New Chamber President puts creating more opportunities for young talent at the heart of his plans

10th May 2022

Fife Chamber of Commerce members elected Colin Brown as their President at their AGM on 27th April, and he has told them that creating opportunities for young people in Fife will be a priority for the business organisation under his leadership. Heather Stuart was elected Vice-President at the AGM.

Colin is a Director in the Property Division of the leading Scottish law firm Burness Paull LLP. He deals with all aspects of commercial property work with a particular focus on commercial investment, development and leasing from a landlord and tenant perspective. He has extensive experience in the acquisition and disposal of shopping centres and hotels. He acts as a lawyer for agricultural clients in the disposal and acquisition of farms and advises regularly on all aspects of agricultural law. Colin joined the Chamber Board in 2019 and was elected Vice-President in 2021.

Colin lives in Leven and is a member of Glenrothes Baptist Church and a director of their popular Bridge Café in Glenrothes. Away from work he is a trustee of the charity Krabbe UK and a member of his local bowling club.

Colin Brown said of his election and goals: “I am delighted to assume the role of President of Fife Chamber of Commerce at one of the most pivotal times in its recent history. Our members have had no choice but to adapt to the challenges thrown up by Covid-19, but I sense a real desire among many of them to get out from behind their laptop screens and meet up again in person. The Chamber provides significant opportunities for business to engage locally, nationally and internationally. I was struck at our recent Public Policy Lunch with the extent to which the Chamber network exists to help and support business and take their concerns to government ministers at both Holyrood and Westminster.

“We have enlarged and strengthened the Chamber team and we are launching a new website soon, the biggest IT investment at the Chamber in a generation, providing the perfect platform for us to provide unparalleled levels of assistance to our members and to the wider business community as it grapples with many problems.

Fife’s businesses tell us their real concerns about the challenges of increased costs whether in the supply of raw material and components for production or in the cost of construction projects. Recruitment challenges are themes which have been picked up and with new rules on visas and immigration these are tough times in which to do business.

“While Fife Chamber is best known for the practical and valuable day-to-day support that it provides to members to help them connect with each other and trade locally, nationally and internationally, it also has a strong record of civic and community partnership that I will be proud to lead in the coming year. Generous members have raised over £30000 for local charities in the last few years. Our advocacy on behalf of the armed forces saw us receive a prestigious ERS Gold Award in 2021.

“The Chamber is now leading the business engagement programme for Developing the Young Workforce Fife, creating many more opportunities for the Kingdom’s school pupils to get invaluable career and employment insights and support. Showcasing and celebrating talented young people in our schools, workplaces, education institutions and community will be at the heart of our exciting new Rising Stars campaign, which will be a priority for me during my Presidency.”

The new Chamber Vice-President Heather Stuart also joined the Board in 2019. She is the Chief Executive of OnFife (Fife Cultural Trust). Her early career was in local government, working in community development and regeneration, European and external affairs, and cultural and community services.

With roles spanning both the public and private sectors including the Scottish Government and starting new businesses, the common threads throughout her career are culture, community and leading change.

A member of the Institute of Directors, board positions also include vice chair of Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Director for Culture of Community Leisure UK, and Vice President of St Andrews Business Club. Heather currently serves on the National Partnership for Culture which provides advice and guidance on key strategic issues affecting culture in Scotland.

Heather said of her election: “I am delighted to be taking up the position of Vice-President. OnFife has worked closely with the Chamber for years and has consistently benefited from its involvement through networking, business referrals, and the wider learning and development opportunities. I am looking forward to working with Colin and the Board and the Chamber team to ensure those same benefits are made available to as many Fife businesses as possible, and to supporting the organisation as best I can to go from strength to strength."

Fife Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors April 2022

Colin Brown, Burness Paull LLP, President

Heather Stuart, OnFife, Vice President

Dawn Watson, Brady Ltd, Treasurer

Iain Haywood, Rollos, Director

Susan Dunsmuir, Fife College, Director

Wicus Van Biljon, Business Doctors, Director

Sheena Doyle, The Really Useful HR Company, Director

Ken Gourlay, Fife Council, Director

Brian Horisk, Horisk Leslie Development, Director

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