New Co President: Ann Johnson - Hello!!!!!

14 August, 2023

By Ann Johnson

Hello everyone, my name is Ann Johnson and I am lucky enough to have just taken the position of Co President alongside Isabel McNicoll. Thought it would be helpful if you knew a little about me and over the coming months I will share my story and hope you will share yours too!

Our company, Blaze, started life in our summerhouse in 2006 and we our turnover was £18.5m just 8 years later. To this day I part own and work as the Commercial Director at Blaze Manufacturing Solutions which is a Fire Detection and Protection company for high hazard assets (think Oil rigs, mines, Nuclear sites - if it can explode, we are interested!!) Blaze was named one of the top Companies of Inspiration in the UK by the London Stock Exchange and we went on to complete their Elite Programme with visits to No. 10 and meeting of Dragons from the Den to name but a few highlights. Sounds impressive right, but wouldn't it be better if I told what its really like to own such a company?

Well, originally from Manchester, I am 53, a wife (work with my husband of 32 Years, Howard). Mother (work with both my boys Jamie (31) and Andrew (28)), Daughter (my 86 year old father lives with us) and Grandmother of 3 girls and 1 boy. Infact think of me more as Mary Bobbins than Mary Poppins.

There is never a dull moment as I own two shetlands ("why" my husband cries, what are they for???) a cocker spaniel called Edie, and 7 chickens. I regularly attend meetings with hay in my hair, muddy shoes (because I always forget to pack my wellies) and have even attended a function without the elbow of my sleeve as my sh1tland, Eva, bit a hole in it and I hadn't even realised!

I have had more than my fair share of ups and downs, walked away from a £20m deal to sell our business, then cliff edged with the oil and gas down turn but am fortunate enough to have a very supportive set of friends and family which honestly money can't buy (will tell that story one day!)

So that's my first ever blog, my cv sounds amazing but am just a normal, middle aged grandma/mum/wife/daughter trying to make sense of each day, I make mistakes all the time, regularly am really cross but can't remember why - sound familiar??? One thing I have learnt by meeting very famous leaders, they are just like us! My goal for ASB, to help every member have the opportunities to raise as far as I have had the opportunity to. Stories, Strategy, Tips and laughter to follow in the coming blogs!!
Ann x

Stay up to date

Get the latest news from ASB including news highlights, member spotlights and event & award updates.

Sign up to newsletter >

Get involved

Want to support women in business? Get involved with ASB by sponsoring an event, becoming a Keynote Speaker, partnering with us and much more!