The latest HTEA Networking event took a different direction yesterday, as professionals from the business world joined Kirklees College to engage with guest speakers Mark Reynolds and James Howard to hear how their lives had taken a different path but which had resulted in a successful outcome.

The event which is organised in collaboration with Huddersfield Town, was hosted by the Club’s Commercial Manager, John Williams and saw over 60 attendees listen in admiration to the stories of courage, inspiration and bravery.

Both speakers shared their stories of how they progressed despite the hardships along the way to become who they are today. Their journeys offered insight into how they overcame these struggles and shared their lessons of success.

Mark Reynolds, Founder of Rawthorpe Amateur boxing club spoke about how he aims to create a positive impact on the younger generation so that they can flourish using boxing as a tool for self-discipline. The Club, which was formed in 1998, has grown from strength to strength and has positively impacted the lives of so many people, not to mention changed the outcome of countless lives who may have got caught up in undesirable activities, had it not been for the positive impact of boxing.

Growing up in a troubled area, MD of Yorkshire Payments James Howard shared how he overcame the adversities and the stigma of his childhood to become a successful entrepreneur. He spoke about his lightbulb moment that led him to start Yorkshire Payments.

“I never thought I’d work in banking. I just knew I wanted to work for myself. I took a call from a client and they couldn’t get a response from the business they were working with and I saw an opportunity, that was the eureka moment for me,” said James.

The audience was fixated as he shared his moving story of how he started a company five years ago, which now proudly boasts more than 25 staff serving clients.

Guests took to the floor to network with like-minded business professionals after the speakers had finished and shared a coffee and tucked into their personalised fortune cookie to discover what the future had in store for them.

Lydia Butterworth, Head of Sales and Marketing for Kirklees College said: “This event was inspiring and moving and shows how unpredictable life can be. It was extraordinary to hear such stories of passion and determination and hear the positive impact these individuals have had on the community and their close network of employees.”

Huddersfield Town’s Commercial Manager for Hospitality, Tracy Nelson commented:

“It’s safe to say that everyone came away from the HTEA event inspired by the stories told by local business people.

“I would like to thank all our panellists for sharing their valuable insights and the Club Partners for attending.

“These networking events bring together fantastic local businesses who are able to connect and share ideas and best practice, it really does bring together the best of the best from the business world in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.”

Kirklees College has over 2,400 apprentices in more than 1,000 organisations and are the official education and training partner of Huddersfield Town. With eight centres across the region, Kirklees College boasts fantastic facilities and deliver excellent teaching from industry experienced staff. Their next Open Days will be held in June and July to enable potential students to check out the facilities and speak to staff about the right choice for them.