A message from our CIPS (almost) Past President

(We're delighted to publish this open letter from David Smith, outgoing CIPS President).

Dear CIPS member,
I am writing to you on my last full day as CIPS President. It has been an honour and a privilege to have served as your President for the past year and I wanted to send you this short note to record my sincere thanks to you all for the many kind words you have offered me and for the way that you all, across the world, have continued to promote procurement as a key enabler to organisations and businesses whether they be in the private or public sector.

We are members of the fastest growing profession worldwide which reflects the increasing need for good procurement. Many of us have devoted our careers to procurement, many of us have stepped into this profession in mid career either by design or by accident but all of us now have a responsibility to ensure that we secure its future by promoting it as a fulfilling and important career of choice for those still young or those still undecided.

I am so pleased and grateful that so many of you took up my challenge 12 months ago to promote what we do and its importance. You have spoken at schools, colleges and universities, you have mentored the young and the 'not so young', you have set up schemes and created opportunities and Scotland has just formally announced a scheme which will provide 16-17 year olds with direct pathways into the procurement profession. We all want to attract talent that will be passionate about procurement and genuinely want to work in the profession and Scotland is leading the way and showing what can be achieved. I know that many of you have, or are considering, similar things.

CIPS is a strong and relevant institute getting close to 90,000 members and I remain proud to be a member and supporter. It has strong leadership at operational and board level and will continue to grow. Not all CPOs and procurement leaders chose CIPS membership as route for their personal professional journey or for that of their teams and that, of course, must be their choice.

However, for me and for thousands of others, the Institute has pivotally helped shape and advance our careers and has positioned the profession to operate at senior and board levels in all sectors and that has, and will continue to, offer opportunity to us and our successors.

I am delighted to hand over the presidency to Paula Gildert who will, I know, do a fantastic job and I'm sure will receive your full support.

Again, many thanks to you all around the world and best wishes for the future.

David Smith
(Almost Past President CIPS)

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