Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce has appointed local businesswoman Alison Henderson as its new chief executive.
The 45-year-old, who runs the My Pinkie Promise events and marketing firm in the city, said her mission is to boost the group’s membership and influence significantly in the months ahead.
“Our membership stands at about 430 and it would be great if we could get it up to the 500 mark,” she said.
“Single businesses that don’t belong to organisations like ours don’t have as loud a voice in business matters and the same access to advice, expertise and opportunities that are available as part of the chamber.
“Membership of the chamber is a way to influence things to advance the interests of business.
“My aim is to reach out to businesses on the outside, explain the chamber’s many benefits and say ‘come and join us — we’re stronger together’.”
Alison’s focus will also be on encouraging existing members to become more engaged, especially those on the fringe of the organisation.
“We have a lot to offer and have some high-profile events coming up that our members will benefit from,” she said. “I want people to be as fully involved in the chamber as they can be.”
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She continued: “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at a time when there are many opportunities for businesses in the area to flourish, and I see the chamber as an organisation that can be at the heart of that.
“We are looking to lead the way as the largest business organisation in Dundee and Angus, promoting our members, expanding our services and raising awareness of the benefits of doing business locally.
“There are many reasons to be excited to be in business in Dundee and Angus.”
Alison comes from a Dundee business background.
Her grandfather Ewart Fraser ran the Campbeltown Bar in Hawkhill with her grandmother Nan, who was a president of the Dundee Ladies’ Licensed Trade Association.
They passed the hostelry down to Alison’s father Donald Fraser.
Alison, who was educated at Harris Academy, first worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland and then took a position with the city council.
An opportunity to join the Alliance Trust was taken and she rose to a senior role in the investment house’s marketing team.
In 2009 she founded marketing firm My Pinkie Promise and later became a director and vice-president of the chamber.
She was appointed interim CEO in August to take over from Sandra Burke, and she brings to the role extensive experience in marketing, events management and leading teams to deliver successful projects.
She has a wide network of business contacts, and experience of working with stakeholders and partners to influence policy and business leaders.
Alison will now become a non-voting director of the chamber in her new full-time role, and relinquish the vice-presidency.
Husband Jimmy is in the golf industry and is involved in greenkeeping projects in Holland. He was previously at Downfield Golf Club. They have a son Fraser, 15.
Chamber president Tim Allan said: “We have been very fortunate that the call for a new CEO has seen some excellent applicants from across Scotland.
“It has been a thorough process and a challenging one with so much talent to choose from.
“We are delighted with our selection and Alison offers us the particular skills, management and leadership the chamber will need to continue its growth as the definitive voice of business in our region.”