We talk to the IoD East of England chair and also managing director, First Ascent, David Sales, about the leaders he represents and the region’s plans for the next year
Why are you proud to represent the IoD?
Because it represents the people who strive to make business better for society and who are in the position to make a call on serious matters that affect us all. I also truly believe that developing our skills as directors should be a lifelong passion for all of us and the IoD supports this goal.
What’s the IoD’s role in your region?
We help our business leaders be more effective by helping them learn, connect and be informed.
Tell me about your members
We have more than 3900 members spanning all sectors from high-tech through to professional services and farming!
Which sectors would you like to attract?
Growth sectors in the East of England are high-tech, bio-tech, pharma and clean-tech. The more members from these sectors we attract, the more we’ll represent the industries for which East of England is a global leader.
Tell me a little about your region
We range from the historic fenlands in the north, down to the busy industrial and commercial zones near London. We have a long coastal area in the east and range across to the high-tech/education focus of Cambridgeshire in the west.
The landscape is characterised by being flat and fertile and we are one of the UK’s strongest farming areas. The flat landscape gives ‘the big skies’ of East Anglia that Constable and many others loved and historic cities such as Cambridge bring tourism to the area. There is too much history to mention - the Roman towns such as Colchester, global educational leadership roots of Cambridge, religious hubs such as Ely. If we go further back, we have some of the best monolithic and prehistoric sites in the UK!
We are delighted to be economically buoyant, although business challenges are as real here as they are across the UK.
What does your region offer business leaders?
We have five branches in the region and each branch provides support to local members, ranging from educational to networking opportunities. I am proud of everything our branch teams do for members.
I’m proud to say that in the past year, we’ve worked hard on making the Director of the Year awards more visible in the region. I’m delighted in the success of this as we are now giving celebration to some of the excellent directors in our region.
What are you most looking forward to, as IoD regional chair, in the next 12 months?
The full launch of IoD Advance, more initiatives at a regional level and supporting our new branch chairs as they take up their roles.
What’s your personal business ethos?
Be ambitious, be confident and be humble ….. and ask for help when you need it!
And finally, which business leader do you most admire?
I admire the unsung business leaders in our midst who are diligently developing great businesses that benefit society in the long run.