President's Message

Awards highlight the importance of corporate social responsibilty

It was an overwhelming experience to look out at the audience who attended our Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, 8 November 2016. So many talented members of the Newcastle business community in the one room. This year we received a large number of nominations all worthy of an award. The judging committee had a difficult time during the selection process but listening to the acceptance speeches of our 2016 winners I am confident everyone in attendance agreed with the choices.

Corporate social responsibility was highlighted and I felt myself becoming slightly overwhelmed with emotion after listening to the accomplishments of our 2015 winners who returned to update us on their experiences in business and in life during the past twelve months.

The emotion only increased after listening to the 2016 Business Person, Jon Chin, speak about his passion to work towards overcoming domestic violence. Chris Thornton, named as the Young Business Person, spoke not only about the various charitable causes he has supported but about his quest to promote the benefits of choosing a career as a chef and his work with school and TAFE students steering them into his profession. Our Business of the Year award went to The Mark Hughes Foundation, an organisation that needs no introduction and has accomplished so much in such a relatively short period of time. That said, there continues to be so much more to do.

Congratulations to the finalists, winners and to the people who took the time to nominate and attend this special event.

My time as President is now coming to a close. My goals at the beginning of my term were to update our governance procedures and to increase our membership and attendance at our lunches. Further, to build on the success of 2015 and place the NBC in a financial position to enable some administrative support to be hired that would be some welcome relief for our hard working volunteer committee and therefore lift the professionalism of our Club. I am happy to say I can leave my post having ticked off on each of these, with a few added extras!

On a personal note 2016 was already stacked high with activities and therefore it was not the best timing to take on being President but I hope I have provided our committee with good leadership, opened our Club to new members and shared what is important to me in business: authenticity, community involvement, respect for all and unity even amongst differing opinions.

I wish you all a successful end to 2016 and an even greater beginning to 2017. I will officially hand over my President’s badge to the incoming President at our December lunch so don’t miss being in attendance and I encourage anyone wishing to vote for the 2017 committee to attend the AGM which is being held directly preceding the luncheon.

I look forward to seeing you for lunch,

Jo Bright | 2016 President