Robert Gjelstenli

My last year as President of Clarkson Hyde Global was not as I expected it to be, set amidst the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Plans the board had laid out to the members of the association needed to be flexed, our face to face meetings postponed and some of our growth plans put on hold. But what quickly emerged was a sense of unity among the group. Since we were all facing the crisis, albeit with some differences in national government policy and of course infection levels, it gave us an increasing sense of togetherness.

The board worked hard to ensure we kept talking, discussing our challenges and sharing our solutions – not only for our member businesses but, importantly, for their clients too. In fact, our communications actually increased, saying hello through our computer screens and phones as opposed to face to face, as we were more used to. This has given the board and other members an opportunity to reflect on more innovative ways of working together, looking at the bigger picture of impact on the environment around us.

I am thankful for the opportunity to lead the organization, even during this difficult time, and ever thankful to the amazing support of my fellow board members and the other fabulous people who make up our global family.

Going forward, I intend to help our new President, Kristina Alekniene, and indeed the rest of the board to grow and modernize our way of working for the benefit of our members and clients.