The Institute of Export & International Trade recently hosted its 2017 Annual Members Dinner at One Great George Street in Westminster, London. It was once again a fabulous celebration of all of our members’ export achievements and another year of hard work in the industry.
Delighted to announce our new chairman
It was a particularly momentous evening with farewells and fond welcomes dominating the pre-dinner speeches. Chief among these was the announcement of Terry Scuoler CBE as our new chairman, following the Institute’s AGM earlier in the day.
Terry has been CEO at EEF since 2010 and sits on the boards of the Sector Skills Council for Manufacturing and the University of Sheffield of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Institute, is chair of the Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries, and is a member of several ministerial committees.
In a speech to the members in attendance, he announced his excitement to be joining the Institute’s board in what is sure to be a fascinating period for the Institute given the renewed focus on exporting in the UK following Brexit.
And many thanks to our previous chair
And with every appointment comes a farewell. Ian Taylor FIEx has been chair of the Institute for half a decade and continues to be a tireless and passionate advocate for export. He remains the CFO at Quortus Limited – a software company supplying advanced technology to mobile telecoms operators and governments worldwide – and we are sure we will be staying in touch and listening to his wisdom for years to come.
Tributes were also paid to Mike Strawson FIEx who recently passed away. Mike was one of our most honoured members and was even awarded with the IOE&IT Lifetime Achievement award in 2013 for his outstanding contribution in export sales and in teaching international trade skills to others. Mike had also been working at Chamber International in Yorkshire for well over a decade, and we were delighted that some of his former colleagues were in attendance as tributes were made in the pre-dinner speeches.
Michael Portillo shares insights and hope around Brexit
And in terms of post-dinner speeches, we were delighted to hear some of the wisdom and memories of Michael Portillo – the former MP turned broadcaster. Many in attendance were fascinated to hear Mr Portillo’s thoughts about Brexit and we can only hope that his estimation that political posturing in the negotiations will eventually turn into handshakes and a deal comes true.
Another year gone by, onto the next
As 2017 now begins to fade into its festive end, the members dinner felt like a great excuse to reflect and blow of some steam. With the UK’s post-Brexit position likely to start become clearer as the negotiations (hopefully) progress towards trade, it will be another important year for the Institute as we continue to support the UK’s exporters, teaching the UK's businesses the skills needed to continue to thrive in global trade.
It should also be noted that 2017 has been Lesley Batchelor’s 10th year as the Director General at the Institute. Here’s to hoping that the next 10 years are just as successful!