LeaderFest 2022

Our annual flagship event, The LeaderFest conference is on Tuesday 8th November:

Tuesday 8th November 2022

The British Motor Museum

Time: 10:00am-4:30pm

MD2MD is delighted to announce the return of it’s annual flagship event, LeaderFest.

Our members conference has grown to become one of the premier annual events for ambitious business leaders, offering a unique opportunity to learn with and from fellow business leaders.

British Motor Museum

British Motor Museum

Banbury Road, Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0BJ

The British Motor Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of historic British Cars; it boasts over 400 cars in its collection which span the classic, vintage and veteran eras.

Situated in the small village of Gaydon, Warwickshire, just off junction 12 of the M40. The Museum building is a spectacular piece of architecture with an art deco design, whilst the Collections Centre building is a modern contrast. Together they stand proudly in a beautifully landscaped setting of 65 acres, which rolls out onto the Warwickshire countryside.

Information about local accommodation at the bottom of the page:

How to get there

What is leaderFest?

LeaderFest conference

LeaderFest is a conference – with a difference. As with everything MD2MD you will find the emphasis is on pragmatic action.

Rather than sitting listening to speeches and talks from ‘experts’ you will discover LeaderFest encourages interaction. We adapt our core approach of leaders learning with and from leaders to a larger scale by interviewing experienced and interesting business leaders on stage. Then, more importantly, we encourage business leaders like you to engage directly with them through questions and answers from the audience and through private conversations with them and with fellow business leaders between interviews.


In another year where major challenges facing business are as pressing as ever, hear new ways to approach challenges from other leading thinkers, take away fresh insights to try out and connect with new supportive colleagues from member companies around the UK, Europe and South Africa.

Who is on stage this year?

This years program promises to be as inspiring and thought-provoking as always. Our CEO, Bob Bradley will be exploring leadership insights, experience and stories through a panel of interviewees and speakers and as always the floor will be open to questions.

Phill Blundell

Phill Blundell has been Chief Executive Officer of AirTanker Ltd since 2005, culminating in the successful award in 2008 of the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft contract, the UK’s largest defence PFI deal involving the development of new and innovative concepts in both contracting and support. When AirTanker Ltd and AirTanker Services combined their strengths to become AirTanker in September 2017, Phill became the Chief Executive Officer of the new collaborative business. Prior to AirTanker, Phill worked in the defence, aerospace and automotive sectors, most recently for BAE Systems leading businesses covering large manufacturing operations, and systems and software companies.

LinkedIn profile

Liz Jackson

Liz Jackson MBE is an inspirational figure with an extraordinary story. After running her own award-winning company for 17 years – a business which she launched the year she lost her eyesight – Liz is now a director at leading Corporate Finance advisor BCMS. The first business in its sector to become majority owned by its employees, BCMS is a corporate finance firm with a difference, with a 50/50 male and female leadership team, and a long-standing commitment to supporting philanthropic causes at home and abroad.

LinkedIn profile

Clare Pickin

Clare’s background is very firmly in manufacturing having started out with a Manufacturing Engineering degree from Aston University and then working in construction products for Saint Gobain, as Group Operations Director and General Manager.  

Currently Clare is the MD for the Manufacturing Technology Centre, which focuses on delivering bespoke manufacturing system solutions for customers.  Her role provides her with the opportunity to more widely impact UK plc, through encouraging innovation and the use of a manufacturing mind-set, tools and techniques across a wide range of industry sectors. She believes that UK manufacturing is essential for economic sustainability, and is very keen to spread the word and encourage talent to enter this profession. 

LinkedIn profile

Jena Mukina

Since 2004, Jena has worked with new market entrants and established institutions to reinvent educational solutions that deliver engaging and intuitive student/teacher experiences while driving revenue growth and achieving economies of scale. As a founding entrepreneur and CEO, she has worked closely in private education’s strategic management and business development. Jena led, as CEO, Little Ashford Group, an owner-managed network of 16 early childhood education schools (including digital learning) that received extensive international coverage for its achievement in child development. She believes in the words of Nelson Mandela – “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world”.

LinkedIn profile

John Cardy

John recently sold his family company, Big Game Hunters, after 24 years as MD. They built the company from scratch to become a leading e-commerce player in Outdoor and Sports Play, designing and manufacturing their own product ranges.

John loves building a team, developing people and doing new things. That love helped drive their new product development over those 24 years making sure that they always had a plan for what they were doing in two years time.

Having sold the business, he is now working on some exciting new projects as well as indulging in spending more time cycling and swimming.

LinkedIn profile

Nick Holzherr

Nick is an entrepreneur, investor and the CEO of Whisk (acquired by Samsung). He founded Whisk in 2012, raised $2m from investors to scale the company and then led the business to profitability. Whisk onboarded some of the world’s largest food companies in the US, UK, Australia and Germany.

Nick presented Whisk to Lord Sugar in the final of the BBC Apprentice 2012, where he achieved the series’ best task-win record. In 2019 Whisk was acquired by Samsung NEXT, Samsung’s software and innovation division. Nick now leads 120 people building the Samsung Food Experience which is available across many different devices.

Previous to Whisk, Nick founded two other businesses. In 2017 Nick was awarded an honorary doctorate from Aston University. Nick has been featured in leading publications including Newsweek, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The BBC and The Next Web.

LinkedIn profile

Fiona Bennett - Keynote Speaker

Fiona Bennett LeaderFest Keynote Speaker

Fiona is a Lean Business Innovation thought provocateur, who delivers international keynotes to Finance and Operations Leaders, as well as being a regular guest lecturer within Operations Management at Warwick Business School. Most recently she came runner-up in the final of the prestigious ‘Speaker Factor’ competition run by the PSA (Professional Speakers Association), held in front of 200 international professional speakers at the Global Speakers Summit, Dublin 2022. 

With more than 20 years of experience, Fiona has worked with tech start-ups, global multinationals, public and third sector organisations, helping drive strategic transformation and laying the foundations for continuous improvement and innovation.

LinkedIn profile
LeaderFest Guests

Who attends LeaderFest?

LeaderFest is a conference for operational business leaders. Attendees are current members of MD2MD as well as some of their immediate leadership teams. Places are also available to leaders from outside our membership for a small fee.

Attendees represent companies with tens to hundreds of staff, from across varied industries and geographies.

Whilst the event is UK based we encourage all our members from across Europe and South Africa to attend.



Feedback from last years LeaderFest conference:

MD2MD LeaderFest
  • Very enjoyable. Great networking and being amongst real world leaders refreshing + inspiring
  • Great event. Good amount of people and interesting speakers
  • Very good event. Well run + good speakers.
  • Great venue, hospitality. Speakers diverse, some linked with MD2MD-more could be from outside network.
  • Really enjoyed this and have picked up some good points. And lovely to finally meet the MD2MD team.
  • Very useful to take time out to reflect on these leadership issues.
  • I found the event eye opening for the future economy, innovation and for the future of my business.
  • Really interesting speakers and good calibre of attendees.
  • Thank you, I enjoyed today. I think i took something from every session- time away from day job to hear others views is great.

Be inspired at LeaderFest 2022

The LeaderFest conference is already known for its positive, thought provoking and ultimately inspiring ambience, giving attendees time and space to learn, connect and plan.

Register for LeaderFest

Book your place:

Places available depends on your specific membership plan. To book your place please email events@md2md.co.uk or if you are unsure of your membership entitlement you can either visit the membership plans page or ask for guidance via events@md2md.co.uk

If you would like some help with anything else, please just ask our team.  We will do our best to help.

LeaderFest sponsors

The MD2MD LeaderFest conference is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.

If you would be interested in sponsoring LeaderFest this year then please get in touch by emailing events@md2md.co.uk for more information.

Freeman Clarke logo 600x350

Freeman Clarke

Technology can have a transformative effect on your business. But finding the right people to deliver that transformation is often a challenge. Thankfully, Freeman Clarke have the largest team of fractional Board-level IT leaders, and we’d welcome the opportunity to work with MD2MD members. We can fit the right person to your requirements and culture and at a rate that’s more affordable than you think!

Clients often ask for help with the following: IT Strategy; Team Leadership and Development; Bespoke Software; Digital and Online Initiatives; IT Integration & Reporting; Cyber Security and Risk Mitigation

Freeman Clarke
LeaderFest business leader making notes

Benefits of attending

  • Gain new insights and know how to lead your company into the future
  • Increase your exposure to new ideas, concepts and fresh approaches  from different sectors
  • Meet a broader section of our membership outside of your peer group
  • Listen to inspiring ideas from the stage
  • Connect with other like minded leaders, compare notes, develop opportunities and learn from each other as well as from the platform 

Making connections

There will be ample opportunity to connect with your peers in-person, to encourage collaboration, ingenuity, and mutual problem-solving that the MD2MD community of leaders is renowned for.

Link to places to stay nearby:

If you are looking to stop over then the British Motor Museum offer a handy hotel finder service to help you secure the best rooms, at the best rates, local to them in Warwickshire and beyond.