Champion of the Week
Meet our Champion of the Week: Mike Snow, Advertising Manager of Reflections Magazine
My name is Mike Snow. I am Advertising Manager of Reflections magazine, and have worked for the company for 24 years, having lived in Chesterfield for almost 32 years -making me almost a ‘local’. I am now 60 years old and the proud possessor of an over-60s rail card!
I am particularly proud to say I live in Chesterfield surrounded and supported by a loving network of wonderful people.
Reflections magazine was founded by Graham Bannister in March 1992. Graham had previously started the Chesterfield Gazette at arguably the worst time possible – the start of the Miners’ strike in 1981. However, an iron-like desire to succeed and the support of 2 extremely proficient advertising representatives, Mike Cummins and John Cave made the newspaper a resounding success. In fact, the success of the newspaper was such that it became a genuine rival to the then-impregnable Chesterfield Advertiser, and was sold by Graham for what was then a significant amount in the early 90s.
Graham was never one to sit still, and, having produced 2 issues of Derbyshire Seasons, launched Reflections magazine in 1992. In early 1993 I responded to an advertisement in the job centre for the dubious position of van driver/delivery person for Reflections magazine. I went for an interview with Graham, and subsequently got the job. Graham was aware that I was keen to help in as many ways as possible and very soon sent me off copy collecting and then selling. And from there on the role became ever more embracing!
We now distribute 19,112 copies of Reflections magazine into Chesterfield, Matlock, Bakewell and Dronfield Woodhouse, and focus on Dining Out, What’s On, historic pieces, local interest features, and people pieces of which Chesterfield, Matlock and Bakewell have had numerous famous sons and daughters.
1. What’s your best memory of the town?
As a football aficionado, I suppose my favourite memory of the town is when Chesterfield reached the semi-final of the FA Cup, and, but for a couple of questionable refereeing decisions, would have made it to Wembley!
2. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?
I think that with the planned improvements within the next few years in Chesterfield, such as the Northern Gateway and Waterside Development, small businesses will flourish, both from working on the projects as well as by harnessing the opportunities emanating from the developments when complete.
3. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?
Chesterfield is, in my opinion, the ideal size of town in the ideal location. Not too big to get swallowed up, and not too small to be parochial, it offers opportunity to make an impact and become part of a buzzing, dynamic community. It is within an hour’s drive of Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, and within 10 minutes of the wonderful Peak District National Park. There is a good social offering of sport, theatre, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. The Chesterfield people are accommodating, friendly, charismatic and down-to-earth.
4. What are the positives of running a business here?
The positives of running a business in Chesterfield are its unrivalled location, the fantastic networking opportunities, the accessibility to road and rail networks, the splendours of the neighbouring Peak District National Park, the ‘salt of the earth’, yet dynamic and innovative characteristics of the people and a positive vision of the direction, in which the town is moving forward.
5. Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?
In terms of business advice, I rely heavily on networking opportunities, seeking the advice of my peers, business associates and colleagues involved in the same line of work.
6. Why did you choose to base your business in Chesterfield?
Using Saltergate in Chesterfield as the business base, the offices are central to the Reflections’ distribution area, which covers Chesterfield, Matlock, Bakewell, Dronfield Woodhouse and surrounding villages.
7. Who do you admire in the community?
As far as someone in the community I admire – I would choose the leader of the council, Councillor John Burrows. Councillor Burrows is approachable, dynamic, caring and, most important of all, positive and passionate about the future of the town.
8. What are the aspirations of your business?
The aspirations of Reflections magazine are to always strive to improve. With a commitment to embrace whole-heartedly social media, a determination to increase the size and quality of the magazine, and a passion to take on board the advancements in printing technologies, the future looks both challenging and exciting.
9. What advice would you give to someone establishing a business here?
My advice to someone wishing to establish a business in Chesterfield would be to go for it! It is dead central in location to the rest of England. So many cities are within an hour’s drive and the future looks positive and dynamic for business opportunities and developments.