Steve Dawson, director of Food from Britain North America, doesn't mind admitting he jumped at the chance to move offices in August from Connecticut to a swanky 1930s art deco building in the Big Apple. "The city pulses with adrenalin," he says of state capital New York.
Indeed, Dawson's own working life mirrors the thriving metropolis. No sooner had he finished the office move than he was preparing for the opening of FFB's Canada office, which has just taken place. He's also the driving force behind FFBNA's PR service for food and drink brands, which just went live.
Then there's his everyday work to help UK manufacturers market their products throughout North America.
"One week in six I'm likely to be in the UK, visiting suppliers," he says. "Otherwise, I'm here supervising three consultants."
Dawson commutes from Connecticut, where he lives with his wife Leslie and 13- year-old daughter Ella. His work involves cultivating close relationships with US retailers who provide the swiftest routes to market. For suppliers, he handles anything from market research and data analysis to running consumer focus groups. One week recently was crammed with meetings with companies ranging from Unilever to niche regional manufacturers seeking his advice. "My biggest challenge is getting clients to realise how complicated the market is," he says. "The supply chain is longer and more fragmented than in the UK, the climate changes rapidly and shopping habits are promiscuous."
Dawson should know. Including the eight years in his current post, he has worked in the US for 13 years in marketing roles, with stints at Keebler and UB subsidiary Carr's Table Water Biscuits.
Now he's an Englishman in New York. It's a dream come true, he says.
the supply chain is more fragmented than in the uk'