My Working Life by Alison Griffin

The sales and marketing director at Southwater Event Group on completing four half marathons, Telford and news reading at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

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I was born in Slough to a hardworking family and grew up in a village called Binfield in Berkshire.

My mum was a schoolteacher and my dad was a pilot. We never really went on planes as a family, but enjoyed holidays that could be reached by car or boat.

I like France very much as a result.

Growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, my brother and I were allowed much more free reign than kids today – we would be out all day building camps, fires and dens and only return home when we were hungry.

I enjoyed school and liked most subjects, particularly sport. I made brilliant life-long friends and have happy memories all round. Well, maybe apart from the Latin teacher.

My first job was working shifts for the BMW warehouse in Bracknell.

I loved the hours and the functional achievement of physically placing items in their stock home – and in the era of emerging computer technology, the final hour was spent logging the stock forms on a basic IT system. Very satisfying.

My nicknames used to be Ali Cat or Ali Bongo – I preferred Ali Cat, though neither are glamorous.

I remember being told I had ideas above my station by a scary personal assistant in one of my first jobs. I don’t see anything wrong with ambition!

At the same job, a colleague and I attempted to take the uneaten conference lunch back to the office from a hotel in Leeds, but managed to leave it strewn across the posh entrance.


I live with my partner Darryl and our two beautiful daughters, Erin and Aoife.

They do not have the freedom I had when I was little – by way of our location, but also a shift in generational parenting and the pros and cons of mobile technology. I think it’s a backwards step in how we raise our children today.

At the weekends I walk our dog Ralph with my family. A basic and very happy joy.

Exercising outdoors is the best for dissolving stress or contextualising challenges.

I have recently completed a firewalk for the UK Stroke Association – and more broadly enjoy tennis, canoeing and hiking.

I’m very touched to have won a handful of industry awards and most proud to have got medals for completing four half marathons and raising money for the UK Stroke Association.

I have too much on my desk at the moment. I need the assistance of Marie Kondo, expert de-clutterer, please.

I heard, via the events industry grapevine, about the sales and marketing director vacancy at the International Centre, Telford (TIC) in late 2011 and emailed Tom, now my boss, to find out more.

I particularly enjoy creating a unique event spectacle, coupled with hosting and meeting new people from the events industry – and treating them to a great Shropshire experience.

I would love to be on television. I have practised news reading at the National Media Museum in Bradford – I can only dream of being on the 10 o’clock news as a presenter.

I don’t have a Facebook account and have yet to be convinced. I spend a lot of my working life using technology and want a break from it in my down time.

I have learned lots and relish the on-going opportunity to put Telford and TIC on the national events map.

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