A prominent figure in the regional business scene has been elected President at East Midlands Chamber* for 2018/19.
Kevin Harris, Office Managing Partner at RSM, the world’s 6th largest accountancy and advisory firm, accepted the chains of office this morning from outgoing President Rob Mayo at the Chamber’s annual general meeting.
Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Kevin has been involved with the Chamber for many years. He was Chair at Leicestershire Chamber and oversaw its merger with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce to form East Midlands Chamber.
Accepting office, Kevin first thanked Rob for all his “hard work, enthusiasm and leadership in the past year”. He then said that with Brexit day falling during his Presidency, his first goal would be to “make sure the Chamber continues to offer the help, guidance and support to steer members through the changes that lie ahead”.
He said: “I want to make sure Government keeps the needs of business paramount in its deliberations before Brexit and focuses on the needs of businesses in the wake of our divorce from the EU, whether that is with or without a deal, with or without a transition period.”
A keen believer in the ‘power of three’, he set two other goals for his term as President.
They are to focus on the opportunities presenting themselves to businesses in the UK from Brexit, from the Government’s Industrial Strategy and from the Local Industrial Strategies that are being developed by Local Enterprise Partnerships and to develop improved links between business and education and focus attention on the skills agenda as a whole.
His first official duty after thanking Rob was to announce Dawn Edwards as his Vice-President for the year ahead.
Dawn is Managing Director at Challenge Consulting, a Management Training and Consultancy Business, based in Woodborough, and also at Lambley Day Nursery, a 30-place children’s day nursery in Lambley Village.
Both are award-winning businesses and Dawn herself has been voted one of the top 100 Nottinghamshire Women of Influence. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management, a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and was Nottinghamshire Woman Achiever of the Year in 2003 and Nottinghamshire Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010.
Several changes to the Board of Directors were confirmed.
Chair Phil Stanyer’s tenure ends on 31 January 2019. He was formally thanked for his service and was presented with a small gift. His replacement is trentbarton buses boss Ian Morgan.
Ian, who is Deputy Chairman at Wellglade Group, the largest independently-owned group of bus companies in the UK and owner of trentbarton, was appointed Chair-elect in July.
Chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Cub, Chairman of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, panel member of the Invest to Grow Programme and a former member of the D2N2 LEP Board of Directors, Ian previously served on the Board of the Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce and then the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber.
He was President of Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber in 2011. He resigned from the Board in 2015 after more than 20 years’ service but continued to work with and support the Chamber.
Two Board members, James Bowie and Past-President (2016/17) Geoff Poyzer, have retired. John Robinson and Mark Deakin, both previously co-opted to the Board, are now formally appointed. Directors Darren Clark, James Fry and Rob Mayo, who retired by rotation this year, have been re-elected.
Phil Stanyer, Chair of the Board of Directors, said: “I’m delighted to formally welcome Ian, John and Mark to the Board. They each possess skills, knowledge and experience that will be of great value to the Chamber.
“And I want to express my thanks, and the gratitude of the Chamber, to James and Geoff for their support and dedication over the years. I hope they will both continue to be our good friends.”
The three county winners of the Chamber’s Business of the Year Awards were then invited to talk about their businesses. They were Jeff Counsell from trentbarton (Derbyshire), Nadeem Raza from Microlise (Nottinghamshire) and Sean Smith and Emily Smith from Michael Smith Switchgear (Leicestershire).
Four businesses that went on from the Chamber’s Business Awards to enjoy success at the East Midlands regional heats of the British Chambers of Commerce Business Awards were then presented with certificates marking their achievement.
They were trentbarton, which won the Customer Commitment Award, Tidyco, which collected the Export Business of the Year Award, Shirebrook Academy, which picked up the Education and Business Partnership Award, and Dalycom, which won the Employer of the Year Award.
All four are shortlisted for national accolades at the BCC awards. East Midlands Chamber has also been shortlisted for Chamber of the Year and the Most Effective Campaign accolades.
The BCC awards winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London later this month.
Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “The national Chamber Awards are a highlight of the business calendar, showcasing the pivotal role local businesses play in the UK’s continuing growth story and I’m delighted that East Midlands Chamber will be represented so strongly this year.”