Sainsbury Management Fellows

President’s Speech – Ernest Poku 2010

Our vision as an organisation is to promote and demonstrate the value of a combined business and engineering education to improve the performance of the UK economy. I believe that SMF have taken an important step forward in the last twelve months in trying to make a real difference to our economy.

It has been a busy time – this year we held 5 events and I am pleased to say that more SMFs are involved in our activities than ever before! We have been outward -looking — turning our energies to tackling UK energy needs and to brainstorming ways to boost manufacturing. These two initiatives are gaining momentum and we will continue to push them forward in the coming year. We welcome ideas from any of our Fellows or distinguished guests which might help us with these projects.

Internally, we have encouraged more SMFs to seek Non Executive Director positions through several networking events with high profile NEDs and recruiters. We believe that SMFs do have something unique to offer especially in this technology – driven economy. The USP: SMFs have the technical understanding to translate high tech into products and services that make a difference in our everyday lives and the management skills to lead and drive business forward
I would like all our guests to consider how an SMF might help them in their organisation or with a deal or a job search that they have now or in the future.

I would like all our SMFs as individuals to consider how they can contribute to furthering the improvement of the UK economy by participating in some of our outward reaching programmes such as our mentoring scheme to young engineers and our start-up business review panels.

And , I would just like to say a brief word of thanks to all of the people who made this year’s step change happen:

  • Our Secretary Richard Atkinson – who did an admirable job in leading the Strategic Review of the Society
  • Julian Fagandini, who proposed and launched the Executive Board Mentoring Programme
  • James Raby, who crafted our information pack to HR directors “Re-engineering the board to manage risk and maximise growth”
  • And our other Committee members who have worked tirelessly over the last 12 months with amazing energy, resourcefulness and creativity – Treasurer Alpesh Amin, David Falzani, Andrew Hogwood and Jo Hallas.
  • We also wish to thank Simon Hughes, who stepped down from the committee due to his relocation abroad
  • A special thanks to Sam Cockerill, who masterminded the SMF Energy White Paper “Keeping the Lights On”
  • And, my sincere thanks to all the Sainsbury Management Fellows who have participated in events, interview panels and who have written articles or spoken to the media on our behalf

My thanks also to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and our friends from the Royal Academy of Engineering, EngineeringUK, the EC and other institutions for their continued support and encouragement. Finally, I would like to thank our Patron, Lord Sainsbury, without whom none of this would be possible. I am delighted to introduce Lord Sainsbury, who has graciously agreed to say a few words before our first course is served.


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The Sainsbury Management Fellows is registered as a charity: Engineers in Business Fellowship, charity number 1147203 and is a company limited by guarantee : 07807250