I’ll start by saying that it’s slightly strange to be taking the reins at the exact moment that three long standing members including our outgoing chair and secretary have made some life changing decisions, which mean they’ll no longer be around.  The club won’t be the same without them, and I’d like to add my thanks for their sterling service over the past year.  Even without them, we’ll go on to have a great year.

Why?  Because INC celebrates its 15th birthday this June.  That fact alone tells me that there’s something special about this club.  Other networking groups come and go, but INC’s unique combination of value for money, good humour and low pressure networking means that it thrives where others fail.

While the club doesn’t run an attendance register, and there’s no compulsion to attend, I’d hope that the membership appreciates that the best way to get the most out of their club is to come to the meetings and social events and just get to know their fellow members.  It’s far easier to recommend someone that you know personally as well as professionally.  So I’d like to ask everyone that wakes up thinking “ooo, it’s comfy in bed this morning, I’ll skip INC” to switch to “Great, Wednesday morning again, let’s go and have a fun start to the day, and maybe pick up some business at the same time”.

We also make a point of raising some funds for a local charity.  The club is strictly not-for-profit, and as Chair I get to choose the charity.  We’ve supported them in the past, but my slightly self-interested streak means that if I ever need it, I want the Air Ambulance to be available, so that’s my choice.  It’s big, it’s red, and it needs a shed [load of money every time it takes off] .  Even if we only pay for one sortie, there’s a fair chance that we’ll have saved someone’s life, so I’m delighted that the AGM has voted to up the subscription by a pound, which is earmarked directly for the charity.

Let’s look forward to a great year.

Graham Skeats