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9 February, 2017

B90 celebrates it’s 2nd Birthday

The B90 Business Network celebrated its 2nd Anniversary event on 22nd January 2017 at Crust in Shirley. The Network has grown from strength to strength in providing professionals a chance to network and develop business growth across Solihull and the B90 postcodes.

Mark Farren, Martin Clifford and Gail Orton kindly hosted the event and celebrated our Anniversary with a B90 birthday cake baked by Kate Gillespie. This was presented to the B90 group, each guest was also presented with cakes made by the pupils from Hazel Oak School.

P11 Cake                                Inside Card

Mark Farren who opened the B90 meeting up was completely upstaged by new Arthur Marsh employee Rob Rankin, “The Singing Insurance Broker” joined him on stage and did his party piece to the group, press ups whilst singing “Luciano Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma”.

Lorna D Sheldon presented a compelling presentation on “Communicate your way through Brexit”. Lorna has run several “Communication Skills” courses, for which several of our members have attended and improvised their communication skills. It was tremendous to have Ann-Marie Aston of the Wilkes Partnership and Zak Jones from Corporate Media to present a one minute platform for themselves, with Lorna providing honest and compelling feedback to them, allowing the group to give an honest review of the presentations.

Paul Laurie, a Governor of Hazel Oak School, presented our educational spot on the upcoming events of Hazel Oak School.  Not only is the network providing an opportunity for business professionals to expand their network on a local level, but it’s also a chance for businesses to support Hazel Oak School which is our chosen charity again for 2017.

Donna Cleaver, the schools Business Enterprise Liaison, represented the enterprise college and expressed how useful and effective the B90 Network has been in enabling access to key professionals within the community and harness local businesses for future work experience placements.

B90 has provided £235 towards a Scrap Membership Card from which Hazel Oak can collect as much scrap material as they can collect monthly.

2017 is an exciting time for B90, as Ann-Marie Aston from the Wilkes Partnership has joined us to present and grow B90, with Mark Farren and Martin Clifford of Arthur Marsh to help businesses and professionals maximise on local expertise and opportunities, attracting both customers and suppliers. The duo realised despite the large number of businesses within the local area, there was a distinct lack of local B2B sourcing within Solihull, Shirley, and Hall Green.

Arthur Marsh has supported B90 throughout the year and has provided a different member of staff for every event to help support the B90 team.

Reflecting on our past year B90 network have organised have organised events at Hogarth’s, The Village Hotel, Desco Lounger for our Christmas Social, Ramada Hotel, Hillfield Farm, Birmingham & Solihull Rugby Club and Akamba.

Gail Orton from Orton Media is a key member of the B90 team and helps us by arranging great venues, her tireless work is very much appreciated by the B90 team.

Guest Speakers have included Steve Hadley from Peninsula Business Services, Steve Hensel from Cre8 Health and Fitness, Lorna D Sheldon, Malcolm Barnfield from MCB Financial Services & Karl Badrick St James Place, Eileen Fegan from Solihull Health Check Clinic, Andrew Cole MBE General Manager of Touchwood Shopping Centre, Stephen Grinnell InterX Therapist and Simon Toon from ST-IT Limited.

2017 sees us returning to The Village Hotel in February, Hillfield Farm for March and Hazel Oak School are hosting for us in April. We will be having guest speakers and speakers from within the group, with a return to the very successful Speed Networking event.

Our events are held on the last Wednesday of each month.

Attendees will benefit from B2B networking and speakers on a variety of informative topics including HR legislation, recruitment, effective marketing, social media and cost reduction strategies amongst others. There are no minimum attendance requirements or pressure to make referrals, just a great environment to meet like-minded businesses.

For more information and to receive details on forthcoming events please email the team on or follow us on twitter @Buisness_B90

Mark Farren said “The aim of the group is to create profitable partnerships, share solutions and build new opportunities. We know some people are nervous about networking, so we guarantee a warm welcome in a relaxed and informal format. We are looking forward to networking with fellow professionals and assisting businesses in the heart of the Midlands.”

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