Family Shareholder Council member Edward Taylor updates us on the Family Shareholder Assembly held in Birmingham on 8th September 2018…

It was a great pleasure to be part of the Billingtons Family Shareholder Assembly.

The assembly was very well attended, with 70 Family shareholders attending, including from Canada, the Netherlands & France. 

 The event was opened with a motivating and emotional welcome from the Family Shareholder Council Chairman, Will Billington.  Given his recent operation it was touch and go whether he’d make it to the assembly, and his unexpected presence was an inspiration to everyone in attendance.

Within a packed agenda, there were many highlights, the first of which came from Paul Briggs, Factory Manager at the Billington Bakery. His enthusiastic and dynamic presentation provided us with a fascinating overview of some of the difficult challenges faced by the factory, especially over the last year.  We were impressed with the flexibility and dedication from the entire workforce in dealing with the current challenges hitting the whole foodservice industry.  We also learned what a fantastic range of products the Bakery produces, with an excellent array of delicious products being brought to demonstrate. Thank you, Paul, for hitting exactly the right note and being such a great speaker.

We were also given a unique insight into how The Billington Group Board has developed over the years. Senior shareholders shared their experiences of days gone by in a question time style panel. We were then granted a unique opportunity to learn how our chief executive has excelled through his career from competitive shelf stacking on the graduate scheme in a supermarket to being our inspiring and dedicated Chief Executive. Gary and Lloyd had even been brave enough to allow themselves to be interviewed on camera by two young shareholders. Watching this allowed us to see how their dynamic and close working relationship had evolved over the years.

The Young Shareholders also had their time to shine, enthusiastically they broke away from the main agenda to “Design a Dunkley’s Desert”. This culminated with excellent sales pitches from all the different teams.

In all the assembly was a great success. The family has had the opportunity to come together to share our mutual vision. We have re-affirmed the Family Charter and confirm our commitment to supporting the business for the long term. The feedback from the “Next Generation” is positive, voting to come back for more. Furthermore, we have all been able to witness how the dedication and hard work of the whole workforce was driving the business forward. Thank you!