David Kerfoot: Barry Dodd 'always brought out the best in those around him'

David Kerfoot, the chairman of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.
David Kerfoot, the chairman of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.

The death of Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Barry Dodd CBE has inspired tributes from businesses and political leaders to charities and grassroots organisations.

Here David Kerfoot, the chairman of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership, reflects on the achievements of a successful entrepreneur who believed wholeheartedly in giving something back:

Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Barry Dodd CBE.

Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Barry Dodd CBE.

"When Barry first told me he was going to become Lord-Lieutenant, he couldn’t believe it. That this self-made business man should be the Queen’s representative in North Yorkshire was not just a huge honour and responsibility, but an opportunity to advance a personal philosophy that had shaped his career as both a businessman and public servant: the drive to give something back to the l region.

Read more: Biography - Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Barry Dodd CBE

"By this point, I’d known Barry for 20 years, for the past six of which, I’d worked closely with him to set up the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP as both his deputy chairman and close friend. In becoming Lord-Lieutenant, Barry was in his element: seeing and taking advantages of opportunities that could benefit Yorkshire as a whole.

"For Barry, the Lord-Lieutenancy was a chance to deliver real change. He was an inspirational leader who was driven by a personal philosophy of going above and beyond the duties of public office to give something back to his region. For a man whose career touched so many, he was never aloof, he was a man of the people.

"In business, Barry’s achievements were incredible. A self-made business man, he built up a group of globally successful companies. But despite his achievements he was unassuming, warm and always brought out the best in those around him.

Read more: Yorkshire business community pays tribute to Barry Dodd CBE

"What many people aren’t aware of is how successful Barry was in bringing people together, to create opportunities for conversations and collaboration, something he described as “soft power”. His penchant for partnership working, his leadership skills and his relentless commitment to the region was absolutely fundamental when it came to ensuring that this Local Enterprise Partnership, to many a rural hinterland, could “punch above its weight” and stand shoulder to shoulder with other regions of the UK.

"Linkages between organisations, both public and private, were an essential part of how he worked. As Lord Lieutenant, one of his most obvious legacies will be the upcoming Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Barry was always keen to raise the profile of this region and to improve how the office of the lieutenancy worked with businesses and the wider public as a whole.

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"In that way, in supporting the growth and development of those around him, in working tirelessly with others and for the advancement of the region, he was able to cast a legacy far longer and wider than himself. With his passing, that legacy doesn’t end. Those partnerships and relationships, the philosophy that defined him and the ethos he inspired in others will continue to live on as testament to his work.

"He is survived by his wife Frances and his mother. Our prayers are with them and our thanks and gratitude are with him, eternally."