Fish and Chip Lunch Club



IOD - Institute of Directors

£11.50 per person

Venue: Eighteen
103 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 3AG
Date: 7th March 2024
Time: 8.45am – 12:30pm
Event is open to all

Black Country Museum

International Women’s Day Event #IWD2024

Hosted by Joanna Lee-Mills – Partner and Deputy Head of Office at Shakespeare Martineau 

Get ready to celebrate International Women’s Day at our inspiring event!

Join us on 7th March 2024 as we honour and empower women from all walks of life.

Our event will include a lively panel discussion featuring influential men and women from various industries (to be revealed soon.) Our panelists will share their personal experiences and insights on a range of topics, from overcoming obstacles in the workplace to achieving work-life balance. Get ready to be inspired and empowered by their stories!

You’ll have the chance to chat with our panellists and fellow attendees, share your own stories and experiences, and make new connections with other women in your community. 

International Women's Day

This event is open to women and men in celebrating International Women’s Day.

Our Host & Speakers

Joanna Lee-Mills

Host – Joanna Lee-Mills

Partner and Deputy Head of Office at Shakespeare Martineau & Winner of Female Brummie of the Year.

Joanna Lee-Mills heads up the Social Housing Development team at national law firm Shakespeare Martineau and is based at their Birmingham and London offices. She specialises in affordable housing development, major stock acquisitions and large scale disposals.

Having qualified as a solicitor in 2001, Joanna has a breadth of experience in a wide range of real estate transactions, drawing from her experience acting for private developers, corporate occupiers and the public/third sector.

Joanna is an active member of the Birmingham business community and sits on the Board of TAG Network Midlands as a non-executive director. She forms part of the Community Building working group for Colmore BID and is a keen supporter of the local Chinese community. She has also won a number of awards, including ‘One to Watch Woman for 2024’ and ‘Host of the Year’ at the Phoenix Business Club Awards 2023. 

Keynote Speaker – Simon Wingate

Regional Partnerships Director at Lovell Partnerships

Simon’s primary responsibility is to develop and nurture strategic relationships with key clients including Local Authorities, Housing Associations, Land Agents and consultants to unlock new multi-tenure housing developments.

Simon has extensive experience in acquisition of land for a variety of housing tenures including Affordable, Open Market, Build to Rent and Care. He has been extensively involved in forming partnerships to unlock stalled brownfield sites for multi-tenure housing across the Midlands regions.

Cllr Sharon Thompson
Ninder Johal DL

Keynote Speaker – Cllr Sharon Thompson

Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council

Councillor Sharon Thompson is a politician, executive coach, and public speaker with a remarkable journey from homelessness to becoming the Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council. 

Her story is one of resilience and determination, earning her national awards for contributions to social change and politics. As a sought-after keynote speaker, Sharon challenges audiences to develop leadership skills in areas such as politics, homelessness, housing, and diversity.

Appointed in May 2023, she is the first ethnic minority to hold the Deputy Leader position in Birmingham, overseeing portfolios on skills, jobs, apprenticeships, strategic partnerships, and the ‘Cost of Living.’

Panellist – Ninder Johal DL

CEO of Nachural Group, Founder of Signature Awards

Ninder, a multifaceted entrepreneur, leads a prominent music, event production, and publishing company. Renowned for hosting five major annual corporate events across key UK cities, including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester, and London, with plans to expand to Manchester and Mumbai in 2023. Signature Awards, Nachural Entrepreneurship Awards, Nachural Summer Business Awards, and the Midlands Economic Summit are among the noteworthy events.

With over 25 years in the industry, Ninder manages a record label and contributes to the premier bhangra band, Achanak. 

Beyond his entrepreneurial ventures, Ninder serves on several boards, including West Midlands 5G, University of Wolverhampton, and West Midlands CBI. A recipient of numerous awards, Ninder was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in 2019. He continues to make a significant impact in various leadership roles, recognized as a judge for prestigious awards like the Sunday Times/Peel Hunt Non-Executive Director of the Year.

Ninder Johal DL
Nicola Fleet Milne

Panellist – Nicola Fleet-Milne 

Founder and CEO OF FleetMilne, Chair of the Colmore BID

As the owner/founder of FleetMilne residential property agency, Nicola’s career has been primarily in the residential sector, having previously worked at other Birmingham residential agencies. She has demonstrated a profound understanding and excellence in the residential agency sector. Notably, Nicola has achieved success in creating and supporting a more sophisticated offering for the Build-to-Rent sector.

Nicola has held the position of Chair on the Colmore BID board since January 2020, following a two-year tenure as Deputy Chair. Her initial leadership challenge involved adeptly navigating the Covid-19 crisis, where she represented the interests of a substantial number of professional service businesses and a contingent of hospitality businesses. 

In addition to her professional pursuits, Nicola is actively engaged in voluntary positions. She serves as co-Chair and co-Creator of the Jewellery Quarter Neighbourhood Plan, successfully implemented in 2023. From 2013-2020, she was a member of the Hippodrome Development Board.

Panellist – Tariq Shaikh

Gensler, Birmingham Office Leader

With considerable experience across a broad range of sectors including mixed-use, retail, residential, data centres and workplace, Tariq (Taz) is Gensler’s business leader of UK Regional Markets.

Having worked with well-known brands around the world, Taz has a thorough understanding of how to design and run projects smoothly and efficiently to meet the needs and timeframes of developers and tenants. Taz has particular expertise in managing and delivering large-scale and complex projects and is known for his ability to set up and manage large teams and is recognised as an inspiring team leader, drawing the best from everyone.

Taz works with his clients to develop strong project strategies to ensure that experience and engagement are forefront in the decision making, helping to craft successful destinations. He looks at each project from various points of view—customer, employee, developer, and tenant—to ensure that a project is set up to exceed the expectations of the various stakeholders involved.

Tariq Shaikh
Richard Parker

Panellist – Professor Deborah Leary OBE

Scale Up Director Innovate UK Edge and CEO Forensic Pathways

In her role as founder and CEO of Forensic Pathways Deborah has had over 20+ years in business development, innovation and internationalization and has been pivotal in shaping the forensics and threat intelligence arena. Forensic Pathways is a threat intelligence company specialising in dark web, social media, and open-source intelligence monitoring, providing due diligence services, background investigation and cyber consultancy.

The Company has won numerous awards for innovation, business, and international trade, including being voted one of the top 50 innovation companies in the region in 2017 and 2019 along with a Board of Trade Award presented by the Secretary of State for International Trade in 2018.
With a focus on global trade, she is an appointed Export Champion for the Dept for Business & Trade and between 2001-2023 was President of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce – only the third woman since 1813.  In 2008 she was awarded an OBE for her commitment to Entrepreneurship and the Community.

She’s a Visiting Professor at Aston University and is an Advisory Board Member to the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics.  She holds an Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City Uni with additional board roles including Greater Birmingham Global Chamber of Commerce, West Midlands Innovation Board, Business Commissioner for the Business Commission West Midlands, and Advisory Member of the UN Global Compact. In January 2024 she was appointed Scale Up Director for Innovate UK Edge, a national role supporting scale up business going for 50+% growth year on year, with a focus on disruptive innovative technologies and a desire for international expansion.

Deborah has won a number of awards including International Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, European Woman of Achievement and British Female Inventor of the Year

Panelist – Alex Cole

CEO, TIN Ventures

Alex is CEO of TIN Ventures, which is a venture builder and micro-investment business that has packaged an advisory board ecosystem of purpose-led, social entrepreneurs focused on improving social mobility through employability; and addressing fuel poverty and climate sustainability.

He serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at The Open University, a NED for West Midlands Tech CIC, is Deputy-Chair and independent member of the West Midlands Combined Authority Race Equality Taskforce, Board Member of the Innovation Alliance of the West Midlands, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Alex Cole
Richard Parker

Panellist – Sharonjit Clare

Co-Founder of West Midlands Women’s Voice

Sharonjit was formerly the Senior Investment and Strategy Manager at Telent Limited, second to the CIO, overseeing the investment of £3.5 billion across multi-asset classes, strategies and managers, in addition to managing governance and special projects.

Sharonjit was last at Man Group, the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager, where she focused on the institutional and consulting milieu. She was included in the FN ‘40 Under 40’ asset management rising stars list and the Chief Investment Officer ‘Forty Under Forty’ list.

Co-Founder of West Midlands Women’s Voice, company advisor, Sharonjit is also an entrepreneur and private investor.

Panellist – Richard Parker

Labour Party Candidate for West Midlands Mayor

Richard Parker is a qualified public finance accountant, who joined PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1989, working his way up to become a Partner and the  company’s lead on housing and communities. Richard has worked across the world on housing and economic regeneration projects with the United Nations and governments across Europe and Asia.
Whilst at PWC he led the team that advised on the establishment of the West Midlands Combined Authority, brokering the first devolution deal for the region.
He runs his own small business in the West Midlands and works with small, medium and social enterprises on green investment, housing initiatives and on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Richard has made a number of policy commitments during his campaign to become the West Midlands Combined Authority Mayor, including working towards a fully-integrated publicly controlled transport network, a region wide focus to bring an end to low pay by reforming skills programmes and ensuring the Combined Authority doesn’t do business with firms who don’t pay the Real Living Wage. He has also pledged to do more on the NET Zero agenda by bringing the region’s target forward from 2041 to 2035. Richard has also committed to putting more money directly into local authority budgets and rebuilding our economy from the bottom up and the inside out.
Alex Cole

About Eighteen

Eighteen is an exclusive members club, located on the 18th floor, Eighteen is a versatile business lounge that includes a spectacular roof terrace for entertaining.

Featuring dining and bar facilities, the lounge is a great place for catching up with friends. It can also be used for business meetings.

From meeting rooms to breakout areas to conference-style setups, Eighteen offers flexible space and unmatched views of Birmingham.

Please note you are welcome to stay at the venue and have lunch which is served from Midday. (you can pay for lunch at the venue)

Black Country Living Museum Fish and Chip Lunch Club

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