Sixty MIPAA members and guests enjoyed the MIPAA Christmas lunch on Monday 14 December at Orso, a cosy Italian restaurant conveniently located alongside Covent Garden in the heart of London’s theatre-land. Starting with a pre-lunch drink reception supported by Newspress, the convivial event soon had a real buzz, with friends, old and new, able to catch up and enjoy the excellent food, and drink on offer.
This was the final event in his role as MIPAA chairman for Mike Orford, who had the honour of announcing the 2015 Chairman’s Award, presenting the inaugural MIPAA Bursary, acknowledging honorary member, Janet Wilkinson on the occasion of her retirement from the SMMT – and confirming the results of the recent member election appointing the 2016 Board of Directors.
First Mike offered an overview of activities in 2015 and thanked all those who had attended or presented during the year, including Emily Robinson from Alcohol Concern who gave the AGM annual address. He offered MIPAA’s appreciation to the many organisations who had supported the year’s programme by hosting or sponsoring events: | Kantar Media | Kia | London College of Communications | London Motor Show organisers | Newspress | Porsche | PRIME Research | PSA Peugeot Citroen | Road Haulage Association | Volvo. He also thanked the staff at Orso.
Next, the 2015 Chairman’s Award was made to Mission Motorsport, and three member of the team attended the lunch, (left to right in photograph) James Cameron, founder and CEO, as well as James Webley, workshop manager and Dan Burchell who have benefited from the organisation’s work.
Mike read out a tribute received from MIPAA member, Graeme Fudge, Director PR at Mazda Motors UK Limited who has worked closely with Mission Motorsport:
Jim’s enthusiasm for Motorsport is only matched by his compassion for the men and women he and the charity support. The joy of supporting Mission Motorsport is you get to meet, and hear from the people being directly affected by their work. Communication has been a huge part of the success of mission Motorsport and this has been driven by Jim. It is a charity we are very proud to support and will continue to support.
The inauguaral Bursary award, supported by Kantar Media, was presented to Chloe Yemm, who will develop an initiative aiming to encourage and support young PR practitioners entering motor industry PR. She will form a working group to develop resources and establish a network to build relationships between students, universities, MIPAA members and industry recruiters. The goal is to make it easier to attract top talent to work in the industry, and ensure that young practitioners are supported by peers during their first years working in PR. Futher details of how members can get involved will be announced soon.
Janet Wilkinson has been a long-standing supporter of MIPAA, most notably helping organise the annual CV Show reception. Her career in the motor industry began when she was sent to work at SMMT as a temporary copy typist in 1974, and she was asked to stay – so did, eventually becoming Communications Manager and helping to mentor many PR practitioners across the industry. Janet is an honorary member of MIPAA and through her charitable work as Chairman of WOMAC will remain engaged in the industry.
Mike’s final duty was to confirm the results of the member election for the 2016 MIPAA Board of Directors, known as the EC (Executive Committee). He thanked Jon Visscher, who had decided not to stand this time, as well as the seven candidates who had stood for office. This was a keenly contested election with the result only determined on the final day, and over a third of members cast a vote. Only four candidates could be successful with the others invited to put themselves forward for the Operating Committee. Mike thanked everyone for their willingness to get involved in running MIPAA and duly confirmed the members elected to 2016 Board of Directors as:
- Tom Callow, Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager, Manheim UK
- Kim Palmer, UK Public Relations Manager, Land Rover
- Peter Rawlinson, Chief Executive, PFPR Communications
- Sara Robinson, Senior Press Officer, Kia Motors (UK) Limited
The first responsibility of the new team – which takes office early in January – is to agree who will be the next Chairman, Deputy Chairman, Membership Director and Finance Director.
All members (full and associate) are invited to notify the General Secretary- by 31 December 2015 – if they would like to be selected for the Operating Committee (OC), which supports the Executive Committee in planning and executing the membership programme.
This left time for coffee, finishing up the wine and a bit of Christmas shopping.
The MIPAA Chairman’s Award acknowledges a special contribution towards communications around motoring matters each year. Previous recipients include:
- Mission Motorsport (2015), the Forces’ Motorsport Charity, was recognised for its work in using motorsport as well as training provision and employment opportunities in the motor industry to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of those affected by military operations.
- Brenda Holmes (2014) supported by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies. Mrs Holmes’ son was killed in a motorcycle accident and she allowed helmet footage of the incident to be used by the police as an innovative, hard-hitting road safety campaign.
- The film, Rush (2013), which captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, and was a remarkable piece of big-screen storytelling.
- James Bond (2012) for his efforts in promoting motoring and cars on film over 50 years and a special award was made to Car Magazine (2012) acknowledging its 50th anniversary
- Boris Johnson (2011), Mayor of London for raising the profile of the debate around electric vehicles.
- Robert Llewelyn (2010), actor, comedian, writer and electric vehicle advocate for his enthusiasm via social media for electric vehicles.
- Chris Evans (2009), in recognition for his passion and love of motoring on BBC Radio 2 – as well as raising over £1 million for Children in Need in 2008 and 2009.
- Ken Gibson (2008), motoring editor, The Sun, for his ability to make motor industry news relevant and interesting for millions of readers.
- Lord March (2007) in acknowledgement of the success of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival events which attract hundreds of thousands of motoring enthusiasts.
- Johnnie Walker (2006), Radio presenter in recognition of his support for motorists, motorcyclists and truckers during his career, most recently on BBC Radio 2.
- Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman (2005) for popularising motorcycling through their Long Way Round global touring challenge
- Jeremy Clarkson (2004) for his unique journalistic style presenting motoring on BBC television’s Top Gear, the magazine of the same name and the Sunday Times