New Sheffield Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Williams has called for “action not words” from the city region to help boost the local economy.
Mr Williams, a property and relocation solicitor for Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley, was elected into the role as part of the Chamber’s 156th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Holiday Inn Royal Victoria Hotel, Sheffield.
He takes over from Jon Stewart, a director at Siemens Metals Technologies, who has been Chamber President for the last 12 months.
Stephen Williams said:
“My mantra for the coming year is that to enhance the regional economy we need action not words. This applies to everyone we deal with from the City Council, Local Enterprise Partnership, politicians, Government, the business community as well as the Chambers of Commerce.
“Now is the time to deliver growth, not just discuss what we hope to do to achieve it.
“The Sheffield Chamber should have a higher profile than we’ve had before.
“We are now at a stage where we can be more proactive and drive forward activities which will enhance the environment for business growth.
“This is a great opportunity for the public and private sector to work in partnership on the fantastic activities which are happening in this city and make significant strides forward.”
Sheffield-born Mr Williams grew up in a terraced house in the Hillsborough area of the city
His father Derrick played professional football for Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United during the War years, before an injury playing for Portsmouth forced him into retirement.
“I am Sheffield born and bred. My whole working life has been in this wonderful city and I’ve played football or cricket in every single park across Sheffield.
“After retiring from football, my father became a certified accountant while my grandfathers were a blacksmith and station master at Beighton respectively. My family heritage is cemented in Sheffield.”
David Thurkettle, director at PwC, becomes senior vice-president, with Jillian Thomas managing director of Future Life Wealth Management joining the Chamber board as director and junior-vice president.
Jillian will become the second ever female President of the Chamber in 2015.
Simon Bladen, audit manager at chartered accountants Hawsons, was appointed as a Chamber director and honorary treasurer following the retirement of Mike Shepherd.
Meanwhile, 12 business leaders from the city were elected to the Chamber Council at the AGM including Alan Easter (Arkom Creative Technology), Martin Gorman (Natwest Bank), Rob Moore (Taylor & Emmet), Andrew Fowlds (LF Logistics (UK) Ltd), Peter Newsam (UHY Wingfield Slater), Phil Mulchinock (Swindell & Pearson Ltd), Dan Bates (Sheffield Theatres Trust), Robert Earl (Bull Information Systems ), Kay Couldwell (Good Travel Management), Darren Pearce (Meadowhall Centre), Tracy Viner (The Cathedral Archer Project) and Matt Jackson (UK Workspace).
The Council is tasked with promoting the Chamber as the leading business forum within the city region, as well as representing the membership through the work of its various committees and forums.