Richard Hogg and Bruce Heppenstall

Industry leaders strengthen regional cross-sector relationships

Better cross-industry connections are needed to drive innovation, develop efficiencies and bolster the resilience of the region’s industrial sectors. This was the message at the first in a series of specialist networking events run by Jackson Hogg.

BEL Valves Deputy CEO and former General Manager of GE Wellstream, Bruce Heppenstall delivered a keynote speech which emphasised the importance of forging connections, both within, and outside of the delegate’s sectors at the event, held at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art on Gateshead’s Quayside.

Richard Hogg, Managing Director of Newcastle-based Jackson Hogg recruitment, was inspired to create an event to connect high-level business people after identifying a need for enhanced cross-sector connections through his work with the world’s stop engineering firms.

Having seen first-hand the importance of the manufacturing and energy sectors to employment in the region, Mr Hogg recognised the potential for better networks across the industry to boost innovation and efficiency, which in turn, helps to secure employment in economically uncertain times.

Richard Hogg said: “The skills and talent in the North East’s engineering companies is second-to-none, but more often than not people don’t know what’s going on in other sectors. With growth in manufacturing flat and risks in oil and gas, there has never been a more important time for companies to look beyond their comfort zones for new opportunities.

“Time and time again it has been proven that businesses which proactively identify new opportunities and find new, improved ways of doing things are able to weather storms whilst their flat-footed competitors may struggle.

“In every industry, and between industries, better connections lead to new opportunities. There are lessons learned with one sector that can lead to improvements in others, it’s just a case of connecting people and this what this event was designed to facilitate.”

Michael Williams, Managing Director of PDL Ports was amongst those in attendance. He said: “Many thanks to Jackson Hogg for the first, in what I hope to be a series, of senior networking events. It was a pleasure to join a targeted group of senior managers, owners and entrepreneurs from the region in a fantastic social setting at the BALTIC.

“While the weather did its utmost to dampen our enthusiasm, the atmosphere indoors was lively, open and engaging and the opportunity to talk and network in an evening free from too much structure was an absolute pleasure. I look forward to the next one.”

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