New Dorset Chamber president Caron Khan hailed the county’s ‘bold and brave businesses’ during a historic AGM.
She took the chain of office when the chamber – Dorset’s leading business support organisation – held its annual meeting virtually for the first time.
Nearly 70 members attended via Zoom, including business partners, ambassadors and board members.
Caron said: “The chamber’s place in the Dorset business community is more important than ever and its reputation has never been stronger.
“There will be further challenges for businesses but there is now a glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel as the Covid lockdown eases and vaccination programme rolls out.”
Caron, who runs the Caron Khan Consultancy, added: “I look forward to working alongside the Chamber team to ensure that we don’t just survive as a business community but once again thrive.
“Then, when we are all finally back together we can celebrate the amazing tenacity of Dorset’s bold and brave businesses.”
Caron succeeded Liz Lean PR managing director Liz Willingham, who was the first person to hold the presidency for two consecutive years.
Other appointments included Tony Brown of Y-Not Finance as vice-president and Stephen Mills of Mazars as honorary treasurer.
Members heard how face to face networking will resume in July. They will be mixed in a programme with virtual networking following the success of these event over the past year.
Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling also told how demand for international trade services continued to grow. He also announced the launch of a new project called Student Connect to work with students in the Business Society at Bournemouth University, connecting students with the business community.
Mr Girling also praised all involved with the chamber for helping it through ‘possibly the most challenging time’ its 72-year history.
He added: “I know our new president Caron Khan know will take on her role with great commitment and focus and no doubt bring a very creative edge.
“We have come through this past year in extremely good shape financially, our standing in the business community is high and I don’t believe Dorset Chamber has ever been in better shape.”