Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) Chief Executive Ann McGregor has announced she is leaving her role later this year, after almost 15 years at the helm. When she steps down in Autumn this year, Ann will leave a remarkable legacy at the organisation which celebrates its 240th anniversary in 2023.
Ann joined NI Chamber in 2008 and in the intervening period she has led the organisation through a period of sustained growth and NI Chamber now delivers a series of business support initiatives which have facilitated business and employment growth across Northern Ireland plc. NI Chamber has won multiple business awards and is now firmly established as the leading business body in the region. It is recognised across Ireland north and south, the UK and globally as the voice of the business community here and last November over 800 people attended the annual President’s Banquet.
Ann’s tenure coincided with some of the biggest challenges faced by businesses here including continuing political stalemate, a global economic crash, the challenges of Brexit and more recently the impact of the pandemic and the ongoing cost of living crisis. The President of NI Chamber, Gillian McAuley, praised the leadership shown by Ann throughout her career with the organisation.
“Ann’s leadership has been exceptional, especially during what have been very challenging times for the economy in Northern Ireland and indeed globally. At these times local businesses of all sizes look for support and advice from a trusted source, and Ann has ensured she and her team have been that source. NI Chamber has always offered support to our member businesses and even during the Covid restrictions, continued to host networking events which have always been very well attended and which our own membership research tells us are very popular. The level of professionalism associated with NI Chamber is down in no small way to the talent and commitment of the senior management team under Ann’s leadership. We will miss her at NI Chamber and we wish her every success in her future roles.”
Ann said, “After 15 years in this role, I have mixed feelings about my decision to leave the team at NI Chamber, but I feel I have achieved a lot during my time here and, personally speaking, this is a good time for me try something new. I have loved my long period as Chief Executive, through all the significant economic challenges and all the ups and downs politically, everyone involved in NI Chamber can be proud of the role we played in supporting local businesses and wider society. We now have a considerably larger membership, a strong, enthusiastic executive team, quality support services to provide to the business community locally, and I think the organisation is in very good hands.
“I have had a wide and varied career having started out in industry in production management and more recently in economic and business development. I have already accepted a few roles in charitable organisations and I am looking forward to seeking out and taking on new challenges and opportunities in private businesses as a Non-Executive Director. I am grateful to the NI Chamber President Gillian McAuley and the Board for their cooperation as we map out my departure and manage the recruitment process to appoint my successor. I am very confident that she and the Board will make an excellent appointment.”
The recruitment process for the new Chief Executive, which is being led by NI Chamber President Gillian McAuley, is underway.