Dynamic Mersey business duo tell their stories for International Women’s Day

Marnie Millard is chief executive of Vimto maker Nichols and Sue Grindrod performs the same role at the Royal Albert Dock and will speak at The Women’s Organisation event. Tony McDonough reports

Prince Charles
Sue Grindrod, chief executive of Royal Albert Dock, with Prince Charles in February 2019


Iconic soft drinks brand Vimto and Liverpool’s Royal Albert Dock are both run by successful female executives – Marnie Millard and Sue Grindrod.

And both women will this week offer their insight on how others can follow in their footsteps at an event in Liverpool being organised as part of International Women’s Day 2019.

Social enterprise The Women’s Organisation’s Business Club has teamed up with NatWest to host the event on Thursday, March 8, to be held at its headquarters, 54 St James Street.

The theme for the event is ‘Women can …’ and the two guest speakers will explain how they made it to the top of their chosen fields.

Marnie Millard is group chief executive of soft drinks manufacturer Nichols, the Newton-le-Willows firm behind the world-famous Vimto brand.  Established in 1908, Nichols, which exports across the globe including the Middle East where Vimto is a firm favourite during the Ramadan festival, the company now turns over £142m a year.

She is also a non-executive director for Finsbury Foods, is North West chair of bosses’ organisation, the CBI, and is a member of the management board of the British Soft Drinks Association. Marnie was awarded an OBE in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to International Trade and Businesses in North West England.

Marnie Millard
Marnie Millard is chief executive of Vimto maker Nichols


Sue Grindrod is chief executive of the Royal Albert Dock. She is responsible for the strategic development and management of one of Liverpool’s most precious tourism, cultural and retail hot-spots.

In June last year she successfully secured the prestigious Royal title for the dock, granted by the Queen, in recognition of the pivotal role the waterfront destination plays in the fortunes of the city region.

Early in February the dock hosted an official visit by Prince Charles, who was making his first return since formally opening the site following extensive regeneration in 1988. Sue is also voluntary chair and director of Liverpool Waterfront Business Partnership CIC, deputy chair of Liverpool Visitor Economy Network, and a director of Open Eye Gallery.

Speaking ahead of the event, she said: “Women in business that support each other and champion the success of our counterparts create a powerful effect, bringing about real change.

I believe that we must provide support for our peers and our teams, especially when they are facing huge challenges. Helping others to learn and grow through the process means that we all gain something.

Stepping outside of our own comfort zone to mentor and support others is vital to bring through fresh and exciting ideas.”

Marnie added: “Throughout my career there are times when I have had to be really brave, very determined, but always doing what I considered to be the ‘right thing’, and learning along the way. I look forward to sharing a bit of my working life at the event.”

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