Welcome From West of England Chairman – Trudy Brown
I am delighted to follow John Foster into the Chair of BIBA West of England after his year in office during which time he focussed on reaching out to businesses across the region in an effort to secure more support for the common cause.
During my term I intend to continue the theme set by John and work with the committee to engage with the wider membership across the region, including prospects, at a time where the Strategic Review will enable our region to have it’s say in the future of BIBA.
I believe passionately that no one knows the South West better than the Brokers in it and it is therefore essential we listen and ensure we have our say.
2013 will see BIBA’s Strategic Review, the end of the Statement of Principles and the arrival of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not one of our businesses will be untouched by these events and it is essential we are close to the decision makers and able to influence and input where we can.
To have the support of such a strong and established Regional Committee is invaluable to me. These dedicated professionals continue to give up their own time to represent the interests of our members and without them the region would not have achieved all that it has done over so many years. I am also pleased to have Barry Blakley on board in his role as Regional Executive - his tireless efforts ensure we achieve our goals.
Our BIBA compliance forum continues to be extremely successful and we will continue to run these on a quarterly basis throughout 2013. We will mirror the venues used for 2012 (Bristol + Plymouth + Exeter) and Steve White from BIBA HQ will be in attendance to provide his usual informative update. Other venues will always be considered to meet the needs of the local membership.
2012 saw the BIBA theme “Shaping Our Futures” and the annual conference in Manchester was extremely well supported. The conference will be back at Excel in London for 2013, and the theme is Meeting The Growth Challenge, something every one of us is up against on a daily basis.
An exciting development is the review of the Young Broker of the Year criteria and there is much discussion around an “apprentice” style opportunity. I believe we should all be identifying our emerging talent and future entrants. During my term of office I intend to try and share my focus in this area with members, old and new and try and generate more interest from younger brokers. I am fortunate to have Kathryn Rodd as my Deputy. Kathryn will be a huge asset in this area and I look forward to working with her over the next two years.
The Annual Dinner continues to be very well supported and we were able to donate just over £2,000 to the four Air Ambulance Services operating in the South West, from the raffle money collected at our 2012 Dinner.
You can keep up to date with our regional programme, via the West Of England section of the BIBA website, and always feel free to contact me in connection with any BIBA related issues.
Trudy Brown – BIBA West of England