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British Institute of Innkeeping AGM

On 03/06/15 by Brigid Simmonds (Chief Executive)

Since the BII were holding their AGM in a nearby Livery Hall yesterday, 50 metres from the office, I thought it would be churlish not to attend! I was also keen to hear from Anthony Pender, their Chairman, about their new strategy and plans for the future.

Anthony talked about three objectives – collaboration, focus and cohesion. BII is absolutely clear that their work is around standards in qualifications, delivering training and membership. They have introduced 50 new qualifications this year. They are keen to work with the BBPA on our pub chefs’ recruitment initiative and set the standards for professional excellence in licensed retail.

Respect, pride, trust, professionalism, integrity and collaboration will be their watchwords and they aim to grow their membership to 16,000 by 2018. With the help of an external company the loss of 200 members a month has been reduced to 100. This is not necessarily about members choosing to leave, but more about members leaving the industry altogether and moving on. With their external help, membership is back in growth and they have taken on 200 new members in six weeks.

Anthony articulated the Government’s aim to have full employment by 2020 and the resulting challenge and fight for good people and how we all need to retain our staff. Investing in a new CRM system and re-engaging their regions are clearly high priorities for BII.

Onto the BII new look Summer Event & Lunch, which moved this year to the HAC in the City. There was a packed programme, and we listened to passionate support for sport from Clare Balding in what is Women’s Sport Week (meant to last three minutes, but went on for twenty!) and a wonderful exposition of ‘Talent alone is not enough’ teachability; a sponge or a rock; capture and develop knowledge; share and collaborate, organise your knowledge into a structure and evolve from undoubtedly England’s finest coach ever; Sir Clive Woodward is an afternoon well spent.

And then, after a series of awards the dénouement, the announcement of the BII Licensee of the Year, which went to Keith and Diane Marsden from the Prince of Wales, Moseley in Birmingham. As a judge, I can say they thoroughly deserved this award and I am sure will be excellent ambassadors not only for the BII, but for licensees throughout the UK in the coming year.


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