Bristol Chamber of Commerce has appointed Sarah Cooper as manager, a role in which, as part of a re-positioned chamber, she will focus on delivering value to members by leading, connecting and growing business.
Her key aims are to increase membership, ensure the chamber develops high-quality relationships with its existing members, and make sure members take full advantage of the breadth of services available through the chamber and its parent group Business West.
After qualifying as a solicitor, Sarah worked in marketing in the voluntary and commercial sectors for eight years. She ran her own business in Beijing for five years where she also set up Viva, a network for expatriate professional women in the city which grew to 150 members within a year.
She then moved to Bristol as a career and executive coach, working with individuals and businesses to help them maximise their potential.
She said: “I feel very privileged to be a part of an organisation committed to supporting Bristol businesses to flourish, particularly in these difficult times.
“I am also very excited about the potential for business to help overcome some of the key issues our region faces, such as raising standards in education, youth unemployment and the need for more housing and better transport.”
Describing the chamber as “the natural place for businesses to turn to access a wide range of relevant business services and benefits” she added: “We take the time to understand the needs of you and your business and then to connect you with or signpost you to the right knowledge, people, or funding opportunities.
“For example, we have a team of experienced coaches and mentors who help expanding businesses reach their growth goals, by working with them to create and implement a robust action plan. As a qualified coach myself, I understand the difference coaching can make, so I’m delighted that we are able to offer this service.”
Sarah takes over from Nigel Hutchings, who has been managing the chamber at Business West and who will continue to use his skills for the company in, among other things, supporting some of Business West's key regional relationships including South West Chambers of Commerce and the Regional Employment and Skills Partnership.
PUBLICATION: Bristol Business News - 21 May 2012