Leaders February 2011

Green Light for Growth

EGM approves changes; reveals CSR project, BCCJ names new executive director

I am very grateful to all those who supported the Extraordinary General Meeting on 19 January. Through your attendance (and by proxy vote), you gave us the green light to forge ahead with what we believe are beneficial changes to the membership structure. Between now and March, we will work to refine the details so that the 2011–2012 Chamber year starting on 1 April will truly reflect those changes.

The launch of the BCCJ 3R Project, in conjunction with Hands on Tokyo will be on 15 February. The Chamber’s innovative CSR umbrella project is the result of demand from the Membership, particularly those small and medium-sized enterprises that lack the scale or resources for their own dedicated CSR department.
The 3R of the name stands for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Several major hotels in Tokyo provide unused amenities—soap, shampoo —that are recycled, repackaged and distributed to children’s homes and women’s shelters in and around Tokyo.

I am grateful to all those involved in this exciting new initiative, especially fellow Excom Member Tony Grundy who has been driving this.
Change is very much in the air, as you will see in this issue. While we in the Chamber are used to seeing a change of presidency every few years, a new executive director fortunately is appointed much less frequently. After 24 years in that post, Ian de Stains OBE is stepping down to pursue other opportunities. On this occasion, I’d like to thank Ian for his contribution over the years, and to wish him well in the future.

Meanwhile, we are delighted to welcome his successor, Lori Henderson, who will join us for a two-month handover before assuming overall responsibility at the beginning of April. The March issue of ACUMEN will carry a thorough introduction of Lori and she will have something to contribute. But let me say that Lori’s appointment reflects the recognition of the Executive Committee that we must aggressively pursue new approaches to building membership, and ever better serving the existing Members. I hope I can speak for us all when I offer a warm welcome, and I hope, too, that Members will offer their support as Lori settles in to her new position.