President's Message March 2015

Posted: 7th April 2015, 10:13am

During the last twelve months the Chamber has continued its regular and very successful business of networking events, including breakfasts, lunches and evening events. Most have been sold out, which is a fantastic achievement by all of us.

For me, and I think for many of us, the Awards ceremony in the Abbey was the highlight of the year. As Vice-President, and then President, I've had the privilege to read the lesson in the Abbey but this was several levels above that. Congratulations to all involved and, in particular to Paul Rosenthal and Lisa Bates for making it happen. This year’s Awards will shortly be launched. Nominations are the lifeblood of Awards so please nominate freely.

Another highlight, but not a Chamber event, was the Fashion Show in the Abbey. What a pleasure it was to see our very own Executive Director strutting along the catwalk! In that regard I must congratulate the Dean and his staff for opening up the Abbey for such events. It’s very much a win win for all involved.

Our “back office” continues to be a major strength for the Chamber. Lisa Bates, has maintained her very high standards in marketing and organising our events and I am very pleased that she again has assistance in doing this from Morgana Evans who now works part time for us. To improve our services we have invested heavily in greatly improved software which will enable us to provide an even better service to the members.

During the year we have seen the launch of the St Albans City of Expertise initiative organised by SADC and a large number of professional firms in the City. If this is to be effective it needs to maintain momentum.

When I took over the Presidency three years ago my priority was to improve the financial situation of the Chamber. At that time net current assets were £4,338 which represented a cover of only four weeks administrative outgoings. In my first year that increased to £15,383 and in my second year to £34,582. I’m pleased to be able to report that three years on we've now increased net current assets to £50,873 which is around ten months cover.

Thank you again to STANTA from whose building we operate without paying rent.

I've already thanked Lisa and Morgana for their hard and productive work. However it’s also a big thank you to my fellow directors who have invested a great deal of unpaid time in the Chamber. Without them the Chamber wouldn't exist.

And so we come to the end of my Presidency. It’s been a privilege to fill this office for three years and I hope you agree that it’s been a good three years for the Chamber. The best thing that I've done? Without doubt promoting Lisa from Administrator to General Manager to Executive Director and giving her the advice and support to enable her to do the job that she does so well. And finally a big thank you to you and the other Chamber members for your support to the Chamber during the last three years.

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