The snowdrops and daffodils are out – even some tulips – which is way too early!
But spring has definitely sprung with IoD NI having a bumper February.
What a night we had at Crowne Plaza for our Annual Dinner on 7th February. Our host for the evening was Karen Patterson who so gracefully hosted the event – no mean feat in a room full of chatter and buzz! Guests enjoyed the erudite Martin McCourt who shared his business journey and encouraged business to ‘act big – but think small’ in order to maintain creativity and hunger. Kevin Stephens from Almac was the lucky winner of the amazing raffle prize, an international holiday for two, donated by Selective Travel & British Airways. The raffle raised £11,780 for the Community Foundation for NI.
Gluttons for punishment - we followed this with – The Women’s Leadership Conference – on 8th March. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘The Winning Edge’ and the conference celebrated the best in female business leadership and talent. We had over 450 attendees, for what was a jam-packed, informative and fun day. Our speakers openly shared their experience and advice, providing inspiration and encouragement to those in the room. Sarah McAnallen won our £4k Pitch Perfect, with her Ezi-sock invention. Well done Sarah!
This month I have been catching up with existing IoD members to ensure they are fully maximising all the benefits IoD can offer. It has been great to hear about the inspiring and successful businesses in NI and to see the resilience and business acumen displayed by our members in these challenging and turbulent conditions. IoD remains heavily involved in discussions with other business bodies and Westminster representatives to ensure Northern Ireland is robustly represented during this period.
Nationally, IoD has launched a new marketing campaign to direct members to current factsheets, reports and useful information. The campaign - We Back Business. Full Stop. has significant resources to help inform members on the business fundamentals, including policy, movement of goods, people, contracts, IP/Data Protection. There is a wealth of information on the campaign website.
We continue to celebrate Northern Ireland business through our annual Director of the Year Awards. We have received some very strong applications this year from a wide range of businesses at various stages and across all sectors. We hope to announce the shortlist very soon, with the awards ceremony taking place on 17th May.
And finally a reminder to any new directors, or those looking to refresh their knowledge on the role of director, including the fundamentals of governance - sign up for the Directors Bootcamp – 17th April, delivered by William Curry from Arthur Cox. We are delighted to have Clare Guinness, CEO, Warrenpoint Port and Paul Rothwell, CEO, Sliderobes Group share their personal experience as company directors as part of this event.
I would love to hear from you on any of the areas above or to talk about IoD membership.
Looking forward to seeing you all at an IoD event soon.