Special Announcement: Leadership Transition at the BCCJ

Written by BCCJ
March 8, 2022
, ,


Written by BCCJ
March 8, 2022
, ,

As we approach the end of the 2021-22 Chamber year, the Executive Committee (Excom) of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) would like to inform Members of the following important changes to the composition of the BCCJ executive team.

On March 31 2022, Lori Henderson will step down from the position of BCCJ Executive Director.  Sarah Backley will take on the role of BCCJ Executive Director as of April 1 2022, supported by Lori who will assume the new position of BCCJ Senior Advisor.

BCCJ Executive Director, Lori Henderson MBE says:

It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to serve the BCCJ as Executive Director over the past 11 years. Reflecting on an action-packed assignment, I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has invested time, energy and resources in the Chamber since I took the reins in February 2011.

It is now time for a new era of BCCJ leadership and I’m excited to see what Sarah, an excellent Executive Director Designate, will achieve for members and UK-Japan relations over the coming months and years.

I remain committed to the BCCJ in the capacity of Senior Advisor, whilst embarking on a new professional challenge as Managing Director, Strategy at Clarence Education Asia group (a BCCJ member organisation).

BCCJ Executive Director Designate, Sarah Backley says:

It is with great excitement that I will follow in Lori’s footsteps as BCCJ Executive Director, from April 1.

I will strive to expand the BCCJ into new and exciting territory, supported by our fantastic and tireless team of Sam Maddicott, Sanae Samata and our hardworking interns. I’m very much looking forward to working alongside the BCCJ’s Executive Committee to deliver value for our members in 2022 and beyond.

It’s been a thrilling journey to be part of the team that has taken Chamber events into the digital realm – all of us are optimistic though about the return to in-person events in the coming months, and I am excited to meet members and see them benefit from the connectivity and networking opportunities that the BCCJ offers across all its event and communications platforms.

Feel free to email me anytime! [email protected]

BCCJ President, David Bickle OBE says:

Lori has been a tremendous servant to the BCCJ community for more than 10 years and I know that all members and stakeholders will want to join me in thanking her for the enormous contribution she has made to the Chamber and to UK-Japan relations. She is an inspirational leader, and we wish her the very best in her new endeavours. We are delighted that she will remain part of the BCCJ executive team in the role of Senior Advisor.

After a robust internal recruitment process run by the Executive Committee we are pleased to announce that Sarah will succeed Lori as BCCJ Executive Director – a role she successfully fulfilled during Lori’s maternity leave from March 2020 – 2021, during which period she oversaw the transformation of the BCCJ Events platform from face-to-face to virtual.

Excom has been particularly impressed with Sarah’s passionate belief in the purpose and values of the BCCJ, her ability to unite stakeholders in pursuit of chamber objectives, and her desire and energy to support and engage with members.


BCCJ Virtual Tea-Time 14: Meet the BCCJ ED Designate

Join us to congratulate Sarah on her new BCCJ ED role, and find out her ambitions for the chamber in 2022, at our next BCCJ Virtual Tea Time!

March 15 | 1200-1300 | Online

About Sarah Backley:
Sarah began her current role as Associate Director at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) in January 2020. Prior to joining the BCCJ, she served as Coordinator for International Relations for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Department, at Oita Prefectural Government from 2017-2019. Sarah has a degree in Japanese and Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh.




Brave Conversations, Positive Transformations

As a reminder, our Brave Conversations, Positive Transformations initiative encourages members to become ever-more closely involved with the BCCJ’s strategic pillars: Digital and Tech InnovationDiversity Equity and Inclusion and Responsible Business.

If you would like to become more closely involved with BCCJ activities please let us know! [email protected]




Have you considered stepping up for a role on the BCCJ’s Executive Committee?

On Tuesday, February 15, the BCCJ began accepting nominations for the 2022-2023 BCCJ Executive Committee (Excom). Below you will find everything you need to know about the upcoming elections, what being on BCCJ’s Excom entails, testimonial messages from current Excom members, and why you may wish to consider joining, to help steer one of Japan’s most active and influential business organisations.

Serving as a member of the BCCJ’s Excom in the coming year will be an exceptional opportunity to enhance UK-Japan commerce at a time of great significance to the bilateral relationship. Learn more HERE