Distinguished guests attend Plymouth Chamber annual dinner

Business delegates turned out in force earlier this month for Plymouth Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business Dinner, which featured a compelling speech from Josephine Fairley, Co-founder of UK-based chocolate company, Green & Black’s.

Over 150 representatives from businesses around the South West attended the distinguished black-tie event, held on the evening of Friday 15 March 2013 at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel and sponsored by Devonport-based manufacturers, Babcock.

The Annual Business Dinner, which is held in celebration of the many achievements of businesses in Plymouth over the last 12 months, attracted key influencers, business owners and senior managers from a range of companies of all sectors and sizes.

Council Leader Tudor Evans was in attendance, as well as Oliver Colvile MP; Alison Seabeck MP; Professor Julian Beer, Pro-Vice Principal of Plymouth University; the President of Plymouth Chamber, Sir John Parker and his wife, Lady Emma Parker.

Also present at the glamorous event were patrons of Plymouth Chamber, with representatives from: Real Fusion, Tamar Science Park, City College Plymouth, Duke of Cornwall Hotel, National Marine Aquarium, Beers LLP, Marjons and Plymouth City Bus.

Following a three-course meal, delegates welcomed the keynote speaker Josephine Fairley, who gave an inspirational talk on how she successfully built a thriving global business from an initial concept.

Green & Black’s chocolate was founded by Josephine Fairley and her husband, Craig Sams, in 1991 as the world’s first organic chocolate company. Now a household name, Green & Black’s is a brand approaching £100 million worldwide, was named the coolest food brand in the UK for the fifth consecutive year in 2011 by CoolBrands and remains committed to its organic and fair-trade philosophy.

Suzi Cumberland, Events Manager of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We were very pleased to welcome Josephine Fairley as our guest speaker at this year’s prestigious Annual Business Dinner. Green & Black’s is a top UK brand which has operations around the world and Josephine, a leading brand consultant and widely-acclaimed public speaker, delivered a truly inspirational speech. A good time was had by all!”

Council Leader, Councillor Tudor Evans, said:

“Fantastic events like the Chamber dinner, which enable business professionals and city leaders to connect and make things happen, are a real must in building the strong, confident and thriving business base we all want Plymouth to be. Positioning ourselves as an excellent place to do business is crucial to our growth ambitions – it will encourage investment, create jobs and ultimately ensure Plymouth is a place people want to live and work.”

The Annual Business Dinner is one of several events being held throughout the year which are supporting Plymouth Chamber’s Charity 200 Project.

The Chamber 200 Charity Project is raising funds for six local charities throughout 2013, the year in which Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The local charities are: Chestnut Appeal, Jeremiah’s Journey, Plymouth Guild, Plymouth MIND, Shekinah Mission and Tomorrow’s People.

10% of the Annual Business Dinner ticket sales have been donated to the fundraising project which, combined with donations from delegates at the event, amounted to a total of £620 raised for the project on the night.

David Parlby, Chief Executive of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, said:

“The Annual Business Dinner is a well-established highlight on Plymouth Chamber’s calendar of events and it was fantastic to see such an excellent turn-out for yet another year.”