Dorset Chamber has big plans ahead. They include new look business awards and a major conference and exhibition over three days in October.
Chamber president Caron Khan was elected for a third successive term at the AGM at the Hilton Hotel in Bournemouth – becoming the first person to serve three consecutive years in office.
A Christmas lunch followed the AGM with a raffle raising £1,265 for the Faithworks charity, which helps people affected by homelessness, food poverty, debt, addiction and lone parenting.
Guests also donated hundreds of items – including food, socks and toiletries – for the chamber’s Festive Food Bank for Faithworks to distribute across Dorset.
Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said at the AGM: “We all know the economic climate looks challenging but as businesses we must keep moving forward with a positive, although not naïve, attitude.
“I want Dorset Chamber to be leading from the front to support our members and the wider business community, and I urge everyone to keep talking business up rather than down.”
He thanked everyone who donated items and prizes, and bought raffle tickets.
The chamber is revamping the Dorset Business Awards after a three-year hiatus following their 25th anniversary in 2019 and the intervening Covid pandemic.
The AGM was told that more details will be announced in due course but they are likely to include changes to judging, the awards night and other improvements.
A major conference focusing on business issues, such as sustainability and technology, will be held in the same week with keynote speakers and expert panels.
The bumper business week will also include an exhibition for companies to network, showcase their services and products, and celebrate the county’s successes.
Other plans for the year ahead include a Future Leaders Forum for young people under 30, an inclusivity and diversity forum and the Dorset Apprenticeship Awards as well as progression of the county’s Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) and its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) support.
President Caron Khan said: “I truly believe that for the chamber, its members and the Dorset business community at large the future still holds wondrous possibilities if we can work together, support one another and lead the way as the dynamic forward thinking business leaders that we are.”
The AGM voted for Tony Brown to continue as vice-president. Honorary treasurer Stephen Mills – the longest serving board member in chamber’s 70 year history – stepped down after 19 years to be replaced by his fellow Mazars partner Lesley Fox.
Long service awards also went to former presidents Paul Tansey and Simon West in recognition of their commitment and support for the chamber over many years.
Donations for the Festive Food Bank appeal can be dropped off at its offices in Ling Road, near Tower Park, Poole, until Wednesday 14 December.
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