Founder of the Manufacturers Alliance Receives Recognition Award

2020 was a challenging year for most of us for obvious reasons. The Manufacturers Alliance team felt their Founder and Managing Director, Gary Sheader, deserved some recognition for the way he navigated the Manufacturers Alliance and our manufacturing clients through the challenges of 2020.

Here are the words Jonathan Wurr shared on behalf of the team, while presenting the award to Gary.

“As a group, we felt that your exceptional work this year should be marked in some way.  

When you first started the Alliance, you spotted someone who needed help and realised that you could do something about it. More importantly you took action and chose to make a difference. This simple philosophy seems to underpin you and your work with the manufacturing community, to this day.  

You have a passion for growth and development; for helping people to become the best version of themselves. As leaders, and as people. 

And you align other people behind this vision, to help you be even more effective (look at the collection of talent you have assembled – The Avengers of the manufacturing world…) You demonstrate inspiring leadership, whilst continuing to work on and develop yourself, thereby being true to your own values.

Your determination to succeed and pursue your vision, can sometimes be difficult and certainly challenging for those you lead, but we never doubt your desire to do the right thing for those around you. Personally, you have inspired me to challenge myself and I live a fuller life as a result.  

As this strangest of all years comes to an end, we should reflect back on achievements this year.  I remember my first ever Zoom call, made in March from an apartment in Gran Canaria, when you pulled all the team together.  I was fearful and anxious about my own future and what was around the corner. We could have run scared, abandoned the Manufacturers Alliance project and hidden away until it was all over.  But Gary, you realised that this was to be our finest hour.  This was when we could make most impact and make the biggest difference. When our members needed us most.

Your decision to increase support to members, to rethink the way we could help, galvanised us all into doing whatever we could to support those in need. For me, it gave me focus and purpose at a difficult time.  Feedback from our members in the summer showed what an amazing impact your leadership had on the members and their companies.

Over the years, through the Alliance, the Academy and all the other communities you have created, you have changed lives, (including mine).  Because of you, our members are clearer on their goals and their personal ambitions.  They live less stressful and more meaningful lives. They are able to spend time with their families and provide for them in the best way they can.  

Because of you, our members businesses are stronger and more resilient, capable of providing secure employment for thousands of people. Their business can contribute more fully to their local communities. Because of you, their employees are more engaged, more fulfilled and in turn can live more satisfying lives.

You, and the communities you have created, have touched and improved the lives of thousands of people.”

It’s safe to say that Gary would much prefer to be the one presenting award’s than receiving them but was very proud to be able to accept the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Manufacturing Community from his team. Shocked by the surprise award, Gary had a few words to share with the team, “When you have a passion for something and get the opportunity to live out your purpose and just be yourself everyday it doesn’t feel like a job. Thank you for the thoughtful recognition.”


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers, suppliers, colleagues and friends for their support through 2020 and wish you all the best for 2021.