The Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI) has appointed Gordon Milligan, as its new Chairman.

Speaking as he received the chain of office from outgoing chair Ian Sheppard, Gordon, who is Deputy Chief Executive of Translink, said he planned to put member engagement at the top of his agenda.

“As an organisation, the Institute of Directors exists for the benefit of our members, of which there are more than 950 drawn from all sectors across Northern Ireland.

“As such, I believe it is of paramount importance to engage with those members as we aim to be their voice and represent their views and interests on a wider stage.

“That is why I am delighted to accept the chain of office at the premises of construction firm Henry Brothers, in what I hope will be the first of many visits to companies across Northern Ireland during my time as Chairman.

“It is an exciting time to be involved with the IoD as the organisation expands under our National Director Kirsty McManus.

This year has already seen the appointment of four new staff as we expand our professional development offering with the launch of the IoD Academy in Northern Ireland.

“Professional and personal development among business leaders is a crucial component of any strategy to drive business growth, improve corporate governance, build better boards and create a stronger local economy for the benefit of all.”

Gordon joined Translink in 2009 and has a background that includes holding executive roles at some of Northern Ireland’s best-known firms such as Bombardier Aerospace, Nortel Networks and Dunbia.

As an active member of the IoD, Gordon has held positions on the organisation’s Northern Ireland Committee as well as chairing the Professional Development committee.

He thanked outgoing Chairman Ian Sheppard for his achievements over the past two years.

“Ian has played an incredibly important role in guiding IoD members through what has been, at times, a very uncertain political and economic landscape.

“Throughout most of his term, we have been without a fully functioning Northern Ireland Executive while, just weeks after he took up the post, the UK voted to leave the European Union.

“The official date of Brexit will occur during my time in office, and I hope to build on the work already carried out by Ian as, working with our colleagues in London, we seek to highlight the unique position of Northern Ireland in the debate and secure greater clarity from those involved in the negotiations around the shape of future trading arrangements and the border.”