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Phil Smith – introduction letter

Dear Members,
2018-19 Season
I’m delighted to be writing to you for the first time as your Chair for the 2018-19 season.
On behalf of us all, I would like to offer a huge thank you to Jude Bridge, who has delivered a magnificent season of outstanding speakers with charm, good humour and all the irreverence that she promised us from the outset. Last week’s dinner at the V&A with Tristram Hunt was a spectacular high on which to finish the season.
As always, great thanks are also due to Clare Russell, who continues to do such a wonderful job of the Club’s administration. On this subject, please could I ask you all to check and update your biogs (and photos, if necessary) on the MGGB website by July 18th so that the Directory can be updated for the new season. Once again, our thanks to David Pemsel and The Guardian for agreeing to update and reprint the MGGB Directory.
Our 2018-19 season will commence on Wednesday, September 5th with the pioneering CEO of the FT, John Ridding, as our first speaker. John is steeped in the FT, joining as a journalist in 1988 and making the transition to CEO in 2006. Early on, he took the far-sighted decision to develop the FT’s online subscription model in the face of prevailing wisdom, with the result that more people are now paying to read the FT than at any time in its 130-year history. We will have a fascinating evening. Booking is now open, either online or via Clare. Do book now, before you head off on your summer holidays, so you can also look forward to catching up with fellow members after the break.
The rest of the season is taking shape, Omar Abbosh, Accenture’s Group Chief Executive, in October and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dame Carolyn McCall of ITV, Mike Coupe of Sainsbury’s and Paula Nickold of John Lewis all confirmed for the New Year. Details of these and other events will follow in due course. Dinner dates are appended below.
Club subscriptions are once again £300 + VAT for members, and £200 +VAT for Emeritus members. Subs are due in August and invoices will be sent via the website for immediate payment. Claridge’s have advised us that we need to increase the price for dinner by £2 this season to £117 plus VAT. Thank you for your understanding.
So, it only remains to wish you all a great summer. I look forward to seeing you all refreshed and relaxed in September.
Best wishes,
Phil Smith
Chair 2018-2019