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Launching the Institute of Directors Northern Irelandís 60th Anniversary Gala Ball are BBC NI presenter Wendy Austin, who will host the event at Titanic Belfast on 1st June, and Ian Sheppard, IoD NI Chairman.

IoD Northern Ireland is marking its 60th anniversary with a sparking gala event planned for Titanic Belfast on 1st June.


The 60th Anniversary Gala Ball hosted by broadcaster Wendy Austin will chart the history of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland from its foundation here in 1957 to its growth into one of the most influential business bodies in Northern Ireland.


The event will also hear from guest speaker, former BBC Political Correspondent, and more recently Strictly Come Dancing star, John Sergeant.


Among other highlights will be a charity draw in aid of IoD NI’s Charity of the Year, Mencap, with prizes including a diamond pendant donated by Lunn’s.


IoD NI Director Linda Brown said:


“The 60th Anniversary Gala Ball presents an opportunity to look back over six decades that have seen huge changes in the Northern Ireland economy.


“The region has always been a great place to do business and throughout the lifetime of the IoD locally, it has produced some globally recognised indigenous firms while Northern Ireland has prospered in recent years from a growing number of foreign direct investors.


“It is now a leader in emerging sectors such as the knowledge economy and digital sector while the burgeoning film and television production industry has placed Northern Ireland firmly on the global media map.


“As an organisation, the IoD NI is proud to have played a part in many of those positive changes and supported the business leaders who have driven our economy forward in the past 60 years.


“I’m delighted to join current and former members and guests at the Gala Ball and to sharing some of their many success stories throughout the evening.”


The event will also mark one of the final engagements for Linda Brown before her retirement in the summer.


IoD NI Chairman Ian Sheppard added:


“As an organisation, the IoD in Northern Ireland has benefitted from the high calibre of leadership over the decades both at chair and director level.


“When Linda took up the Director’s post in 1995, she succeeded the late Sir John Gorman, who was the first member of staff of the IoD in Northern Ireland and remains one of the region’s most respected business leaders of the past half-century.


“Through their guidance and the leadership of many others, the body, which now has over 800 members in Northern Ireland, has enjoyed tremendous success and played a major role in improving economic standards across the region.


“The Gala Ball gives us the chance to reflect and recognise their efforts over the years.”


To book a place or table at the Gala or for more information on the Institute of Directors, visit