Regional business leader Mike Blackburn OBE has been announced as the new Institute of Directors’ (IoD) North West regional Chair. Taking up the role following the end of Mike Perls’ three-year tenure, Blackburn will work with business leaders throughout the area, and with the IoD’s sub-committees in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria, Cheshire and Merseyside to communicate regional issues and influence national policy.
Mike, who is well known and respected in the region’s business community for his work with a number of private and public organisations is currently BT’s North West Regional Director and also Chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.
Within these roles, which also include his work with the Greater Manchester Enterprise Zone, the skills and employment partnership and GM’s Digital Strategy Board, he is well placed to champion the IoD’s work in the region as it supports entrepreneurs to grow and succeed by providing professional business training and networking opportunities. Mike is also a former winner of the IoD Director of the Year Awards; the national accolade for Non-Executive Director was presented to him in London in October 2016.
Mike said: “I am absolutely honoured and thrilled to have been appointed as the region’s new Chair.
“With this role comes great responsibility and, from the outset I want to affirm my commitment to our members; from day one I will use my voice to champion and promote the issues close to their hearts on a national stage.
“I am immensely proud to be an ambassador for the brilliant and diverse businesses we have in the North West; our world-class tech clusters who are doing amazing things that are putting our region on the global stage; our professional services businesses rooted in our cities; our defence sector organisations; and our ports and airports. I want to ensure that national policies are representative of the issues faced by every business and business leader, regardless of size, across our region.
“The IoD is a vehicle via which they can grow; I want to dedicate my time to making that happen.”
Added the IoD’s regional director Claire Ebrey, who headed up the search for the new Chair: “I am thrilled to welcome Mike to our team; he’s long been an advocate of the IoD and a part of our network for many years. His current platforms mean he is a great asset – and the perfect candidate to take the baton from our current Chair, whilst helping our members – and businesses across the region – navigate through the challenging political and macro economic issues ahead.
“Mike and I are in the fortunate position that we are working with passionate leaders and people so incredibly driven to grow their businesses. They spread their skills and energy, using their little black books to campaign for change and working hard on issues outside of their business.
“Mike’s own track record at multiple and recognisable North West organisations means he embodies this commitment and I am sure he will successfully fly our region’s flag on the national stage – helping us all do better business.”