Gatwick Diamond Initiative Chief Returns From Sabbatical

26 April 2017

Rosemary French OBE has returned to her role as Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative following a year’s sabbatical.

She took advantage of her leave by travelling widely to enjoy new cultural experiences and undertaking local voluntary work in Surrey.  She’s now back in post, bringing new energy and fresh ideas to her role. 

Rosemary says taking time off work has had a positive effect, enabling her to spend more time with her family and friends and pursue other interests away from work. “I have really enjoyed this career break, spending more time with my husband.  When one has a busy career, work often gets in the way.  If the opportunity arises, I certainly would recommend a gap-year later in life for those who may have missed out when they were younger!

“As well as travelling, I spent time using my skills on a voluntary basis to support the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce.  This has included helping to increase its membership, organising networking events and lobbying (and failing) to save our village’s principal industrial estate and business park, which was lost to housing under the Government’s Permitted Development Rights scheme.” 

Now back in her role with the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Rosemary is excited to return.  She says: “I feel re-energised from my time away and am now planning my priorities for the year ahead.” 

There are two key projects on her radar:

The Gatwick Diamond Economic Forum is taking place on 28 June, where the results of a new research study undertaken by the ‘Centre for Cities’ will be announced.  The Gatwick Diamond Initiative, Gatwick Airport and Coast to Capital LEP co-funded the report, which will provide baseline data for the area and an economic analysis. 

The second project is the Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers 2017.  A programme of procurement training events for SMEs will be run in the lead-up to the main event on 18 October when it is hoped that 200 suppliers will be matched with 35 Buyers seeking to award new contracts.

Paul Gresham, Gatwick Diamond Initiative Co-Chair said: “We are delighted to see Rosemary return following her leave of absence.  On behalf of our Board, I’d also like to express our sincere gratitude to Jeff Alexander for his contributions and commitment to the Gatwick Diamond Initiative during the time he spent with us.”

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