Chamber on a mission at AGM

Chamber president Caron Khan, centre, with chief executive Ian Girling, sixth left, with members of the board at the Dorset Chamber
Chamber president Caron Khan, centre, with chief executive Ian Girling, sixth left, with members of the board at the Dorset Chamber's annual meeting

Dorset Chamber unveiled an ambitious new ‘declaration of intent’ at its annual meeting to reflect business’ valuable role in society.


Its new mission statement – Enabling better lives through business – comes as it continues to provide support for firms but also focus on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.


Chief executive Ian Girling announced the new vision at the end of the annual meeting at the Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth.


It was launched after president Caron Khan and vice-president Tony Brown were both re-elected for second terms in office.


Ian said: “We want to recognise the incredibly important role business plays in society.


“Business isn’t all about making big profits for shareholders, it’s not about exploiting people to make money or all about dividends.


“Business helps finance our health service, our welfare system and education. Business provides opportunities for people, it supports the charitable sector and provides opportunities for individuals to lead happy and fulfilled lives.


“We have been thinking bigger than the usual mission statements and wanted our vision to reflect the critical role business plays in society and how we want to contribute.”


The annual meeting heard how the chamber – the county’s voice of business – would continue to focus on mental health and wellbeing, including its trailblazing Got Your Six and menopause in the workplace campaigns.


It will also help businesses focus on ESG, including net zero and sustainability, and connect with more young people – including new apprenticeship awards for 2022.


The annual meeting was held with strict Covid safety protocols in place, and before the Prime Minister’s second announcement about the threat of Omicron and the escalation of the booster programme.


Caron praised businesses for their perseverance, ambition, resilience and willingness to evolve in the face of the pandemic.


She added that there was a great future to look forward to as ‘forward thinking, taboo smashing’ business leaders.  


The annual meeting was also told that Theresa Higgins had been promoted to chief operating officer and that Frankie Murphy had been appointed as the chamber’s new events co-ordinator.


Dorset Chamber – the county’s leading business support organisation – has nearly 700 members.

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