Dawn Jeakings hands over the baton to Dennis Baldry
After nearly six years at the helm of one of south Essex’s most innovative and dynamic business organisations, Dawn Jeakings has announced that she is stepping down from her role as the Chair of Southend BID. The role will be continued by Dennis Baldry, the Centre Manager of the Victoria Shopping Centre.
“From day one, Dawn has brought her remarkable passion, tireless work and drive to promote and bring together the BID and her support for all things Southend,” says Mr Baldry.
“Since she announced her decision, there has been a plan in place to ensure a smooth handover between Chairs,” explains Dennis. “As part of that strategy, I’ve been working closely with Dawn since the new term of BID started and following this, I am fully prepped to take over. This is a really important role within the local business community and town itself, so I’m really keen to get on with the job. Of course, in the interim, it is business as usual.”
Dawn has a proven track record of serving the town centre. Prior to assuming the role of Southend BID Chair, she had been Chair of the former, Town Centre Partnership, a business organisation partnered with the Council.
John Dillon, Store Manager at Debenhams Southend and a newly-appointed BID Director says: “Dawn is now handing over the mantle to Dennis, who has been a Director since the inception of the BID, and is perfectly placed to take over the role. Dawn will still be a Director and heavily involved in the success of the town centre. Furthermore, Dawn will continue to play a role leading on numerous initiatives, such as changing negative perceptions of Southend’s High Street and town centre areas and will continue to be a driving force for positive change.”
“Dawn has done a superb job. She’s seen Southend BID brought into existence at the very first ballot among the potential members and secured its second term in 2017 with a decisive vote in favour an increased turnout of 54%. It’s important to remember that it was always her intention to Chair the first term of the BID & then pass on the reins after the second ballot,” explains John. “Dawn has not only played a vital role in establishing Southend BID but also created a stable platform from which it can continue to grow and develop.”
Alison Dewey, Southend BID Manager paid tribute to Dawn’s energy, commitment and focus during her time as Chair: “I’ve known and worked with Dawn for almost nine years now and have been consistently struck by her passion to improve the town centre. It’s important to bear in mind that the responsibilities of her former role as Town Centre Partnership Chair and Chairing the BID have been voluntary.
“On a personal basis, Dawn has been incredibly supportive. My highlights of working with her have to securing two terms of the BID, which has brought thousands of pounds of additional investment into the town centre. I’d also say bringing events such as the first 4d light show to Southend, as well as enabling Southend’s hugely popular firework programme to continue for at least another decade.”
She added: “My team and I are very much looking forward to working with Dennis (Baldry), who I think will be very proactive and bring new leadership qualities to the role, which in turn will help us to deliver our plans for the four and a half years of the current BID term.”
Reflecting on her role, Dawn said: ''I've worked in the town for over 30 years and remain extremely passionate about Southend's success. Three decades ago I don’t think anyone quite foresaw the creation of business-lead organisations like Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) across the UK, but I do think they are a dynamic and innovative force for good in town centres, so am especially proud of my role in seeing the creation of Southend BID and having the honour of chairing it through its formative years and, of course, guiding it through two successful ballots, both in extremely challenging times. I will remain a director of Southend BID and look forward to supporting Dennis as Chair and continue the organisation’s great work.”
Dawn finishes in the role on 31st October and Dennis will become the new Chair from 1st November.
For more information, please visit www.southendbid.com