Fresh Faces on the Chamber Board

Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce recently ran its 2019 election process for Board Directors, as directors retire due to length of service or by rotation. There were several vacancies for Directors this year and the Chamber received nine nominations.  A ballot of the membership was held during May and the results verified by Board Director David Williams and Chief Executive Stuart Elford.

The results were:

Re-elected Director: Carolyn Giles, PepPer. 

Newly elected directors include:

  • Richard Adams, Corporate Projects Manager, Research and Innovation, University of Plymouth
  • Clare Baker, Market Development Manager, Exeter Barclays Premier
  • Suzi Cumberland, Acting Chief Executive/Business Manager, Citizens Advice Plymouth
  • Pauline Hands, Director of Marketing & Business Engagement, City College Plymouth and
  • Ian McFadzen, Chief Executive Officer, Plymouth Science Park.

Chair of the Board Richard Stevens commented:
"We were delighted with the number and calibre of people who came forward this year to offer their service to the Chamber.” 

Richard then went on to thank Jaqui Shaw who is stepping down from the board this year for all her hard work in recent years and extended a warm welcome to the new additions to the Board. 

Richard added: “The Chamber has lots of exciting plans in development, including introducing a membership offer, so there’ll be plenty of work for the new Directors to get their teeth into.

Richard Adams commented: “Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce plays a vital role in the drive for innovation and increased productivity in our city. With so many similar objectives to University of Plymouth it is with great excitement that I can support the Chamber by becoming a member of their Board. Harnessing the brilliant talent that Plymouth has to offer through structured support services is something we will continue to achieve in partnership.”

Clare Baker, Barclays Premier Market Development Manager, Exeter, said; “I’m delighted to have been appointed to the Devon and Plymouth Chamber Board, and very much look forward to getting involved and supporting the Chamber team. I work extensively across the county with many business owners as part of my role at Barclays and understand the vital contribution they bring to the region’s economy and our wider community. I look forward to the opportunity and meeting more of the Chamber of Commerce community in the weeks and months ahead.”

Suzi Cumberland said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of directors for Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to providing collaborative input, alongside fellow directors and contributing to the Chamber’s strategic goals and ambitions.”

Re-elected Director Carolyn Giles said: “I am delighted to be elected to a third term as a Chamber Director. I consider it a privilege to be elected by our members and I will continue to work hard to support micro businesses, healthcare and social enterprises to ensure their voice is heard as loudly as some of our larger members. I believe passionately in the voice of members locally and nationally and this Board has the capacity to create an environment where the right messages travel to the right places to enable Devon and Plymouth to prosper.”

Pauline Hands added: “I am absolutely delighted to be elected to the Chamber Board and wish to thank everyone who voted.  I will certainly be looking at how I can add value to the current Board, ensuring that I represent business needs for the positive economic impact in the City and region.  I am also looking forward to officially acting as an advocate for the Chamber and engaging with current and future members.”

Ian McFadzen added: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to the Devon & Plymouth Chamber Board and look forward to getting involved and supporting the Chamber team. I very much look forward to engaging and working with the Chamber's members and other stakeholders at this vital moment for the region’s businesses and the economy".

Board Director Biographies

Rich Adams
Corporate Projects Manager, Research and Innovation, University of Plymouth
Rich has worked in Plymouth for 25 years and joined University of Plymouth in 2011 following a career in both public and private sectors that included running his own business. With a background in innovation and business support Rich leads on business engagement activities across the whole university as well as project and partnership development with industry stakeholders. Key responsibilities include leading the Enterprise Solutions Service, the team that helps you to navigate your way to the University of Plymouth’s internationally renowned research expertise, facilities and business services. He often develops and leads innovative business support solutions that enables industry to access the universities skills, facilities and state-of-the-art equipment to enable them to overcome their barriers to growth through effective R&D. Rich also works closely with businesses to explore joint funding and research collaborations. Rich has developed new business services and secured significant investment from both public funding providers and private investment by working with industry research partners from across the world. With a background in developing bids, leading and managing multiple internal teams and working with external stakeholders, partners and funders he is also extensively networked into local providers and intermediaries.

Rich has undertaken numerous public speaking roles, including TEDx and lectures. He represents a key contact for all businesses in the region seeking to access the innovative services and talent available in University of Plymouth that will enable their business to adopt and develop new approaches to succeed.

Clare Baker BA (Hons), CeMap, Dip
Market Development Manager, Exeter Barclays Premier

I have been actively involved with the Chamber and PABC since 2015. I am passionate about the city and wider county and am fortunate that my role now allows me the opportunity to build networks and relationships across Devon and Cornwall. I moved to Plymouth in 1997 from overseas and was previously in the hospitality sector (a vibrant and strategically important sector in the county, which directly employs 3.2m people). I believe my previous experience in this sector, combined with current business development role of growing Barclays Premier membership, along with setting up and running successful business networks in Plymouth and Exeter would support The Chambers objectives to grow its membership. I have proven experience in building and growing business networks, running events and increasing brand awareness and membership growth strategies, and would love to bring these skills to The Chamber. Plymouth Women in Business CIC alone has 2266 followers on Facebook, a huge contact list, 2901 followers on Twitter and 388 members of the Linked In group.

Professional Experience
Barclays Premier Market Development Manager Aug 2015 – date
Responsible for developing relationships with key businesses and networks across Devon and Cornwall and increasing Barclays Premier membership
Barclays Premier Relationship Manager September 2006– Aug 2015
IFS Certificate in Business Banking and Conduct Level 3 Distinction 2015
IFS Certificate in retail Banking and Conduct of Business Distinction and Merit 2014
City and Guilds – Elite Relationship Management Distinction 2013
National Barclays Platinum Award winner 2010 and 2018

Co-founder and director of Plymouth Women in Business networking CIC and Exeter Women in Business CIC.Member of Plymouth Area Business Council and Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce since 2015.Vice Chair of Governors at All Saint’s Academy and Vice Chair on the board at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.
Set up and ran annual conferences for the last 3 years to celebrate International Women’s Day and launched the 1st International Men’s Day celebration in Plymouth to be held November 2019.Voted Networker of the Year 2015 in the Plymouth and Devon Chamber Awards.
Devon Venus Awards Finalist 2015 and National Winner in 2016, Regional Finalist in 2017.

Suzi Cumberland
Acting Chief Executive / Business Manager, Citizens Advice Plymouth

As a driven and energetic Business Manager with exceptional leadership skills developed over 10 years in the Royal Air Force and 7 years in a not-for-profit environment, I am delighted to submit my application to become a director of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.

My current role as Business Manager and deputy to the Chief Executive for Citizens Advice Plymouth sees me responsible for creating and leading strategic direction, financial accountability with 2.3million turnover, oversight of commercial revenue streams with several national utility contracts (including EDF Energy and South West Water) and a number of operational departments; Training and Development, ICT, Marketing and Communications. I am also the lead on a key strategic programme underpinned by several modular projects, which will see Plymouth’s first Advice Centre ‘one stop shop’. This is a large-scale development that will introduce a trading arm in the form of a café and community chest.

I started my career in the hospitality sector serving a decade in the Royal Air Force as a logistics caterer, delivering several high-profile events and royal visits. This led to my role as Events Manager for Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and subsequently being promoted to Head of Operations, during which time the strategic bid submitted that successfully saw Plymouth Chamber’s county expansion to become Devon Chamber of Commerce.

My experience of the Chamber is vast with knowledge of the Chambers constitution, its objectives and more importantly what is expected as a non-executive director. Chamber membership growth is vital as without it the Chamber loses its lobbying clout.

I would like to be considered as a director to represent the charity sector both at board level and across the membership. The third sector has the same challenges in business as any other and I believe there is more the Chamber can do to help facilitate a more cohesive and joined up approach to the issues that the sector is facing.

I have always been passionate about the Chamber and the valuable role that it plays for the local and regional business community. To be able to play a small part in lobbying for change, driving economic outputs and enhancing business environment would be very rewarding.

Carolyn Giles
Business Owner, PepPer

Carolyn runs an HR Consultancy in Plymouth, having most recently spent 5 years with Kitsons Solicitors as an associate in the employment law & HR team.

Carolyn has 25 years’ experience of HR practice and has worked within public, private and the third sector as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Carolyn has been a small business owner for 12 years as well as currently being a business start-up. This gives Carolyn not only her professional expertise but on the ground experience that reflects the day to day experience of many of our members. Carolyn works alongside SMEs and larger public sector bodies across a variety of sectors and has a specialist interest in healthcare. Having moved from operational generalist HR, Carolyn now focuses on supporting business owners and boards around strategic people issues focusing particularly on successful change management and considering agility in workforces.

As a Chamber Board member for 6 years, and member since 2002, Carolyn leads the HR committee and informs the Board around key people management issues. Alongside this she has held a Vice Chair position for a year and represents the Chamber on the Inclusion Growth Group and Plymouth Social Enterprise Network.

Carolyn champions micro businesses and social enterprises as part of the Board ensuring they are considered as a valuable and active part of the membership whilst also recognising the rich diversity of businesses in Devon and Plymouth including a strong manufacturing base and marine industries.

On a personal level Carolyn has been Chair of the Chestnut Appeal for Men’s Health for 3 years and was a school governor for 13 years. She is passionate about business being a part of our overall community and happily works not only across Devon but also in Cornwall and surrounding counties as part of her work. When not working, you’ll find her just off Tinside Beach messing about in the water for fun, or in the library studying for her MSc in change and leadership.

Pauline Hands
Director of Marketing & Business Engagement, City College Plymouth

Employed for some 35 years, my current role at City College Plymouth (Director of Marketing & Business Engagement) is one that, although within the education sector, requires being a conduit to the commercial sector. As a senior portfolio holder, my remit is responsibility for the recruitment of all target markets (to achieve funding streams), engagement of strategic stakeholders and leading on the College’s commercial revenue. Furthermore, identifying possible new developments for the College, whether these be for commercial or strategic gain.

Previously senior private sector roles have involved ensuring that attention is on the business intricacies e.g. legal, HR, operational, marketing/business development; trading with sufficient margin and profit. Furthermore, with 12 years as a school vice/acting chair of governors, I have recently joined the board of the PABC on the basis that being part of an organisation’s governance requires an understanding of objectives, being a “critical friend”, whilst questioning/decision making.

A Chamber Director role is of interest as I have worked closely with the Chamber for the past 4 years; this has afforded me insight into the strategic needs whilst also being an advocate for its essential work. With a renewed strategic direction, I believe I can add value and impact through my experience, business community knowledge and being a key City decision maker. Notwithstanding my role is Plymouth based, I work regionally across employers and training providers; this reach will allow me to provide regional Chamber advocacy and lobbying and a focus on retaining and increasing membership. A recent example of my Chamber engagement is the strategic partnership of the College’s Talking Business dine and debate event where I felt that there was a synergy between our strategic topics and the business attendees, which would benefit both the Chamber and the College.

Finally, I am confident that, with strategic and operational direction, and a self-assured Chamber, impact and positiveness can be garnered in the business community. For too long the region has been a quiet voice and, with the correct mix of Chamber Directors, I firmly believe that this can resonate further afield to allow us to take on challenges which will provide a successful foundation for not only Plymouth but, ultimately, Devon.

Ian McFadzen
Chief Executive Officer, Plymouth Science Park

I believe I possess the skills, experience and attributes the Chamber is looking for. I am an experienced innovator and executive business leader with a proven record of delivering a range of high-quality outputs and services at the interface of the public and private sectors. I have served as an executive director in marine, biomedical and satellite application sectors, before my time as Chief Executive at Plymouth Science Park. During my career, I have operated at a range of science parks across the UK, including Plymouth, Cambridge and Bristol & Bath, which has given me a tremendous insight into the innovation ecosystem necessary for future growth. In addition, I have helped establish the Brixham Blue Environmental Hub, attracting over 30 businesses to take leases and supporting over 100 high value jobs.

I pride myself in gaining value from the triadic relationship between university-industry-government and my knowledge of the people, facilities and initiatives across the region could be exploited to accelerate introductions with businesses and develop a platform for sustainable growth. I believe I can add a new perspective to the Board, so together we can enable & support a sustainable, productive and investable business community.

Current appointments:
• CEO of Plymouth Science Park
• Director, University of Plymouth Enterprise Ltd
• Trustee of the National Marine Aquarium

Career summary:
• Marine research biologist. 14 years at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and 5 years private sector SMEs
• Founder of two life science companies based in Plymouth, including Biovault, the UK’s largest private sector human tissue bank
• 2.5 years as Delivery Manager of Working Links Ltd; responsible for the delivery of £6.8M pa. Contracts helping economically inactive and socially excluded people back to work, across Devon and Cornwall
• 10 years at the University of Plymouth, key roles included Intellectual Property Specialist Advisor, Head of the Marine Innovation Centre and Commercial Director (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
I would be delighted to be considered for the board so I can help support our business community.


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