A “traditional banker” who first came to Harrogate more than three decades ago has taken over the presidency of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce.
Martin Gerrard, a Senior Premier Relationship Manager based at Barclays James Street branch, was elected to the position by fellow chamber members at the organisation’s first ever online Annual General Meeting.
He takes over the coveted two-year role from Steve Scarre, who stood down in July after an extended period, due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the postponement of the AGM from May to the end of last month.
Martin, who describes himself as a “traditional banker”, was named Harrogate Business Personality of the Year in 2018. He first joined Barclays in 1973 and in a career spanning more than 45 years, has worked in a number of different departments, including operations, lending, foreign and securities, as well as in specialist roles.
In 1978, he became the bank’s first Student Business Officer, and, four years later, relocated to God’s own county after securing a position as Head of Securities in Skipton.
Martin has twice been Chairman of Round Table and has served on numerous local and regional charities, including in the role of trustee.
Sandra Doherty, Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, said: “Martin is one of the most familiar businesses faces in Harrogate and we are delighted that he has become our President.
“He is a very popular and long-serving Chamber member, and for a number of years has played his part on the management committee.
“On behalf of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, I would like to say a big thank you to outgoing President, Steve Scarre, who has been a superb ambassador and figure head.
“I’m now looking forward to working alongside Martin and the management committee, in taking the Chamber to the next stage in its 124 year history.”
Martin Gerrard said: “It’s an absolute honour to be elected at President of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, and playing my continued part within this important business organisation.
“Whilst Covid-19 has certainly presented us with significant challenges, my first priority is to increase membership and that in turn will give us a stronger collective voice.
“Working alongside other organisations, we need to jointly promote Harrogate regionally, nationally and internationally. Times are changing and we need to look to the future and not dwell on the past.”