Acorn winners 2016: Thomas Pass, 23

01 July 2016
Acorn winners 2016: Thomas Pass, 23

Senior business development manager, Caterlink

Nominated by Richard Flynn, director, Caterlink

Proudest moment "Heading up the sales process for a group contract worth £5m."

Greatest inspiration "My mum has instilled in me the mentality that you have to work hard to succeed. I am also motivated and inspired by my company's founding directors, William Baxter and Alastair Storey."

Ambition "To continue to learn and develop with the hope of becoming a director."

If Thomas Pass isn't an inspiration role model for the industry, who is? His dedication is demonstrated through his impressive career progression. Having started in sales administration, Pass worked hard to gain the skills he needed to become sales executive. Once in that role, it soon became clear that at the age of 20 he was equipped to become the company's youngest business development manager.

Pass now manages a team of five, leading them to deliver business growth of £40m through winning 470 new sites across the country. These included local authority group catering contracts, academy group contracts and standalone school and college contracts.

Despite his youth, Pass's acquired knowledge and natural people skills mean he is an effective mentor for two graduates completing the WSH Momentum programme.

He hasn't neglected his own self-development, either, having learned disciplines such as HR, IT and client relations. Pass has clearly also learned that by managing, inspiring and working with people correctly you can maximise their ability to grow and to drive the business's success.

Pass has managed many projects, including the implementation of a new online payment system and the design and implementation of a new marketing programme that achieved £1.2m sales growth.

Beyond the job, Pass's talents know no bounds. He has developed an online web agency and launched a student radio station, attracting more than 100,000 listeners.

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