Liz elected president for landmark year

From left: outgoing president Paul Tansey, new president Liz Willingham and chief executive Ian Girling
From left: outgoing president Paul Tansey, new president Liz Willingham and chief executive Ian Girling

New president Liz Willingham has taken the chain of office at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its 70th anniversary year.

Liz succeeded outgoing president Paul Tansey at a packed annual meeting at the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton.

Stephen Mills was elected senior vice-president and Warren Munson as junior vice-president in front of nearly 70 members at the AGM.

Liz, who is managing director and founder of Liz Lean PR, will be president when the chamber marks its 70th anniversary in 2019.
During her inaugural presidential speech, Liz pledged to raise the profile of opportunities for young people across the county, and to help to highlight the importance of supporting wellbeing and mental health in the workplace.
She also plans to help position Dorset Chamber as approachable for young entrepreneurs who she described as 'the future of the county's business success'.
Liz also hopes to support the positioning of Dorset as a shining example of business excellence across the country.
She said: "I was thrilled when I was asked if I would be open to the role of president.
"It is a great honour to help steer and lead Dorset Chamber in partnership with a host of talented business men and women.
"I strongly believe that we have one of the most go-getting chambers in the UK, as there is an energy and vision which works to progress our business community and county.
"Having run my business from Dorset for 20 years and having been on the chamber's board for the past two years, I feel confident that I can bring energy, enthusiasm and experience to the role. During my time as president, I would like to create some positive opportunities for the Dorset Chamber."

The AGM also saw REIDsteel managing director Simon Boyd elected to the board and Jason Gault and Caron Khan confirmed as non-executive directors for another year.

Matthew Fretten was appointed honorary solicitor and James Robinson of PKF Francis Clark as honorary treasurer.

Also at the AGM, Simon West, Chris Slocock and Ian Cambrook were recognised for their long service to the chamber. Chris Kane of Greendale Construction was elected as an ambassador.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: "I am really excited to be working with Liz, she brings huge energy and passion.

"This is a big year for the chamber with our 70th anniversary but it is not all about heritage.

"It is about the future too as we are a modern, innovative vibrant chamber which is intent on being inclusive and relevant to the business community.

"Dorset businesses have been so resilient in recent years. I really admire the strength of businesses that we have in this county and it gives tremendous cause for optimism going forward."

The AGM was followed by the annual President's Christmas Networking Lunch for more than 150 guests.

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