It was 2011 when Michelle Mook set up Pro-Development, an employee engagement and development specialists now working with SMEs in and around Yorkshire and the Humber.
The venture was established to deliver bespoke people, learning and development solutions that drive value and achieve the right outcomes for businesses.
With more than 20 years’ experience in employee engagement and development, and a passion for delivering solutions, Mrs Mook feels Pro-Development makes a tangible difference by developing people and helping businesses to grow.
Ms Mook left school at 16, very unclear of her career path. After attending Beverley College for a year, her first job was working for a small business in Market Weighton before joining Humberside County Council in 1990.
It was while working here that she was offered an opportunity to deliver a training programme for Social Services, which is where she discovered her passion for helping others to learn and develop.
Around the same time, she started studying part time at the University of Humberside, and achieved a degree in Business Management in 1995.
Ms Mook went on to work as a training consultant for a Microsoft Certified Training Centre before joining York Hospitals Trust as a training manager, where she spent a number of years developing other trainers. In 2006, her creative and innovative approach to learning and development was recognised by the Learning & Performance Institute, and she was awarded a Gold Award for Trainer of the Year in 2006.
Her passion for helping business to grow through employee engagement has also led her to volunteer with the national Engage for Success movement, which is committed to helping businesses release more of the capabilities and potential of people at work by enabling personal growth, organisational growth and – ultimately – growth for Britain.
What job would you like to have other than your own and why?
“I’ve always loved film and television, and had aspirations to be an actress when I was younger. I settled with supporting local amateur dramatics, where I have performed a number of starring roles: a cat called snuggles, a hockey-playing bumble bee and a nun (when I was six months pregnant!).”
“Personally it would have to be my two wonderful sons, who I am so proud of. Professionally, it’s the recognition I have received for my innovative and creative approach to learning and development which, last year, led to being selected as a finalist for Learning Professional of the Year against massive corporates such as Tesco and Barclays Bank.”
What makes you most angry?
“My core values are honesty and kindness, so I struggle with those who aren’t and also people who are disrespectful.”
“Gosh, where to start! Leaning on a table when I was training a group, only to discover it had wheels (it broke the ice and nothing else, fortunately!). On a more serious note, leaving it so long to set up Pro-Development. As a result of this, I have learnt to take more risks and be brave, though.”
What do you need to make life complete?
“I feel very lucky to be doing what we do, with such a great team, working with some amazing people and businesses in such a beautiful part of the world. I’ve got two fabulous boys, the best family and friends and I always find the fun in whatever I do. What more could a girl want? I guess the only thing would be to meet that special someone to share it all with.”
Why do you make a difference?
“Because we’re passionate about what we do, we’re creative and innovative and not afraid to be different. We always make sure that we have clear outcomes, which we always aim to exceed.”
“She believed she could and she did.”