A new chief executive is to take over the reins at the Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce.
Claire Chapman, will replace Ann Morris, who will retire this Easter after 24 years with the chamber.
Claire has previously held posts with a number of organisations, including the North West Development Agency and Sheffield Wildlife Trust.
She gained a strong understanding of the issues, constraints and opportunities facing small businesses during a spell as chief executive of business membership organisation the Tourism and Conservation Partnership.
Claire has worked with many small and medium-sized companies as well as providing consultancy support to North West-based social enterprises, helping them to develop commercially viable business models to reduce their grant dependency.
She holds both marketing and business mentoring qualifications, and started her career as assistant manager at Atkinson Vos, an export company based in Bentham.
Claire said the role was “a baptism of fire” but added that it had given her excellent first-hand experience of the multi-tasking ability needed by owner-managers of small firms.
“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, and meeting the membership,” said Claire, who lives in Galgate with her young family.
“Following in Ann’s footsteps will be no mean feat, but I’m enthusiastic about continuing to deliver relevant and high quality support to local businesses, and exploring interesting new trends and market opportunities.”
Chamber President, Jonathan Barker, said: “Claire has a wealth of relevant experience which will benefit our members and help strengthen the chamber’s role in representing the interests of the Lancaster district’s businesses.
“The board is delighted she has accepted the post.”