Awards scheme building a business community 
Even after more than 40 years in business it’s always nice to win an award. There was a BAFTA a long time ago for the “Winning” series of business programmes for the BBC, but the top brass bagged all the tickets so we don’t really talk about it! 
HEYPIB hit the awards scene in 2019 like a breath of fresh air. It was founded by Jo Fleming, a teenage mum who worked in random jobs and who didn’t really launch her career until she was 27. 
Her versatility, innovation and determination have enabled her to move effortlessly from running a mainstream recruitment firm to the specialist events and technology repertoire of GB Connect. 
HEYPIB did very well, it turned a few heads and Jo and her team were on course for a bumper awards ceremony in 2020. We all know what happened next! 
But they bounced back in style in 2021 with a virtual ceremony and I felt honoured, proud and delighted to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award because, apart from anything else, it showed they’re aware of what I’ve done in the past and interested in what I have to offer in the future. 
That matters because the HEYPIB community, which is growing rapidly, is still a new kid on the block in terms of business networks. It’s bringing together the big hitters and the well-connected, including Reckitt, Cranswick and Chameleon Business Interiors, alongside some of the lesser-known SMEs and the rising stars. 
What impressed me from talking to Jo before and after the awards was the values behind HEYPIB, the ambition to grow in the future and the willingness to learn which is a big part of that. 
Jo said: “From start-ups to global brands, what came up time and again was the significant impact people have had on driving business success and a positive culture during what has been one of the most challenging years any of us have ever witnessed. 
“This year, businesses have relied on the skills, determination, loyalty and tenacity of their teams to prosper, and each winner is entirely deserving of the recognition. we’re already planning for next year, with businesses outside of the region showing an interest in the ‘People in Business Awards’ concept. Watch this space!” 
There’s a big age difference between us, but I’m looking forward to finding ways to help HEYPIB and its business community. 
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