What has been your personal highlight of 2020?
Such slim pickings for most of this year as we have been faced with doom and gloom at every juncture. However, my business highlight has been how the Distology team have responded in this time of crisis and how positive and passionate they remain about the good work they do.
I am keeping my promise to navigate Distology through this pandemic and the team are totally keeping up their hard work and determination to succeed. I'm very proud.
My personal highlight was being able to take some time out after RSA earlier this year and travel down Route 1 to LA with my good friend and channel comrade Annabel Berry. I genuinely haven't laughed as hard since!
Which three celebrities would you invite to a Zoom party?
If I had a choice, I wouldn't be having a Zoom party - it's a bit of a contradiction in terms. But I would love a chance to talk to Michelle Obama, Brene Brown and Jay Shetty. You can see I have channelled my inner monk in lockdown!
What has been your guiltiest lockdown pleasure?
I am uber disciplined usually - training at least three times and no drinking during the week. Although I kept up my training (yup you can see my halo!) I did enjoy the odd glass or two of red on a few nights in the week. I know… it's a rock ‘n' roll lifestyle!
Also, I discovered the joy of cycling and actually seeing places I never knew existed where I live.
Which tech figurehead has inspired you most this year, and why?
I have to say in light of the year being filled with COVID, Bill Gates has been inspiring. Not just because he almost predicted this virus would happen at some point, but because he remains true to a cause he is passionate about and is actually putting something back into the world after making his money. Total respect to him.
What piece of technology, or app, have you not been able to do without during the pandemic?
I am a BBC News addict, so I always check this as soon as I wake up. When the peak of COVID happened, it was a great source of stats that at the time seemed a good thing to follow. Nowadays for the sake of my sanity and self-improvement, I am addicted to my Garmin app.
If you could be anyone else for a week, who would you be and what would you do?
I would be a genius scientist and epidemiologist and find a fast cure for COVID, so we could all get on with our lives!
Do you miss face-to-face events?
Oh god yes! We are hard wired as humans for connection and there is some degree of personality lost with Zoom calls. Reading someone's body language and gestures is half the fun of face-to-face events and I don't think you ever really get to really know someone on a Zoom call.
How will COVID leave its mark on the way the channel operates long term?
I think with any response to a crisis, there have to be major changes - this is evolution, it is the way we grow and survive. Innovation and technology will have an even greater significance and so we have to evolve our working practices to suit.
I think this year has allowed us the ability to reflect and if things aren't working then let's change up a gear or even direction. Whether that be how we work internally or how we get products to market, we have to introduce new and creative ideas to the channel. This is the only way the channel will continue to grow and blossom.
Every mature industry has had to go through these changes in the past and technology is no exception. In my opinion, it's an opportunity to do things bigger and better than before!