Leaders April / May 2010

Changing of the Guards

April is always a time of change in the Chamber. With 31 March marking the end of one fiscal year and 1 April the start of the next, there are fiscal matters requiring attention: a presentation to the Membership of the year’s results and a new budget for presentation to the Executive Committee.

It is also time for elections to the Executive Committee, that grouping of volunteers who lend their time and expertise to the setting and oversight of BCCJ policy. Election is for a term of one year and multiple terms are possible. In some years there are few changes; in others the turnover is greater and this year we are saying goodbye and thanks to a number of long-term office holders and a warm welcome to new ones. This year — as happens every two or three years — there is a change of president. This is the Executive Committee Member elected by his or her peers to serve in that post and as Chair of the Committee.

As I set about preparing this message, I was reflecting on the number of changes I’ve seen over the 23 years I’ve been in the post of executive director. The incoming president will be the 10th I’ve had the honour of serving.

It is interesting, too, to see how the make-up of the Committee now more realistically reflects that of the Membership. As little as 25 years ago, the pages of the Directory of Members were essentially lists of what we might call blue-chip names, with little evidence of any British entrepreneurial spirit afoot. Today, I am pleased to say, things are very different indeed. We have many more members and they come from a diverse range of sectors.

What is also true is that more individuals from member firms are playing a more active role in what the Chamber has to offer. Currently our database of those receiving our events notices and such options as the Daily Media Highlights and the Political Scene mail shots is more than 700.
The work of building the Membership is never-ending. The Chamber is forever reaching out to those we believe would benefit from joining one of the most active British Chambers in the Asia-Pacific region, and we are supported in that effort by the UK Trade & Investment team at the British Embassy. We are always happy to call on potential new members, so if you know of an individual or a company that might be interested in learning about what we have to offer, please let the Secretariat know. We will be most happy to follow up.

Just as we focus on building Membership, we also know how important it is to demonstrate value to our existing Members and, as mentioned at the AGM, a Task Force is currently taking a thorough look at our current offering and what we might do to make that more effective and more valuable. We will be presenting periodic updates in future issues of ACUMEN.