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IAM appoints new Chief Executive

Monday, 19 January 2015

Sarah Sillars to champion driver and rider skills

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has appointed Mrs Sarah Sillars OBE, as its new Chief Executive Officer as of 5 February.

Sarah comes from Semta, the former sector skills council for engineering and advanced manufacturing, where she has overseen its commercialisation.

Sarah said to groups: "I am very proud to be appointed your CEO. I know that you, as representatives of our network of groups around the UK, are our front line. You are dedicated to promoting the IAM because you are committed to what you do and have a passion for improving driver and rider skills".

"As I get established at the IAM I will be travelling around the UK and aim to meet as many of you as possible. I will want to hear all your views, unfiltered and directly. I am as passionate as you are to create a better IAM for the future and wish to hold the values, but change the gear".

She continued: "My intention is to ensure that we consolidate our experience and expertise, and then change up a gear – to further build on the excellent and vital research, training and lobbying activities that we carry out. We will change opinions, driving habits and legislation."

IAM Chairman Alistair Cheyne OBE said: "Sarah is the perfect person to drive the IAM into a new era. She has the skills, background and experience to help the IAM achieve its goal of becoming the best provider of post licence driver and rider training in the UK."

"The challenge ahead is a large one, but I know you will give Sarah your support and backing as we grow the IAM by appealing to more of the UK’s drivers and riders."

Alistair paid tribute to Nick Stonard, who has held the position of Acting Chief Executive since last September. Alistair said: "Nick has done a superb job holding the fort while we looked for a permanent leader. He has maintained the high quality of work produced by the IAM, and is able to pass the reins of a healthy and thriving organisation onto Sarah."

Sarah has a long and illustrious career within the automotive sector, having been CEO and Executive Chair of the Institute of the Motoring Industry (IMI). They made her an Honorary Fellow and Vice President on her departure in 2012.

Awarded Industry Personality of the Year 2004 and Outstanding Achievement Award 2006 by automotive magazines AM and Motor Trader respectively, Sarah was listed in the UK motor industry’s most influential top ten.

In September 2008 Sarah was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by Bodyshop Magazine in recognition of IMI's work with ATA in the body repair sector.

She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2008 for services to skills training and the retail motor industry.

Sarah has more than 25 years of experience within the motor and retail industries, having begun her career with Marks & Spencer, managing stores in England and Wales and later as Operations Director at automotive management consultancy Anne Gray Associates.

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