01 Oct 2022

Laois Chamber elects new President to lead local business at AGM where new chapter opens

Laois Chamber elects new President to lead local business at AGM where new chapter opens

Outgoing president Alison Browne is succeeded by Yvonne McKeon

A new chapter opened for Laois Chamber at its AGM where local businesses elected a president and sealed the creation of a new alliance that will promote tourism in the county.

The Laois Chamber AGM was held on Thursday, September 8 in the Ballykilcavan Farm and Brewery near Stradbally.

A statement said AGM was well attended and marked a new chapter with the collaboration of Laois Chamber with Laois Tourism to form “Laois Chamber Alliance”. Chamber members believe this is an exciting new collaboration that will benefit the county and promote Laois as the ideal location to live, work, visit and do business.

The AGM also saw the election of a new President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary.

Yvonne McKeon of Stradbally-based McKeon Stone is stepping up from her previous role as Vice-President and is taking over as President from Alison Browne, of Gerry Browne Jewellers. James McElwee of Rolleston McElwee Solicitors is the newly elected Vice-President, with Fiona Hyland of The Gandon Inn elected as Treasurer and Tom Clowry as Secretary.

Ashleigh Doyle of CJ Sheeran, an existing Director of Laois Chamber, was re-elected. Bernie Foran was also elected as a Director. MORE BELOW PICTURE OF THE LAOIS CHAMBER BOARD.

The new President looked forward to the new collaboration.

“We have had an excellent Board for the past year, who have achieved so much and brought us to this new chapter. We have an exciting time ahead with the new Laois Chamber Alliance now in place. The benefit of this collaboration will bring a new energy and strength to Laois business and to Laois Tourism. We now have the opportunity to be better together,” said Ms McKeon.

Alison Browne spoke following the AGM.

“This is a very hard-working Chamber, always putting Laois front and centre of every agenda.  Today is the start of another new phase in the history of Laois Tourism and Laois Chamber. The coming together of the two organisations means we are stronger together and can achieve so much more by working in unison.

"This is a very exciting development and one that will benefit both business and tourism for the county and our members.  Thanks to Caroline for being an excellent and hardworking CEO for the Chamber.  To an excellent board who take these roles very seriously and deliver for our county, thank you.   I would like to wish Yvonne McKeon the very best in her role as the new President.  Business is in her blood, and we are so fortunate in Laois that our long standing well know business people want to take an active role in the Chamber and give something back,” she said. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

CEO of Laois Chamber, Caroline Hofman reviewed the year gone by and looked forward.

“It has been a pleasure working closely with Alison over the past year in her role as President. Returning to in-person events and face to face meetings, Laois Chamber has been part of some excellent events and initiatives with Alison leading the way throughout her presidency, including the Commercial Vacancy Incentive Scheme which was introduced earlier this year to tackle commercial vacancy and to encourage businesses to establish new premises.

"This collaboration with Laois Tourism marks a new chapter for the county, ensuring Laois is well and truly put on the map as a key domestic and international location to live, work, visit, and invest. This will benefit businesses across all sectors. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

"I would like to thank our directors who have stepped down at this AGM for their time as Board members, and for their commitment and hard work for the benefit of Laois and investment in the county. I look forward to working closely with Yvonne as newly elected President of Laois Chamber and wish her the very best of luck in her new role. Yvonne has been terrific as Vice-President over the last year and will be a huge asset to the Chamber in her presidency over the coming year,” said Ms Hoffman.

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