She was instrumental in helping to set up Digital Birmingham which was established in 2006 as the driving force to ensure that the benefits of digital and emerging technologies are available to all in the city and has recently launched the GO ON Birmingham Digital Champions programme which aims to sign up 2012 digital champions to get online and consequently signing up Blaze FM as a Digital Champion Business Partner.
Annette has recently started her own business, Bright Umbrella, providing advice and support to companies regarding their corporate social responsibilities relating to inclusion but also joins forces with local organisations and companies to raise funds and sponsorship which can be used to help create digital projects within the community.
"I believe that everyone has the right to be digitally, socially and financially included. Technology can help everyone to take advantage of the benefits that being online can bring, not just in terms of finding employment, saving money, improving skills but also helping to improve people's quality of life, health and well being"
Jonathan Harris - Executive Director
Jonathan has many years of experience in working within communites and social enterprise and has recently set up two Community Interest Companies.
The combination of Jon's recent experience in the third sector and previous work within national and local media has been a key factor in the success of the project.
"I believe that everybody needs to be heard; whether you are a community group, support project, social enterprise or an individual with your own mission in life, everyone should have the opportunity to share their aims and aspirations.
With the demise of true local radio, there isn't the opportunity anymore for those who need to make their voices heard for the benefit of others."
Blaze FM uses new technologies and social media to address this need, in our extensive research we have found that this need extends to local enterprises. Blaze has a unique approach to meet this"
Andy Beaton - Director
Andy moved on from Birmingham City Council as Community Economic Development Officer to work in third sector funding advice and personal development and training for new communities, before arriving at iSE in 2003 as Social Firms Development Manager, supporting people with disabilities wishing to consider social enterprise as a business and employment opportunity. This role developed into the post of Businesss Development Manager, as iSE developed a service offer aimed at all individuals, groups, charities and voluntary organisations wishing to explore social enterprise as a viable business opportunity. He continued in this role until leaving iSE in May 2011 to develop his current consultanty work on a freelance basis, maintaining a relationship with iSE by becoming an associate with the company.
He now has his own company Andy Beaton Consultancy, providing advice and support for the third sector.
Andy is married with two grown up daughters and three grandchildren.
When not engaged in work activities, Andy enjoys spending time with his family, watching cricket and football - being an avid Wolves fan. He is also the Vice-Chair of Birmingham Disability Resource Centre and for the past 34 years has maintained an active role in promoting traditional beer and pubs. He was a director of the national consumer group CAMRA for 8 years, including a year as Vice-Chair, as well as chairing many of the campaign's national committees and his local branch. Andy has facilitated a number of Strategic Planning Weekends for the organisation.
Alan Fullard - Associate Director
We welcome Alan Fullard to Blaze FM as an Associate Director.
Singer-songwriter Alan has over 30 years experience in the music industry and his list of personal friends and associates is reminiscent of a "Whos Who in Pop Music"
Having been featured regularly on Blaze FM's Irish Community programme "The Harp" and with the release of his debut album "Out of Nowhere" Alan's music has now crossed over to the main Blaze FM playlist giving his work a wider audience.
Bringing his vast experience, talent and enthusiasm to the table, Alan is a valuable addition to the team.
With training qualifications in nursing and community & youth work, Pete has worked in many fields of the health service, local authority youth service and the community and voluntary sectors throughout the past three decades. Since 1990 he has worked for three different user led disability organisations in Birmingham, Coventry and regionally across the West Midlands and was editor of Pinpoint - the region's leading disability magazine for many years.
Having learnt journalism and editorial skills in the disability sector, Pete recently worked for three years as editor of the Gazette series of local magazines across Birmingham, Solihull and parts of Warwickshire. He has also become a very keen blogger on his website Spaghetti Gazetti and edits the website of the Disability Resource Centre. Pete is an obsessed genealogist, a big Aston Villa supporter and lives with wife Theresa and their three wonderful children in Quinton.
"I am very excited to be joining the Blaze FM team. I think what Jonathan and the team are doing is fantastic, the music choice is superb and the general ethos is exactly what's required in these challenging times. I hope I can support the editorial development of Blaze FM by sniffing out community, social enterprise, arts and music news for both the blog and the