My name is Nicolina Andall, I am a Commercial Solicitor…. and yesterday, I officially handed over the reigns after 3 years as Chair of Croydon Chamber of Commerce - the largest Branch of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
I wanted to take the time to share a few of the highlights of my time as Chair and to say that it has been an honour to:-
Work with our internal team – Annabel Fogden (General manager), Linda Saran (Events), Colleen Cleary (Membership) and those before you - particularly Saffron Saunders. They are always professional and work tirelessly for the benefit of the membership.
Chair the committee and work with our Ambassadors. They have never been shy in presenting their ideas, suggestions and robust views as to the direction of the Chamber. Collectively, we have strived to be true to our motto "To DELIVER OPPORTUNITIES" for the Chamber Membership. (Jackie Wilding - this one was specifically for you!)
Engage in the business community to represent the Chamber and put forward the members' views eg. Employer Charter, concerns as to office space, business rates and local procurement opportunities. Judging the Croydon Business Excellence Awards 2015 and 2016 and an appearance on TV were particular highlights.
Raise the Chamber's profile at 10 Downing Street with the Prime Minister.
Speak at many Grapevine events, Executive lunches and Croydon events whilst getting to know at least 3 Mayors, a number of MPs and a lot (!) of officials at Croydon Council including its Leader, Tony Newman.
Inspire over 2000 young people through the Young Chamber programme – whether that be presenting in small groups, workshops, packed lecture halls or at careers conventions. Well done indeed, Dr Helen Gray, for your hard work on this programme - its been great working with you on this project.
And finally - it has been a true honour to meet and connect with thousands of Chamber members. I’ve given away more free legal advice than I would have liked in "little chats" but hopefully I have been an Ambassador for the Chamber AND for the Legal Profession. I trust that I have demonstrated that Solicitors can speak English, we do listen and we can provide commercial suggestions for managing legal risk in business whilst still allowing you to keep an eye on the money.
The Chamber is full of incredible people and it has been a privilege to lead, and be fully immersed in, the Chamber's professionalism, drive and enthusiasm over the last three years.
A special mention for Fintan O’Toole, the former Chair of Chamber, for encouraging me to stand for the role. Your mentoring and guidance have been invaluable over the years.
I congratulate the new Chair, Rajan Amin, and am confident that I have placed the Chamber in a safe pair of enthusiastic hands for the years to come.
I want to publicly thank everyone for 3 fantastic years during which I have had the honour of being the Chair of the Croydon Chamber of Commerce. Thank you.