Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce gets new chairwoman

SCOTTISH Borders Chamber of Commerce (SBCC) has appointed a new chairwoman, along with three new directors.

Lee-Anne Gillie, a business consultant who helps Borders firms with sales growth, takes over from Moira Wilson as chairwoman of SBCC.

Ms Gillie said: “It’s a privilege to be entrusted with the position of chair.

“We are fortunate to have an incredibly diverse range of businesses across the region, and while we are likely to face a great number of challenges in this ever-changing COVID world, the people and the businesses within the area have always been resilient. 

“It’s our duty now more than ever to represent their needs and to provide a platform to showcase what they can offer locally and further afield.”

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The chamber acts as a voice for members’ concerns, liaising closely with MPs, MSPs and local councillors, as well as providing networking opportunities and informing members of crucial information.

Ms Gillie started her career with Peri-Dent in Galashiels in 1991, before joining RP Adam Ltd in 2006.

Following its acquisition by Ecolab in 2017, Ms Gillie oversaw the business integration and ‘change management process’, among other areas.

SBCC has also appointed three new directors – Giles Etherington, Alan Wheelans and Tim Ferguson – as the body looks to “maximise its potential”.

Mr Etherington, owner of Melrose-based Brand Satellite, says it is their ambition to make the chamber “a ‘must join’ for every Scottish Borders business”.

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Meanwhile, Mr Ferguson, managing director of Ferguson Planning in Galashiels, set up his business during the last recession and says it is important to look “forward not back”.

“The Borders is at a critical junction in terms of how we react, plan and attract new investment to the region,” he said.

“We must do all we can to encourage diversification and maximise emerging markets, playing to our strengths and promoting the Borders across the UK as a great place to live and do business.”

And Mr Wheelans, managing director of Selkirk-based Border Safeguard Limited, says it is a “privilege” to be joining the chamber.

The recently appointed interim CEO, Emily McGowan, says the appointment of the new additions is “a positive step”.

“At such a crucial time, they will play a significant role in supporting our chamber and enabling it to maximise its potential, and in turn, the potential of our member businesses,” she said.

Border Telegraph | News