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Tuesday 18th November 2014

Richard Ayre takes over the reins at the IoD South West

Business leaders organisation the Institute of Directors (IoD) has a new chairman for its thriving South West region. Richard Ayre takes over from Gerry Jones who is standing down after four years in the role.

Mr Ayre is an entrepreneur and Chartered Director, and his successful career includes leading export orientated businesses for Coats Viyella and the Laird Group.

Mr Ayre said: "The South West has many excellent businesses across a rich variety of sectors so I'm very excited about this new role.

"A key focus will be to strengthen links between enterprise and education; the region has a wonderful university base and that power should be harnessed as a key economic driver.

"I look forward to helping to broaden and increase membership of the IoD across the region. On our members' behalf we influence at the highest level and that will continue as we play a key role in moving the region towards a brighter economic place.

"It's an exciting time to be with the IoD South West, with a couple of big announcements about to be made."

Mr Ayre is currently a director of Devon-based consultancy Talkcoach and Cornwall-based educational publisher Clickety Books. He is past chairman of the IoD's Devon and Cornwall branch, sat on the Devon and Cornwall Business Council and was an executive member of the Plymouth Area Business Council. He is married to Anne, also a director in Talkcoach and Clickety Books.

The South West is one of the IoD's most active regions, with around 3,000 members across Bath and Wiltshire, Bristol, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

It hosts a major annual awards scheme, business events such as company visits, breakfasts and lunches, and gatherings which focus on networking.

Gerry Jones, sales and marketing director at logistics specialist Linde Severnside, said: "It's been a great experience to chair the IoD South West for four years.

"However, it's time for someone new to add fresh impetus and ideas to help the region move forward. I know that Richard is the ideal person for the job."

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