Posted on 7th July 2016
Award is icing on the cake in agency’s 30th anniversary year
Lea Graham Associates received a surprise 30th birthday present on Friday night with an award for its founder and MD.
Susan Fleet, who set up Lea Graham Associates (LGA) in Burgess Hill in 1986 and went on to launch its sister agency Lea Graham Entertainment with her husband Graham in 1990, was honoured for her Outstanding Contribution to the Community in front of colleagues and clients at the Gatwick Hilton.
The Sussex Business Matters Award recognised not only Susan’s achievement in delivering PR and marketing services for more than 30 years, but also her profound personal impact on the local community through fundraising, mentoring and pro-bono services.
A ‘Burgess Hill girl’ and talented semi-professional singer, Susan organised her first charity event at the tender age of 13, staging the first of what was to become a remarkable series of concerts that have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes over the past 45 years. For 15 of those, she has acted as a pro-bono PR advisor to many of the beneficiaries, forming a particularly close association with St Peter & St James Hospice at Chailey, the IMPACT Foundation and the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity in Billingshurst.
A firm believer in the power of networking, Susan is an active member of several business organisations, including Burgess Hill Business Parks and Gatwick Diamond Business, where she promotes a more collaborative approach, especially to benefit start-ups and young people – a philosophy she puts into practice by mentoring the next generation of PR professionals in the workplace and beyond.
Commenting on the Award, Susan paid tribute to the many friends and colleagues who have supported her over the years. She added: “PR people shouldn’t really be the ones on the podium – but I firmly believe they should be entering their clients! As a PR professional, I totally endorse initiatives such as the Business Matters Awards because they are an excellent way of raising a company’s profile while at the same time aiding recruitment. It makes staff and clients proud to be associated with success, so my advice is keep entering them!”
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"“We have been members of BHBPA from its inception, and seen the organisation steadily grow and expand into the dynamic entity it is today, bringing positive benefits to all its members.""
"If Carlsberg did networking they would do it the BHBPA way. Each event is packed with great ideas, thought provoking presentations and fun. As a small business we feel supported and part of the community. We have built friendships and business relationships and there is always plenty of advice on hand to benefit us all so don’t hesitate to join whatever the nature of your business. "