The IoD has appointed a raft of new ambassadors to its Kent team, following the appointment of Nigel Earnshaw as branch chair.
The five new ambassadors are leading figures from the county’s business community, who will each head up a specific sector. IoD ambassadors drive greater connectivity with members, support learning and development and give a local voice to the Institute, while ensuring that IoD national policy reflects local issues.
Patricia Lewis, Professor of Management at Kent Business School, has been appointed as Skills and Education Ambassador.
Patricia has in the field of gender and organisation studies for more than 20 years. Her research on gendered identity includes investigations of the masculine norm, authenticity and post-feminist femininities in entrepreneurial and organisational contexts. Her current research explores leadership in the City of London.
Ross Bartlett, sales director of Ashford-based fixings and ancillaries’ specialist VJ Technology, joins the team as Construction Ambassador.
Ross joined VJ Technology in 1999 as a sales coordinator before rising through the ranks. He has completed the IoD Certificate in Company Direction, including distinctions in the strategy and leadership modules.
Maria Coulson, managing director of Ricorda Consultancy, becomes Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador.
Maria is a former mental health clinician with more than 30 years’ experience in the private, public and third sector. Her work improves organisational culture and behaviours, with an emphasis on healthy and inclusive cultures. She supports clients with leadership development, coaching and people aspects of change. She is also passionate about valuing and promoting diversity and inclusion within organisations.
Navid Mehr joins the team as Marketing Ambassador.
He is an experienced director in the smart building technology sector, having worked for multi-national companies in sales, marketing and business development. With a wealth of commercial and technical industry knowledge, Navid has established distribution channels and brands in the UK and overseas.
Dr Richard Smith becomes Membership Ambassador, having recently moved to Kent after 21 years living and working in Yorkshire and the North East. He is a Chartered Director and former chair of the IoD’s West Yorkshire branch.
Richard has spent more than 35 years in the chemical industry in the UK, Netherlands and India with global responsibilities. He is currently the chief operating officer and director of 2M Holdings, a portfolio of chemical manufacturing and distribution companies.
Nigel Earnshaw, branch chair of IoD Kent, said: “We are building an excellent team in Kent, and we have further ambassador appointments to announce imminently. The IoD will play a key role in equipping directors with the connections and skills they need as we emerge from the pandemic. We will also continue to ensure that the voice of Kent directors is represented within the IoD’s influential lobbying voice.”