The Princess Royal, on behalf of the Queen, held an Investiture at Buckingham Palace on the 13th February where our Director General Lesley Batchelor received her OBE for services to business.
Lesley was very impressed with The Princess Royal’s knowledge of international trade developments and delighted that Princess Anne had taken the time to research her career.
Recalls Lesley: “It was a great honour and a privilege to meet Princess Anne who made the investiture personal and memorable for 93 people who received their special awards.”
A champion of UK exporters, Lesley is a graduate of both the Institute of Export’s Qualifications and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She has studied as an intellectual property auditor and has additional expertise in global licensing and marketing.
Lesley’s powerful track record in international trade and export marketing spans over 17 years working with blue-chip giants including Fujitsu Europe and Coca-Cola Europe, before setting up CMC Marketing in 1992 where she helped over 1,000 SMEs to understand how world trade worked and how to enter new markets.
The prestigious OBE reflects Lesley’s groundbreaking achievements. Elected chair of the IOE in 2007 and appointed Director General in 2010, Lesley has shaped policy and decision making at the highest levels. A member of the Advisory Panel and active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Trade & Investment and the All Party Manufacturing Group, Lesley gives evidence to The House of Lords Select Committees on various issues affecting international trade and Government support for SMEs.
At the forefront of launching initiatives to boost the UK’s exporting drive and economic recovery, Lesley’s achievements with the Institute include:
• Introducing the first ever business membership in 2008.
• In 2009 creating a pioneering International Award winningproject GuruOnline TV www.guruonline.tv/export (before you tube) – a free online tool where leading experts answer essential questions about conducting business abroad via more than 500 bite size video clips.
• Leading the drive for the IOE to achieve the Ofqual awarding body status in 2012.
• Introducing the flagship Foundation Degree in Professional Practice of International Trade in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University in 2011.
• Being invited in 2011 to join the judging panel of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise- International Trade category (ongoing).
• Launching a new range of learning materials; ‘Knowledge in Bite – Size Chunks’ in 2011 for busy people.
• Organising an annual Queen’s Award Gala Dinner in 2012 – ‘celebration of best practice’ for winners and IOE’s partners/stakeholders.
• Commissioning an annual International Trade Survey in 2012 – regarded as the most accurate independent barometer of the health of Britain’s export industry.
• In 2012 Lesley was the one of the three founder members of Community Interest Company, Open to Export – a Government initiative to create a peer to peer online community for companies seeking international growth.
• Founder member of IATTO International Trade Training Organisations, Lesley speaks at each Conference since 2009 and works with IATTO to achieve an international trade standard.
• Launching an online job board on the IOE website in 2012.
• Launching a groundbreaking Diploma in Worldwide Customs and Regulations in 2013 developed in consultation with some of the world’s leading companies, including Nissan, John Lewis, Adidas, Sony, and Tesco.
• Launching a Certificate in International Trade for Insurance Brokers (CITIB) in 2013.
• As a result of Lesley’s initiatives, the IOE in 2013 achieved a 68% increase in students taking courses.
• Adopting a collaborative approach and forging vibrant and productive partnerships with universities, membership organisations and government bodies including UK Trade & Investment, UK Export Finance, the ACCA, The Anglia Ruskin University, Plymouth University and Warwick Business School, The Welsh Government, Invest Northern Ireland and Scottish Enterprise.
• Attracting high profile guest speakers including Steph McGovern, Richard Noble and Martin Bayfield to key events such as the IOE’s annual graduation and the Queen’s Award Gala Dinner.
Concludes Lesley: “It would have been impossible for me to achieve these milestones on my own and I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our members, our board, our team and everyone who has supported our journey to the present day.
“In particular I would like to thank John Feerick and Kevin Shakespeare in their respective roles as previous and current directors of education as well as John Robinson, one of our valued Fellows – all of whom have played a key role in accelerating the Institute’s vision.