The motor industry’s leading lights gathered at the IMI’s prestigious Annual Dinner recently at the Grand Connaught rooms in London to celebrate excellence in the sector. The event played host to 370 industry leaders as well a number of celebrities including BBC F1 presenter and face of the IMI’s Professional Register, Suzi Perry and Olympic rower and Gold medallist Mark Hunter.
The event featured the presentation of the inaugural Sue Brownson Award to Lord Charles March, who accepted the award in person on the night. Created in memory of the late Sue Brownson’s outstanding contribution to the automotive retail industry and designed to recognise individuals in the sector who have demonstrated ‘outstanding leadership’, it was Lord March’s work creating the now iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival that earned him the accolade.
The IMI’s annual Skillmiles awards were also presented by HRH Prince Michael of Kent at the event. Skillmiles recognise businesses and individuals who contribute hours of work and company resource to help push the skills agenda and work with the IMI to drive positive change in the sector. This year’s winners included Jaguar Land Rover, Kwik Fit, Würth UK, GTG Training and Derby College.
The IMI’s recent work developing automotive skills in Malaysia was also highlighted through the awarding of two IMI honorary Fellowships to Dato Samson Anand George, Chief Operating Officer of the Naza Group and Dato Sri Ben Yeoh, Chief Operating Officer of Bermaz Motors. They join a select group of just 25 honorary fellows of the IMI thanks to their impeccable credentials, as both leaders of industry and developers of people in the Malaysian Motor Industry.
Dato Samson Anand George and Dato Sri Ben Yeoh have both received the coveted “Automotive Man of the Year” award in Malaysia, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Speaking at the event, IMI CEO Steve Nash commented:
“This year’s IMI Dinner gave the industry a chance to remember one of our truly inspiring figureheads, Sue Brownson, and her contribution to our industry. It was therefore fitting that we marked her sad passing with an Award in her name, given for those who shine brightest and showcase just what a great industry this is to work in. Awarding the Sue Brownson award to Lord March was a unanimous decision by the Board. Lord Charles March put the UK back on the motoring map, when he launched the hugely popular Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival events, which take place on his family’s estate in rural Sussex. More than two decades since he first came up with the idea, and thanks to his continued inspiration and leadership, Goodwood is an internationally recognized centre of motoring excellence and marks two key events on the world motor sports calendar. We believe the selection of Lord March for the inaugural Sue Brownson Award sets the benchmark for future winners. He is a worthy winner and one I’m sure Sue would have approved of.”