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Speak out and speak up

Sarah May says a sad farewell to IBMS Chief Executive Jill Rodney, who is leaving after a decade at the Institute.

This month we are starting our launch of Congress 2022, not our September 2021 event as originally planned, as we have rescheduled due to COVID-19. In Institute terms this is as significant a change as switching from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. Our indicative programme is inside this edition of The Biomedical Scientist to give a taster for those wanting to take advantage of the booking discount in this financial year and the full lecture programme will be available from May.

This change though pales into insignificance with the change we are about to undergo as our Chief Executive, Jill Rodney, departs after 10 years at the helm. Jill is an absolute powerhouse and consequently 10 years have gone very quickly. Of all the change and innovation that Jill has overseen I would say that her biggest achievement has been to turn us into an organisation that is not afraid to speak out and speak up. The ability to communicate to individuals and organisations is essential if we are to 
have a strong future and Jill has built a team whose role is to ensure we make our voice heard through all available communication channels. She has made sure that we look and sound like the professionals that we really are.

Jill has guided us through the development and delivery of our strategies and, in her words, has made sure that we say what we do, and do what we say. Jill is not afraid to recognise when we have gone wrong and to ensure that we make the necessary changes to get it right. She respects our history and our past, but had the vision to take us into a bright future.

Jill oversaw the long overdue redesign and refurbishment of our offices to make them fit for us to work safely and flexibly while ensuring that we had good modern facilities to support the numerous meetings that take place at our offices. During this process a whole team of workmen learnt the meaning of a non-negotiable deadline.

On a purely personal level I fear I may be responsible for the occasional grey hair; whereas Jill is a tremendous forward planner who likes to set and meet early deadlines, I am a last-minute person who habitually hits the “send” button with minutes to spare. After 10 years I have to say I’m sorry Jill, I really did try!

Finally, to end on a totally different subject, I must share my latest dog owner discovery – stomach acid wrecks sock elastic. This I learnt when my sock was successfully regurgitated three days after it had disappeared in one seemingly effortless gulp. Revolting.

Sarah May Deputy Chief Executive

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