This week marks the first week of a new season for Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce as Sharon Smith begins her new role as Chief Executive.
With over 10 years experience at the Chamber, following 13 years working for Business Link in Herefordshire and 7 years at a Manufacturing company in Hereford, Sharon takes over the role from Mike Ashton, who has now retired.
Speaking about her appointment, Sharon said: "I am delighted to be officially starting my new role as Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, a thriving and growing organisation which is passionate about supporting local businesses.
Whilst a new CEO and leader represents more change in a currently changing and sometimes uncertain external landscape, I plan to offer the businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire continuity, confidence and steady growth."
The Chamber’s vision for 2020 is one of continuity, but also of evolution. In this new season, the organisation will endeavour to grow the local economy in the two counties by being the first choice business support organisation, and to engage and represent members at a local and national level.
Looking forward, the Chamber is also passionate about responding to a new digital age, utilising new technologies and preparing the organisation for a new generation of businesses and business owners. The Chamber is committed to responding to Brexit and the changing international environment, but also focussing on domestic changes within the UK.
Sharon said: "We have an amazing team who are empowered to deliver this vision and who are role models for businesses in the community.
H & W Chamber is the eighth largest Chamber in the country, and our services range from supporting exporters, to delivering policy support, legal and HR advice, networking and marketing opportunities. We firmly believe that whilst there may be change and challenge ahead, there is also opportunity and optimism."