Exeter Chamber of Commerce & Industry has appointed three new directors to its board. Laura Seaward, audits and accounts manager at Haines Watts Chartered Accountants; Joanne Caine, director of Cathedral Appointments and Julie Hawker, joint chief executive of social enterprise Cosmic were appointed at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting.
Laura Seaward, a qualified accountant with fourteen years’ experience across a number of the region’s most high-profile accounting firms, becomes Chamber treasurer. Ms Seaward takes on the role following the fifteen-year service of Ben de Cruz, a director at Haines Watts.
Ms Seaward said: “Haines Watts is very proud of its long involvement with the city’s leading business organisation and I am pleased to be able to continue this involvement on the company’s behalf.”
Joanne Caine is a director at professional recruitment firm Cathedral Appointments. The independently run company employs fifteen people, working across Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. Mrs Caine’s experience in recruitment and employment will bring new specialist knowledge to the Chamber board.
Mrs Caine said: “I look forward to helping the Chamber to work with private and public-sector partners to meet the skill requirements for the city’s growing knowledge based economy. I am also excited to contribute to our members’ success by honing the business support Chamber offers in this area.”
Julie Hawker, also appointed at the AGM, added: “My mission is to ensure Exeter and the south west is equipped with the skills and infrastructure to benefit from the ever-increasing digital technologies in business. Exeter has a cluster of businesses with science and technology at their core, however I feel there is more to be done in the city and its travel to work area to capitalise on digital opportunities.”
Mrs Hawker’s organisation Cosmic is a social enterprise which provides services in website development, IT training, business consultancy and tech support. In addition to her new role with Exeter Chamber, she is a statutory board member of Devon and Cornwall Business Council.
David Savill, chairman of Exeter Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “we are delighted to welcome Laura, Joanne and Julie to the Chamber board. Their individual skills will be invaluable and will bring new insights to the group, helping us shape the strategy for Chamber. This is an exciting time for Exeter Chamber: while we are currently celebrating our 150 anniversary, the future of Exeter as a centre for business in the 21st century could not be stronger.’
We would like to thank departing treasurer Ben de Cruz and board members Alun Sands, Paul Banks and Robert McIlwraith for their hard work and commitment to the Chamber.”