Biz Extra

Published: June 4, 2020 | Updated: June 4, 2020

20 Questions: Mandy Polkey, MD, Stir Events, takes the hotseat for our popular weekly Q&A

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

Her childhood hero is actor John Wayne, she describes herself as a foodie but doesn’t like sponge, chooses Louis Armstrong singing What A Wonderful World as her favourite piece of music and would like to be remembered as someone always trying to help the business community. 

Mandy Polkey, Managing Director, Stir Events, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: I don’t really watch TV to be honest. If I do it’s normally the news or a good film – often a soppy drama I’m afraid to admit.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Boris Johnson. I’d love to discuss his thoughts on the economic recovery of the UK, especially the towns and high streets.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Seeing the successful outcomes of the projects I am involved with or directly managing.

Q: And the worst…?

A: The great unknown that is financial management. For events to be successful you need to deal with grey areas, hidden costs, sponsorship etc, etc.

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: Probably John Wayne. I met him when I was five. He was very tall and I had to look up to him.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: I have been only able to smell for the last few months after years of nothingness. It has to be coffee.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: The beaches of Southbourne to Highcliffe.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: The basics. Do your market research, actually write a business plan but most of all look at the changing times right now. Look forward as business is being done in a different manner through the impacts of Covid-19. Think – do you need an office space etc. There are many new exciting gaps in the market right now worth exploring.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: Top of the Pops album. 1974 was the first one I purchased but before then I was gifted a huge amount of singles and albums from the 1950’s and 60’s from my sisters and brother in law. I was indoctrinated into rock’n’roll and rockabilly from a very early age.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: I rarely get angry but I do get frustrated when people don’t do what they say they will do.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World. My Dad used to sing it in the bath.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: As well as the normal elements of good time keeping, passion and ambition I also look for flexibility and the ability to be dynamic.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: I’m a foodie with many favourites. I love so many things. My husband believes I have 500 favourites!

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Plate of melon – I hate sponge.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: The closeness to the sea, coastline and forest. I have worked as a retail consultant in all ten towns and they each have a unique flavour.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Ensure support is in place for the retail sector and high streets going forward. Change is happening with speed. It will need a firm hand to guide the process going forward.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: Right now it’s the menopause. Not a thing that is often talked about in business but the regular tiredness and bouts of lethargy are very frustrating.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: Rome is my very favourite city. We had to cancel South Africa due to isolation so I’m looking forward to going when possible.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Alive and kicking I hope. Still very involved in events and business plus enjoying time with my family.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Always trying to support the business community. I have been heavily involved with Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce for many years and always support the area in which I live. At the moment I am the Chair of the Highcliffe Action Team – @Love Highcliffe – where we support the trading area. Through the events that we at Stir Events manage, we always try and involve as many local businesses as possible. At the moment it’s not the £ symbol, it’s the E word that will help the businesses the most. Exposure through marketing and PR is the E word.