Leaders May 2012

New Year, New Face for BCCJ

Welcome to a new BCCJ year—and from a new face on the president’s page. It is both an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to serve you, the members, as president of the BCCJ for the 2012–13 chamber year.
My first words should be to thank my predecessor, Philip T Gibb, for all his work as president of the BCCJ over the past two years. During that time, the chamber saw dramatic changes, with the first new executive director in almost a quarter of a century and a new website.
This period also has been marked by one of the most devastating disasters of modern times, and the way the BCCJ, under Phil’s leadership and in close cooperation with the British Embassy Tokyo, responded to these events has only increased my pride to be a member of this group. So, Phil, I believe I speak for the chamber at large when I say “thank you” for all you have done.
As I move into my new role, what can I say about the BCCJ that I see before me? First, let me say that I believe the state of the chamber is strong. Membership has strengthened over the past year and we will continue to seek new members.
I believe that it is through communion with other members that we accrue the greatest benefits from the chamber, and so I hope we can continue to expand the membership in order to provide the best opportunities for networking.
Second, last year saw a repositioning and strengthening of our events programme in terms of both quality and diversity of subjects. I am confident we can continue to offer the range and level of speaker events that capture your imagination and interest, so I encourage you to attend and enjoy even more membership benefits.
When renewing your membership, don’t forget about the free online coupons that are now available, and please do take part in chamber programmes.
Third, from looking at our CSR activities, it is clear the events of 11 March 2011 made us focus our attention on the plight of the many strong and resilient individuals and communities that were most affected by the devastation that day. As we move into the 2012–13 chamber year, the BCCJ will strive to provide opportunities for involvement in CSR activities to members but, above all, to those members working at SMEs that may not otherwise have the scale to arrange such opportunities.
Fourth, … Actually, no. That is quite enough from me. What do you want from your membership? The chamber is blessed with a very strong executive committee and secretariat, so I would ask you to reach out and let us know what you would like from us, and how you would like to be involved. I look forward to sharing the next year’s adventures with you.