Chairman’s update from Gavin Orton.

It has been an enlightening, encouraging and exciting first quarter to 2016…

We have recently completed consultations with our Trustees, members and the general public about the Society, its aims and aspirations for the future. We had a good number get involved and give us their views and thoughts.

We have also held more in depth interviews with some of the City’s key stakeholders to understand how they see the Society and what they think we should be doing.

The initial feedback from Santosh Rai at Wellside Business, who has helped us undertake the consultation, is that the responses and comments will be very useful to the Society in developing our five year +PLUS 2016-2020 Strategy. Our Strategy Committee will be developing this with our Trustees over the summer. It has been an enlightening process and thank to all who took part!

A few weeks ago, as I caught up on my Twitter feeds one evening, I came across an interesting tweet – it was from the Society’s Twitter account, which is always nice! It congratulated Nick Venning, Tony Elvin, Caroline Coates and myself on being listed in the Birmingham Post’s 2016 Power 250 List. It is really encouraging that a number of our Trustees, Ambassadors and some of our corporate members were recognised for all their hard work, energy and passion – both in their work/profession and also with the Society. It demonstrates that those involved in the Society are not only influential in the day-to-day business of our City, but also influencing the longer term making Birmingham a better place for all. Well done everyone!

Over the last few months, we’ve delivered an exciting events programme. We’ve been in the basement of The Electric where we discovered it was also formerly a morgue (I didn’t hang around too long). A visit to the Lord Mayor’s Parlour saw a group of us huddled around a book which was signed by the great and good that have visited Birmingham over the decades – huge thanks to our Lord Mayor for his time and hospitality that evening. And then more recently, on an incredibly cold evening, a group of us were stood learning about the last public hanging of Birmingham… …the evening was rounded off by a very welcome hot drink and cookies at Hotel du Vin – thanks Tony! I have really enjoyed learning lots of new nuggets of information about our City… …plenty of fuel for dinner table trivia and/or pub quiz knowledge! Our events programme has been really exciting and we have more planned for the up-and-coming months and so with the final ‘E’ of this piece, I encourage you to take a look at the events page on our website and come along!

I hope to see you there.