Name:?Ed Vernon

Age:?53

Company:?Macildowie Recruitment

Turnover: ?9m?

First job:?I worked in the electronic design unit of Queen?s University designing microprocessor systems for some of the first mobile computers. I remember a new honours graduate working with us who nearly blew half of the room out after switching on his latest creation. He?d got the mains plug wiring wrong! I think the saying goes that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit ? intelligence is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad!

Dream job:?Drummer with Thin Lizzy or chair of a university business school. Innovation is everything for the UK economy, so I would go for the latter.

Car:?Mercedes Evolution

Economy, business or first class:?Economy. We?re in business to make money and lead from the front ? particularly in these difficult times.

Most extravagant purchase:?Porsche 911 Turbo, for ?108,000.

Most played song on iPod😕Let There Be Drums by Queen.

Best business book😕The Art of War by Sun Tzu and Winning by Jack Welch.

Worst business moment:?Making a huge investment in a dotcom just before the NASDAQ plummeted in March 2000.

Proudest business moment:?In my role as board member of Invest Northern Ireland, I was invited to the White House as a guest of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. This was part of a strategic trade mission where I was accompanied by the US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland.

Business mentor:?John Wright, an international non-executive and former banker. (John is from an era when bankers had a positive reputation.)

Next big thing:?The recovery of the economy. Everyone has a part to play ? ignore the overly negative business press and concentrate on driving up standards. One thing is certain: this recession will end.

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