New president, board and policy council at Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

Dr Colette Backwell
Dr Colette Backwell

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new president and vice-president along with a number of additions to its board and policy council.

Dr Colette Backwell replaces John Brebner who has served as president since June 2017. He remains on the board for a further two years in the role of immediate past president.

Colette has been chief executive of CLAN Cancer Support since 2015. In this role, she is the current chair of the Grampian Cancer Partnership Group and sits on the NHS Cancer Strategy Group. She has also chaired the Chamber’s third sector group. Her previous roles include director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation as well as a number of senior policy development positions in the UK, Scottish and local Governments. With more than 20 years’ experience working across various sectors, she has a diverse knowledge of agriculture, rural affairs and the food and drink and third sectors.

“I am honoured and very proud to be the new president of the Chamber,” said Colette. “Having spent most of my career working in government, membership organisations and, more recently, lobbying government, I am looking forward to bringing that expertise to supporting the Chamber in the great work it does here in the North-east.”

Pádraig McCloskey was appointed vice-president. After graduating from Imperial College in 2002, Pádraig joined Shell, initially working on the Pernis Refinery in the Netherlands in a technical role. After three years in Holland Pádraig made a significant career move into communications when he moved back to Ireland for the first of two spells working on the Corrib Gas Project. Pádraig has subsequently worked in the US and Canada before moving to Aberdeen in 2012. 

A new face was also elected to the board. Spencer Buchan, managing director of AVC Immedia, replaces Liz McIntyre, principal of NESCOL, who is stepping down.

The policy council attracted incredible levels of interest and engagement. Jane Spiers, of Aberdeen Performing Arts; Tom Sanders of EY; Colin Campbell of Langstane Press; and Eileen McBay of Eastern Airways were re-elected for a further three year term.

Joining the council for the first time after having been elected by the membership are Allan McEwan of CityFibre; Joanna Fraser of Macphie Ltd; Jamie Wishart of John Lewis; Liz Rattray of University of Aberdeen; Emma White of Equinor; Jamie Coventry of Aberdeen City Council; Jill Walker of Anderson, Anderson & Brown; Moray Barber of KPMG; David Millar of OGTC; Moira Gordon FG Burnett; Laurie Scott of VisitAberdeenshire; and Findlay Anderson of Baker Hughes.

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