The COPA team (from left) Steve Roberts, Sue Carpenter, Dan Summerfield, Liz Theakston and David Par
Nick Hill

Former media entrepreneur launches new events and travel venture

David Parkin, a former business journalist and media entrepreneur, has launched a new travel and events business called COPA.

Based in Leeds, the new venture (www.copasummit.com) aims to provide events and travel services to corporates, professional firms and funders across the North of England and in London.

Parkin, who has previously worked as a business editor of the Yorkshire Post, received support from a number of successful entrepreneurs and investors in the new venture.

Steve Roberts, co-founder of McInnes Corporate Finance and chairman of AIM quoted group Northern Bear, has invested in COPA and joined the Board in a semi executive capacity.

Andrew Dick, co-founder of professional services firm Begbies Traynor has invested in the new venture alongside Dan Summerfield, former director of challenger bank Aldermore. The investment will be managed by Panacea, an entrepreneurial investment company founded by Roberts and Summerfield, which specialises in providing capital and strategic solutions to support and grow SME businesses.

Liz Theakston, who had a successful event management career in London before moving to Yorkshire, and office manager Sue Carpenter, who has worked with several leading professional firms in Leeds, have been recruited by COPA.

As well as providing travel services to both corporate clients and individuals and has a network of contacts in private jet charter, hotels and airlines, COPA also has access to facilities at many of the leading entertainment and sporting venues across the UK.

David Parkin said: “With the economy continuing to improve, more and more firms want to spend time with key clients and targets. The big question is what will attract the right people and deliver value?

“The days of the corporate ‘jolly’ are in the past but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the time you spend with clients and contacts enjoyable and interesting while also delivering that all important return on investment.

“COPA combines the quality of the people, the experience and the venue to deliver a remarkable event that can be so much more than another golf day or a table at a sportsman’s dinner.

“Launching and growing a business is all about getting the right advice and support by working with talented people, it’s great to have that in Steve, Dan and Andrew. “

Andrew Dick commented: “David has unrivalled contacts and knowledge of the business community across the North of England and COPA has some innovative ideas on how to deliver great value from events and travel experiences. It has an exciting future and I’m pleased to be investing in it.”

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