New campaigns to back entrepreneurs and encourage first time exporters were outlined when Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) held its annual meeting.
Chief executive Ian Girling praised businesses for their resilience and positivity as the Chamber – the voice of businesses in Dorset – looked forward to 2017.
The Chamber’s new office bearers and elected council members were also appointed at the AGM.
Vincent Boni succeeded David McNair to become president while Paul Tansey was elected as senior vice-president and Liz Willingham became junior vice-president.
Vincent said: “I am absolutely delighted to become president.
“DCCI is an innovative chamber and I have watched it go from strength to strength over the past few years.
“I will seek to add value with my particular skillset and do everything I can to make the most of my year in office for Dorset and Dorset businesses.”
Vincent is managing director at Newsquest Dorset. Paul is managing director of Intergage and Liz is managing director of Liz Lean PR.
Councillors were also appointed following elections at the AGM at the Village Urban Resort in Bournemouth. They were Ian Cambrook of Pidela Consulting Ltd, Jason Gault of TeamJobs, Caron Khan of Caron Khan Consultancy, Chris Palmer of Anytech Solutions and Chris Slocock of The Minister Press.
Members at the AGM also heard about the launch of a new Local Entrepreneurs Forum in 2017 for start-ups to share ideas and experience, and learn from eachother.
Other plans highlighted included development of the Chamber’s policy initiatives, a new project to encourage more first time exporters in Dorset, a focus on the use of digital technology to enhance DCCI membership and expansion of the Young Chamber programme.
Members also heard how membership has increased by about 150 to about 800 members and the Business Partner programme has expanded from 14 businesses to 28.
Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “2017 is going to be a good year.
“It will be a year of change and the Chamber will keep on pushing forward with energy and positivity.
“Without being naïve, business confidence has rallied and businesses have shown resilience and are starting to see opportunities.
“The Chamber will continue to develop its services and support for members and the business community.
“I’m looking forward to a successful and exciting year working with Vincent, Paul, Liz, our board, council members and Business Partners.”
The Chamber has about 800 members representing more than 37,000 employees.
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