Dear Colleagues,

You may be aware that Melissa Powys-Rodrigues has just recently stepped down as Chairman of the SA Chamber, shortly before the end of her term, due to an overload of work and personal pressures. She will be missed.

The Board met last week and unanimously elected one of our Board Directors, Sharon Constancon, to succeed Melissa. Sharon is a corporate governance specialist and foreign currency adviser renowned for getting things done. An energetic entrepreneur with a keen eye for risk, recognising opportunities, and understanding the value of good governance, Sharon will focus on delivering against the strategic plan which she shared in creating this last year. South African born of English parents, Sharon has business interests in South Africa and the UK, and is fully aligned to a key strategic goal of developing bilateral trade between the countries. The Board welcome her business and strategic experience, her corporate network and passion for the Chamber. Her business acumen and vision will support the growth in membership and ongoing development of the Chamber.

Melissa will undoubtedly continue to share her extensive knowledge and insights with Sharon and other Directors. She has worked tirelessly for the Chamber, remains a strong supporter and Member, and will be recognised as the Chairman who spearheaded the strategic change to the Chamber’s future. The Board respects her need for time, wish her well and look forward to engaging her valued input. Sharon states “Melissa has created a legacy of valued relationships she has built during her term, she will be a hard act to follow. I look forward to working with colleagues I have come to know well to continue the path of change.”

Sharon is CEO of Genius Methods and of Valufin, is a Member of the International Committee of the CISI and a Non-Executive Director at Caban Capital plc. She holds an MBA, is a Chartered Director, a Chartered Secretary, Fellow of the Governance Institute, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Company Secretaries and Administrators and winner of a SACC Business Award. In Sharon’s words “This is a great opportunity to create an energy for the various pillars of activity – to deliver value add to business, charity, politics and networking, a place to be seen and to learn.”

Sharon will be in contact with members at events so that you can share the ideas you have for the Chamber and the value you would like to receive. The Chamber will be increasing its programme of events annually, but it’s first focus is the SA Business Awards in April which will be our flagship event for South Africans in the UK. We hope to see you there.

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