Show cover of Island Influencers

Island Influencers

Welcome to Island Influencers, where we share stories of successful business owners, experienced professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders based or with influence in the Isle of Man. This podcast is brought to you by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, because great Financial Planning has the power to change your life.


Island Influencer Boakesey Closs, the IXth Manx Bard
This week’s Island Influencer’s life story is nothing short of jaw-dropping. I am only scratching the surface with this introduction. Boakesey Closs, the IXth Manx Bard, embodies resilience in every word she weaves. Born amidst unexpected circumstances in London during her mother's return from Nigeria, Boakesey's life path defies convention from the outset. Raised in North Wales, she navigated a childhood marked by unique challenges. She exhibited remarkable intellect from a young age, mastering calculus and delving into Tolkien's epic tales in "Lord of the Rings" at a mere eight years old. Throughout the conversation, Boakesey candidly shares her experiences navigating through various trials, including caring for her grandmother battling Alzheimer's while embracing single parenthood and pursuing a degree in biochemistry. She speaks openly about her battles with mental and physical health, finding solace and healing through creative expression. A dedicated teacher, Boakesey finds joy in shaping young minds. She recounts personal stories of her students' successes and her own reading and watercolour painting pursuits. Despite facing financial hardships, Boakesey remains undeterred. She eagerly anticipates new projects and ventures as a writer and facilitator and is steadfast in her mission to uplift and support others. Join us in episode 109 of Island Influencers, where we celebrate the triumphs of the human spirit with Boakesey Closs. 
56:27 4/3/24
Sinead O’Connor, Head of the Regulatory and Compliance Services team at DQ Advocates, Isle of Man
The wonderful Sinead O’Connor is my 108th Island Influencer, and she heads the Regulatory and Compliance Services team at DQ Advocates, based in the Isle of Man. Sinead is a seasoned professional in the compliance sphere, with a career spanning back to the mid-1990s. However, her credentials are not the only thing that sets her apart.  Born in Northern Ireland, she found her “freedom and sense of belonging” and home on the Isle of Man after two transformative summers spent on the island. Since then, Sinead has become integral to the regulatory landscape, serving as a beacon for best practices and compliance excellence. Sinead's contributions extend beyond the boardroom. With a heart for community service, she has been an active member of the Samaritans leadership team for over 12 years. And when she's not navigating the complexities of compliance or leading community initiatives, you might find her enjoying a leisurely walk with her cockapoo or diving into the pages of a compelling book. Here is episode 108 with Island Influencer Sinead O’Connor.  
49:20 3/20/24
Island Influencer Fiona Fitzpatrick
Welcome to episode 107 of Island Influencers! Chatting with Fiona Fitzpatrick, an esteemed International Business Development Consultant, Coach, Facilitator, and Speaker is my absolute privilege. With a wealth of experience, Fiona specialises in empowering food companies to achieve growth through strategic brand optimisation, people development, and innovative thinking. In this episode, Fiona shares her life story, beginning with her childhood in Dublin, where she reflects on the profound impact of her early Montessori education and the guidance of mentors who shaped her path. Delving into the transformative power of love, Fiona recounts how it brought her to the Isle of Man alongside her partner Juan. She candidly discusses her career trajectory, from her roles at Nestle and Premier Foods to her dynamic experience at Gü, where she played a pivotal role in business growth despite the challenges. Throughout our conversation, Fiona opens up about the highs and lows of her career, including her courageous battle with breast cancer and the resilience she discovered in the face of adversity. We also explore the unique challenges and opportunities present on the Isle of Man. Fiona looks ahead with optimism, eager to apply her extensive international expertise to foster growth and innovation locally. Here is episode 107 with Island Influencer Fiona Fitzpatrick. Useful links: LinkedIn: Website: Instagram: @brandgrowthheroes Podcast: Brand Growth Heroes Accelerator Programme: Overview | LinkedIn Book: All The Broken Places: The Sequel to The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas  Brand Growth Heroes is proud to be launching the Brand Growth Heroes mini MBA powered by Alantra. Running from April 29th to July 5th 2024, the mini MBA is open to ambitious founders of scaling challenger brands of consumer packaged goods products. To find out more about the mini MBA and apply for your place please click here. Please subscribe, and leave a rating and review, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to help others find the show. Island Influencers is produced by Bear Content & Social KEWS Sponsored by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners
64:01 3/6/24
Personal Trainer and Entrepreneur Juan Cheung, Island Influencer
Join me this week as I chat with Personal Trainer Juan Cheung. Juan's story is deeply rooted in the Isle of Man; he was born in Douglas. Growing up, his parents ran a successful local Chinese takeaway, instilling a solid work ethic and a sense of achievement in him. From his experiences in high school sports to navigating the financial industry, Juan's journey eventually led him to become a personal trainer, bodybuilder, and entrepreneur. He finds immense joy in witnessing his clients achieve their fitness goals and embark on transformative journeys like his own. Having a personal trainer like Juan has been indispensable for me—it's a stress reliever that keeps me committed to the gym three times a week, which is crucial for my mental and physical well-being. Juan underscores the importance of perseverance and facing challenges head-on, especially in the most difficult moments. Additionally, he offers insights into his upcoming endeavours, such as developing a fitness app, and shares his invaluable seven rules for life. I hope Episode 106 leaves you enriched and inspired. Useful links: Facebook: Instagram: @abf_juan_cheung_pt LinkedIn: James Clear - Atomic Habits Matthew McConaughey - Greenlights Mike Thurston Podcast, who's a fitness YouTuber influencer as well Please subscribe, and leave a rating and review, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to help others find the show. Island Influencers is produced by Bear Content & Social KEWS Sponsored by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners
46:14 2/21/24
Island Influencer Andrea Chambers
This week's Island Influencers conversation is rich with insight and a heartfelt warmth that is undoubtedly going to resonate. I welcome Andrea Chambers, Chief Executive Officer at Isle Listen and Minds Matter. Andrea, a proud Manx native, shares her journey from nursing, including her time in the special care baby unit. We'll also explore her transition to full-time motherhood and the path that ultimately led to her pivotal role at Isle Listen, an organisation dedicated to supporting mental health. She also discusses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health referrals and offers insights into her interests and inspirations. Here is my conversation with Andrea Chambers in episode 105 of Island Influencers.  
41:53 2/7/24
Island Influencer Jeroen Wats
Welcome to Episode 104 of Island Influencers!  Today, we delve into the captivating life story of Jeroen Wats, a remarkable Island Influencer and inventor whose lifelong passion for the sea has shaped his life.  Learn about his pivotal moment in 2003, when his team won the transatlantic race from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, covering a staggering 4,000 nautical miles in 20 days and raising considerable money for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Fuelled by a passion for sustainability, Jeroen has shifted gears, transitioning from boat production to pioneering recyclable materials for wind turbines. In this episode, we unravel his commitment to positive environmental impact.  Despite living in six countries, Jeroen discovered an unexpected connection with the Isle of Man. What began as a single-day visit became a life-changing decision to call the island home.  He seamlessly integrates into the community, bringing diverse experiences, knowledge and a passion for environmentalism.  I hope you find our conversation as enjoyable and enriching as I did. Here is episode 104 with Jeroen Wats, Chief Innovation Officer at ExoTechnologies.  Useful links: @JeroenWats Please subscribe, and leave a rating and review, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to help others find the show. Island Influencers is produced by Bear Content & Social KEWS Sponsored by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners
40:05 1/24/24
Island Influencer Lianne Gregory
Welcome, and Happy New Year! To kick off season 5 of Island Influencers, I delve into Lianne Gregory's life story, a native of Laxey on the Isle of Man who has carved a unique path in health and fitness. Lianne is the sole instructor on the island to teach the original Joseph Pilates method, an approach renowned for its holistic benefits. Her story begins with a different passion - the equestrian world. Lianne's interests evolved in her late teens and early twenties when the intensity of competition and injury prompted her to explore Pilates. Her pursuit of expertise took her to London and then America, reflecting her remarkable commitment to learning and growth. In 2000, she established her own business, effectively dispelling the mystique surrounding Pilates. Lianne is a highly trained instructor, helping a diverse range of individuals rebalance their bodies, recover from injuries, alleviate aches and pains, and improve overall fitness. In episode 103, you'll have the opportunity to explore the world of Lianne Gregory Pilates and listen to her incredible life story. I hope you enjoy episode 103 of Island Influencers! Please subscribe, and leave a rating and review, on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to help others find the show. Island Influencers is produced by Bear Content & Social KEWS Sponsored by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners
38:42 1/10/24
Island Influencer Catriona Mackie
My Island Influencer this week, Catriona Mackie, boasts an extraordinary professional and personal life story so compelling that it spans four remarkable pages on her CV! Hailing from the south of Glasgow, Catriona is a passionate social historian interested in material culture and its reflection on the socio-cultural, economic, and political contexts in which it evolves. We delve into her story, from discovering and learning Scottish Gaelic to experiencing life on the Isle of Skye before moving to the Isle of Man in 2008. She shares insights into her role as a young academic responsible for establishing a master's degree in Manx studies and how she, as a confessed introvert, evolved into a lecturer! Catriona's unique blend of architectural fascination and language skills takes centre stage, as does her latest project—a collaboration with colleagues at Oxford Brooks University investigating women's experiences in Manx politics. Over the past decade, Catriona has been deeply involved with the Manx National Heritage and Culture of Vannin while currently teaching Heritage Studies, Celtic Studies, and Manx history and culture at UCM. Please subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to help others find the show. Join us in episode 102 for a captivating exploration of Catriona's extraordinary journey. Delve into the intricacies of her remarkable experiences and get a glimpse of what lies ahead as she continues to leave an indelible mark on the world.
61:16 12/13/23
Advocate Damian Molyneux, Island Influencer
Welcome to another episode of Island Influencers! This week, I’m delighted to feature Damian Molyneux, Director/Advocate at M&P Legal. Damian stands as a notable presence in the Isle of Man's legal sphere. Originating from Kirkham, a town near Blackpool, he grew up in a devout Catholic household, with a familial link to the priesthood adding to his unique background. His journey began in the field of electronics, where he earned a BTech at British Aerospace, before successfully transitioning into the realm of law through his determined pursuit of a law degree at university. Beyond financial law, Damian's practice encompasses complex insolvency work, regulatory enforcement, medical negligence defense, personal injury claims (with a focus on motorcyclists and cyclists), and overseeing general commercial and civil litigation matters. Damian is also a distinguished Income Tax Commissioner. Outside his day job, Damian talks of enjoying a fulfilling family life on the island. His interests are as diverse as they are intriguing, spanning from rewilding and DIY projects to mechanics and engineering. He explains he finds solace and his own meditation in “pottering” and has a penchant for indulging his inner child by crafting whimsical projects. Island Influencer Damian Molyneux's life story is a unique blend of legal knowledge, expertise, and island life. I hope you enjoy listening to episode 101 as much as I enjoyed our conversation. Useful links: Book: George Orwell's 1984
45:02 11/29/23
Island Influencer Sharon Sutton - 100th episode
Welcome to a special edition of Island Influencers! We've hit the incredible milestone of our 100th episode!  From its humble beginnings, born during the challenging times of the pandemic, the  Island Influencers podcast has grown and flourished, and it's all thanks to the unwavering support of our remarkable island influencers and the fantastic Isle of Man community.  A heartfelt thank you to each of you who has been a part of this project. As we celebrate this milestone, I'm stepping out of my usual role as the host. I am the interviewee, the Island Influencer of the week!  I'm a proud Manx native, and in this episode, I delve into my my childhood memories, relationships, my love for sports and music, which have all been a significant part of my journey.  From navigating a career in a male-dominated world to taking leaps of faith, I share the highs and lows that have shaped me into who I am today.  It's a candid exploration of my life not forgetting the people who have helped me all the way. Most of all my family and my business family at Thornton Chartered Financial Planners.   But this episode isn't just about me. It's about the incredible stories we've shared on this podcast from athletes to entrepreneurs.  Episodes are brimming with not just knowledge and inspiration, but genuine stories that will have you laughing one minute and perhaps shedding a tear the next.  It's been a privilege for me to hear these stories and an absolute honour to share them with you.  Looking ahead, I've got exciting plans for the future, not just involving bagpipes and greenhouses!  But I do have an overarching deep passion for helping people. So here's to the next 100 episodes, filled with more knowledge, inspiration and fun. 
36:15 11/13/23
Kurt Roosen, Head of Innovation at Digital Isle of Man
  Welcome to episode 99 of the Island Influencers podcast! My featured guest today is Kurt Roosen, a key figure in the realm of digital innovation on the Isle of Man. Kurt's life began unconventionally being born above a transport café in Birmingham, where he honed his communication skills through interactions with customers from a young age. His path took a unique turn when he decided to break the mould and pursue a university degree in Computer Science. This decision set the stage for his remarkable career. With 35 years of experience in the field of Information Technology, Kurt's current role as the Head of Innovation for Digital Isle of Man is a testament to his unwavering commitment to championing digital innovation and driving positive change. As we delve into Kurt's story, he not only shares his passion for digital innovation but also highlights two local treasures, the Family Library and the bibliotherapy service, both deserving of recognition and support. He also drops in that he is writing a book! So if you're eager to gain valuable insights from a true digital visionary who has made it his mission to make a difference in the world of technology and on the Isle of Man itself. Listen today to episode 99 of Island Influencers featuring Kurt Roosen. Useful links: LinkedIn: Website: Digitalisleofman
57:27 10/25/23
Island Influencer Lyle Krause
  Welcome to episode 98 of Island Influencers! This week we have Island Influencer Lyle Krause, a man with a fascinating journey from South Africa to the Isle of Man. Lyle arrived on our shores back in 2018 and he and his wife have really thrown themselves into our island community. Lyle, a devoted father of two, is also an accomplished account and relationship manager. His unwavering drive, motivation, and ambition for whatever he puts his mind to is evident. During the conversation, you'll hear Lyle's optimism for the boundless opportunities that await young professionals and families here on the island. We'll also explore a shining example of Lyle's natural entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking - the KLEvR Desk, he really does think outside of the box! Lyle is an outdoor enthusiast. From rugby and water polo, where he once represented South Africa in his youth, to golf and mountain biking. Who knew saunas on the beach are the latest trend? So, join us for a captivating conversation with Lyle Krause, Global Relations Manager at Atla Fiduciaries Limited. He's an authentic Island Influencer who's leaving a lasting impact right here on the Isle of Man. Useful Links Instagram – @lylekrause X - @lylekrause LinkedIn Facebook Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot Books: The Creative Act by Rick Rubin Podcasts: The Tim Ferriss Show, The Four Hour Body, The Four Hour Workweek, The Four Hour Shift and The Daily Stoic.
61:15 10/11/23
Greg Ellison, founder of AI Strategy Ninja
In this week’s episode, I’m joined by Island Influencer Greg Ellison, the founder of AI Strategy Ninja. With an illustrious 25-year career in the financial services sector, including the last 15 years at the helm as CEO, Greg is now channeling his expertise towards helping businesses harness the exciting opportunities of AI. A lifelong advocate of continuous learning, Greg embarked on his educational journey with a Business Studies degree from Swansea University, followed by an MBA from Henley Business School. He's a distinguished Chartered Director and has enriched his knowledge with courses at Oxford Said Business School. Most notably, he recently completed the 'AI and Business Strategy' program at MIT in America. Greg's professional life brought him (and his wife and children) to the Isle of Man in 2006 when he assumed the role of Head of Banking at Barclays Wealth, overseeing operations in Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. In 2021, he launched the island's inaugural digital bank, Capital International Bank, while achieving an impressive threefold growth in the Group's profits. I hope you enjoy our conversation as Greg delves into his entrepreneurial aspirations, shares his career's pinnacle moments, his most significant sources of inspiration, and his visionary plans for AI Ninja—ultimately, “embedding AI into the heartbeat of IT systems.” Just hit that play button to hear Island Influencer Greg Ellison's valuable insights in episode 97. Useful links: Website: LinkedIn personal page is: Company LinkedIn page is: YouTube is: Podcasts: The Good, the Bad and the rugby, which is James Haskell and Mike Tindall AI podcasts: McKinsey & MIT Book recommended: Never Finished by David Goggins [fusebox_full_player social_twitter="true" social_facebook="true" social_linkedin="true" social_pinterest="true" social_email="true" ]
56:06 9/27/23
John Keggin, Managing Director at Island Escapes Limited
Welcome back to another captivating episode of Island Influencers. This week, I have the pleasure of introducing you to the one and only John Keggin, Managing Director at Island Escapes Limited.    John's story takes us back to his upbringing within a family deeply woven into the fabric of Manx tourism. Imagine generations warmly welcoming guests to the picturesque The Tower Hotel in Port Erin.   From a young age, John had always wanted to own his own business and in 2018, his dreams came reality with Island Escapes. Drawing from a wealth of diverse experiences across marketing and operations, John paints an authentic picture of the highs and lows that come with forging your path as an entrepreneur. He bares his soul, revealing moments of utmost fulfillment and the challenges that tested his mettle. Life has a way of throwing curveballs, and the pandemic that swept the globe was a true test of resilience for many. John candidly shares his personal encounter with burnout, a consequence of navigating the storm as both a business owner and an individual.  John's a driving force propelling the Isle of Man's tourism to new heights. You won't want to miss the pearls of wisdom and stories that John Keggin unveils. So, grab your favourite headphones, find your cherished quiet corner, and join me in episode 96 of Island Influencers.   Useful links: Book: The Treasure House: Discovering Enlightenment Exactly Where You Are by Mike Kewley
56:22 9/13/23
Island Influencer Jessica Le Merle
This week, I had the privilege of exploring the world of Island Influencer Jessica Le Merle, Director and Co-founder of Afundi, a full-service development and collaborative design agency that empowers brands and businesses to stand out from the crowd.   Since moving from Durban, South Africa, to the Isle of Man in 2014, Jessica has made her mark in the local digital landscape.    In our conversation, Jessica takes us through her life story and back to lockdown. With boundless creativity and determination, Jessica and her partner and co-founder Nicolas embarked on a whirlwind project, conceptualising and building the groundbreaking website known as This online food ordering platform was specifically designed to support local catering and hospitality businesses during the challenging times of the coronavirus lockdown.  Remarkably, Jessica and Nic never sought personal gain from this project. Their motivation came from a deep love for their craft and a strong desire to support their community during difficult times. But there's more to Jessica than Afundi, when she's not hard at work, she indulges in her passion for coffee, embracing each cup's artistry and complexity. She's also a proud new mum to her son Harrison and Charlie, her adorable Cavapoo, and a dedicated explorer, always seeking new adventures. Join me in episode 95 as I share the inspiring story of Island Influencer Jessica Le Merle, an influential force on the Isle of Man's digital landscape and a true catalyst for positive change within the community. Useful links:   Afundi Website - Afundi Instagram - Instagram (personal) - Afundi LinkedIn - LinkedIn (personal) - Afundi Facebook -
32:00 8/2/23
Island Influencer Ciara Sowerby
This week I have the pleasure of sitting down with an incredible individual who has significantly impacted their career and community. Island Influencer Ciara Sowerby is a Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology graduate striving to affect change professionally and personally.    Ciara admits she has had a deep curiosity and a desire to explore new things. She dabbled in various sports and hobbies from a young age, and that enthusiasm carried over into adulthood.   Over the years, she has had the opportunity to do some incredible things. From attending Space School at NASA to travelling to Hong Kong with the Air Cadets, she has always embraced opportunities that come her way. This attitude has played a significant role in shaping who she is today. As a co-founder of the Isle of Man Student Climate Network, Ciara is dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for a sustainable future. It's a cause close to her heart, and she believes it's crucial for us to take action to protect our environment.   Additionally, as a Biosphere Youth representative, she represents the youth in the Isle of Man community and contributes to preserving our island's unique natural and cultural heritage.    I'm excited to share our conversation in episode 94 of Island Influencers. Ciara Sowerby’s experiences and insights are 100% worth listening to. The world needs to hear her voice!   Useful links: Instagram at @ciara_sowerby  Twitter at @ciarasowerby
29:52 7/5/23
Island Influencer Bettina Roth
My Island Influencer this week is Bettina Roth, Chief Executive, Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Bettina has an extensive background in the financial services industry, boasting a wealth of international experience gained from her impressive career in both the regulatory and private sectors. With a strong track record of professional achievement, Bettina has held senior positions in various jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market, and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. With such an impressive background and an array of accolades, Bettina Roth is undoubtedly a leader in the field of financial services. Her appointment as CEO of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority came at a pivotal stage in its development, as the organisation strives to protect consumers, combat financial crime, and maintain confidence in the financial services sector through robust prudential supervision. During our conversation, we delve into Bettina's insights and gain a deeper understanding of her vast experience. We explore her remarkable journey, discuss her vision for the future, and uncover valuable insights into the world of financial services regulation. Additionally, Bettina aims to inspire other women to pursue senior roles and continue spearheading innovation within the Isle of Man's regulatory landscape. So, here is my conversation with Bettina Roth in episode 93 of Island Influencers
37:12 6/21/23
Island Influencer Joanne Posey
This week, my Island Influencer is a true pioneer in nutrition and menopause, Joanne Posey. Hailing from the Isle of Man, Joanne is an expert in her field, dedicated to helping individuals and groups navigate the challenges of menopause and find relief from their symptoms. But Joanne's influence doesn't stop there. She also works with organisations, empowering them to support their staff during this transformative phase of life, equipping line managers with the tools they need to provide understanding and assistance. Coming from a lineage of entrepreneurs, Joanne has always been ahead of her time. Her passion for researching, investigating, and understanding well-being, wellness, diet, and lifestyle has positioned her at the forefront of her industry. And now, the rest of the world is catching up to her invaluable insights. In this episode, you'll get the chance to listen and learn from my conversation with Joanne Posey. Her deep understanding of the menopause journey and compassionate approach make her a trusted source of support and guidance. Joanne just "gets" what is going on, and you won't want to miss the wisdom she shares. So get ready to be inspired by episode 92 of Island Influencers with the incredible Joanne Posey.
54:00 6/7/23
Island Influencer Jackie Betteridge
Welcome to another episode of Island Influencers! This week, I have the privilege of featuring Jackie Betteridge, the remarkable CEO of Crossroads, the largest Third Sector organisation on the Isle of Man. When Jackie took the helm at Crossroads, it was a small organisation, but under her leadership, the workforce has grown by an astounding 500%, and the number of volunteers has increased by 100%. Crossroads is an organisation dedicated to caring for carers, working with families and individuals of all ages. They deliver an impressive 160,000 care hours per year, a testament to their commitment to supporting the community. The work undertaken by Crossroads is both complex and rewarding, addressing the diverse needs of those they serve. Jackie's passions extend beyond her professional role; her tight-knit family holds a special place in her heart. Jackie Betteridge and I delve into the services provided by Crossroads in episode 91, sharing insights into their operations and future plans. From what she reveals, it's evident that her dedication to helping the Isle of Man community is unwavering, and her purpose shines through in everything she does. Join us as we learn from Jackie Betteridge's incredible journey and gain a deeper understanding of Crossroads' invaluable contributions to the Isle of Man community.
42:26 5/24/23
Island Influencer Sacha Horsthuis
Welcome to this week's episode of Island Influencers. I am excited to introduce you to Sacha Horsthuis, a dynamic marketeer and a keen sportswoman.  Although Manx born, Sacha spent most of her childhood and adolescence in beautiful North Yorkshire in the UK and lived briefly in Saudi Arabia. Sacha returned to the Isle of Man 9 years ago.  Sacha and her husband Mark co-own Cycle 360, the Island’s first combined cafe-bike shop and unique events space.  Attracting roughly 500 customers every-day through its stand-out timeless brick work, convenience and warm, thought-out interior, Cycle 360 is undoubtedly the busiest and most vibrant daytime venue on the Isle of Man. It has been a staple to so many since its doors opened in 2018.  Sacha’s role, in particular, was to create a brand, to attract global bike brands to the brand-new bike shop and, importantly, to attract talented people to work for the company.  In episode 90, Sacha shares her journey as a working mother and a “marketing fanatic” who is driven, ambitious, and a self-proclaimed perfectionist. She talks about her mission to constantly absorb knowledge, step outside her comfort zone, and innovate to continue growing professionally. Finally, when I interviewed Sacha, she was still 29. So join me in wishing her a very happy 30th birthday as we dive into this week's conversation with Sacha Horsthuis, whose abundant positivity shines through in everything she does.
39:30 4/26/23
Island Influencer Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown is the owner and one of the teachers at Swing in the Isle. She describes herself as an “Essex girl by birth”, admitting money was tight growing up with her twin siblings on a council estate. Natasha met her husband, Craig, thanks to ballroom dancing at Cambridge University. As a former primary school headteacher, she describes herself as "a lifelong learner" Natasha knew from a young age she wanted to be a teacher “and make a difference.” Learning about swing dance and how Natasha’s two passions (teaching and dance) came together was marvellous. Here is an idea… Instead of setting up a new TV subscription, why not set up a Swing dance subscription instead? I’ll let Natasha Brown persuade you herself in episode 89 of Island Influencers. Enjoy!
41:22 4/12/23
Island Influencer Joff Whitten
My guest this week is Joff Whitten, an intelligent and creative education leader with over 25 years of experience working in cultural and learning settings. Joff has managed and delivered a diverse and exciting range of successful learning and engagement projects working with organisations of varying sizes, supporting those with little opportunity, especially children and young people, to find the joy and opportunity they need to reach a place of success. He is the Chief Executive Officer at the Children’s Centre (Isle of Man), an entirely independent Manx charity turning difficult life experiences into brighter futures for children, young people and their families. They are based on a farm located just outside of Douglas, offering all sorts of amazing things to the people they work with. Joff is responsible for driving forward a new chapter for the charity, creating and delivering long-term strategies and placing the charity in the hearts and minds of everyone on the island. Joff, who is also a talented musician and artist, says he tries his hardest “to get the best out of people every day.” I hope you enjoy my conversation with Joff Whitten in episode 88 of Island Influencers. "Due to a technical issue in the studio, on this occasion, we could not capture every one of Joff's answers to my usual questions to the standard that we at Island Influencers would feel comfortable putting out. That said, we did manage to learn about the journey that Joff's life took, taking him to where he is today. So please enjoy!"
49:40 3/29/23
Island Influencer Angela Clucas
Angela Clucas, the owner of Next Level Nutrition Isle of Man, is a university-qualified nutritionist with over six years of experience coaching people to achieve their weight and health goals. She is passionate about helping people regain control of their health and happiness by prioritising their needs so they can feel in control. Angela is friendly, non-judgemental, and passionate about helping people make life-long changes. Angela describes her life story to me: "I like to make some pretty bold changes, and I have never been afraid of change... it has been a bit of a journey in getting to where I am now." So here is Angela Clucas' journey, in her own words, in Episode 87 of Island Influencers.
37:06 3/15/23
Island Influencer Micky Swindale
Micky Swindale is well-known in the Isle of Man’s business community. She was the 1st female President of the Chamber of Commerce and 1st female partner at KPMG here on the island. Micky has been a champion for inclusion and diversity, particularly gender diversity. A keen sportswoman, the opportunity to help drive diversity in sports attracted her to get involved (as Vice President) with the Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association. Micky is from the Isle of Man and has always thought of herself as someone from the island. However, she was born and brought up in Nigeria until she was 19. Micky shares her wisdom and life story from her alternative education, life in Manchester, Gibraltar, and participating in triathlons with me! Plus her plans for the future. So what makes Micky Swindale tick? You can find out in episode 86 of Island Influencers; please enjoy.
52:29 3/1/23
Island Influencer Rowan Henthorn
In a time of unprecedented global challenges, now more than ever, there is a demand for a shift in how we connect to and interact with our living planet. My Island Influencer this week, Rowan Henthorn, is the owner of Make Good Limited, a new environmental consultancy and lifestyle brand that “helps businesses and communities find practical and enjoyable ways to reduce their environmental impact, whilst connecting with, and caring for the natural world.” “Local girl” Rowan grew up south of the island and then went away to study Ocean Science at Plymouth University. She has also travelled and worked around Australia and Indonesia. Rowan has helped to bring in the single-use plastic legislation to the Isle of Man, has sailed across The Pacific with a group of 13 other women, and educated me on marine megafauna and much more! You can learn more too by listening to Rowan Henthorn in episode 85 of Island Influencers.
35:53 2/15/23
Island Influencer Jamie Lewis
This week’s Island Influencer is Jamie Lewis, Founder at COURTESY, helping hospitality brands build, transform and communicate. In addition, Jamie is the Managing Director of Extra Fancy, Co-Founder of Table of Two and Director & Trustee of Isle of Pride. Jamie grew up in Chesterfield during the “new Labour years” with a big focus on education and a big focus on getting people from disadvantaged backgrounds into University. He went to Sheffield University, admitting he “burnt the wick at both ends”, working 20-30 hours a week and partying, Jamie still graduated with a 1st degree in sociology and politics. Although he was (and still is) fascinated by politics and what is happening in the world, most of Jamie’s experience is in the hospitality industry. Jamie has created businesses today steeped in values learnt through working for McDonald’s and Disney in his teens and twenties. Like many of my Island Influencers, Jamie thought he would come to the Isle of Man for a few months and ended up settling here! I particularly enjoyed his chicken nugget – Usain Bolt at the Beijing Olympics, yarn… Here is my conversation with Jamie Lewis in episode 84* of Island Influencers. Apologies for the sound quality throughout Jamie’s episode. Jamie is a very busy man, and I had been trying to chat with him for a long time, the easiest way to arrange this sooner rather than later was over Zoom. Unfortunately, the sound quality is a little different from what you’d expect from the Island Influencers podcast, however, it is not an episode to be missed.
55:41 2/1/23
Island Influencer Shelley Langan-Newton
This week’s Island Influencer Shelley Langan-Newton grew up in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, where she passed her 11 plus one year early. She moved to the Isle of Man when her son (now 18) was six years old. Shelley admits that she has a going-with-the-flow philosophy which has permeated throughout her career, describing herself as “a strategic, organised, and collaborative executive leader with a passion for empowering people, clients, and partners to achieve their potential.” Her LinkedIn profile reads, “Building kinder organisations to grow with conscience and purpose in the digital world.” This really intrigued me. So I want you now to know what I do about who Shelley is and how she got to where she is today and then share it with you. So here’s my conversation with Shelley Langan-Newton in episode 83 of Island Influencers!
57:35 1/18/23
Island Influencer Tracey Brodie
Kicking off season 4 and our first podcast episode of 2023 is Island Influencer Tracey Brodie, Belief Coding® Trainer & Coach. Tracey Brodie grew up in North Wales, her Dad died when she was just 14. From 16, Tracey trained and worked as a beauty therapist for many years, before obtaining a teaching degree and teaching beauty. Her husband Tom’s job enticed them to the Isle of Man and although they were initially only coming for two years they have stayed for over 20, raising three children on the island. I can say that Tracey “arrived here with bells on.” In episode 82, Tracey explains how belief coding changed and saved her life forever. She admits that she was “lost and broken” a year ago and how at 51 she has become her own best friend. Starting out trying to heal herself, and then, along the way, she realised she had a “superpower” to gift to others. It is glaringly obvious that making people happy makes Tracey happy. This week’s conversation with Tracey Brodie will get you thinking and inspire you to turn the mirror on yourself and try to live your best life every day.
60:32 1/4/23
Island Influencer Emma Lings
This week my Island Influencer is a pretty rare find especially on the Isle of Man. Emma Lings is a furniture maker creating bespoke handcrafted furniture and naturally dyed textiles. Emma explains that she has only just become self employed since returning to the island from Melbourne, Australia as the pandemic hit. Throughout our conversation it became apparent that if Emma doesn’t know it, she learns it. Emma isn’t afraid to ask questions and shows great determination and hard work in everything she turns her hand to. Do listen to Emma Lings amazing story in episode 81 of Island Influencers!
37:59 12/21/22
Island Influencer Jo Cutsforth
My Island Influencer this week is self-funded entrepreneur Jo Cutsforth, her desire in life is to make ‘you and your people shine’. Jo left her home in Warrington at the age of 17 with just £25 in her pocket and a desire to ‘go off and do her own thing’. So she took a ‘hop skip and a jump’ one-way ticket to the Isle of Man. Her story is one huge life lesson for us all. There is no doubt that Jo has suffered hardship, she talks of living at a homeless refuge with her two small children and only being able to start her career at the age of 32. However, Jo doesn’t want people to feel sorry for her she says, “I'm not getting the violins out. I'm just telling you the story.” She just wants to encourage everyone to keep learning and get behind people and help them be valued. Jo’s independence, resilience and positive attitude have helped her survive. Do listen to this week’s conversation with Jo Cutsforth in episode 80 of Island Influencers!
40:19 12/7/22