LBC minutes, April 2014.  In the lovely comfort of Hugo’s, Linda Farquharson Chairwoman introduced the meeting and welcomed all the group members and Liz Murdoch, the NFU Secretary for Kincardineshire. Liz is organising all our insurances for any events we hold throughout the year and in particular the Bonfire night. It is going to be a busy and exciting year ahead as we plan events to raise funds for this event. We aim to make sure it is a safe and well-organised event with a spectacular firework display for everyone to enjoy.

LBC are also in the process of organising a farmer’s market in Laurencekirk in the future. The plans are in the early stages at the moment and a meeting is to be held at Hugo’s on Tues. the 20th May at 7pm with David Lamb (from SAC Consultancy) and Derek McDonald (Aberdeenshire Council) to discuss what will be needed to make this happen. There were discussions to launch this plan during the ‘Tea Festival’ in August.

This year, instead of holding a ‘Family Fun evening’ fund raiser, there are plans to hold a ‘Dance’ later in the year at the new Mearns Academy Hall to encourage use of this wonderful new facility. Entertainment for the night is still to be finalised, as is a date for this event. Raffle tickets will be on sale in Hugo’s and all proceeds raised will go towards the bonfire event in November.

Jacquie Donoghue, Chairwoman of the Laurencekirk Gala, introduced event details for this years Gala. It is running from the 13th to the 20th of July, with a dance in the St Laurence Hall to finish the Gala off. There will be something for everyone, and Kirstie Moar and Claire Hunter are organising the Gala day on Saturday the 19th, where just some of the things to see will be vintage tractors, meerkats and a local Pet Show.

Jacquie is involved with organising the Johnston Tower race, a wonderful family run, which has taken place for years as part of the gala event, with a challenging, but beautiful run up and around Johnston Tower and back. Programme of events will be issued soon.

Ann Johnson is the financial Director from Blaze Engineering, which recently opened new business premises in the Laurencekirk Business Park. Ann gave a very honest and intuitive insight into the world of business and how with pure grit and determination you can change a set of challenging negative experiences into an extremely positive outcome.

With hard work, determination and obviously a very good product and design skills Blaze managed to turn their fortunes, gaining contract after contract and delivering a brilliant service. Successful overseas contracts led to excellent business relationships with more business, and their company has gone from strength to strength.

Ann attributes some of their success to surrounding themselves with a team of people and friends and family who they can trust and who show great loyalty. Blaze Manufacturing has gone from a small family run business to an incredibly vibrant successful worldwide company, and continues to expand its services.

Ann shared her tips gained along the way, with advice given from a variety of sources and also personal experience, and reinforced how networking and maintaining a global reputation was part of the secret to the company’s success and continued growth. It was an incredibly inspirational talk and it will be an asset having Ann Johnson one of our business club members.

Next meeting is 20th May at Hugo’s, 7pm, to which all local business owners are invited.

by Donna Allan

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