Message from the Founders
A message from our Company founders Sandra and Gary
BLS was established by Sandra Lomax and Gary Baker, along with another sadly departed colleague, Lynne Shackley, back in 2014.
We had all enjoyed successful careers in public service and businesses at senior level and felt that the Data Protection sector and advice, as it was then, was somewhat subdued with little practical and pragmatic guidance available.
Our unique experience and positive can-do approach was immediately popular with our peers and we were soon approached by some well-established, blue chip, global companies like Microsoft and KPMG to provide specialist Information Governance advice.
At the same time Sandra and I continued our own personal development, gaining new qualifications and roles which would ultimately enhance our business. Since 2018 Sandra has been Deputy Chair of the UK Caldicott Guardian Council, and in 2015 I was selected for training and development to become a Lead Serious Case reviewer across England and Wales.
We continue to develop our personal skills and abilities, and both attend several IG conferences and events across the world each year to maintain our up to date knowledge.
In 2016 we were chosen to provide IG advice to the newly formed Manchester Connect Group, one of only 3 consultants alongside KPMG and PCW to be selected and in the same year we began working with a local Software provider and established one of the first service applications to help public organisations deal with Freedom of Information requests.
By the end of our third year in business we had established our separate training company Stay Compliant and to date have trained over 5000 senior IG and medical professionals in the application of GDPR to their sector.
Along the way we have been supported by some great, handpicked staff who all share our high standards and ethical approach. We are fortunate to have engaged with some really encouraging clients and networks and built our company to the position where we have now been persuaded to expand into providing GDPR advice and bespoke support for non-EU organisations.
We have continuously provided solid, expert, quality advice to our clients to help them to comply with their obligations, whilst at the same time making full use of the huge amount of positiveness in the GDPR legislation and associated codes of practice.
They appreciate that only with our full depth of experience and understanding gained from decades of working at senior level can you hope to guide companies and organisations through the legal landscape.
We are immensely proud that our first handful of clients we gained back in 2014 remain loyal and supportive clients to this day.
As we have grown and at times been inundated with requests for help, Sandra and I have adopted a cautious approach to upscaling our business too quickly. We both have incredibly high ethical and quality standards. We have a very knowledgeable business advisor that we regularly consult with and some fantastic go-to, trusted people who have successful careers as CEOs and Chairs of public organisations that we can bounce ideas and concerns off.
Consequently, we have only grown our company when we felt the time was right, so that we would not ‘drop the ball’ or sacrifice our very high standards. We try to rely on our own committed employed staff who are fully engaged in the ethos and values of our business and we only use one or two dependable Associates.
We are very mindful of the importance of maintaining our products, clients and services that served as the foundation for growth of our company and that they are not sacrificed to make space for future focus.
To date we have only expanded following some deep thinking about our business model, timing, patience and cultivation of our company culture. We have always resisted growing too quickly by cutting corners to meet demands.
Sandra and I have never been so focused on the bottom line and expansion that we lost sight of our company purpose or our own, and our staff’s, quality of life.
At work, if we are not delivering or are immersed in our core values and maintaining our integrity, we will all feel that we have lost sight of our initial purpose.
We would like to thank all of BLS’s clients, supporters and our fantastic staff, to whom our immense gratitude is owed for creating the envied reputation and trust that BLS enjoys today.