Ever since its foundation 118 years ago, our Institute has relied on the voluntary efforts and commitment of individual members to support and promote the IoD's essential function – that of setting and monitoring professional standards for Directors, whilst helping their endeavours and seeking both public and Government understanding of the crucial role played by business in the UK economy.
February this year saw the sad and premature loss of an individual, an erstwhile Vice Chairman of the Institute, whose long period of membership exemplified every element of the above.
Michael Large joined the IoD in the 1980's. Over subsequent decades he contributed massively – initially throughout the East of England region, later serving nationally in a broad range of capacities.
They included membership of the Policy & Executive Committee, forerunner of the present Board; an active member of Council; Chair of the Membership Committee, and a significant contributor to the Working Group from which the Chartered Director initiative evolved.
2004 saw Privy Council approval to a new Constitution for the Institute, reflecting a pressing need for change to accommodate a world unrecognisable to that of 1903. Michael played a leading role in the complex drafting process, conscious always, and from his own direct experience, of the challenges faced by the individual member and the manner in which the structure and support of IoD resources may best be targeted.
The period that followed was to see our Institute achieve record levels of membership, an unrivalled calendar of events and greatly enhanced access to, and reciprocity from, the policy makers of the early 21st century – from Downing Street and the Departments of State to the TUC and to our fellow professional Institutes.
Michael's contribution on a regional and a national basis was recognised in his award of an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Business.
A recognition richly deserved, as was his appointment as IoD Vice Chairman – granted to one with whom it was also a great pleasure to work over the years. An individual whose personality exuded good humour and charisma.
Michael is missed. His contribution lives on.
Christopher Beale OBE
IoD Chairman 2001 – 2006