The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced the appointment of Nora Senior as its new President, succeeding Martyn Pellew who stands down after two years in post. Nora, who will be the business group’s first female President for ten years, was officially appointed at the BCC’s Annual General Meeting after serving as Vice President since June 2011.Nora is the Executive Chair for UK Regions of global PR agency Weber Shandwick and has more than 20 years’ experience in the public relations and government affairs sector. She is part of the Regional Advisory Group to the London Stock Exchange, and holds non-executive roles with organisations such as the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, and previously with the National Trust.
 
Nora has been recognised with a number of business achievement awards including Scottish Businesswoman of the Year. More recently, she was presented with the UK First Woman in the Media Award on 12 June.
 
Commenting on her appointment as BCC President, Nora Senior said:
 
“The British Chambers of Commerce is a leading voice on all issues relating to business and I look forward to championing its crucial work, which benefits businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK. There are many issues that still need government attention – particularly around the much-needed support for international trade and helping young people to join the workforce, both of which are so important if we are to see a sustainable economic recovery.
 
“Together with the support of Chambers of Commerce across the UK, I will be working hard to ensure that the views of the business community are heard at both a local and national level, and will continue to campaign for an enterprise-friendly environment so that existing and new businesses can thrive.
 
“At this crucial time for the UK economy, Chambers of Commerce are more important than ever. They act as a front door in every town and city across the UK, providing support to businesses directly at the coal face. Just take international trade as an example. Chambers help businesses take their goods and services to new markets in a number of different ways – acting as a first port of call for advice, holding export seminars, exchanging knowledge and best practice from ‘mature’ exporters and leading trade missions to fast-growing markets overseas.
 
“As someone who travels the world as a services exporter, I see first-hand how it’s become easier and more cost effective to trade internationally.  Businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized companies across all sectors, need to be encouraged to explore the potential to step into new markets – but the fear of exporting has be removed. Given the need for Britain to achieve an export-led recovery, Chambers are and will remain at the heart of this agenda.”
 
Outgoing President, Martyn Pellew, said:
 
“During my tenure as President, I have worked alongside BCC Director General John Longworth to campaign on behalf of British business. My job has allowed me the privilege of visiting some truly inspiring companies over the last two years, many of whom are finding innovative ways to grow their businesses and increase their workforces. I know that with the help of their local Chambers, these businesses will continue to build on these successes.
 
“I now hand over to Nora, whose vast business and communications experience and previous involvement with the BCC will prove invaluable at this crucial time for the UK business community.”