The Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed Jon Geldart as its regional chairman for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Jon is executive director, markets development, for Greater China with business advisor Grant Thornton. He is an expert on China’s impact on the UK economy and has authored two books on doing business with the Chinese.
He succeeds Jonathan Oxley, director of corporate finance at law firm Lupton Fawcett, who takes on a new role heading up the IoD’s strategy on the Northern Powerhouse.
Jon Geldart said: “I am honoured to be accepted as chairman and look forward to working with the IoD team.
“My role is to support our members from all backgrounds, encourage entrepreneurialism and promote responsible business practice and professionalism. The IoD here is to give businesses of all sizes an opportunity to join our powerful policy voice.
“In my job, I am constantly travelling and get a unique perspective on not only Brexit, but also the views of other countries on the British business scene.”
Jon has been chairman of the IoD’s North Yorkshire branch since summer 2016 and continues in this position.
In his new role, Jonathan Oxley will work with the three IoD chairmen across the North of England to drive the next stage of the Northern Powerhouse.
Last year, the IoD announced its blueprint for a “business-led” strategy led by industry clusters that will act as a catalyst for the next stage of Northern Powerhouse activity, including advanced manufacturing, health innovation and fintech.
The IoD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government to become an official member of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
Jonathan said: “This isn’t about competing with London. It’s about a cluster of cities working together to create an offering that balances the nation’s capital. Investment in east-west transport and broadband connectivity are important enablers but I want to encourage our fantastic businesses and people to play their part.
“The IoD is a national organisation with powerful voice and we want business leaders to step up, fill the political vacuum and take ownership of this initiative.”
Natalie Sykes, regional director of the IoD, said: “These appointments underline the IoD’s commitment to inspire and represent businesses across the North of England.
“Jon’s international and long-term, strategic approach will be hugely beneficial as we embrace Brexit and position the North on the global platform.
“Jonathan is highly respected on the subject of devolution will play a pivotal role for the IoD across the North and with Whitehall.”
This year, the IoD launched IoD Advance, the biggest shake-up to its membership in 40 years, taking advantage of mobile technology to bring directors together to learn, network and share best practice.
The IoD hosts a calendar of well-established regional business events including the Director of the Year Awards.