Harris takes the chair at Chamber
One of the region’s best-know professional services figures, Kevin Harris, has taken over as the chair of the East Midland Chamber.
Harris, Leicester office managing partner at audit, tax and consulting services firm RSM UK, took over from Ian Morgan OBE as chair on Wednesday (February 1).
He was previously chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership for four years and is a former president of the chamber of commerce for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Harris said: “Without doubt, this is going to be one of the most challenging years for East Midlands businesses. Many would be forgiven for being battle-weary as the cost-of-living crisis, and the impact of the pandemic and Ukraine war, are leaving deep imprints on the ability of local companies to survive and thrive.
“But I have a huge amount of optimism in our business community. Despite the difficulties, they are showing their mettle and resilience in the face of adversity and getting on with what they do best, which is running their businesses in local, national and international markets.
“However, they can’t do that in isolation, which is why taking up the mantle of chair for the Chamber in 2023 is a privilege with purpose.
“Our region’s businesses need an environment in which to flourish, to invest in skills and capital, and boost productivity.
“They are a vital part of the UK’s GDP and important for job and wealth creation. The levelling up and devolution agenda locally needs to remain high on the UK’s agenda, and my role will be to champion this and many other issues our local businesses need to succeed.”
Morgan, who is also the chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club and deputy chairman of transport company Wellglade Group, steps down after four years in the role.
He was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the bus industry and business in the East Midlands, and is the High Sheriff of Derbyshire in Nomination for 2024/25.
He said: “It has been an immense honour and privilege to chair East Midlands Chamber for the past four years. It is the leading business representation organisation with over 4,000 members and some 12,000 businesses affiliated to it in one way or another.
“Successfully guiding, advising and supporting the business community through Brexit, Covid-19 and the aftermath of both is the hallmark of the Chamber’s work, and I am proud to have played my part.