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let your personality shine

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Jackie Cuddy, Eastgate Center Manager. Photo: James Mackenzie.

Jackie Cuddy, manager of Eastgate Shopping Center in Inverness, says people should be judged on their performance, not their looks.

Q How would you describe your business?

Eastgate Center, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in January, is the premier shopping mall in Highlands and Islands with 60 shop units serving 8 million customers annually. The retail market is tough, but we’re looking forward to Rock and Ladder. Joining Masterchef winner Gary McLean and his five other eateries is his £2million exciting restaurant for locals and visitors, opening later this year.

A shopping center is an asset and managers are the people on the ground who must ensure that they are performing at their best, both financially and operationally.

People are constantly amazed by what’s going on in the background, providing a good experience for customers, profitable for retailers, and ensuring landlords get a good return on their investment.

It’s like running your own business. He is the only 4 people in the center management team supported by the facility management team. As Eastgate is important to the economy of the city center, its primary role is to network with stakeholders and recognize all major projects in the city center. The role of CSR is also high.

QWhy did you join the company?

pure chance. I left school without my O-Levels, not knowing what I wanted to do. After that, I went to college and got a master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing.

I worked for Birmingham City Council as Head of Marketing for Leisure Services. In 1992 he moved to a shopping center management position. The owner was asked if he would consider moving to Birmingham City in 2004 when he sold the center pavilion and also owned Eastgate. At the time, I didn’t know where Inverness was. I didn’t know it was beyond the Lake District.

Q What is your greatest achievement?

Getting A MBA was one of my greatest achievements and a game changer that pushed me forward and upwards. Recently I was asked to join the Retail Industry Leadership Group set up by the Scottish Government to create the conditions for a vibrant and attractive retail proposition in a fair working environment.

On National Women’s Day 2019, I was one of 20 women awarded the Scottish Businesswomen’s Association’s Inspirational Women of the Year award. The award recognizes and recognizes her achievements and contributions to the business and the wider community.

Q: Which businessman do you admire?

A People who have gone the extra mile and over-achieved through their persistence. I was reminded of that when Sharon White, chairman of John Lewis, spoke in a recent interview about how he doesn’t match his dress and is himself. Don’t judge by looks, judge by performance. I was surprised to hear her story that she suffers from Imposter Syndrome. She is a very smart and honest woman.

Q What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs?

A The important thing is to always treat your business as your own. And enjoy what you are doing. You’ll be able to let your personality shine through as your performance is greatly enhanced. Collaboration is also critical to success.

Q Please introduce yourself.

AI held its first fundraising dinner in Inverness, bringing together three cancer charities, Marie Curie, Maggie’s and Highland Breast Care, raising £45,000.

Having breast cancer led me to Maggie’s, where I attended the board meeting and organized a fundraising lunch. I was also a board member of the Archie Foundation.

I love swimming and yoga and am also passionate about art. If it wasn’t for Eden Court, I wouldn’t have moved here.

After 18 years, I’m settling in here and hopefully when I retire at the end of January next year, I’ll continue to live here and there are some organizations and charities that can put my skills to good use. I want to activate my brain! Maybe I’ll take another degree!

Eastgate Shopping Centre, Eastgate, Inverness IV2 3PP

Phone: 01463 226475

For more information on Inverness BID, see:

Phone: 01463 714550 Email:

The people behind the business are presented by Inverness BID.

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