Businesses urged to work more closely together

John McCabe addresses the chamber AGM
John McCabe addresses the chamber AGM

The managing director of a growing public relations agency has been elected President of the North East England Chamber of Commerce at its AGM held at St James’ Park.

John McCabe, who runs Northumberland based Fusion PR set out his vision to urge North East Chamber members to grow stronger by working more closely together at the event, attended by over 300 of the region’s leading business leaders.

Outlining a two year plan for his Presidency he said: “There are three distinct ways I want to help our members gain more mutual benefit from each other. The first of these will be a campaign to highlight where our members are already working together, and we’ll be encouraging more to do the same.

“The second is to see Chamber members working more closely with the huge future talent pool being nurtured in our region. Through the Great Reasons to Build Your Career in North East England campaign, launched with our Partner member Nifco, and through supporting the Building My Skills programme spearheaded by another Partner, Esh Group, the Chamber is already enabling members to do more to link with education.

“The importance of this work to bolster the skills and aspirations of future generations in this region cannot be understated. I am sure the commitment of Chamber members to support this work will only grow stronger in the months to come.

“Finally, I believe we can all do more to support our own colleagues, in particular with challenges of mental health. The Chamber is an ideal vehicle to make sure businesses in this region have the awareness, resources and confidence to tackle the challenge of mental health in the right way, and I want to ensure we play our part in helping you do so.”

Handing over the Presidency, Mike Matthews, Nifco (UK) said: “It has been a tremendous honour to be President during the Chamber’s 200th anniversary and to be part of the ambitious campaigns, including the celebration of the great apprentices our region has produced. With the support of our new President, John McCabe, I expect to see our Chamber of Commerce achieve more and continue to provide a bigger and louder voice for our region. I am also certain the Chamber will encourage and support the continued collaboration of our members in these uncertain times to secure the future we are capable of…together.”

Both past and new Presidents paid tribute to the late Brian Manning, who was Chamber Vice-President and managing director of Esh Group.

Also speaking at the AGM, sponsored by Pulsant, was Gary Dawson, managing director of Middlesbrough-based AV Dawson, winner of the national British Chambers of Commerce award for Excellence in Customer Services.