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In praise of… the IPG President
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Posted by IPG
In the latest in an occasional series, Bridget Shine explains the vital and changing role of our Honorary President

As IPG members will know by now, we are delighted to have elected Jonathan Harris as our new Honorary President. Jonathan succeeds Sonny Leong, to whom we are hugely grateful for energetic commitment to the IPG’s work over many years. But as Sonny has found, you never really leave the IPG altogether, and he will continue to be involved in our work via our new Foundation.

I have blogged before about the conscientious work of the IPG’s board’s members, who freely contribute their knowledge and experience to steer our work and ensure we deliver the activities and services that members want and need. The role of Honorary President is equally essential.

The President is an important figurehead of the IPG—a person of stature in the industry who knows the world of independent publishing intimately. Jonathan, having founded, run and sold his own business, as well as working extensively in other people’s, fits that brief perfectly. The President is also an important cog in the governance of the IPG, acting alongside the Chair and board to see that we operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

But the role, Jonathan may or may not be pleased to hear, is much more than these two duties suggest. Beyond ambassadorial work and oversight it is a hands-on job, and we draw on our President to help set our strategies and plan future work. In line with change in both publishing and the IPG over the years, the role has evolved substantially. Publishing is facing opportunities and challenges that would have been unimaginable a couple of decades ago, and we all appreciate support from sharp minds in our business like Jonathan’s. For our part, the IPG has been transformed into an incredibly diverse and wide-ranging association of publishers. That makes life very exciting for us all, but it also means we need a supportive and proactive President more than ever.

Jonathan has always been very active within the IPG and chaired sessions at many of our events, and I am delighted that members are able to go on benefiting from his experience and expertise. That free and generous sharing of advice, after all, is what the IPG has always been about, and I hope always will be.

Bridget Shine is chief executive of the IPG.

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