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East Midlands Chamber News

New President announced and members celebrated at Chamber’s AGM

The Chamber has announced Dawn Edwards as its President for 2019/20.

She received the chains of office from outgoing President Kevin Harris at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting yesterday afternoon (7 November).

Dawn is founder and Managing Director of Challenge Training and Consultancy, an award-winning provider of bespoke and accredited leadership, management and business skills training.

Based at its own training centre in Nottinghamshire, it is the largest delivery centre for Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications in the East Midlands, with a prestigious client list.

In 2007 Dawn bought a failing Children’s Day Nursery in Nottinghamshire, which was turned around to create a thriving business with an excellent reputation. The nursery was sold on in 2014, and continues to thrive.

Dawn is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Member of the Chartered Management Institute.

Accolades over the years include being recognised as Nottinghamshire Woman Achiever of the Year in 2003; Nottinghamshire Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 and voted as one of the top 100 Nottinghamshire Women of Influence in 2011.

Addressing delegates, Dawn said: “My first duty as President is to thank Kevin for the amazing work he has done over the past year. He will be a hard act to follow since he has a natural ability to engage and enthuse others.

“I’ve been involved with the Chamber for many years and am truly honoured and feel privileged to have been asked to be your President for 2020.”

Dawn has said her key areas of focus for the year ahead will include continuing to drive the skills agenda – an area of significant activity for the Chamber – helping to create an even more inclusive Chamber as well as focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility as the Chamber continues to deliver on its vision of enhancing not just businesses but the communities they serve.

Eileen Richards MBE, founder and Managing Director of Leicester-based Eileen Richards Recruitment, was named Vice-President for 2019/20.

With over 25 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, Eileen is also Co-Chair of Enterprising Women, Trustee for Hope Against Cancer and Committee Member for Wooden Spoon Children's Charity.

She was named 2018 Leicester Mercury Businesswoman of the Year and in the same year was awarded an MBE by the Queen in recognition of her dedication to empowering and supporting local businesses.

In one further announcement Steve Midgley, retiring by rotation, was re-elected to the Board unopposed, while Hari Punchihewa retired from the Board with the Chamber’s thanks.

The Chamber’s AGM, chaired by Ian Morgan, Chair of the Board of Directors, also acted as a celebration of its members, with presentations from Bloc Digital, Integrated Transport Planning and Jake and Nayns’, which won the 2019 Chamber Business Awards for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire respectively.

Six award-winning businesses - Air IT, Forsyth Barnes, Futures Housing Group, Integrated Transport Planning, TTK Confectionary and Wildgoose Construction - received their regional British Chambers of Commerce awards and all will go on to take part in the national BCC awards later this month.

No fewer than 105 businesses were also recognised as long-standing members of the Chamber, including Eggleston Steel, which was acknowledged for 90 consecutive years of membership.

Other notable landmarks included Rieke Packaging (60 years), RE Bowers & Freeman and HSBC (both 55 years) and Greygate Chemical Products, Nottingham Post Media Group and Trowell Plant Sales (all 50 years).

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at the Chamber, concluded the formalities by thanking members for their ongoing valued support, while reflecting on 2018/19 and looking ahead to 2019/20, one which he said would be a “year of investment” for the Chamber.