The Luxe Lowdown: Elaine Stroud

Luxe sits down with The Entrepreneurs’ Forum CEO, Elaine Stroud, to get the lowdown on her busy schedule - both in and out of the office...
Elaine Stroud

GETTING TO KNOW YOU >>

Name
Elaine Stroud

Title
CEO of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Where is home?
Ponteland

Three reasons you love where you live?
It’s easy to get out into the Northumberland countryside but also very close to the city and the airport.

 

THE DAY JOB >>

What do you do for a living?
I lead The Entrepreneurs’ Forum which brings together like-minded North East business owners to help each other grow their companies more easily. We run vibrant events ranging from private dinners to large conferences along with a successful mentoring programme.

The North East needs more entrepreneurial leaders to start, scale and grow businesses in order to create better employment opportunities for our region, and the Forum is here to help with this agenda.

A day in the life of you?
I’m an early riser and like to get up and do some form of exercise before getting the family ready for school. I spend my days planning the activities to inspire and support North East entrepreneurs.

Yesterday was spent planning the features for our next magazine and today I’ve been researching questions for our upcoming podcast – each day is different and I love it.

I try to split my time across the whole of the region as we have members from Alnwick down to Middlesbrough. I enjoy learning more about what makes our members tick as I think the more I know, the better I am at connecting them to people who can support them.

Any recent, ongoing or upcoming projects or achievements we should know about?
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum is turning 20 this year. Since being established in 2002, by Lorna Moran OBE and Sir Peter Vardy, we’ve welcomed over 1,000 entrepreneurial members and over 10,000 delegates to our events, and on 22 June we hosted a celebratory gala dinner at the Hilton.

The following week on 2 July I led a sponsored hike around the beautiful Kielder Reservoir as part of our mission to raise £20,000 for Cancer Research and The Prince’s Trust, our chosen charities for 2022.

What does downtime mean to you?
When I’m not working, I love to compete in triathlons so spend a lot of time swimming, cycling and running. I have to fit all of this in around my family and my cocker spaniel, Kohi – hence the very early morning starts.

 

LESSONS IN LIFE >>

What did you want to be when you were growing up? 
A Blue Peter presenter, mainly because the audition included jumping on a trampoline, which looked like a lot of fun.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Try to be kind.

What is your greatest fear?
Injury – to me or my family.

Which living person do you most admire and why?
The Queen. I think she is a wonderfully authentic leader who is still working at the age of 96, which is something not many people would ever choose to do. I admire her ability to remain positive and inspire everyone she comes into contact with.

 

LIVING LUXE >>

What is top of your bucket list?
South America – all of it.

What is your most treasured possession?
My photo albums.

What does the weekend mean to you?
I cycle most Saturday mornings with friends, then spend the afternoon with my family before getting up to run on Sunday morning.

I run Ponteland Junior Triathlon Club and coach kids on Sunday afternoons before collapsing in front of the TV with a large glass of red wine.

A memorable holiday?
I’ve been lucky and have travelled a lot so it’s hard to find a destination that stands out. My most memorable trips have been trekking in Nepal, a 5-day visit to North Korea where even our bedroom was bugged, and a working holiday for Raleigh International in Namibia.

I love spending time on the Northumberland coast with my family as the beaches are as good as any
I’ve visited around the world.

Best dress?
That’s a tough one. I don’t have time to go out enough to buy too many dresses, but I have some nice work outfits which get worn a lot.

Who would be your top-three dinner guests?
Bono, Chris Evans and Chrissie Wellington – I don’t think I’d get a word in edgeways though.

The last place you ate?
My hotel in Olsztyn, Poland.

The last book you read?
I’m currently reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. The last book I finished was The Floundering Founder by Raman Sehgal, who is an amazing North East entrepreneur.

The last thing you listened to?
The High Performance Podcast. I love this podcast and recently listened to the episode with Dr Rangan Chatterjee who was talking about how to live a happier life.

The last thing you watched?
Stranger Things – I am watching with my 14-year-old son.

Your luxe things in life?
My Cervelo bike which I use for triathlon racing. My husband also bought me a lovely Cuyana tote handbag which I love as it’s big enough to fit my laptop inside.


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