Incoming President Marion Acreman on left with the outgoing President Deirdre Shine
With over 250 member organisations, business people from across the city and county gathered together in Butler House, last week, for the 70th Annual General Meeting of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce.
A number of new initiatives and appointments to the board of directors were announced to ensure the business interests of Kilkenny and economic development within the region continue to be strongly represented at local, regional and national levels.
Supporting and inspiring confidence in local businesses of every size was a key topic throughout the event and members in attendance were also reminded that keeping the county and city front of mind where decisions are being made about jobs, investment, new initiatives along with infrastructural plans and strategies was key to the overall mission of Kilkenny Chamber.
Marion Acreman, General Manager of the award winning MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre delivered her first speech as the newly appointed President of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce as she takes over the position from the outgoing president Deirdre Shine, “I look forward to bringing my strengths to the role of president in the coming two years and alongside John our CEO, Roisin and the board of directors I aim to deliver some enhancements to the chamber membership. There is a huge opportunity for business to business connection through our events and in my term as president I will focus on furthering developing our relationships and communications.”
Ms Acreman also acknowledged, “We have members on the edge of a precipice, they need our support in the same way that you may need the same support in the coming years. Being a member of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce brings the ability to reach out to over 250 businesses and thousands of local employees. In times of struggle and success, it means that you can call out in a positive way without fear and know that you will be supported by a strong network within the business community.”
She commended Deirdre Shine of Bank of Ireland for “her commitment to the presidential role over the last two years in advocating for Kilkenny across areas such as business, tourism, civic engagement and also as a female business leader.”
Looking over her past two years in the Presidency role, Deirdre Shine referenced the many opportunities and challenges facing the county and its business people, “There is so much potential for Kilkenny. From the proposed developments of the Western Environs, the strategic plans for the Diageo Site, the international success of Cartoon Saloon, the opening of the Medieval Mile Museum and the many festivals & attractions in our Medieval City. But, we also have our challenges, mainly an ongoing housing shortage and the shifts in consumer behaviours that are impacting our independent retail sector. We need to collectively start working together as ‘One Kilkenny’ on a plan to focus on the future of Retail as it is a rapidly changing industry.”
Bringing over 20 years of experience in the retail sector to her new role, Marion Acreman was keen to reiterate that member engagement with the organisation is crucial to their success, “At members’ disposal is a highly competent CEO in John Hurley and Administrator Roisin McQuillan along with 15 strong business professionals who give their time and expertise to further the needs of the members.”
Paschal Bergin, Board Member with the Chamber and owner of Paschal Bergin Accountancy delivered the financial reports which sees Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce well positioned to continue investing in promoting the business interests of their members.
Guest speaker on the day was Margaret Clancy, Commercial Director with TransferMate a company which was founded by entrepreneur Terry Clune and employs almost 300 people locally.
- Marion Acreman, General Manager of MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre will hold the role of President until 2019.
- The successful Medieval Mile Pass which has proved popular with tourists and visitors to Kilkenny was re-launched and it will continue to provide access to over 10 historic and cultural gems in Kilkenny along with the addition of The Kilkenny Famine Experience.
- The relocation of the Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce office to leading business centre, 11 Patrick Street which is owned by local businessman John Ryan.
- The appointment of Bridget O’Dea, Director of Public Relations Agency, Purcell Masterson and Lar Conroy of Cypher Tech to the Board of Directors.
John Hurley, CEO of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce closed proceedings on the day by reminding members “This is your Chamber. We are involved and represent the business voice of Kilkenny at local, regional and national levels. We need and encourage your ongoing support and engagement to ensure that our work will continue to gain momentum and that Kilkenny gets its fair share of the action in all areas.”
Members and those considering becoming part of Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce can contact the Chamber office, firstname.lastname@example.org / 056 7752767. For more on Chamber click here
For more on Kilkenny Business click here