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Island Influencers

Business & Economics Podcasts

Welcome to Island Influencers, where we share stories of successful business owners, experienced professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders based or with influence in the Isle of Man. This podcast is brought to you by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, because great Financial Planning has the power to change your life.

Welcome to Island Influencers, where we share stories of successful business owners, experienced professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders based or with influence in the Isle of Man. This podcast is brought to you by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, because great Financial Planning has the power to change your life.


United Kingdom


Welcome to Island Influencers, where we share stories of successful business owners, experienced professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders based or with influence in the Isle of Man. This podcast is brought to you by Thornton Chartered Financial Planners, because great Financial Planning has the power to change your life.






01624 660220


Island Influencer David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson has worked in the financial services market for 40 years, the last 30 of which have seen him and his family based on the Isle of Man. He joined NFU Mutual in 2012 to lead the Isle of Man office going forward and personally provide and ensure the team continues to offer the highest level of service possible to new and existing clients alike for their personal and commercial queries. He reminisces about life growing up in Singapore and the North East of England and shares how...


Island Influencer MaryBeth Coll

This week I talked with one half of the husband and wife duo who founded the sparkling winery and bar here on the island - Foraging Vinters. MaryBeth Coll is from the east coast of America, with a background in art school and law! She explains how she travelled a lot as a child with her father's job and then continued to do so after meeting her Australian husband, Ian, who was in the army. She shares with us how finally settling on the Isle of Man helped them not only avoid hurricanes! but...


Island Influencer Louise Whitelegg

This week Sharon talks to Island Influencer Louise Whitelegg, Christian Aid Isle of Man, Co-ordinator aka “Mrs Marshmallow lady!” Louise addresses her life, growing up in poverty and being the beneficiary of other people's kindness. She fought hard to get into university and gained an Environmental Health degree. In this week’s episode, Louise provides a fascinating insight into the astounding work that she and her colleagues at Christian Aid do. In episode 77 of Island Influencers we find...


Island Influencer Sam Turton

My Island Influencer this week is a voice you may recognise, Sam Turton, a reporter at Gef The Mongoose. We talk from “the best office he has ever been in!” about life growing up, including his education journey. We debate the highs and lows of journalism, politics and his pandemic burnout. Despite "unintentionally returning to live on the Isle of Man", Sam shares why he likes living on the Island and offers excellent advice on solving the challenges he believes the island is currently...


Island Influencer Clara Isaac

This week's Island Influencer Clara Isaac, director and founder of and explains to Sharon how she and her husband, whilst both pursuing careers in finance, launched (a cloud based payroll software) and (a kerbside recycling service with a modern twist). This is a fantastic example of how an idea quickly became a rapidly growing, successful Isle of Man business. The day we recorded our conversation marks the 1st...


Island Influencer Georgina Crebbin

Content Warning: Please listen with care and be aware that there are discussions/true stories from sexual assault survivors (including the word rape). Sharon’s Island Influencer this week is Georgina Crebbin owner of Crebbinsdale Media Ltd, a small, independent production company situated in the Isle of Man. Georgina tells me she has been creating things since she was very little, and made her first short film at thirteen years old. After that she began practicing photography, taking...


Island Influencer Sean Moffatt

Axe throwing is taking the world by storm and has been brought right to the heart of the Isle of Man by this week’s Island Influencer Sean Moffatt. Before axe throwing Sean was senior management at Barclays Wealth Management, and was at Lloyds Bank in various roles before that! So why an axe throwing business? Listen to this week’s episode with Sean Moffatt to find out! Here’s episode 73 of Island Influencers!


Island Influencer Donna Thomas

My Island Influencer this week is Donna Thomas, the owner & founder of the Heavenly Beauty Empire. Donna is one of six children who grew up on the island. She tragically lost her Dad when she was 15 years old and has worked incredibly hard to provide for her family ever since. Heavenly Beauty is a family run business and has been established for over 11 years. She has made it her mission to make Heavenly Beauty a place of not only impeccable service but somewhere people feel part of her...


Island Influencer Sarah Ingrassia

Chatting to me this week on Island Influencers is Sarah Ingrassia, Managing Director at Boston Multi-Family Office. Sarah left school with no intention of going back! She admits she fell into banking and shares her extensive experience in the trust and corporate industry, in a career spanning three decades with blue-chip companies such as Barclays Private Bank and Trust and Ernst and Young. Experiencing “many high highs and low lows” both professionally and personally along the way. Listen...


Island Influencer Ged Power

Our Island Influencer this week is Ged Power, owner of Isle of Man Golf Holidays and Powerwheels, tourism and private hire service. Ged is also a specialist in cruise ship tours, farm tours, cycling holidays and other active pursuits. He lives in Port Erin on the Isle of Man. He says himself "life is a bit of a journey at times." In this week's episode, he takes us on that "journey" with him. He shares some fascinating stories of his dedicated 25 years of service to the Isle of Man...


Island Influencer Dick Welsh

This week’s Island Influencer is Dick Welsh the Director of DW Maritime Limited - providing consultancy and registration services for one of the world's leading maritime centres - the Isle of Man. Dick talks to Sharon/me about his lifelong career in Maritime. From a merchant navy cadetship to a serving engineer officer, he came ashore to study Mechanical Engineering and become a Marine Surveyor, where he worked in Liverpool, Denmark, and China before returning home to the Isle of Man to...


Island Influencer Haafizah Hoosen-Charles

Sharon’s Island Influencer this week is Haafizah Hoosen-Charles, an experienced parasitology/education researcher and entrepreneur. She is the Co-founder and MD of Lyph Lab, providing evidence-based advice and support focused on health, wellness and nutrition. Haafizah’s story starts in 2001 when she along with her parents and little brother moved from South Africa to the Isle of Man when she was just eight years old. She talks to me/Sharon about growing up on the island at this time, with...


Island Influencer Jane Corkill

This week’s Island Influencer is Jane Corkill, Arts Development Manager at the Isle of Man Arts Council. Jane is incredibly musical and after obtaining her language degree from Edinburgh University, she talks of her scholarship and time at the University of Idaho singing in choirs and jazz groups. She has since met her husband, raised a family and settled on the Isle of Man, whilst completing a further degree to then teach music. Although she confesses that she does less solo singing these...


Island Influencer Phil Craine

We kick off Island Influencers 2022 with Manx born Phil Craine’s life story. He takes us on a journey of many twists and turns, personally and through his career. Phil’s path starts studying economics/commerce in Liverpool, then working at IBM, qualifying as an accountant and one day deciding to hitchhike to Israel! He takes us through his time working at KPMG, taking him to Pakistan in the mid 80s, China, and sharing many memories working at Christian Aid in London and Africa. All of his...


Island Influencer Julian Sutton

This week I have a slightly different Island Influencers episode for you. The legend Roy Moore, from Manx Radio TT fame who was my Island Influencer in episode 42, asked me if he could possibly interview my husband, Julian Sutton, who is a bit of a local golf legend himself! Roy and Julian reminisce over their love of golf (so apologies to any non golf fans!). However, if you are a golfer, you are going to love it! They will amuse you with their stories, sharing personal experiences of key...


Island Influencer Chris Kissack

This week my Island Influencer is self-confessed “geek”, Chris Kissack, currently the Business Development Manager at Affinity (Isle of Man) Limited. Chris is a lifelong gamer and esports solution specialist who is driven by a passion for problem-solving, thinking outside the box and a love for the video game industry. In this episode, Chris takes us on a whistle-stop tour of his life and career and through his fantastic story helps demystify esports. He explains that he has always been...


Island Influencer Basil Bielich

South African born Guinness World Record holder Basil Bielich joins Sharon this week to share his fascinating life story. Basil admits he "went to school to play sports" and confesses academics were not a focus; football, rugby and cricket were! Having to join the National Service post-school, his journey took him from the navy to the marines to becoming an officer. Then after knuckling down at University and getting a degree, he became an accountant. Basil explains how an introduction...


Island Influencers Paul & Tiffany Kerruish

This week Sharon has a "gin wag" with Island Influencers Paul and Tiffany Kerruish, owners of The Fynoderee Distillery in Ramsey. The idea of starting up a Manx gin distillery had been with Paul and Tiffany Kerruish for several years. As enthusiastic and knowledgeable gin drinkers, they had become increasingly frustrated that there was no small-batch gin producer on the Island when the botanical landscape and biosphere is so well suited to producing an original and high-quality...


Island Influencer Steve Rodan

Steve grew up in Glasgow; he had a keen interest in pharmacy so he studied it at university. Whilst studying, he admits, he was distracted by politics. Becoming a chairman of the Scottish Young Liberals and even standing for the general election as a Liberal candidate. Following his time at university, Steve managed a pharmacy in Bermuda and made many Manx friends while he was there who spoke highly of the Isle of Man. When his time in Bermuda was ending, he took a "bit of a gamble" and...


Island Influencer Sarah Comish

This week’s Island Influencer is Sarah Comish, the newly appointed General Secretary of the Manx National Farmers Union. Sarah talks to me about life growing up on her family’s farm on the Isle of Man, her love of art, horses, walking, and Elizabeth Taylor! She explains how travelling extensively around India changed her life, encouraging her to be “more confident and less cautious.” Sarah shares stories of her ten years in the film industry within the set dressing and props department....