Our recent AGM marked a landmark day for the Institute, setting us on a course which sees the Institute engaging with all our members on a national level and will steer our growth in the years to come.
We must thank all the members who voted and agreed unanimously on a raft of significant changes to the running of our organisation.
Like many established institutions, we have historically relied upon various articles of association and bylaws in order to remain compliant with the requirements of the Companies Act and the Charity Commission. But as a rapidly expanding organisation, these were no longer reflecting the 21st century style of communication or the busy lifestyles that our members live.
Following an 18 months consultation and review of our operating and governance procedures, we proposed a raft of amendments to our articles of association and byelaws. The main points were outlined in our blog. The changes effectively merge the executive board and Council to create a 15 strong Board of Trustees and Directors, all voted for democratically from the entire membership. This is a significant change for the Institute, making it easier to run, more transparent and better engaged with all members.
The AGM also agreed unanimously to amendments to our membership categories to remove the ambiguities that have arisen over the years regarding the different levels of membership, and a complete overhaul of our membership branch network to ensure that it is fully representative and accessible to all members. The branch networks will be replaced with ‘special interest groups’(SIGs), tailored to specific areas such as insurance, law, banking and manufacturing which will allow members to share their knowledge and experience in their specialisms. Existing regional branches will continue to function as SIGs and indeed some SIGs may be regional and actually be a group of exporters with a broader remit but still easier to set up and manage.
We are confident that these changes will have a positive effect on both the running of the Institute and will boost engagement with all of our members.
The full list of board members will be announced in the coming weeks, however we are pleased that the following three members were voted in at the AGM – Tony Cruttenden, CEO, Business into Education, Sandy Gullis MBE, General Manager Land, Wincanton Group and Paul Toben, a Partner Manager at Oxford Innovation.
In what can only be described as an up-beat occasion, we were delighted to be able to share with members the ongoing successes that the IOE has enjoyed in the course of the last year.
From our continued growth, through our raised profile as a provider of excellence and professionalism in international trade, to our strong financial position and our expanded programme of support for British exporters – the outlook for the Institute is overwhelmingly positive.
Our task going forward is to harness this positivity and to use it as a mechanism to promote industry training and standards, to influence government policies and to encourage members to engage with us to continue to promote the development of the organisation.