Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce CEO Rachel Laver. Photo Chris Peach i-creation.

Rachel Laver: Meeting the team, events, awards deadline and my first update as Staffordshire Chambers’ CEO!

2 mins read

“Last Thursday marked the official commencement of my role as Chief Executive Officer of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

It’s been a fast-paced start working across a myriad of exciting initiatives, including a very productive investment committee panel where we looked at maximising the returns from our assets, as well as my second Chamber board meeting – but first as CEO – where we outlined our plans for the year ahead as we continue to support the Staffordshire business community.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet the wider Chamber team and would like to thank them for their warm welcome. I am confident that we will achieve great things together. We’re already making changes as a result of meeting with the teams individually and hearing about challenges and opportunities.

I was also pleased to meet with Chamber Patrons Ornua for their Patron review meeting and learn more about their business. Our Patrons are instrumental in driving success and prosperity for our local business community, helping to strengthen the Chambers’ voice in advocating for policies and providing invaluable opportunities for collaboration, connection and networking.

It was a fantastic meeting and I’m looking forward to meeting all 26 Chamber Patrons in due course.

On Wednesday this week we welcomed visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist of the Timpson Group, James Timpson OBE to Staffordshire for our Innovative Skills Solutions breakfast.

Hundreds of businesses were in attendance at the bet365 Stadium as we explored the ways that skill shortages can be addressed in both the short and long term. James joined us hot off the release of his new book, The Happy Index, to share the secret tactics he uses to find, hire and retain the best employees. His talk was very engaging and he certainly did not disappoint!

James was joined on stage by the CEO of industry-leading tech firm TMT First, Adam Whitehouse, and Perry Smith, Principal Consultant at Hays, who both shared their unique insights into apprenticeships and salary levels respectively. It helped give the audience a good understanding of the salary pressures facing businesses while they seek to attract and retain the best staff.

Thank you to all three speakers for joining us on the morning.

Another fantastic event followed yesterday as we were joined by Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Jonathon Reynolds at Vale Park for our Meet the MP morning.

The event was hosted by Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce

Providing a platform for businesses to share their perspectives and experiences is imperative for shaping policies that support our economic vitality. There was a real range of businesses, spanning various sizes and sectors, and it was great to see them so engaged throughout the event, sharing many examples of the business challenges they are facing, including energy costs, staff shortages, planning delays and then most importantly ideas for how these issues can be realistically and practically addressed.

That brings us to today, which is also the deadline for applications for our 2024 Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards. Our Business Awards represent the biggest celebration of businesses in Staffordshire and are a highlight in the Chambers’ event calendar each year.

Take just ten minutes today to submit a free application and you could spotlight your services, meet new customers and ultimately, boost your bottom line. Be quick, though, you haven’t got long left! Submit your application, here.

Good luck with your applications, and hopefully I will see you on Awards night at the DoubleTree by Hilton on 4 July.

Here’s to many more milestones and shared successes.”

If you want to talk to us about any business issues can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or or email: [email protected]

Tom Hammersley

Digital Content Officer at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. BA hons journalism graduate.

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