Additional speaker and change of tourism specialist for IoD Debate line-up

| September 16, 2013 | 0 Comments
Rod Bryans

A short break specialist and former tourist board head in the Caribbean, and a keynote speaker on creativity and innovation have been added to the line-up for the Institute of Directors Debate taking place in Jersey later this month.

Catherine Leech, Director of 101 Holidays, joins the expert panel, replacing previously announced panellist Richard Arman, Director of Business Development UK and Ireland for the InterContinental Hotels Group, who has had to withdraw from the Debate.

Catherine’s many roles in the travel industry have included being a PR director, head of the Cayman Islands tourist board, a tour operator in the Caribbean, an online travel presenter and a tourism advisor. Catherine is passionate about and is a specialist in short breaks. Founded by her in 2009, 101 Holidays is a holiday research site that has expanded through sister sites being launched to focus on short breaks, American holidays, honeymoons and family breaks, and which is used by over 4 million people a year.

In addition, Deputy Rod Bryans, Assistant Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, will give a talk on Creativity and Innovation. In his talk, Deputy Bryans, who also heads the Political Oversight Group for Education’s Digital Strategy and was recently seconded to assist with Public Sector Reform, will explore how the States of Jersey is christening 2014 ‘the year of creativity and innovation’ and how that could encourage people and businesses in Jersey to be bold with and share their ideas.

The IoD Debate, entitled ‘Who Dares Wins: positioning Jersey for the challenges ahead’ and once again sponsored by law firm Carey Olsen, takes place on 19th September at the Hotel de France. It will examine how Jersey is perceived globally as a centre for international financial services, what Jersey needs to do to become a recognised centre for digital technology services, and how Jersey must act in order to return to being a thriving tourist destination.

Catherine and Deputy Bryans join a high calibre line-up from Jersey, the UK and Asia, including Simon Nixon, Founder of, Elisabeth Astall, Non-Executive Director of Digital Jersey, Senator Philip Ozouf, Treasury and Resources Minister, States of Jersey, Mike Byrne, Director at PwC, currently on secondment in Singapore, Kevin Keen, CEO of Jersey Post, and John Boothman, former banker and now Non-Executive Director. The event will once again be moderated by news broadcaster Alastair Stewart OBE.

In addition, those attending the debate or interested in the topic are able to submit questions and comments ahead of and during the first half of the event via a dedicated text number, 07937 401401, and e-mail address,, created by JT. People are also able to engage with the Debate by joining the Debate LinkedIn page and through Twitter at @iodjersey and by using #iodjsydebate.

Steven Hunt, Chairman of the IoD Events Committee, said:

“I am delighted that Catherine, who has a wealth of experience in all aspects of the tourism industry, has been able to step in to join the panel at our debate. Her knowledge of the leisure sector, and particularly her passion for short breaks which is an area of specific interest to Jersey, will be invaluable as part of our discussions. With creativity and innovation set to be key themes for Jersey’s government next year, Deputy Bryans is also a welcome addition to our line-up.”

“With just a few days left before the event, I would also encourage anyone who has any views or comments on what we should be doing to improve our finance, tourism and digital sectors, to make use of our text, email or LinkedIn communication channels so that we can get the most out of this event, and put together a set of SMART objectives that everyone can buy into to inform the future direction of our Island.”

The Institute of Directors Annual Debate, which normally attracts an audience of 500 people, will take place on Thursday 19 September 2013 at the Hotel de France from 4.15pm – 9.30pm and includes a drinks reception and two course dinner. The IoD encourages politicians and representatives from all business sectors to attend. Tickets are £70 for IoD members and non-members and tables of 10 and 12 are also available. Places can be reserved by contacting the IoD Jersey Branch Officer on 610799 or e-mail


Category: Events

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