Chamber Past Presidents, Board, committees, members and team, it is my honour and my pleasure to take the role of Chamber President for the next two years.
I would like to convey my own personal thanks to many Past presidents who are here this evening. I have had the pleasure to work with many through the years be it on working groups such as the annual dinner or Chamber 200 and I can attest to the unique passion and commitment that each President brought to the role.
As Chair of the Cork Chamber 200 working group I was proud to read that on 8 th November 1819 when the original Chamber was established one of the first members elected was John Cogan. It seems it is in the DNA.
I wish to reflect on the role of immediate past President Bill O’Connell for guiding the Chamber through two of the most critical years in it’s history. In 2018, the Chambers’ 199 th year, Cork was finally differentiated and acknowledged in Ireland 2040, a plan that is quite unique, aligning capital spend and spatial planning to create a vision for Ireland with Cork as Ireland’s thriving second city.
The fastest growing City region in Ireland.
With a focus on diversity throughout his presidency Bill brought great change to the Annual Dinner, a cornerstone of the Cork business and social calendar. Real progression is about continual improvement, implementing supported change. With over 40% of our future population coming from other nationalities this is a value that I will continue to reinforce. Bill oversaw a new strategic plan and vision for the Chamber. To make Cork the best place to live and work. The best place for business.
Finally, he led us into our third century as an organisation and invited me to keep the Presidency and the Chamber in safe hands, as we seek to inspire and engage the next generation on our journey.