In each newsletter we’ll be giving you a pen-portrait of a BNI member – including a few things about them that you may not know! We start with Darren Roberts: Around the time that BNI was founded in the mid-eighties, Darren joined Rainbow Print on a YTS Scheme, making tea, emptying bins and sweeping floors. Twenty-eight years later he and co-director, Hayley Jones, run the business, a successful lithographic and digital printing company, following a Management Buy-out in 2003.
Merthyr born and bred and the son of a colliery worker, Darren is now a Labour Councillor for the Merthyr Vale ward, where he and his Ward colleague have been successful in attracting £6.4 million of funding to develop an old colliery site, including two new bridges, a new road and, eventually, affordable housing. It was BNI that gave him the self-confidence to run for council. “Before I joined BNI I don’t think I would have had the confidence to play a part in a meeting or speak confidently in public.” says Darren, who now chairs one of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees.
To home life and, amusingly, Darren has a dog called ASBO. Asked why the American Hairless Terrier was named after an Anti-Social Behavioural Order, Darren explains that he was re-homed from the Dogs’ Trust and already had that name.
He’s also a rock bass player (Darren, not ASBO), but has long since given up band life and instead now enjoys travel, food, rugby and wine in his spare time. Married, with a 27 year old son and 19 year old daughter, Darren is a veteran member of the Quinnell Chapter, where he recently tipped the £1m mark in “Thank You for the Business”. An avid spread-sheet fan, Darren has been tracking Rainbow’s return on investment from BNI since they first joined seven years ago, and was delighted to pass the million pound milestone. “We were very pleased to hit the figure, particularly as it coincided with our 30 year anniversary”says Darren. “As well as revenue, BNI has given a lot to me personally and I hope that I have given back, too.”
Rainbow Print is based in Merthyr Tydfil and provides high quality, affordable print to companies across Wales and the UK. You can contact Darren on email: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit Rainbow Print at www.rainbowprintwales.co.uk to find out more!