Alex Duke

Alex Duke


Prior to taking on the role of CEO, Alex worked for the Association at HQ in Harrogate for five years as the Commercial Development Lead when she also deputised for the CEO. She has broad ranging experience and has previously worked in a diverse range of sectors from fashion and manufacturing to homeware, lighting, and healthcare IT, predominantly but not exclusively in the SME sector.

Working with SME’s, including start up’s, has provided Alex with very hands-on experience and strong commercial understanding. She enjoys getting involved with the variety of departments in a business, understanding how everything hangs together and the challenges facing each section. She also has the practical experience of setting up several new businesses from scratch and successfully selling a healthy, profitable retail and web-based business of her own.

Her responsibilities have generally been in the management, planning, sales and marketing functions and she sees herself very much as a people person who thrives on colleague and customer interaction.

Working in New York for two and a half years as President of a US subsidiary to a large UK lingerie manufacturer gave Alex an appreciation and respect for anyone working in a foreign country. Alex says that, even as an English-speaking country, the United States was a minefield in terms of navigating subtle differences in language. She has huge respect for people working in the UK from abroad, for all the additional challenges that a different language brings.

Alex’s strengths lie in her analytical approach, planning, evaluating, and implementation of commercial opportunities that will support the continued development of the Association. She has a keen attention to detail and naturally curious (some may say nosey!) nature.

Her personal interests include dancing, design and photography and she claims to enjoy getting hot and sweaty at a gym class. A prolific tea drinker, Alex’s Sunday morning ritual includes taking not one but two cups of tea with her when she goes back to bed to catch up on the news, saying it saves getting up again and she always needs at least two cups of tea in the morning anyway – ask anyone in the office about that!