Leeds Chamber’s longest serving president steps down

Leeds Chamber held a special lunch on 20thMarch to celebrate the successes of outgoing president, Nigel Foster and to welcome new president Gerald Jennings. The Chamber also announced the appointment of Vice-President, Paula Dillon, Partner at Bond Dickinson.

Nigel Foster, Director at transport planning business Fore Consulting, has served as Leeds Chamber president for four years providing stability through challenging economic times and a period of significant change at the Chamber including the merger with Bradford Chamber.

Nigel has actively represented the business community and been its voice on many key issues over recent years. He has been highly influential in bringing HS2 to Yorkshire; worked with fellow members to bring Network Rail into discussions for major investment proposals for Leeds Railway Station and led conversations around Leeds South Bank and the Flood Alleviation Scheme. Outside the Chamber Nigel is a governor at the University of Leeds and also a visiting professor on transport strategy.

Nigel said: “It has been a tremendous honour to serve as president of the Chamber of Commerce in Leeds, my home city.  I am very grateful for the support I have received from numerous businesses and individuals in the city, the City Council and my colleagues at the Chamber.  I know I am leaving this role in good hands with our new president Gerald Jennings and his vice president, Paula Dillon.  My passion for a successful Leeds remains undiminished and will continue to support our efforts to assist the business community and help to ensure that the benefits are spread to all parts of the city.”

Gerald, currently portfolio director at Land Securities will take over presidential duties. He is best known for being the force behind the hugely successful Trinity Leeds development and will represent the Chamber and its members in Leeds.

He said: “On behalf of the Chamber I’d like to thank Nigel for his enormous contribution as Leeds Chamber president. Nigel has been instrumental in bringing forward ideas to improve the city and I’m looking forward to continuing the great work he’s carried out and building on his successes. Nigel has helped put the Chamber in a position to contribute to the continuing successful future for Leeds and the wider region. I believe the Chamber is key to that future as the voice of the business community”

West & North Yorkshire Chamber chief executive Sandy Needham who attended the lunch where Nigel was presented with a commemorative plaque, said: “Nigel has served the Leeds Chamber with great enthusiasm and commitment over the last four years and he leaves a strong legacy for incoming president Gerald Jennings. I am also delighted that Paula Dillon has accepted the vice-presidency. As we move into a new era of devolution it is vital that the Chamber’s membership has representation from such a  high calibre team as Gerald and Paula and I look forward to working with both over the next two years..”

Bond Dickinson’s Paula Dillon will become vice-president of Leeds Chamber and support Gerald in his new role.