Kevin Harris, managing partner at audit, tax and consulting services firm RSM UK Leicester office, is to become the next chair of the board of directors at East Midlands Chamber.
He has been appointed chair elect, a transitionary role for him to succeed Ian Morgan OBE as the chamber of commerce’s chair with effect from 1 February 2023.
The board of directors includes 16 experienced, respected and successful individuals who specialise in various fields and business sectors. Its role is to assist the senior leadership team in driving the Chamber forward strategically and ensure it represents the interests of its members, as well as more broadly businesses and communities across the East Midlands.
Kevin, a former Chamber president who recently stepped down as chairman of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership after four years, said: “It has been a fantastic experience working closely with the region’s leading business representation network both in my role as a non-executive director and via RSM UK’s strategic partnership with the Chamber, and I am now hugely excited about the opportunity to become more embedded within the organisation.
“Ian has done a sterling job during his four years as chair of the board and I hope to build on the solid foundations he has set, including using the financial strength of the Chamber to further invest in supporting businesses and communities across the region.
“There are some key issues that will shape the regional economy for years to come, such as the devolution and levelling up agendas, and the Chamber will continue to be at the forefront of these discussions when it comes to representing the East Midlands at national and international level.”
Ian, who is also the chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club and deputy chairman of transport company Wellglade Group, will step down after four years in the role.
He was awarded an OBE in 2015 for services to the bus industry and business in the East Midlands, and is due to become High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 2024/25.
Ian said: “It has been an immense honour and privilege to chair East Midlands Chamber for the past four years. It is the leading business representation organisation with over 4,000 members and some 12,000 businesses affiliated to it in one way or another.
“Successfully guiding, advising and supporting the business community through Brexit, COVID-19 and the aftermath of both is the hallmark of the Chamber’s work, and I am proud to have played my part.
“It has a well-motivated, dedicated team led by Chief Executive Scott Knowles, and a first-class senior management group together with an outstanding board of directors with whom it has been a pleasure to work.
“In passing the baton on to Kevin Harris, I know the Chamber is in very good hands. Kevin is a long-standing board member, a recent past president and he is part of the organisation’s very DNA. The local business community could not have anyone more experienced or dedicated to the future of local business than Kevin and I wish him every success.”
East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles paid tribute to the outgoing chair, adding: “Ian’s support and counsel for me personally, and the wider senior leadership team at the Chamber, has been exemplary and played a significant role in the Chamber’s evolution over the last several years.
“I’ll always be grateful for his support to me, being a critical friend, never more needed than over the past two years.
“Ian will be missed by me and the team, however, I look forward to continuing to work with him in his role as chair of Derbyshire County Cricket Club and his future role as the High Sheriff of Derbyshire.
“I’ve worked with Kevin for many years in his role as a non-executive director of the Chamber, following the merger between Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, and Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce in 2013, as chair of Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership and his role as RSM’s Leicester managing partner.
“I’m looking forward to working even closer with Kevin as the Chamber continues to evolve, and ensure its support services meet the developing needs of the business community across the three counties, as we navigate our members and customers in this post-pandemic and cost of doing business crisis period.”