Robert Elliot, director of sales at Hogarths Hotels, has been appointed as Solihull Chamber of Commerce’s next president.
Mr Elliot takes the presidential baton from previous president, Kevin Johns, managing director of Prime Accountants.
He will be formally appointed as president, at the Chamber’s annual general meeting, taking place today at Hogarths Hotel, located on Four Ashes Road in Solihull.
Mr Elliot has more than 30 years of experience in the hotel and hospitality sector, and has worked with top hotel franchises and chains, including Hilton, The Belfry and Macdonald Hotels.
After taking up the post as sales manager at Hogarths Hotels, Mr Elliot progressed to director of sales in 2014.
He is responsible for all revenue streams across both hotels which Hogarths own, located in Solihull and Worcestershire.
Alongside his work, Mr Elliot has been an active member of Solihull Chamber of Commerce for a number of years. He has served as the Chamber’s vice-president for the past two years.
Speaking about this appointment, Mr Elliot said: “To become president of Solihull Chamber of Commerce is a proud moment, but equally a very important day.
“I recognise that my tenure as president which lays ahead of me is set in the most tumultuous time for business, and I believe that I have a responsibility to support and deliver for our growing membership base – which now exceeds over 300 members.”
During his two year tenure as president, Mr Elliot is keen to help young people and businesses in the local community work together to help boost student’s skills, so that they enter the workforce ready for work.
He said that business has “a huge responsibility” to help students get work ready and upskill them.
He explained: “For a many years I have been working with young people.
“At all age groups, young people of any community are inspirational, creative, and above all blessed to have not created their own barriers to success.
“I can tell you that the young people I have met in Solihull, and North Worcestershire are no exception.
“But, I am sick of hearing “they are not work ready, the schools are failing business”.
“Business has a huge responsibility to work with schools to help them deliver the curriculum and create or support initiatives to interact with business.
“We have to take responsibility, we have to take action.
“Therefore, during my time as president I am committed to making these opportunities for businesses and educational institutions available to Chamber members.”
Alongside Mr Elliot’s appointment, Mick Westman from Digital Innov8tors and Martin Clarke from the NEC were appointed as vice-presidents of the Chamber, continuing their second year in term, alongside Tony Elvin from Touchwood, who was newly appointed as vice-president.
Three new members of the executive members have also been appointed to the Chamber’s executive committee, including Dr Oliver Denton, Daleswood Health; Emma O’Brien, ARUP and Namrita Sharma, Pink Spaghetti.
They join Kam Majevadia, Sydney Mitchell; Tim Coplestone, The Wilkes Partnership; Kevin Johns, Prime Accountants Group, Susie Ankrett, Plum Personnel; Stuart Baker, Rolls-Royce Control Systems; John Callaghan, Solihull College; Howard Rose, Balsall Common Primary School, who have all been re-elected.
In addition a further three people join the committee on a co-opted basis; Chris Reynolds, Marriot Forest of Arden; Jane Weaver, Jane Weaver Consulting and Stephen Rome, Thursfields Solicitors.
The Chamber has also chosen a local charity, which it will be supporting for the next year.
Solihull Hospital Charity, the charitable arm of Solihull Hospital, raises money for the acute general hospital in Solihull, based in Lode Lane.
Solihull Chamber of Commerce will support the charity, via a range of fund and awareness raising activities.
Rachel Learmonth, fundraising manger said: “Solihull Hospital Charity is absolutely delighted to be selected as Solihull Chamber of Commerce’s charity of the Year. We look forward to working with the Chamber to ensure that the charity can continue provide patients with ‘added extras’.
“Charitable support could fund potentially life-saving equipment, exciting new research trials, sensory equipment for children with learning difficulties or a comfortable chair for chemotherapy patients, the charity aims to provide what the NHS cannot.
“As a charity we pride ourselves on going ‘over and above’ for our patients, and with help from local businesses, we can make a patient’s stay at hospital that little bit easier. If you would like to help your local hospital in Solihull, please visit hospitalcharity.org to find out more.”
Lillian Elekan, head of Solihull Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Robert, Mick, Martin, Oliver, Emma and Namrita to the executive committee and into these presidential and vice-presidential roles at the Chamber.
“Robert is an enthusiastic, passionate and motivated leader, displaying an active and engaged role in the business community for many years.
“His tenure, and plans for young people and businesses, will be an interesting but exciting one to navigate. I’m really looking forward to seeing his plans for the Chamber come to fruition during the next two years.
“I would also like to extend my thanks to Kevin Johns, for being a diligent and sustained president of Solihull Chamber of Commerce for the past two years.
“Finally, I am delighted to welcome Solihull Hospital Charity as our chosen charity for 2019.
“It is so important to support a local cause, which delivers much needed funds and support to the outstanding hospital here in Solihull.”