Natalie Sykes: Let’s honour the business heroes from Institute of Directors who produce great products

Through hard work, entrepreneurialism and innovation, they produce excellent products and services, create jobs and make a major, positive contribution to their regional economy.

The business world has paid tribute to Terry Hodgkinson.

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Someone who fits this description perfectly is Terry Hodgkinson CBE, who sadly passed away last weekend.

Terry was an entrepreneur, a former chair of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, a Chartered Director and Fellow of the IoD.

Just a few days before his passing he was a guest at the IoD’s Director of the Year Awards for Yorkshire and the North East, for which he had once again generously given his time as a judge.

He achieved so many outstanding things during his career but never forgot his roots. Most of all, he was simply a lovely man and he will be missed.

Terry was also a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire and I would love to see more business leaders honoured in this way. Deputy Lieutenants assist the Lord Lieutenant in carrying out their role as the Queen’s representative in their region.

We are working with Stan Hardy, another of West Yorkshire’s excellent Deputy Lieutenants, to raise the profile of these prestigious roles. We also want to see more Queens’ Awards and honours coming to Yorkshire. As one of the biggest regions in the country, I feel we are under-represented when it comes to the ultimate recognition of our finest individuals in the honours system.

We need The Yorkshire Post readers to support us on this mission and to champion Yorkshire’s leading lights in business.

We are working hard to capture the views of business leaders and feed them directly into government through our Policy Voice initiative.

Policy Voice enables business leaders to make their voice heard through monthly surveys on the issues that matter most. The data collected from 3,000 members is developed into IoD policy reports, embedded into government consultations and shared with policy makers and the media.

Our new Policy Voice ambassador, Rashmi Dube, will be hosting a special event in York on September 30 to reveal more about this excellent programme. We have two complimentary tickets for The Yorkshire Post readers – just email [email protected] to be in with a chance.

Two days later, we have one of our most exciting events of the year, also in York. Our flagship business event, IoD Open House, is heading out on the road this year and we’ll be holding a Connected Business roadshow at The Grand Hotel on October 2.

Connection is more vital to business than ever. Leaders must be connected to ideas, technology, cultures and people to embrace an ever-changing world and stay ahead. We’ll understand how opportunities have been created to make the workplace more productive. We’ll discover how connectedness will shape the future and help business grow.

Not only is York a brilliant place to visit in the heart of Yorkshire – it’s a hotbed for business too.