Liz Cooper - Women of Inspiration 2016

AABW is the leading businesswomen’s networking organisation in Ayrshire, meeting at least once per month for lunch/dinner, networking, workshops, speakers, company visits etc.  

What is your current role within the company?

Immediate past president

What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?

I joined the committee approx 10 years ago and quickly became membership secretary, followed by Vice President and then President – a role I held for 7 years.  I have also looked after the website, events and Treasurer’s roles.  During that 7 years I led a relaunch of the organisation, increasing membership by 400% and to domination of the ASB Awards for the past 3 years – in 2015 taking home 6 of the 11 Awards. I taught Economics and Business Education for 34 years, retiring early in 2009.  I was responsible for developing many new courses across the department, writing the education authority’s software guide for 2007 and tutoring staff.  Known as “gadget woman”, I was one of the first teachers in Scotland to use computers within the classroom.  Often the only Scottish delegate at educational events in England.

What makes your company and/or your role stand out?

Eldest of 7 graduates (the first in my family) and proud mother of 3 graduate children.  I seized the opportunity to become a business education teacher and loved the job and the students.

AABW is now in its 22nd year and now stands as one of the most successful businesswomen’s networking groups in Scotland.  “We Know a Woman Who Can” is our strapline and we strive to support each other’s businesses.  A particular benefit of membership is our closed Facebook page where members can offer advice, support and business opportunities.Uniquely, in Scotland, we are the only businesswomen’s network to actively engage with school and college students.  I was solely responsible for this initiative under which students and staff are invited to attend our March celebration of International Women’s Day and then to another event – usually in October.   I am the only teacher who has become a Club President and the only teacher member of the ASB Ex-Co.  This relationship is further reinforced by AABW members assisting schools in their Young Enterprise initiatives.   Over the past 10 years we have enjoyed the company of approx 500 students and staff

What is your area of expertise / inspiration?

I am an organiser; I love to be involved in decision making.  I have been actively involved in committees at work and within my community for the past 35 years, often taking the top role.

What are your plans for the future?

I am the Chair of the Affiliate Groups within ASB and keen to expand our membership across Scotland.  I am part of the ASB Ex-Co.

What inspires or motivates you?

I embrace change.  Firm believer that you never stop learning.   I love working with people, making decisions to help others.  

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