"When I was asked to be a part of regenerating Sheffield, they simply said: Do for Sheffield what you did for Manchester but without the bomb."

Alison Nimmo

Alison Nimmo FRICS CBE, Chief Executive of Crown Estates is responsible for a £10bn public property portfolio/ She gave the first of our Inspirational Speaker series of talks on Wednesday 19 February at RICS London HQ.

Watch the full talk (one hour of free informal CPD for members) 

She gave a fascinating insight into her career, which includes being a town planner in Northern England, the rebuilding of Manchester city centre after it was bombed, the building of the Olympic Park  and now sees her as Chief Executive of the Crown Estate, overseeing projects ranging from the redevelopment of London’s West End to managing a 12-nautical-mile seabed off the coast of Scotland.

Highlights from the talk

Having juggled studying to become chartered with full time employment in the early part of her career, Alison knows how valuable having the right professional support network is for anyone who is ambitious. She is a strong advocate of professional sponsorship.

“The first time I was offered professional coaching was by David Higgins (London 2012). At first, I thought ‘what have I done wrong?’ but it has had such a positive impact on my career."

It’s an approach that Alison has adopted across her own team at the Crown Estate and, having been a part of one of the most successful delivery teams in history for the 2012 Olympics, she is a strong believer that success is a team game.

Audience at Alison Nimmo event

“I remember on 6 July 2005 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded London the Olympic Games and we were sat there with just one journalist from the BBC because everyone else was in Paris, as they were convinced Paris was going to win it. When it was announced that London was going to host it – it just felt incredible.

"Even today for me personally it’s still the Velodrome that amazes me. At one point I remember when the steel structure wasn’t looking set to meet its sustainability targets, so we had to look again at the materials we were using to make sure it did. We worked days and nights as a team to get it right – and when we did, it felt incredible.

"If there was one piece of advice I would give to anyone, it would be to always be yourself.

“I’ve been the girl who has tried for a while to be the guy so I could fit in. I’ve worn the power suits with the big shoulder pads and tried to be someone else – and trust me – it’s exhausting. Always have the confidence to be you.”

Our next Inspirational Speaker event takes place on Wendesday 22 April.

Audience at Alison Nimmo event

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