All change at the top for Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

All change at the top for Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

14 February 2017

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new Chief Executive to succeed Stewart Dunn who is stepping down after three years in the role.

Maureen Frost, currently Deputy Chief Executive, will head the region’s biggest business membership organisation from the end of March 2017.
A new post of Executive Chairman is also being created to focus on external projects and representation.

Commenting on the changeover of Chief Executive, Chamber President Andrew Finney said: “Maureen has played a key role in our success as a countywide chamber since April 2010 when we merged the three local chambers for Portsmouth & SE Hampshire, Southampton and Fareham, and North Hampshire.
“She is well respected across the whole region as well as in the wider British Chambers of Commerce network. The Board is delighted to appoint her as our new Chief Executive and we look forward to supporting her in her new role.

“At the same time, we are sorry to see Stewart go. He has been instrumental in communicating the strengths of the chamber to existing and prospective members while providing first-class leadership and management. He leaves us in a strong position where we are set to make a greater impact than ever. We wish Stewart all the very best for the future.”

Stewart, who became Chief Executive in February 2014, said he was retiring from work after a busy career and looking forward to spending more time with his family.
He was previously President of Southampton and Fareham Chamber and, for more than 20 years, Managing Director of Newsquest Hampshire, based at the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton.

Stewart said: “I am retiring from active service. The three years as Chief Executive have gone by so quickly and I have loved every minute of my involvement with the Chamber.

“I leave the organisation in good shape, with sound financial stability and membership growth, and an exciting future ahead.
“I would like to thank the staff and directors for all their support. It has been a privilege working with them.”

Maureen, who was previously Chief Executive of Portsmouth & SE Hampshire Chamber before the 2010 merger following an earlier career in business banking, said: “I am thrilled to step up and succeed Stewart. He will be a hard act to follow having steered us so well and grown our reputation in the past three years. He has ensured the Chamber’s many strengths have been communicated far and wide as the independent voice of business in our region.”

The changeover coincides with a restructuring of senior leadership responsibilities. Up to now, both the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive roles have involved internal operational work and external issues. From March, the Chief Executive role will be focused on the operational running and strategic delivery side of the business, the Deputy Chief Executive role will cease altogether, and a new Executive Chair will be appointed to focus on external partnerships, projects and representation work.

Andrew Finney said: “As we refine the Chamber’s strategy in the light of Brexit and other world changes, the Board has decided to restructure the way senior leadership works. I am seeking expressions of interest from those who feel qualified for the role of Executive Chair. The responsibilities will include taking over some of the activities Stewart has been involved in such as liaison with British Chambers of Commerce and influencing international trade arrangements on behalf of more than 400 exporters among our membership.”

For more information on applying for the role of Executive Chair, please email hampshirechamberrecruitment@handoverhr.co.uk.

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