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!”
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."