David Potter Fairwell

01 September 2017

I hope you had chance to grab some well deserved rest over the summer or at least managed to take some time out to breathe. I find that stepping back brings things into perspective, though it never seems to last before your back into the thick of it. This year things are slightly different as I find myself returning back from summer with one less job than when I started. It's part of the succession planning we put in place as my four years in the Chair role come to a close.

I have great pleasure in sharing with you that, from October, Professor Jane Harrington will be taking over as Chair of the CMI South West Region Board.  Jane is Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at UWE Bristol, is an Executive member of the University’s Board of Governors, having served as a Governor for nine years previous to that, and is a CMI Companion. She has extensive experience at Board level and excellent business networks that will serve the region well.

Over the last 4 years the South West Board has developed strong links across the region, running events to promote better led, better managed organisations and connected its members together. During my time as Chair, I have learnt a lot about leading and managing volunteer teams, the importance of giving people space to take ownership and the wealth of expertise, energy and innovation that our region contains. There is more to do and I hope as members of CMI you will continue to lead by example, promote the importance of management as a profession and support our new talent so that we remain competitive, creative and confident in our capabilities.

There are one or two highlights for me that I would like to remind you of. I am most proud of our Leading Edge 2017 conference and the work we do promoting women in management, celebrating leading authors, small business improvement coaching and our growing links with the working world and student population. Most of all though, I am proud of the South West Board’s commitment and dedication. In a great example of flexible working and inclusiveness we even welcomed our youngest CMI ‘member’ in the form of Rebecca’s new born baby joining our last Board meeting in July. My sincere thanks to the South West Board.