President's Message - September 2018
With summer holidays now a distant memory, energies have turned to the Chamber’s autumn’s activities and I hope that our programme of events provides you with valuable opportunities for business development, for structured and informal networking and for socialising.
Earlier this month, in the delightful surroundings of St Michael’s Manor, we had a superb breakfast presentation from Anne Hurst of Pwc on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Anne also invited us all to take part in an exercise which demonstrated our unconscious bias and she considered ways in which we can mitigate this in everyday work and social situations. Talking to members afterwards the overwhelming response was how informative, entertaining and important Anne’s message was. It was acknowledged by all that a formal diversity and inclusiveness strategy is now vital to increasing business success. It benefits innovation, collaboration, customer satisfaction and emerging customer needs. Independent research confirms that businesses that have actively embraced diversity and inclusion have seen improved financial performance.
At our networking lunch at Lussmanns, St Albans, last week, I was delighted to welcome 16 members attending their first Chamber event. I look forward to getting to know you all and I hope that your Chamber membership proves to be not only enjoyable but adds value to your business.
Healthy competition combined with mutual support creates a positive business environment. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than through our Annual Community Business Awards. Next week 240 of us will assemble at The Mercure St Albans Noke Hotel for the Awards Presentation - a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic businesses and individuals in our community. I am grateful to Lisa Bates-Wallis, Paul Rosenthal and the office team for all their hard work in bringing this event together. If you haven’t yet booked there are a few places still available but please don’t leave it until Thursday!
We’re keen to receive feedback from Members on our activities and to hear what you would like included in our future programme of events. Are there particular issue you’d like us to explore or develop? In what ways can the Chamber further support your business interests? The Chamber is here to represent you and your input is vital. Please feel free to share your ideas with any of the Chamber Directors. Thank you.
I look forward to seeing you at our forthcoming events.