Jayne Taggart CEO Causeway Enterprise Agency, Annette Deighan Manager at Causeway Chamber of Commerce, guest speaker Jennifer McKeever MD of Airporter and President of Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Melanie McAllister manager of the Ulster Bank with bank Business Director Lisa McCaul
Global Entrepreneurship Week ended on a high for Causeway Enterprise Agency with Jennifer McKeever, Managing Director of Derry/Londonderry based coach firm, Airporter delivering a powerful session to her fellow female entrepreneurs on the North Coast
CEA partnered with Ulster Bank and Causeway Chamber of Commerce to host their monthly Women in Business networking event. The newly refurbished offices of the Coleraine Ulster Bank branch was the setting for the event and it was the perfect opportunity to meet the newly appointed Branch Manager Melanie McAllister, supported by Lisa McCaul from Business Banking
As always, that critical space was allowed for connections and conversations to be made, enjoyed all the more by the delicious Thai & Vietnamese supper provided by Whoosh Street Food Café. As we nibbled on the yummy eats, experiences and contacts were shared and of course ideas for potential business and collaborations were explored! These ladies mean business at these events!
Jennifer talked us through her career and journey in business regaling us with stories of her ups and downs. She spoke with such honesty, humility and vulnerability, sharing just how her and her husband struggled to grow a strong and robust company….even 15 years down the line! On numerous occasions they were ready to throw the towel in and let the business go to the wall, but with drive and resilience she kept pushing on to build the thriving company Airporter is today, with a 21-strong fleet of coaches, transporting 160,000 passengers per year
There was a very powerful message on how she personally grew and developed both as an individual and as a highly effective and exceptional leader. “For so long I felt like a fraud” she shared. “I felt I was out of my depth!” She talked about how she attended local business events and felt she didn’t deserve a seat at the table – she had nothing of value to contribute! But this mind set changed. Jennifer’s passion to make a difference and her courage to just be herself and speak from her gut and her heart earned her so much respect from the local business community, so much so that in 2017 she was voted in as Leader and President of Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce!
This for her was the start of yet another testing but very rewarding journey in terms of her own personal development. She confessed that once again she was so out of her depth and pushed well beyond her comfort zone. This journey however grew her as a person and developed her own self -awareness, giving her the confidence to realise that her contribution is of value, does make an impact and is of significance!
As Jennifer prepares to step down in her role as President of Chamber this year, having played a key leadership role in bringing the business community through very challenging times, particularly with all that is going on with Brexit, Jennifer inspired and encouraged us all that evening to Think Bold, Think Big, believe in our purpose and allow each incremental improvement and experience to grow is into the effective leaders our businesses and communities need us to be.