Better Directors, Better Business and a Better Economy

New Institute of Directors Edinburgh chair appointed

Julie Ashworth, an experienced executive director and chair of rapidly growing retail technology start-up Clear Returns, has been appointed the new chair of IoD Scotland’s Edinburgh branch.

Julie has previously held retail director positions and executive advisory roles at retail giants such as The Spirit Group, IBM and Marks and Spencer plc. She brings extensive international experience in multi-channel retail with particular expertise in strategy, governance, operations and leader developments to her new chair role and succeeds former branch chairs Alan Thornburrow and George Hall.

Julie also provides board level advisory services to both FTSE companies and charitable organisations. She notes the founding of internationally successful organisational development consultancy Broadreach as one of her key achievements.

Commenting on her new role, Julie said: “In the current climate of change and economic uncertainty, the IoD has never been more relevant to Edinburgh businesses as a place to connect with other directors from across the capital, Scotland, the UK and globally. I am really looking forward to the role continuing the excellent work undertaken by Alan Thornburrow and George Hall.”

She adds: “Our fantastic new premises in Charlotte Square provide a destination for all Directors both established and new as well as aspiring directors. It is a great place to make contact, network and liaise with other influential leaders, and we will continue to deliver a varied calendar of activities and events and give members a local policy influence in Edinburgh.”

David Watt, executive director of the IoD in Scotland, said: “We welcome Julie on board and look forward to working with her to grow the IoD’s 650 strong membership in Edinburgh.”

Issued on behalf of the IoD Scotland by Clark Communications. For further information, please contact:
Lesley Brydon or Lina Lustig
0131 225 9596 / 07771 630834


The Institute of Directors

• The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 34,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies, third sector and public sector

• The IoD provides an effective voice to represent the interests of its members to key opinion-formers at the highest levels. These include Government ministers and their shadows, parliamentary committee members, senior civil servants and think-tanks. IoD policies and views are actively promoted to the national, regional and trade media. Follow us on Twitter to get the IoD’s reaction on business and public policy issues.

• The IoD offers a wide range of business services which include business centre facilities, with 15 UK centres (including three in London, Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast), conferences, networking events, virtual offices, issues-led guides and literature, as well as free access to business information and advisory services. The IoD places great emphasis on director development and has established a certified qualification for directors – Chartered Director – as well as running specific board and director-level training and individual career mentoring programmes.

• For further information, visit the website:

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