Hertfordshire Agricultural Society General Manager & Show Secretary says farewell
Message from Kevin White – Chairman of the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society
After 15 years of exceptional service to the HAS, Mike Harman has recently tendered his resignation as General Manager & Show Secretary and will be leaving his post on February 28th 2018.
Mike joined the Society on February 13th 2003 and under his leadership has been instrumental in making significant positive changes resulting in financial, strategic and long-lasting tangible improvements to the Hertfordshire County Show, Herts Showground infrastructure and the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society. Our record 2017 advance tickets sales, our necessary and ring-fenced ‘wet weather’ contingency fund together with our progressively enhanced Hertfordshire County Show reputation, are just some of the many recent successes achieved under Mike’s executive skills and marketing leadership. Mike’s event and business acumen was deservedly recognised when he was elected by their membership to be Chair of the influential and national Association of Show and Agricultural Associations (ASAO) in 2012/2013, widely recognised as the ‘Voice of the UK Agricultural Show Industry’ representing over 200 UK based Royal, County and Agricultural Shows.
Mike’s vision on how our Show should look has paid off enormously with a ‘pay once ticket and all attractions free’ is a huge hit with families and a great marketing success. Improvements to the quality of the marquees, trade stands, signage and a zoning of the show ground have also lifted the quality and most importantly, the health & safety management in line with our increased attendance numbers.
During the last 10 years Mike has actively led and created the Showground development programme from a grass field, grazed by sheep, to a ‘fit for purpose’ secure Show Ground and large hire event venue, we can all be proud of. With improvement to roads, drainage, sewage, telecoms, additional permanent Show rings, security fencing and entrance gates. All of these structural improvements have been self-funded by our increased incomes and have resulted in a significant increase in our lettings revenue, from successfully winning the prestigious 2012 London Park and Ride Contract through to last year’s Meraki Music Festival which is planned to return in 2018.
Over the years Mike has led and developed a successful executive team together with personal mentoring. In the past 14 months Mike has worked closely with the Restructure Committee to ensure all the necessary legal paperwork has been in place for a smooth transaction with the revised HAS governance changes and reporting responsibilities approved at the 2017 AGM.
I am sure you would like to join me in wishing Mike and his family all the best for the future and we look forward to welcoming him and his family back at the Show for many years to come.