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New president to take over and additional board members added as Laois Chamber AGM to be held remotely

Ciaran Finane from Finline Furniture (main photo) is set to be elected as the new president of the Laois Chamber of Commerce while Ashleigh Doyle (top left), JP Kehoe (top centre), Yvonne McKeon (bottom centre) and James McElwee (bottom left) are to be elected as new board members

Ciaran Finane from Finline Furniture is set to be elected as the new president and four new board members are to be added to the Laois Chamber of Commerce, which holds its AGM remotely this evening.

It is the first year of the re-formed Laois Chamber which has endured a most unusual year since its launch last September.

While the body has a full-time chief executive in Bernie Everard who is based in a office in Lyster Square in Portlaoise, it also has a board of directors.

Martin Crowley, who set up and sold Wilbay Ltd, a meat distribution business, served as the chamber’s first president but his term is now at an end and he will be replaced by Ciaran Finane, who was chairman for the first year. Martin Crowley will continue as a board member.

Alison Browne, of Gerry Browne Jewellers, will assume the role of vice-president having been one of the first board members.

Yvonne McKeon from McKeon Stone, Ashleigh Doyle from CJ Sheeran Ltd, solicitor James McElwee and JP Kehoe from Skout Security are all set to be elected to the board of directors.

Paul Muldowney from Bank of Ireland and Conor McGarry from Powerpoint Engineering will also continue on the board while David Walsh-Kemmis from Ballykilcavan Brewery has stepped away due to work commitments.

Due to the Level 5 restrictions, the AGM will take place on Zoom this evening at 6.30pm in line with Chambers Ireland guidelines.

The meeting will be addressed by the president and the chief executive while the treasurer’s report will also be presented.

Like all bodies, Laois Chamber will have been effected by the Coronavirus pandemic this year, greatly limiting its fundraisers and events.

While the chamber did get funding of over €56,000 to set up – including a grant from Laois County Council of almost €48,000 and grants from the Leader programme for just over €3,000 and Laois Partnership for almost €6,500 – on an ongoing basis it needs to be funded from membership and sponsorship.

The chamber aims to help its members through representing Laois businesses on key issues, networking events, business support, workshops and training and networking events.

SEE ALSO – Laois Gift Card launched by Chamber as Cathaoirleach and Laois Minister urge people to shop local