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Northern Ireland

Heather's 2019 Yearly Round-Up!

16 Dec 2019

Ho Ho Ho! The season of indulgence is upon us (and I love it!) but before I eat my weight in chocolates and mince pies, here’s a quick round up of some of my 2019 highlights with IoD NI!

Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC): what a day we had at the WLC in March. Inspiring speakers, a challenge to be the ‘best version of yourself’ and over 430 people (mostly females, some males) networking and building connections across all of NI’s business sectors. Personally, I was so impressed with the entrepreneurs who took part in the £4K Pitch. Our competition to win £4,000 to assist with start-up business costs. The calibre of the individuals, their business ideas and their passion and drive, was a great testament to the enterprising spirit alive in NI. We definitely set the bar high for this year’s WLC.  Though with our impressive line-up of speakers including award-winning astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, journalist and disability rights activist Joanne O’Riordan and Breege O’Donoghue, matriarch of Penneys and Primark, I think we will again deliver a super day. Tickets now on sale for 6th March, WLC.

Book tickets for WLC 2020

Young Directors: There is no age entry criteria for membership of IoD and we especially welcome young/emerging/developing directorsOur Young Directors programme is aimed at encouraging those new or taking on a director role.  The programme this year was an eclectic mix of events, seminars and the annual conference.  We heard from old Belfast punk, Terri Hooley, used VR headsets to write animation for Disney films and honed our juggling skills. All this whilst building contacts, confidence and learning from those seasoned directors who have been around for some time.  IoD is not just about the now – it’s about building a cohort of dynamic, capable, networked individuals who will be the next generation of leaders. We recently refreshed our Young Directors Committee – so watch this space for an even bigger year to come in this area! 

Brexit Ready NI.  There was no getting away from Brexit in 2019.  In a crowded marketplace of advice and events, I believe we delivered an effective marketing campaign, which resulted in thousands of businesses across the region receiving assistance to aid their preparations for the UK’s exit from the European Union.  The campaign, run conjunction with our partners KPMG, was based on straight forward advice and contingency planning – based on the facts and information currently available. We remain committed to ensuring our members have access to Brexit advice and guidance.

Other highlights include: 

  • building our local membership and welcoming over 130 new members to IoD NI.
  • assisting our members with their professional development as over 100 delegates started or continued with their IoD professional development qualifications to achieve recognition and accreditation in the role as director.
  • building networks and enhancing relationships with help improve director performance.

Looking back it has been a really busy and productive year.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting out and about, meeting IoD members and hearing directly how they leverage the local and national network.  Equally enjoyable has been the promotion of IoD to potential new members and advocating the benefits of joining us. Ultimately IoD is a member organisation and we continue to look at ways to enhance our membership experience and ensure return on investment for membership fees.  More information on some of the enhancements early next year.

Lastly on behalf of myself and the local IoD team – a very Merry Christmas and healthy and happy 2020! I look forward to catching up with you next year! 

As always, please get in touch if you have any queries or want to talk about IoD membership.

Heather White

[email protected] 

For more information, please contact the IoD NI Office on: 

028 9694 6209


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