Dear Members and Friends,
Thank you all for your support and engagement with the Chamber this year. Our Chamber and this community will thrive only upon the support and the engagement of all our members and supporters, together.
As we start to think about holidays and a much-deserved break, I must say that 2018 has been a very successful year for the Chamber, filled with many changes and new opportunities.
The team has worked hard to create an interesting and engaging range of events, supporting our members and our community across a range of new opportunities and themes upon which our community can engage, and we have worked hard to be a leading voice for British and Italian businesses here in Italy. I would like to thank all our staff for their contribution and hard work throughout 2018.
Many of our members are concerned about the Brexit process and what may unfold over the next 3 months prior to the agreed date of Britain’s exit from the European Union. For more information and our current perspective please refer to my latest update – Brexit View.
Right now and in the early days of January, we are developing the details around our exciting programme for 2019.
In 2019 our events will focus on the business critical overarching theme of Innovation, and we will take the opportunity to explore, consider and educate together with our partners, members and experts, on such fast-moving trends as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Automation and the future of automotive mobility.
We are always willing to hear your thoughts and ideas and potential collaboration on any of the events within in our programme, so please do let us know where you are most interested to participate.
Growing and developing the Chamber is not something that can be achieved by any one person, and it takes a concerted effort by the whole team, over a long period of time. This year we had several Council membership changes.
I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution and long-term support that has been provided to the British Chamber by Roger King, our treasurer, who has advised that he will be stepping down from his role and position on our Council at the end of this year.
Roger has been an incredibly valuable and hardworking member of our Council, and Council Treasurer, since June 2010. We are incredibly grateful for his contribution and support over such a long time, and we look forward to a continued association with Roger and his company Roger King Srl, also great supporters of the Chamber over many years, at many of our future Chamber events. We would like to welcome Roger as an Honorary Councillor of the Chamber.
I would also like to thank John Stewart, who has advised that due to pending new work commitments in 2019, he will resign as Council member after serving since 2006. John has also served as Vice President at times, whilst on Council. John’s exceptional contribution and support to the Chamber over 12 years has extended much beyond his trademark words of wisdom, and we are sure that his support (fortunately for the Chamber), will extend beyond his term as Councillor. We certainly hope we won’t lose John’s advice as John also becomes an Honorary Councillor of the Chamber.
We will take a further opportunity to thank Roger and John for their long-term contributions at upcoming Chamber business lunches in early 2019 (the first of these is January 22!), so I hope you will be able to be present to witness those moments where the Chamber shows it’s gratitude.
In 2018 we welcomed new Council members Ignacio Izquierdo, Francesco Fantini, Romina Gaudiosi and Mariateresa Giussani. We welcome their enthusiasm and contribution in guiding and reshaping the future of BCCI.
At our recent Christmas Gala dinner on December 13, we celebrated the year that was (with all its challenges and triumphs) and I am pleased to say this Christmas event (complete with traditional games and raising funds for our chosen charity Fiori di Lavanda) was enjoyed by all, with such great spirit and a warm atmosphere, and this was remarked upon by many who attended. If you could not attend, I highly recommend you come along next year!
I would like to thank you once again for your support and engagement with the Chamber this year. We hope that we can deliver on all your expectations for next year, and we look forward to 2019 with confidence and anticipation.
On behalf of everyone at our Chamber, I wish you a safe, happy and peaceful Christmas, and a wonderful new year.
President, The British Chamber of Commerce for Italy