New Local Institute Presidents were appointed in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Sligo earlier this year. In this special 'Getting to Know' series we sat down with them to learn more about their agendas for the year ahead, what their appointment means to them and what great things their members can look forward to.
How did you get involved with your Local Institute John?
I was encouraged by a colleague to join the council. I was not sure what to expect or what was involved but it sounded like a fun way to get to meet other people in the industry. The rest, as they say is history.
What does the role of President mean to you?
It is a huge honour. The local council has a dual role in representing the local members at a national level, but also demonstrating the institute’s values to the local members – Educate, Inspire and Connect. It is my job as President of the local council to ensure we remain true to these core objectives and that is a great privilege.
Have you set your objectives for the year ahead and what’s your aim for the next 12 months?
My own personal objective for the next 12 months is to create a better understanding amongst our members of the work and role of the local and national bodies. This in turn should lead to us engaging in a proactive and knowledgeable way with our local members, for whom all councils are doing their work in the first place.
What is the theme of your presidency?
We have all decided to have one common theme between us this year. Mindfulness. It is a theme that I am very excited about as the modern day working environment is fast paced and highly stressed. This is compounded by other factors including exams, CPD and technology which makes it very difficult to switch off. The importance of taking a couple of minutes each day for our own mental health cannot be underestimated.
What events can we expect from The Galway Institute this year?
Over the past couple of years, we have hosted some really successful events including a day at Ballinrobe races and our end of exams BBQ. This year we are changing things up a little. So far we’ve hosted a sell-out cruise down the Corrib and are already looking at organising a day at the greyhound races or possibly a mystery tour. We will be continuing our family events, including a cinema day and a trip to the Pantomime, as well as our ecumenical service, which although it may sound quite morbid, is a very special event, allowing us time to reflect on those members and colleagues that have gone before us. I would encourage as many members as possible to come along to this in November.
How do you think Local Institutes contribute to the development of members?
The local institute is invaluable to the professional development of local members. In conjunction with the national institute we organise up to 15 hours of CPD lectures each year, and facilitate multiple exam sittings throughout the year. In addition to this, we organise multiple networking and social events, which gives our members the opportunity to network and build connections with the wider community of members in the Galway institute. These connections are vitally important in the development of our members.
Why should your members get involved with their Local Council and more importantly their local insurance community?
The contacts and more importantly the friendships that are made by getting involved are priceless. They say you get out of life what you put in and that is certainly true of the insurance council and community here in Galway. I would encourage all our members to get involved this year. They do not need to attend everything, but try to come along to at least one. You’ll have no regrets!
You can find the full list of events currently scheduled around the country here.