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Greater Manchester-based business law specialist Christian Mancier and Business Growth Hub Leader Dawn Duggan are joining the judges for the inaugural North West Family Business Awards 2020.

Partner and Commercial law specialist at Gorvins Solicitors, as well as head of the dedicated Family Business team at Gorvins, Christian specialises in leading corporate transactions including acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, management buyouts and private equity across a variety of sectors including manufacturing, recruitment, entertainment and leisure.

Christian acts for owner-managed and family-owned businesses in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector providing holistic advice with a particular emphasis on corporate structures for family businesses and succession planning.

Christian works closely with Family Business United, is a non-executive director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, is the immediate past Chair of the Stockport Economic Alliance and is the past Stockport President of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Christian said: “I am delighted to be part of the judging panel for the North West Family Business Awards. Many of my clients are family businesses, my wife is a second-generation family member in a North West based family business and every single family business I come across has a totally unique and fascinating story to tell. As such it’s a privilege and honour to work with and support so many amazing family businesses across the North West of England which has one of the most supportive family business sectors I have come across.”

Dawn is the People, Skills and Talent Leader at GC Business Growth, and is responsible for the design, delivery and evaluation of the People, Skills & Talent Programme which include the Executive Development Programme, Workforce Development, Inclusive Growth, Mentoring, Stimulating Employer Demand for Apprenticeships (SEDA) and the National Be the Business Mentoring for Growth Programme. 

Over the last 5 years, the programmes have worked with around 1,800 businesses and 2,400 business leaders, including family businesses in the Greater Manchester region.

She has assisted businesses with the creation of around 700 jobs, safeguarding of 300 jobs and supported 1000 businesses to increase their GVA and turnover, circa £33m. 

Dawn has been involved in the ‘Be the Business Mentoring for Growth’ programme since its inception in November 2017 and manages the mentoring relationships of the 176 mentors and mentees which is set to increase to 1000 before the end of March 2020.

Dawn has over 25 years of experience in developing, implementing and evaluating organisational development incorporating business strategy and skills development for businesses ranging from the executive level to apprenticeships in line with national, regional and local policy. 

She previously worked at various managerial levels in the private and public sectors designing, delivering and implementing an extensive range of training and development solutions across organisations.

Dawn gained extensive experience as a business advisor working previously for Business Link North West as a Leadership, Management and Innovation Specialist and Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as Employment and Skills Manager developing and delivering a wide range of services to private sector high growth clients. She has been with the Business Growth Hub since September 2014.

She has a detailed understanding of the needs of local businesses in Greater Manchester and has developed and delivered a wide range of programmes to enable these businesses to achieve their growth potential.

Dawn has expertise in networking and partnership buy-in to new services and has a comprehensive understanding of business support policies and services.

Dawn said: “I am thrilled to be part of the judging panel of the NW Family Business Awards.  I have worked with and supported numerous family businesses over my career.

“It is so inspiring to see the journey that many go on, facing different challenges in some cases than other SMEs, as they go through generation transformational change. 

“I am looking forward to hearing about how family businesses have empowered and grown their business through their people, ensuing inclusive growth is at the core of everything they do”

Founder and Co-Director of the Family Business Network, Sue Howorth said: “We are delighted to have Christian and Dawn on the judging panel.

“Christian’s experience working closely with family businesses across the Greater Manchester area, providing legal advice means he brings a great deal of specialist knowledge and insight to the panel.

“Dawns extensive work with the Business Growth Hub and business advisory roles with leading programmes means she brings a deep understanding of business needs in the region.”

Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Dave Clarkson added: “Christian and Dawn have the insight and experience that will be invaluable to the judging panel for the awards. Christian has been involved in judging several other prestigious awards previously.

“Celebrating the successes of family businesses is important to us, to help raise the profile of the sector and champion those individuals involved.

“We were able to do this through the creation and running of the Cumbria Family Business Awards which have taken place annually since 2017. Many of the businesses who took part in the awards have told us how beneficial the process has been to their brand awareness, and business growth through their achievements being recognised.

“In 2020 these awards evolve into our inaugural North West Family Business Awards, which aim to provide an opportunity for North West family firms to share and celebrate their successes.

“Businesses can either be nominated or can enter themselves, however, you’ll have to act quickly as the closing date of 16th January 2020 is fast approaching.

“For companies looking to support and associate with the sector or simply be a part of the event, we offer a range of opportunities through partnership and sponsorship of the awards.”

Taking place on Friday 6th March, the awards will take off in true first-class style, under the wings of Concorde at The Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park. Entries are open to businesses located in Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cumbria that have at least two family members working within them.