The IoD regional chair for Yorkshire and the Humber is Jon Geldart who is Executive Director - Markets Development: Greater China at Grant Thornton International Ltd.
He is the author of several books on China.
Why are you proud to represent the IoD?
The IoD supports directors to be better directors. It does this by providing personal training and development to help improve the quality of directors at the helm of businesses.
Importantly, the IoD ensures that the local voice of business is heard at a national level which means messages, beliefs and needs of directors and members in our region are heard and understood by government.
The IoD is the recognised voice of those at the heart of British industry - the engine of the UK economy.
How many members do you represent, and in which sectors?
We have around 1,300 members in the Yorkshire and Humber region who come from a wide variety of industries ranging from traditional manufacturing to cutting edge technology.
Our membership includes experienced entrepreneurs and emerging, young directors. A great mix.
Which sectors would you like to attract?
are welcome to join the IoD of course but we are particularly keen to hear from
young, developing entrepreneurs who can take advantage of our Young Directors’
IoD 99 membership, which costs just £99 for a year.
What is so unique about your region?
The Yorkshire and Humber region boasts a fantastic, diverse economy. Its history is drawn from a range of industries – from manufacturing, the cloth trade and fashion through to design, finance, media and tourism.
The region also now enjoys a global footprint because of events like the Grand Depart, part of the Tour de France 2014. Such events put Yorkshire on the world stage and have helped attract overseas investors to the region.
Furthermore, Yorkshire and Humber entrepreneurs are known for calling a spade a spade. They are straightforward, direct and easy to do business with.
What does your region offer business leaders?
We have recently moved our Leeds headquarters to the historic Cloth Hall Court in the city centre. The Grade II listed building is part of Leeds Beckett University and a great venue for members and business leaders to meet and enjoy high quality networking and professional events.
The IoD’s focus is on things which matter to business in the region. Infrastructure is a great example. Lobbying for improvements in infrastructure is very important to businesses not just in Yorkshire and Humber but across the Northern Powerhouse regions.
By being vocal with our colleagues in the Northern Powerhouse we can bring about change for the benefit of business.
What has your region done in the past year that you are particularly proud of?
As a region with a powerful voice for business, we are increasingly attracting senior IoD representatives and politicians who want to hear what we have to say about issues including devolution and the Northern Powerhouse agenda.
I was particularly pleased to see Margot James MP, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility join us at a roundtable discussion held at Rudding Park, Harrogate.
Events like this demonstrate how we are raising the issues that matter to business and directing our voice straight to the top of government.
What are you most looking forward to, as IoD regional chair, in the next 12 months?
more members to the IoD to give a wider and even more diverse voice to our
business community at a time when Brexit negotiations and international trade
are becoming increasingly important.
Finally, what's your personal business ethos?
If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got – so do something different.