Natalie Sykes, a former national director of the Institute of Directors (IoD), is to pursue a career in the private sector after taking a sabbatical from the organisation.

Natalie was a management team member leading IoD England. Prior to that she was regional director for the IoD in Yorkshire and the North East and East Midlands.

Whilst her secondment was far from an easy ride, in a sector where she had limited time and experience, Natalie’s achievements have seen her progress from managing director of James Wilby Limited, a transport business in Yorkshire, to group managing director at James Wilby Holdings Limited.

As a result, she has now decided to remain in the private sector focusing on construction haulage, logistics and property development.

A Fellow of the IoD and Chartered Director, Natalie has a long history with the Institute, serving first as a director volunteer from 2007 where she progressed from being a branch committee member to a regional judge to regional Chair and then on to being a valued employee from 2014.

During her time as regional director, she created the Institute’s Ambassador model and was integral to its latest value and membership propositions and championed local empowerment to ensure growth for the Institute.

Natalie will continue as a director volunteer for the IoD as governance and policy ambassador in Yorkshire and the North East.

Natalie said: “The IoD exists to encourage entrepreneurism, professional development and responsible business practice. By taking a step outside of the Institute to lead in a sector, which, like many is faced with significant challenges, I was able to fully understand what directors need from such an organisation to foster a climate for successful entrepreneurism.

“I am confident that alongside our director volunteer network, we will be able to continue to influence and support the IoD as it transitions to meet the needs of today’s directors and continues to have relevance in today’s world.”

Jon Geldart, director general of the IoD, said: “Natalie has been a loyal member of the IoD family for many years and a valued member of the senior leadership team. She has contributed successfully to several key projects during my time as director general and I wish her well for the future.”