New president at the Chamber

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Leeds Chamber of Commerce has confirmed that Mike Briffet will succeed Amanda Beresford as its 78th president as the organisation celebrates 170 years supporting and representing the region’s business community.

Briffet was recently appointed project director at Clarion Housing Group, the UK’s largest provider of affordable housing, having previously led the refurbishment and relocation of Leeds Building Society into its new headquarters on Sovereign Street.

Speaking on his election, he said, “I want to thank Amanda for her passion and commitment in representing the Leeds business community over the last two years. The last fifteen months have been the most challenging in peace time and Amanda has played a vital role in ensuring the business voice has been heard by regional and national policy makers as firms sought to adapt and survive.

“History has shown that crises bring out the best in all of us, and we have seen first-hand throughout the pandemic the increased levels of collaboration across the public and private sectors. The innovation and agility demonstrated by firms to be able to trade against a backdrop of crippling uncertainty and volatility, as the virus and the Government’s response to it evolved has been a source of great pride.

“Covid has changed the way organisations work, perhaps forever, and looking forward I want to continue to build on our activities as our economy starts to recover. Whilst Covid will undoubtedly be with us through the years to come we must also look to develop solutions to ensure climate challenges are addressed. Supporting the decarbonisation of buildings and transport will be on my agenda, as will the development of support and advice to help firms move to a future net-zero economy.

“We must also remember that Covid has had a huge impact on education and opportunities for young people and the Chamber will look to play its part in ensuring future generations have access to learn about career opportunities and the skills needed to develop fulfilling careers for themselves. Aligned to this I plan to nominate the NSPCC as my charity of the year.”

Joining Briffet is Dan Murray, CEO of Leeds-List.com who has been elected as vice president and will look to bring his knowledge and experience of the city’s fast growing and dynamic digital community into the organisations activities. Digital skills will be one of his key priorities, ensuring that links between businesses, training providers and future workforce are strong and responsive to industry needs.

Murray said, “Covid has accelerated trends we were already seeing in the move towards digital adoption. As we rebuild I am keen to ensure the Chamber makes full use of its connections into business and government, whilst developing new connections into an industrial sector where perceptions and understanding of Chamber activities may be limited or misunderstood.”

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