I realise Lori Henderson is a very hard act to follow. Taking the reins while she is on maternity leave is a huge honour. Everyone at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) and I wish Lori all the best for her new challenge and I don’t doubt for a minute that she will make an excellent mum. I am very lucky to have had a handover period with Lori, and have full support from the very efficient BCCJ office team, as well as the 15 Executive Committee members, who I will no doubt be calling upon during my time in the post.
In the thick of it
Already I have learned that life at the BCCJ is something of a whirlwind. We are constantly busy meeting current members, potential members, planning and executing high-value events, and trying to answer all manner of enquiries that come to our door from members and non-members.
Every day is different, and although not all involve meeting David Beckham, as BCCJ staff were able to recently, it’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment! Plenty more exciting plans are in the pipeline; be sure to keep up to date with current BCCJ happenings on our website and through our social media channels to see the latest news.
It’s an exhilarating time of year to be joining the BCCJ; preparations for the British Business Awards (BBA), arguably the highlight of our calendar, are well under way. Every year the awards attract a wide variety of high-calibre candidates, celebrating the best of the UK and Japanese business community, and this year is no exception.
The theme for this year’s BBA is DRIVE, and judges will be looking for winners who show competitive drive, and are a driving force for best-practice—driving employee engagement and stakeholder motivation, as well as diversity and inclusion, in the Japan or UK market.
The glamorous black tie gala, sponsored for the third consecutive year by Jaguar Land Rover, will feature a five-course Great British-themed menu with matching wines. We have oodles of fabulous prizes kindly donated by our sponsors to give away on the night, as well as top-notch entertainment—it promises to be a fantastic event. There are only a few tickets left, so you still have a chance to be part of the event. Please visit our website to reserve your spot. I look forward to welcoming you all there.
Welcome to Barclays
I am excited to be working with all our members, including Barclays, who we welcome as our newest Platinum member. Barclays join AstraZeneca, BT Japan, GlaxoSmithKline K.K., Jaguar Land Rover Japan, Robert Walters and Standard Life Investments as one of our top-tier members, and we are delighted to welcome them as champions of British business in Japan.
It is my pleasure to serve the BCCJ, its membership and the wider community as interim executive director, and I hope to see as many of you as possible at our upcoming events.