Membership and networking organisation York Professionals has welcomed Elliot Rich as chair at the group’s AGM.
Elliot, who runs peer support and coaching business The Alternative Board in York, takes the reins from outgoing chair Michelle Mook, who has led the organisation for the last three years and overseen its successful evolution to continue supporting members through the pandemic.
Michelle says: “When Covid hit, York Professionals fought back. Through hard work and determination from our board of directors, we changed our offer and delivered a range of new online member benefits, moving events online and creating opportunities for businesses to network and access information and advice.
“We introduced new initiatives to support our members, such as one-to-one mentoring with board directors and greater exposure through enhanced profiles on a new website and across our social media platforms.
“Our members supported us with unwavering loyalty, and membership numbers have gone from strength to strength. 2021 marks the organisation’s 20th anniversary in which we set ourselves ambitious targets that included growing membership by 20 per cent – a target I am pleased to say we smashed in just seven months!
“A particular highlight for me was the annual dinner we held last month. It was so disappointing to cancel last year’s event, and to be able to run it in October and welcome 140 professionals to celebrate 20 years with us was fantastic.”
Michelle says she is delighted to remain on the board and looks forward to supporting Elliot as he takes the helm.
Elliot, who has held a York Professionals board director role for several years and the vice chair role for the last 12 months, said: “I am relishing the honour of taking over as chair and, on behalf of the board, would like to thank Michelle for the wonderful job she has done during the most challenging period in York Professionals’ 20-year history.
“I’m looking forward to leading the organisation into its next phase, as we launch our programme of member support into a new year, which will build in more face-to-face events alongside the online networking that remains incredibly popular.”
Formed in 2001, York Professionals represents and supports the professional services community in key sectors including business support, charity, creative and digital, finance, legal, marketing, people, and property.