A new leadership team has been voted in at the ICA following our annual general meeting, which took place earlier this month during the association’s Liverpool 2019 trade event.
Mr Azeez Abdul Syed (President – Cotton, Olam International Limited) takes on the role of ICA President. Azeez will be supported by Mr Alex Hsu (Managing Director, Formosa Trading Co Ltd) as First Vice President and Mr Tim North (Global Head of Merchandising, ECOM) as Second Vice President.
New to the board are Ms Eimear McDonagh (General Manager Export Marketing & Logistics, Namoi Cotton Alliance), Ms Kim Hanna (Founder & Director, TransGlobal Inspections LLC), Mr Peter Wakefield (Wakefield Inspection Services), Mr Jamie Welsh (DJW Cotton Consulting Ltd) and Mr Baofu Yang (China National Cotton Exchange).
On accepting the role of President, Azeez delivered a compelling speech that touched on the importance of the industry’s support for the ICA:
“I never imagined I would be given the opportunity to be President of this great Association. Over the years, I have personally benefited from being a part of the ICA community. I have made some wonderful friends and built some privileged relationships. I consider serving the ICA members on the Board for the last six years and now as President, a very small way of giving something back to the industry. We do not need to look far beyond other parts of the textile value chain to understand how chaotic our industry could be without the ICA.
“Our Association plays a critical role in maintaining order – promoting the values of equitable trading and contract sanctity. It benefits all members – and the wider industry. It is crucial not only that we continue to support our Association, but that we champion membership of the ICA.”
Azeez Syed has been involved with the cotton industry for over 21 years. He joined Olam International Limited, Singapore in May 1998 and is currently President & Regional Head of Olam Cotton based in Dallas, Texas, responsible for trading and supply chain businesses in North and South America. Azeez is a member of Olam Cotton’s Executive Committee which manages the global trading portfolio, and he has been a significant contributor to Olam’s journey to a leadership position in the cotton industry. Azeez began his career with Olam in CIS and was responsible for starting Olam’s operations and establishing a dominant position in the Central Asia and Mediterranean regions. He moved to Singapore in 2007 and has since held various leadership positions which include setting up Trading & Marketing operations in China and managing Olam’s US, Brazil, and India Cotton Businesses. Azeez is also a member of Olam International’s Operations Committee.
Prior to Olam, Azeez worked for five years with the Gillette group of companies in various sales and marketing roles and for a year with Grindwell Norton Ltd. Azeez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Osmania University, Hyderabad and a Master’s degree in International Business from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. Azeez has been an active member of the ICA and was elected to the Board of Directors in October 2014. He is also currently a Director on the Board of American Cotton Shippers Association.
Comprising 24 members, the new board line-up continues to represent the ICA’s global membership across all sectors of the supply chain and builds on its commitment to engage the entire global cotton community.