Senior Leadership Team

The Chamber’s Senior Leadership Team is made up of experienced, proven professionals. Together they cover every facet of Chamber activity and the management of its plethora of products and services.

Chamber Directors

Scott Knowles

Chief Executive

Scott is Chief Executive at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and lives near Matlock, Derbyshire.

Scott has worked at the Chamber network since 1999 when he first joined what was then North Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce, initially providing ICT and e-commerce advice and support to businesses.

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Diane Beresford

Deputy Chief Executive

Diane began her career with North Derbyshire Chamber in 1986 where she developed the UK online for Business service and set up the region’s eBusiness Club, which offers a range of service to support businesses to use technology to improve business performance.

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Chris Hobson

Director of Policy and External Affairs

Chris is Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Chamber, leading the information and representation teams, with responsibility for all work areas relating to the development of Chamber policy and lobbying activity.

He has a background working in policy in both the private and public sectors, at local, regional and national levels with a range of stakeholders and building effective partnerships.

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David Pearson

Director of Partnerships and Membership Services

David is the Chamber's Director of Partnerships and Membership Services.

He joined The Chamber in 2015 and leads the experienced International team that provides an integrated service to meet your international requirements. He has particular emphasis on developing partnerships in the region and the through the Chamber’s worldwide network.

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Lucy Robinson

Director of Resources

Lucy is Director of Resources at the Chamber, working alongside the senior leadership team on developing the culture of the Chamber and its strategic human resources, with responsibility for quality procedures for ISO.

Her background in HR Consultancy across all sizes and types of business has enabled her to quickly build relationships and define key focus areas within the Chamber resources.

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Heads of Department

Yvonne Pennington

Head of Membership

Yvonne joined the membership team at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) in 2012. Prior to that, Yvonne spent six years working with members at Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

On a day-to-day basis, Yvonne manages the Chamber Membership Advisers and Customer Services Advisers. She is also customer facing and regularly meets with member companies of all sizes and sectors across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

Yvonne’s passion at the Chamber is to ensure all member companies truly benefit from the wealth of business support services currently available.

During her career Yvonne has worked with leading companies such as Bass Brewers (now Molson Coors) and Coca Cola Schweppes.

Yvonne is also on the Board of Leicestershire’s Young Enterprise.

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Lesley Dexter

Executive Support Manager and Company Secretary

Lesley Dexter is the Chamber’s Executive Support Manager and Company Secretary.

With over 10 years of Chamber experience, Lesley started with Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce as PA to the Group Chief Executive in May 2005 before moving to Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Chamber in October 2013. Lesley provides support to the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team as well as being the organiser and primary contact for the Board. She also acts as Company Secretary for the Chamber’s various companies.

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Kathryn Edwards

Head of Finance

Kathryn is Head of Finance for East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and its subsidiary Companies.

Kathryn began her career in Finance in the coal mining sector in 1978 before joining the former North Derbyshire Chamber in 2002. During this time, Kathryn has worked to support the Chamber’s financial stability, including the provision of financial support to various ERDF contracts before taking up the Head of Finance position in 2015.

Kathryn lives in Wingerworth, Chesterfield with her husband and two sons.

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Paul Stuart

Head of Enterprise

Paul is the Chamber's Head of Enterprise and is responsible for the delivery of its enterprise and business support products and services across the East Midlands.

This includes managing the Chamber’s 47,000 sq ft of business space at Brian Clough Business Centre in Derby, the Leicester Food Park and Friars Mill in Leicester.

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Laura Howard

Head of International Trade

Laura Howard is the Head of International Trade.

Laura’s career originated in the field of international trade over ten years ago and it is a subject she remains enthusiastic about practicing. Formally a business information specialist in international trade, she went on to lead companies to success overseas in South East Asia and China.

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Alison Gray 

Corporate Marketing Manager 

Alison has been the Chamber's Corporate Marketing Manager since January 2015, with responsibilies for leading, implementing and evaluating all marketing and promotional activity to support the delivery of business plan across multiple onlien and offline channels.

With over 25 years strategic and practical experience in marketing, both business-to-consumer and business-to-business, Alison has worked both in the UK and overseas,  across several different industry sectors inher career to date, namely tourism, retail food and non-food, not-for-profit, funerals, funeral financial planning and public transport.