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Winners from prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise announced

Her Majesty The Queen has named 201 businesses as among the best in the country in the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise to celebrate Her Majesty’s 93rd birthday.

The winners include businesses leading the way in a huge range of industries – from construction, agriculture, motoring and software development. This year, three quarters of the total are SMEs, 30 of which have fewer than 10 employees. They will join more than 6,000 British businesses in receiving the prestigious honour and will have the privilege of displaying the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise emblem for 5 years.

The Awards, now in its 53rd year, are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, with companies from across the UK recognised for their contribution in the 4 categories.

There are:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • 6 Sustainable Development winners
  • 5 Promoting Opportunity winners

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

These prestigious awards help shine a light on all that is great about UK business today. I am extremely impressed to see such a wealth of talent and innovation from across the UK being recognised today by Her Majesty The Queen.

These awards recognise the innovative products and services being provided by British businesses that are in demand across the world, as well as the sheer determination and hard work that comes with starting and running a business.

Many of these winners are small businesses – the backbone of our economy – and we are backing them to grow, increase their productivity and create more jobs and opportunity across the UK through our modern Industrial Strategy.

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade, said:

The winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are brilliant examples of what can be achieved by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by exporting and the full range of support available. It was very good to chair the very competitive international trade panel, and select highly successful trading firms to benefit from the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade.

I strongly encourage UK companies to take advantage of the Department for International Trade’s full range of services and support for exporting.

Among the double-award wining businesses recognised for outstanding achievements in both International Trade and Innovation categories are:

  • DriveWorks Ltd, a software developer
  • Ideal Boilers Ltd, a leading boiler manufacturer
  • Niftylift Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of ‘cherry pickers’
  • driving simulation software company rFpro
  • tool manufacturer Snap-on UK Holdings
  • innovative technology company Markes International Limited
  • Niftylift Ltd is the only company to get the double award twice, having won awards for International trade and Innovation in 2013.

Roger Bowden, Niftylift’s chairman and founder said:

We are honoured to be recognised for not one, but two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2019. These awards help to illustrate how our dedication to design and innovation, together with our attention to detail and strong customer focus, have allowed us to compete so successfully in this global marketplace.

I am very proud of the strong and close-knit team we have here at Niftylift and I’d like to thank them all for their professionalism and commitment to ensuring our worldwide reputation and success over the years.

Shaun Edwards, CEO of Ideal Boilers, which won awards for International Trade and Innovation said:

It is an honour and a privilege to receive these awards, which reflect our continued commitment to innovation and international relations. This high recognition emphasises and reflects the hard work and determination of all our employees whose core values of excellence, integrity and an entrepreneurial spirit will continue to drive our business further towards greater achievements.

Tim Hawkins, managing director of Markes International Ltd, which won in International Trade and Innovation said:

It is a great honour to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for our excellence in Innovation and, for the second time, International Trade. We take great pride in introducing new technologies to our field of analytical chemistry, and alongside our valued trading partners, have been successful in supporting customers around the world and enhancing scientific progress.

Chris Hoyle, technical director at rFpro, which also won in International Trade and Innovation said:

We are delighted that the hard work of everybody at rFpro has been acknowledged by the Queen’s Awards judging panel and we are so proud to be one of just a few companies to achieve a double award. Our contribution to making the world’s road networks safer is reward enough, but it is fantastic to receive such prestigious recognition.

Applications for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2020 open on 1 May 2019 and close on 10 September 2019. They are free to enter, and it is a self-nominating process. Applicants may apply for more than one award and entries are welcomed from all sectors. For more information and to apply, visit https://www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

Bosch Capital SAPSA advisory firm of the year award

Bosch Capital has been presented with the 2019 Advisory Firm of the Year Award in the category for Commerce, Law and Management, at the annual South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA) function, held in Johannesburg recently.

Each year, SAPSA recognises outstanding accomplishments in various fields. Awards are presented for excellence in important areas, including transformation, customer service, contribution to the community and commitment to ethical best practice.

“This esteemed award, which is an honour for the Bosch Capital team, comes as the company celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2018,” says Mike Gibbon, CEO, Bosch Holdings. “We are proud that Bosch Capital has been acknowledged for attributes, which encompass the demonstration of leadership skills, professionalism, resilience and performance excellence.”

Bosch Capital offers advisory, capital raising and investment solutions, which form an integrated financial and engineering solution for clients.

The award was presented to Bosch Capital’s Managing Director, Chris Baloyi, who was also a finalist under the Professional of the Year Award category. Chris had this to say about the company’s win: “We are immensely humbled to have won this prestigious award – it is a great motivator for our team, as we steer the business into the next dimension.”

Bosch Capital is a member of the Bosch Holdings group, a diversified group offering multidisciplinary consulting engineering, skills and development and financial solutions. Another tribute for Bosch Holdings was the SAPSA 2019 Engineering Young Professional of the Year Award, which was presented to Jeshika Ramchund, Lead Engineer – Developments, for Bosch Projects. Bosch Holdings and Bosch Projects were also finalists for the Engineering Large Firm of the Year Award and Engineering Firm of the Year Award, respectively.

Holding a Board of Directors Meeting in Nigeria

How many members may call for a Board meeting (“the meeting”)?

Section 263 (3) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (“the CAMA”) provides that;

“A director may, and the secretary on the requisition of a director shall at anytime summon a meeting of the directors”

Except the Articles of Association of the Company stipulates otherwise, the following persons may call for the meeting;

  • (a) Any of the Company’s Directors; or
  • (b) The Company’s Secretary upon the requisition of any of the Company’s Directors.

What is the period between dispatch of the invitation notice of meeting and the meeting?

Section 266 (2) and (3) of the CAMA provides that;

  • “(2) There shall be given 14 days notice in writing to all directors entitled to receive notice otherwise provided in the articles.
  • (3) Failure to give notice in accordance to subsection (2) of this section shall invalidate the meeting”

Consequently, the meeting shall be held 14 clear days’ after dispatch of the notice for the meeting, failing which the meeting shall be invalid.

Who should sign the invitation notice of the meeting?

Further to the provisions of Section 263 (3) of the CAMA, the following persons may sign an invitation notice for the meeting;

  • (a) The Director who summons the meeting; or
  • (b) The Company’s Secretary who summons the meeting upon the requisition of a Director.

Where should the meeting hold?

Section 266 (4) of the CAMA provides that;

“Unless the articles otherwise provide, it shall not be necessary to give notice of a meeting of directors to any director for the time being absent from Nigeria, provided that if he has given an address in Nigeria, the notice shall be sent to such address”

Since the provisions of Section 266 (4) of the CAMA provides for notice to be given only to Directors in their Nigerian address, the CAMA envisages that the meeting shall be held in any State or location in Nigeria.

Though it is the practice for Nigerian Companies to hold their Board meetings at the registered address of the Company, there is no provision of the CAMA which is against holding a Board meeting at an address in Nigeria other than the registered address of the Company.

Who should attend the meeting?

In practice, the following persons shall attend the meeting;

  • (a) The Company’s Directors;
  • (b) The Company Secretary in order to take minutes and guide the Chairman of the Board on the proceedings;
  • (c) The Chief Financial Officer to present the financial statement of the company;
  • (d) Senior officers of the Company who contribute to the running and growth of the Company;
  • (e) Any other person whose submission is important to the agenda of the meeting.

Who should be notified of the meeting?

It is compulsory to send a notice of the meeting to all the Directors failing which the meeting shall be invalidated. Once notice of the meeting is sent to all the Directors, the Director or Secretary who summons the Board meeting has discharged his responsibility under the provisions of the CAMA.

The Directors present in the meeting, may proceed to deliberate on the agenda and pass resolutions to bind the Board in the absence of some Directors, provided that the quorum stipulated in the Company’s Articles of Association has been met.

It is important to send notice of the meeting to other persons and officers of the Company whose contribution is necessary for successful deliberation in the meeting.

What are other legal and practical details for the meeting?

(a) Board Pack

The notice of the meeting is usually accompanied by a Board Pack containing the agenda of the meeting, minutes of the previous meeting, management and committee reports, financial reports, proposals and other documents which are to be discussed at the meeting. The Board Pack should be sent alongside the notice to enable the Directors and other persons invited to the meeting to adequately prepare for the meeting.

(b) Service of notice

The invitation notice shall be sent to the Directors and other persons scheduled for the Board meeting, personally or by registered post.

(c) Quorum

Section 264 (1) of the CAMA provides that;

“Unless the articles other provide, the quorum necessary for the transaction of the business of directors shall be 2 where there are not more than 6 directors, but where there are more than 6 directors, the quorum shall be one-third of the number of directors and where the number of the directors is not a multiple of three then the quorum shall be one-third to the nearest number”

This means that if the Directors of the Company are less than 6 Directors, the quorum for the meeting shall be 2 Directors. But if the Directors of the Company are more than 6 Directors, the quorum shall be one-third of that number.

BSI announces acquisition of US firm AppSec Consulting

BSI, a business improvement company, today announced the acquisition of AppSec Consulting – a cybersecurity and information resilience (CSIR) company – located in San Jose, California. This will see AppSec Consulting become a part of BSI’s CSIR offering and will operate under the name “AppSec Consulting – a BSI Professional Services Company”.

The acquisition of AppSec Consulting further strengthens BSI’s CSIR services in the United States – one of the company’s key markets.

Established 14 years ago, AppSec Consulting focuses on the US cybersecurity sector, servicing a wide range of clients across the country. The business was initially focused on web application security, penetration testing, and developer training and has since successfully diversified into providing strategic cybersecurity, data privacy, and a range of governance, risk and compliance advisory services.

Howard Kerr, Chief Executive at BSI, said: “This acquisition is reflective of our key strategic aim to expand our cybersecurity and information resilience offering, building a centre of excellence for organizations globally. AppSec Consulting is one of the most professional companies to emerge in the last 20 years. Their services perfectly complement those offered by the BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience teams in the UK and Ireland, which together with their reputation for excellence in client service, makes this a perfect match.”

Brian Bertacini, President at AppSec Consulting, commented: “Merging with BSI is the natural next step for AppSec Consulting, providing huge opportunity for both our clients and employees alike. We are delighted to benefit from BSI’s global reach and broader range of services, which – when combined with our proven cybersecurity expertise – will allow us to further expand and flourish.”

New powerhouse law firm opens in metro Detroit

Jehan Crump-Gibson and Ayanna Alcendor have joined forces to create the powerhouse law firm Great Lakes Legal Group PLLC in metro Detroit. The minority women-owned law firm was launched at the beginning of 2018, and will offer one-stop-shop service to a range of clients.

Crump-Gibson comes with a plethora of experience, as she’s been recognised three times by the Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine as a rising star. After earning dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and english from Michigan State University, Crump-Gibson then went on to earn her juris doctorate from Wayne State University Law School. Post law school, Crump-Gibson opened up her very own law firm, C&G Solutions, for a while before joining forces with Alcendor. She received the 2015 and 2016 Martindale Hubbell ® Client Distinction Award and was recognised as one of Michigan Chronicle’s ’40 under 40’. United States Senator Gary Peters appointed Crump-Gibson to the Michigan Senate Judicial Advisory Committee in 2017 and she was admitted to practice law in Michigan and before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Alcendor also comes with an abundance of experience as well. Having received her Juris doctorate degree from Western Michigan Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2013, Alcendor actually interned at C&G Solutions, Crump-Gibson’s law firm. She also interned at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with Judge Mark A. Randon, the state appellate defender’s office, the Wayne County prosecutor’s office and a number of area boutique firms as well. At Ernst & Young, she served as a client servicing associate in the Detroit office. Alcendor also founded her own practice, Allied Legal Consulting, PLC., before teaming up with Crump-Gibson.

We had the opportunity to speak with these two dynamic women about the inspiration for launching their own firm in metro Detroit. We discussed the services that their new firm will specialise in and we also touched on the unique skillsets they collectively bring to the firm as a team. Check out the interview below and drop a line or two in the comments section to let us know what you think about this minority women-owned law firm.

What was the inspiration for launching a minority women-owned law firm?

You have to be the change you want to see. This is why we thought it was so important to start the firm. Minority women continue to be underrepresented in equity positions in law firms and the legal field as a whole. A minority-woman owned law firm like Great Lakes Legal Group is uniquely positioned to aid in the ongoing efforts to address this disparity. Minority women serving in such critical leadership roles are integral in diversifying the legal profession. In turn, this diversification has a direct impact on the communities we serve.

With these roles, we have a responsibility. As important as it is to command a seat at the table, you have to leave the door open to the room for those to come in behind you. We do this by continuing to feed the pipeline. Recruiting talented young women of color and providing opportunities for exposure to young women in firms’ aids in augmenting representation in the industry. We are fully committed to these efforts at Great Lakes.

About Great Lakes Legal Group PLLC

There, you will find detailed information about the owners’ backgrounds, the services we offer and the areas we serve. You can also sign up for our newsletter on the home page to stay connected with us. We are on social media as well: Instagram: @gllegalgroup and Twitter: @gllegalgroup. If you need more information, please visit our website http://www.gllegalgroup.com/

3 Simple Steps to Becoming a Better Networker

I’ve always been a natural extrovert in school and in business. I find it easy to socialise with others and connect with them personally and professionally. When I first embarked on my entrepreneurial journey and left the practice of law, I used to attend as many local networking events as possible. I deemed it important to get out there and connect with other business professionals to build both my brand and network for prospective clients, speaking engagements, and other business opportunities.

I realise that networking is not easy or simple for everyone. There are some who fear being in large crowds of people they do not know at networking events and being forced to strike up a conversation with someone they have little synergy with. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, you can build solid networking skills through these 3 simple steps:

Attend as Many Networking Events as Possible

I am sure you have heard many say, “You need to put yourself out there if you want to meet the right person.” Networking is a lot like dating. In order to find a date, you need to put yourself out there in the limelight, and practice makes perfect.

First, find out where the local networking events are in your community. A great place to start is your local chamber of commerce and other leadership organisations that are industry-specific. Many groups will offer the first event free to all guests. Some events may be as high £180 for a lunch. Either way, if you meet your next business contact or potential boss, suddenly that fee becomes pennies and the reward outweighs the risk. But don’t forget to dress professional to the networking event. Treat it like a series of mini interviews.

Bring Business Cards & Don’t Forget to Take Business Cards from Others

Every person you meet is an opportunity. A key step to networking is having your own professional image and brand. Don’t make the mistake of showing up to a networking event without a stack of professional business cards.

Make sure the business card has your name, professional title (i.e. Managing Director) or industry (i.e. Finance), phone number, email (keep it professional), and Linkedin URL. Before you put your Linkedin URL on your new personal business card, ensure that you have a customised URL.

When you go to networking events, take a business card from each person you meet and give them your business card. Easy and done, right? Not so fast.

Following-up is the most important part of networking. Always follow-up with each person you meet. Get on their contact list. Tell them you hope to see them at the next event (which may open the door to them inviting you to an event you didn’t know about!). Invite them to have lunch or coffee the next week. Being consistent and committed is key.

Connect on Linkedin & Beyond

If you are going to attend networking events and build connections on Linkedin with attendees from the events (which of course I highly recommend), make sure your Linkedin profile is fully optimised with a powerful headline, compelling summary, and details of your experience. It’s important that the image you put out at the networking events matches your digital footprint — i.e. your personal brand aligns. You never know where this connection may lead.

Develop a rapport with other professionals and connect on a greater level through Linkedin. Share and comment on each other’s content. Engage with one another beyond just being a connection. Join groups they are members of and possibly connect with their connections.