University from where he obtained Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees. He was also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
Sir Ralph was a Jewish businessman who won the Queen’s Export Award for his work in the pharmaceutical industry and he is also a renowned Baritone singer.
Originally born into a privileged family in Leipzig, Germany, his family moved to Amsterdam in response to the anti-semitic laws passed in Nazi Germany in the thirties. The Kohns settled in Manchester and Ralph excelled at school; he chose to study pharmaceuticals at university, encouraged by the major drug developments of the 1950s. As a doctoral student he met Alexander Fleming and went on to work with two Nobel Prize winners in Italy. It was in Rome that Ralph’s love of singing flourished – learning under the renowned teacher Manlio Marcantoni who introduced him to the great Opera tenor Gigli. Thereafter he worked with Charles Wadsworth in New York, and continued his vocal training in London with Helen Isepp, Otakar Kraus and Derek Hammond-Stroud.
Sir Ralph gave numerous recitals and performances with orchestra in the UK and abroad, including concerts in London at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. For radio, he recorded songs and cycles by Schubert, Beethoven, Schumann, Mahler, Duparc, Vaughan Williams and Kilpinen. He had been accompanied by – amongst others – Martin Isepp, Peter Gellhorn, Geoffrey Parsons, Sir Charles Groves and Paul Hamburger.
London appearances included performances of Bach Cantatas and the Fauré Requiem at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St John’s, Smith Square. Amongst his recordings are a Beethoven lieder recital, accompanied by Roger Vignoles, Italian baroques arias and Bach cantatas with the English Chamber Orchestra and one recording included the world première of lieder by Robert Kahn, together with song cycles by Brahms and Mahler. He also recorded Schubert’s Winterreise, Schwanengesang and Die Schöne Müllerin, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Beethoven song cycles and songs by Ravel, all accompanied by Graham Johnson.
He was Chairman of The Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and was Committee Chairman of Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage. He was on the Board of Curators of the Bach-archiv in Leipzig, Honorary Trustee of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, founding member of the Jewish Music Institute and Trustee of the Rudolf Kempe Society.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Ralph worked for numerous major pharmaceutical companies including Smith Kline French and Robapharm before setting up his own company Advisory Services Clinical Ltd in 1969. In music, he appeared at the Wigmore Hall, The Queen Elizabeth and Albert Halls and John Smith Square, as well as producing 12 CDs.
During 1997, Bob joined the University of Salford as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow. Within this role he conducted research into how community-based financial institutions could make an effective contribution to the long term regeneration of poorer UK communities. Alongside Dr Karl Dayson, he co-founded the Community Finance Solutions (CFS), of which he is one of the project directors. CFS is a research and development division, within the University of Salford, engaged in developing integrated solutions for social and financial inclusion, and community asset ownership. He is the public face of CFS, speaking at conferences and events, and is responsible for their future drive and fundraising.
Collaboration between CFS and the new economics foundation resulted in the development of Community Land Trusts (CLTs). Bob said that ‘CLTs plug the gap between owner-occupied housing and social housing by taking the price of the land out of the equation.’ CLTs would therefore provide affordable housing for members of the community, as well as promoting resident involvement. This work has continued and he is leading the CLT National Demonstration Programme supporting the first cohort of rural and urban CLTs and is advocating change at a national level. This work was funded by a grant from the Housing Corporation and Carnegie UK Trust and by the Department for Communities and Local Government Empowerment Fund
Bob was the driving force behind the first British Community Reinvestment Trusts, the Salford Money Line and the Portsmouth Area Regeneration Trust. In 2008 he was elected as an Ashoka Fellow.
Angie attended Westwood High School in Leek, Staffordshire, before studying at Shrewsbury College and then Madeley College of Education. She began her career with Manpower Services Commission, where she was involved in training, marketing and development. She later became a consultant with Training for Advancement, working in the private sector, before being appointed deputy chief executive at Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council.
From there she was appointed chief executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, Training and Enterprise and Business Link, before coming to Manchester in 2000, when she was appointed chief executive of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Since her arrival the chamber has gone from strength to strength, working hard on policy and public relations. It was given a Most Effective Campaigning award in 2005 for persuading the Government to restore £520 million of funding for the city’s Metrolink tram service.
As well as her position at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Angie is a director of North West Chambers Ltd and holds a variety of board-level positions in organisations across the city. Despite all the pressures on her time, she also became a member of the Salford Business School’s Advisory Council.
Angie co-authored Through the Glass Ceiling in 1993, a book detailing the ‘skills necessary for women to progress 'through the glass ceiling' and into senior management.’
John was born in Walkden in 1945. His father was a gas mains layer who had to retire due to ill health in 1950. John was an only child and left school at 15 with dreams of becoming a TV engineer. After 12 months working for Sutton’s Piper Fabrications, he finally got the job he wanted in Farnworth. He stayed there until he was 20 before moving on to a job at Granada TV Rental on Langworthy Road, not far from The Willows.
He was introduced to the world of Rugby League by his wife-to-be Elaine and her family, who were all Swinton fans, but he turned his affections towards Salford City Reds (now Salford Red Devils) when they signed Rugby Union ace David Watkins and became the glamour club of rugby league. He started attending games regularly and jumped at the chance to buy a controlling stake in the club in 1981.
Since then, although Salford have had their ups and downs, they have become known as one of the best-run clubs in the game, down in no small part to the intelligent work of the John and the rest of the board. One of the biggest decisions they have had to make in recent years has been to relocate the team to a new stadium across the city in Barton, with planning permission being granted in 2006.
John was awarded an OBE in 2001 for Services to the City of Salford (sporting, business and otherwise), and has been given the nickname ‘Mr Salford’ due to his pride for the city he grew up in. John is very much a man of Salford and will undoubtedly provide a significant legacy to Salford and be a key figure in its history.