An informal networking event with business people from around Sussex and Brighton & Hove.

  • Future & Past Speakers at Global's Business Breakfast Club

    Aida Ashall


    Aida is a delightful young lady with severe and complex special needs which impact on all areas of daily life. She was born in Bosnia in 1997 and placed directly in to the state orphanage in Sarajevo. Aida was adopted, aged 5, by Julie, a British volunteer working in the orphanage, and came to live in the UK in 2002.

    As a child she engaged in lots of art activities at home and at school, particularly loving opportunities to play with colour. Then, in 2016 Aida was encouraged by Denise at Downs View Link College to paint a picture of the helter-skelter on the end of Brighton Pier. The painting received a lot of attention and inspired Julie to encourage her to paint some more Brighton scenes. They were stunning and Aida’s talent became apparent.

    Aida attended St John’s College from 2016 – 2019, where she painted with support from Ed and Harry. She now continues to paint at home and at Project Art Works. To begin with, Aida needed a lot of support to paint, needing her attention brought to every line, shadow, colour, etc. She is now much more independent, mainly just needing prompting to keep her focussed.

    Aida’s first big exhibition was at Café Plenty in 2017. Since then, her work has featured in a number of exhibitions, including a huge solo exhibition at the BAi360 in Sept/Oct 2018.

    You can see more of her artwork at

    Benjamin Hasker


    Benjamin presents a unique blend of magic and mentalism, specialising in close-up performances and cabaret stage shows for corporate events, parties and weddings.

    He is also one of the countries busiest performers of traditional Punch and Judy, known as Mr Punch and Judy. Benjamin visits around sixty schools a year giving talks and shows as part of the seaside topic. He is Butlin's resident performer and his show can be seen at many events throughout the year. He has been featured numerous times on television. His End Of The Pier Show is a particular favorite with care home audiences.

    And if that wasn't all Benjamin has a third side to his business with his company Royale Race Nights, providing virtual horse racing evenings predominantly for clients looking to fundraise. He has helped hundreds of clubs, charities and other good causes raise many tens of thousands of pounds.

    With a background in the fairground and circus business and a life long love of magic, by the time he was 12 he could juggle and ride a uni-cycle! At 18 became a member of the Showmen's Guild Of Great Britain and at one stage owned a complete fairground which included his self built travelling museum of oddities.

    Deciding to concentrate on the performance side, Benjamin moved into stage hypnosis shows. This led to becoming a certified hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner. It is these skills which he combines with magic and mentalism, using the power of influence and suggestion to entertain.

    Max Woodford

    Assistant Director City Development & Regeneration at Brighton & Hove City Council

    Max Woodford is Assistant Director City Development & Regeneration at Brighton & Hove City Council where he leads on positioning the city to compete economically on a national and international level. His service area includes the planning and regeneration function, and also leads on delivering the council’s vision to be carbon neutral by 2030. His team also works with partners in the area on the city and Greater Brighton City Region’s economic strategies. Max works closely with the Greater Brighton city region partners and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to promote the city and secure public and private investment in the economy and key regeneration initiatives. He is responsible for delivering the city’s £2billion investment programme and leads on as key projects such as the Brighton Waterfront and Preston Barracks development as well as establishing a joint venture to develop 1000 living wage homes.

    Andrew Crofts

    Player-Coach, Brighton & Hove Albion

    Andrew Crofts re-joined the club in July 2019 in a new role as player-coach as part of Simon Rusk’s under-23 side.

    The midfielder signed a two-year contract as one of three over-age outfield players permitted under Premier League 2 rules.

    The 35-year-old former Albion skipper enjoyed a playing career across all four top tiers in England, beginning life in the game with local club Gillingham and also representing Norwich City in the Premier League.

    With the Seagulls, Crofts had two spells on the south coast either side of his time with the Canaries, turning out for Albion 125 times and found the back of the net on 13 occasions.

    He has also represented Wales on the international stage, making 29 caps at senior level.

    Brandon Relph

    CEO – Internet Ready | The Youth Specialists

    18 year-old Brandon Relph is one of the UKs leading entrepreneurs and the worlds leading youth specialist, working with Fortune 100 companies and government bodies to expand their knowledge of Generation Z. He was formally the youngest CEO in the UK, for a year and a half.

    Back in 2014, when Brandon was just 13 he turned his love for the video game ‘Minecraft’ into a job, eventually expanding to a team of over 35. This team operated in 13 different countries, spanning every continent in the world. He oversaw global expansion and acquisitions and development of multiple brands while CEO, all while still in school!

    Since the end of 2017, Brandon exited the gaming space and focused on building a new brand and starting university at the age of 17. In early 2019 he launched his new endeavour ‘Internet Ready’ which provides a focus for his team to bring together their youth centred services - a world first. Brandon is currently CEO and Founder.

    In addition to this Brandon is an advisory board member of ThinkNation - an established youth focused events company. He is also an executive producer for some of their content and works very closely with their team on a regular basis.

    Brandon is also a partner in a new production company called Studio BE, which focuses on producing wide market formats and content for the valuable 34 and under category. Their ethos is ‘Doing Production Differently’ and they empower young and rising talent, alongside industry veterans. Get in touch to learn more. His popular podcast, ‘The Z-X Spectrum’, is now produced by them, which centres around the intergenerational view in technology, media and the digital space.

    Aswell as this Brandon is an investor in young people both financially and with his time. He hopes to expand his portfolio over the next few years. He also works closely with the charity Young Enterprise to assist children of all ages with gaining the knowledge they need to go into business, he judges both their national fiver and tenner competitions as well as hosting many Young Enterprise events.

    Described as “awesome” by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was a highlight for Brandon in his career. He has been lucky enough to pick up numerous awards being described as the ‘marketer who has done what most marketers would hope to do in their lifetime’

    Jack Hayes

    Jack "The Lad" Hayes is the multi-award winning former presenter of the Heart Sussex (nee Southern FM) breakfast show. After 15 years waking up the people of Sussex, Jack is now giving something back to the county that he loves by teaming up with the award winning team at LoveLocalJobs to deliver his ‘Dare to Dream’ program, part of the LoveLocalJobs Foundation CIC offering.

    Giving motivational and inspiring talks at schools and colleges all over Sussex, Jack will be telling the story of his journey from a poor upbringing in South London, to a successful and respected Radio host, to inspiring the future Sussex generations to follow their dreams, overcome adversity and be the best version of themselves they can possibly be.

    Alex Bebbington

    Partnerships Manager, Pride

    With over 25 years experience in media and event brand partnerships, Alex has an indepth knowledge and understanding about how to maximise partnerships for all parties to ensure mutually beneficial results.

    Born in the UK, Alex moved to Australia in her teens where she completed her education and entered the world of sponsorships and brand partnerships working for global media brands such as News Limited, Bauer and Murdoch Magazines in her time there.

    Now back in the UK and residing in West Sussex as a freelance Events Sponsorship and Brand Partnership Specialist, Alex works with Brighton Pride as part of the Partnerships team.

    Within her role at Pride, as well as being accountable for developing brand partnerships, Alex has worked closely with Pride MD Paul Kemp to bring to life the new Brighton Pride initiative City Angels.

    City Angels is a membership program for local businesses wishing to display their official support for Brighton Pride at a local level and is for businesses who care about the environment, the city and each other.

    Sally Gunnell OBE

    British Gold Olympic Medallist and Television Presenter

    Sally Gunnell OBE, is a British former track and field athlete who won the 1992 Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles.

    She is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles, and still holds the British record for the 400m hurdles over 25 years later.

    Since retiring from professional athletics, Sally has worked as a television presenter, predominantly for the BBC and is an active patron for a number of charities, including Chestnut Tree House, Sussex Search and Rescue, and GLL Sports Foundation as well as sporting many other charities. Sally is also a brand ambassador for YorkTest.

    These days, Sally delivers keynotes and corporate health and wellbeing programmes sharing her athletics career to inspire and empower others.

    The synergy between sport and business has allowed Sally to get people to believe in their own ability and become the very best that they can be.

    Elena Kerrigan

    Managing Director - Think Productive, 4 Day Week Champion, and Improv Geek.

    Elena leads the troupes at global productivity consultancy, Think Productive, which to her means energising its awesome people to make space for what matters.

    She mainly does this by getting out of the way as much as possible, asking the team to question the purpose of every meeting and the impact of everything on their to-do lists. She also takes a lunch away from her desk every day, leaves work on time, doesn’t have email on her phone or message out of hours and has worked a 4 day week for 7 years.

    She has been at Think Productive since early 2011, when she joined as Client Happiness and Logistics Manager, swiftly becoming linchpin coordinator at the disruptive Brighton start-up and being instrumental in the introduction of the 4 Day Week for the whole team later that same year.

    Prior to her life of 3 day weekends, Elena used her bilingual and diplomacy skills for four years in the world of European Interest Rate Derivative Investigations at Barclays Capital in London and Barcelona, following Project and Bid Management roles at Daimler Chrysler in Melbourne, Ernst & Young and Laing Investments in her home town of London. Throughout her career, her passion for knowledge-sharing and helping teams do things smarter (read “to stop reinventing the bloomin’ wheel”) flourished.

    She is a Joint Honours Economics and French Graduate from the University of Leeds, a fluent Spanish speaker, undomestic wife and mum to an energetic bilingual 4-year-old, member of Brighton-Based Improv Comedy troupe, Tea & Toast and a shameless fan of true crime podcasts.

    Follow Elena’s rants about how important breaks are:

    Dee Simson

    The Mayor of Brighton & Hove

    Dee has had a distinguished career in local government and has represented her ward of Woodingdean since 1999. She has taken on many responsibilities within the council having been Deputy Leader of her Group, Deputy Leader of the Council & Chief Whip. Over the years Dee has been a member of most committees, she has chaired Community Safety, Licensing & Health Scrutiny as well as being a regular member of Licensing Panels. She has been a committed member of the cross party Members Advisory Group since it was first set up to advise on grants to the Community & Voluntary sector. A sector that is very close to her heart having been an active member within it for so long.

    During her Mayoral term Dee has been enjoying meeting the residents, communities and volunteers within the city that she loves. She has welcoming visitors to the city and helped promote it as a great place to visit and do business with. In particular she is devoted to working closely with her four chosen Mayoral charities –the Martlets Hospice, Rockinghorse, Off the Fence and Grace Eyre Foundation and supporting all charities and volunteer groups in the city.

    Dee feels immensely privileged and honoured to be chosen to represent the people of Brighton & Hove as Mayor this year - a city she loves, where she was born and bred and is now seeing her children and Grandchildren grow up in.

    Steve Darby

    Marketing & PR

    City Cabs part of the Southern Taxis Group.

    Brighton Soft Drinks.

    Buddies 24hr Cafe - Bar

    Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance.

    All round networker and supporter of the City.

    Keen fan of B&HA and SCCC.

    Fundraiser for Albion in the Community.

    Involved in many events across the City.

    Compare of Global’s Business Breakfast Club

    Andrew Comben

    Chief Executive - Brighton Dome

    Born in Australia, Andrew Comben began his UK career at Wigmore Hall in 1994, moving to artist manager for Young Concert Artists Trust and Music International. He then became Director of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, returning to Wigmore Hall as Head of Artistic Planning in 2003.

    Andrew joined Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival as Chief Executive in 2008, establishing the Guest Director model for Brighton Festival (with artists such as Anish Kapoor, Laurie Anderson, Kate Tempest and David Shrigley) and developing a new vision for the organisation as a year-round centre of artistic activity and involving all areas of the community in the performing arts. BD&BF together reach an annual audience in excess of 650,000 and contribute over £40m pa to the local economy. The Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre are currently undergoing a £21m major redevelopment and are due to re-open in 2019.

    Sandra Crathern

    Trained Nurse and NLP Master Practitioner Life Coach

    After spending over 30 years as a Registered Nurse I founded Innavision to help people identify areas in their lives that are not as balanced as they could be. As a Health and Wellbeing specialist using some unique tools I have created I work with clients to evaluate whether their physical and emotional health are well balanced. By harnessing specialist techniques clients can expect empathy, respect, understanding and most of all a sense of direction.

    "In my thirties, I started to question my life. My marriage was in trouble, I was increasingly reliant on food, nicotine and caffeine and becoming unhappier by the day. Someone suggested seeing a life coach – thinking ‘what have I got to lose?’ I went. It changed my life forever".

    In 2007 I trained as an NLP master practitioner life coach and specialised in Health and Wellbeing. I obtained my ACC Accreditation in 2016.

    I am a regular speaker at Champneys Health Spa, and for the Peel Cruise Agency as well as at businesses and events both nationally and internationally as a motivational speaker

    Andy Garth

    Owner Of Brighton & Hove Stuff

    Andy Garth is a born and bred Brightonian and for nearly 40 years has worked in property in Brighton and Sussex where he found his passion for the history that the now City is full of and from that hobby/ interest he opened a shop in Hove called Brighton and Hove Stuff, selling anything and everything to do with the city’s heritage.

    After 5 years as a part time property consultant and part time shopkeeper he decided to go online only and now gives talks on his subject to schools, care homes, U3a groups and local businesses as well as still buying selling and collecting all things Brighton and Hove.

    He holds a bi- monthly auction of said items and is always on the hunt for new bits and bobs.

    He is an ex President of the Brighton and Hove Estate Agents Association and has been the dinner secretary for the annual dinner for the last 25 years.

    He is a trustee of Preston Nomads Cricket Club and heavily involve in Youth cricket in Sussex.

    Maarten Hoffmann

    CEO of The Platinum Group

    Maarten Hoffmann is the CEO of The Platinum Group, comprising Platinum Publishing, Platinum Events and the Platinum Club. Based in Brighton, the Group own the largest circulation business magazines in the entire UK, own all the business awards in the region and run the most successful peer to peer networking group in the county.

    After 25 years as a Producer/Director at the BBC in London working with artistes such as Bette Midler, Elton John, Leo Sayer, Lenny Henry, Dawn French and Bruce Forsyth, he then went onto Channel 4 and Directed the first ever Light Entertainment show following the channels launch, followed by a freelance career that saw him work with the majority of the blue-chip corporations in the world. After leaving television, he then took off around the work building scuba diving resorts and didn't return for over 15 years.

    This media experience has now been brought to bear on a raft of magazine titles and the show-business experience on the events, ensuring that Brighton is home to one of the most vibrant companies in the sector.

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