Bradford Chamber of Commerce has elected a new President.
Suzanne Watson succeeds Nick Garthwaite, who has held the post for the last two years. Suzanne, Managing Director of Ilkley-based Approach PR, was elected at the annual meeting of Bradford Chamber’s Leadership Group today (Tuesday 2 July). Suzanne had been in the role of Vice-President until the election, and that role is now filled by Victoria Wainwright, Managing Director of accountancy firm Naylor Wintersgill.
The Leadership Group is the main policy-making body Bradford Chamber of Commerce, and that function is replicated across the other two geographical areas of the business support organisation, in Leeds and York & North Yorkshire. The group met before a lunch meeting that heard from West Yorkshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Ed Anderson, as guest speaker.
Suzanne said of her appointment: “This is a time of immense change and progression for our city and district and it feels the right time for a small business owner to be taking on the position of President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce. Our district has around 15,500 businesses and of those, 99% are micro to medium sized. Everyday, they, like me, live and breathe the challenges caused by productivity barriers such as transport, connectivity, the skills gap and funding. My own experience puts me in a strong place to be a voice and a representative of our business community. After working alongside Nick, who has done a wonderful job for the last two years, I feel confident that with the support of a great Chamber team and the business community behind me, we can do great things for Bradford’s profile, development and economic growth.”
The Chamber will reveal details of Suzanne’s specific plans for the next two years in the weeks and months to come.
Chief Executive of West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Needham, added: “We are, of course, sad to lose Nick from the role as he’s had a great impact on supporting and representing Bradford’s business community, especially with the creation of Bradford Manufacturing Week – and we’re very grateful for that; but we’re also looking forward to working with and supporting Suzanne over the next two years. It’s a great time to be running a business in West & North Yorkshire and we have some wonderful ambassadors and campaigners within our family.”