Sharon Styman pioneering a new direction at Twin Towns

For the first time since its inception in 1950, Twin Towns Services Club has a woman on its board of directors. Sharon Styman is a successful local businesswoman who has taken on the mantle with aplomb. She discussed her new role and the future direction of Twin Towns with Blank GC.

Congratulations on your appointment to the Board of Directors at Twin Towns. It is very surprising to hear that Twin Towns has had no women on their board until now. Why do you think that is so? 

Thank you. I feel tremendously honoured for the role and grateful for those members who obviously had a vote of confidence in me.

Yes, it is surprising that this is the first time a woman has been on the board and there has been a range of reasons for that. For me, though I am focussing on the present and future obligations and priorities as a Director. There is a lot to learn, as I’m sure you would appreciate, so I have my head down and embracing the steep learning.

Not discounting this opportunity to sing the praises of women. With the sad passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, it‘s right to acknowledge and celebrate past achievements and recognise the positive change and growth for women. After all it is 2020 and these are modern times. Even though the past is what it is, the future wheels of progress are moving forward.

What do intend to bring to the role, not only from a female perspective, but also given your vast experience as a business owner, real estate principal, and now company strategist? 

I’d like to think I can bring a fresh perspective because of my business experiences. I have been in a variety of roles over the course of my career.

My first director’s role was in 2002 with a local not-for-profit association working with families in our community. I suppose this role has shaped how I view business and the capacity that business brings to helping local community. Valued partnerships occur between the business sector and not for profit associations so joining these groups together can foster positive momentum and assist shaping the future for the good of many.

Twin Towns has a strong view on working with community yet at the same time gives extraordinary support far and wide. This aligns nicely with my perspective and my set of personal values.

As part of the governance team I’d like to think I’ll add value in a way that also continues to help ensure that our children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren will benefit from all we have and have had, and as a club has to offer.

Twin Towns has a history of offering quality acts at its performance venues, and hopefully this will continue in the future. Does Twin Towns have see any difficulty in getting their audiences back post pandemic?

I’ve always enjoyed the shows at Twin Towns. One of the other things I found out when I joined the board is that entertainment is a cost to the business. I, like many, thought it was a profit centre only to learn that it never has been. The Club is likely to record the smallest loss in the history of the showroom this year as it’s been closed. Little wonder people find it good value.

Live music has been especially hard hit during the pandemic. It’s not just about when and how we can get back to business in this space it’s also about what will be on offer. Many of the acts we present are internationals and there will need to be a period of certainty around the ability to travel before the promoters are likely to step back into bringing these people to our shores let alone our venue. The flip side of this is of course our home grown talent will likely fill any void.

One of the things that has heartened us has been the thirst for entertainment even when it’s been impossible to present. We see on our digital analytics that people are searching constantly what’s on in the showroom, a pretty good sign they are keen. In October and November we are also going to trial some of live shows under COVID rules, both in the Showroom and main lounge. While it’s a test we are quietly optimistic.

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