It has been a significant few months for the Chamber, supporting and promoting businesses across the two counties.
As some of you will know, this week I announced my planned retirement from Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, and will step down as Chief Executive on Friday 31 March 2017. It has been a pleasure and privilege to support the two counties’ businesses over the years, and I will continue to do some work in Worcestershire in 2017/18 supporting Inward Investment opportunities. I am, of course, here until the end of March and look to continue to build on the strengths of the Chamber during this time.
The Chamber has seen a number of developments from when I became CEO nearly ten years ago. In 2013, we were recognised as the British Chambers of Commerce Chamber of the Year and more recently we achieved the Investors in People Gold Award, the highest business accolade for people development. Today, the Chamber has responsibility for delivering Visit Worcestershire, Visit Herefordshire, Worcestershire Business Central and the Department for International Trade contract for exporters.
Last week the Chamber hosted our biggest Business Expo to date
, with over 1000 visitors flooding through the doors throughout the day at the Three Counties Showground. Every year, the Expo evidences some of the brilliant businesses that we have in the two counties, with 125 businesses exhibiting from a variety of sectors. The day was also a good opportunity for companies to find out about exporting, with the Exporting is GREAT truck holding some mini workshops. Companies were also able to gain some valuable information from Facebook, the keynote speaker for the day.
Last month, 19 tourism companies became winners in the Visit Herefordshire & Visit Worcestershire Awards for Excellence
. Five Worcestershire businesses
will also go on to represent the West Midlands next month in the British Chamber Business Awards, after winning their category in the regional heats.
Next week, I am looking forward to travelling to Baltimore as part of a Midlands Engine trade mission for cyber businesses. Herefordshire and Worcestershire is a leading area for the sector and several companies are represented in the delegation. Together with Worcestershire LEP, the Marches LEP and the Department for International Trade, we look forward to a range of networking and business development opportunities.
Mike began his career in his native North-West, where he was Head of Enterprise at Liverpool John Moores University from 1994-2001. The extensive business engagement experience he gained in that role was enough to earn him the Chief Executive’s position at Greater Manchester BusinessLink (Chamberlink), a company that offered business support across the 10 council authorities that form the Greater Manchester umbrella. In May 2007 Mike was appointed Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.