Leaders March 2011

New Beginnings

Warm welcome to our new executive director

March is traditionally the month of renewal and awakening from the depths of winter, and nowhere is this more evident than at the BCCJ. It seems like no time at all since I took over as president last April. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of bringing together a new team, under whose stewardship the Chamber has made improvements to the membership categories and benefits, and launched an exciting new CSR initiative in cooperation with Hands on Tokyo—BCCJ 3R.

Out of the blue in September, Executive Director Ian de Stains was hospitalised for major heart surgery necessitating several months of recuperation. The extended period of reflection for Ian brought forward his plans for the next stage of his career, beyond the BCCJ. This led the Chamber to seek a replacement and the opportunity to examine possibilities the next phase in our 63-year history offers. A new beginning, if you will.

On 1 February, we welcomed Lori Henderson, our new executive director, who is working with Ian to manage the smooth handover of duties. Lori is ably assisted by Operations Manager Sanae Samata, who did a great job by herself handling the Chamber administration during Ian’s absence.

Lori brings with her huge energy and enthusiasm as well as a clear vision of how the needs of the members can be met while offering a varied and interesting speaker programme, networking opportunities, putting something back into our community via the BCCJ 3R project, as well as the close liaison with our media partners Custom Media by way of BCCJ Acumen. New beginnings, one and all.

And don’t forget that, on 16 March, the Chamber is holding a celebratory luncheon at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo to mark Ian’s significant contribution to the development of the BCCJ over the past 24 years. It is a great opportunity to hear directly from him about his experiences and anecdotes over that era; I look forward to welcoming you all and to wishing Ian every success in his own new beginnings.