Your reputation is based on the stories people tell about you.Greg Dyke, former Director General, BBC
Understanding your clients’ specific needs, at both a commercial and cultural level, will enable you to engage positively and deliver what they require in a way which supports and contributes to their business success and philosophy.
The Kent / Virginia Rural Partnership
The Kent / Virginia Rural Partnership was initiated in 2007 as part of the 400th Commemoration of the first English speaking settlement in the USA in Jamestown, Virginia in 1627. Its purpose was to develop co-operation between the land-based sectors of Virginia and Kent.
In my role as Head of Rural Regeneration for Kent County Council I worked with my opposite number in the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Forestry to identify how we could learn from each other’s experience of the rural sector, and bring specific groups together to create meaningful partnerships with business outcomes.
This took place over a two-year period and was reliant on the development of effective relationships within a broad range of political and professional groups. Ensuring these were co-ordinated to support decision making, project delivery and positive outcomes was a vital part of the process.
The successful management of the constantly changing dynamic of this complex network of relationships enabled the partnership to deliver the following outcomes:
- An understanding of how rural issues in each country are being tackled, and an opportunity to explore new ways of supporting these. Examples include de-population and unemployment in rural areas, farm diversification and sustainable crop production.
- An improved understanding of each other’s markets.
- The creation of links between each other’s equine industries. A seminar was held at the 2007 Kent Show with experts from Kent and Virginia.
- The promotion of ‘local produce’ from Virginia at the Kent Show and from Kent at the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo took place.
Stuart worked at the highest political and professional levels with myself and colleagues in Kent and Virginia to help set up and deliver a ground-breaking international rural partnership. His experience of managing complex professional relationships was invaluable.
Amanda Cottrell, OBE, Chairman, Visit Kent