New Chamber President Jillian takes office at AGM

14th December 2015

Jillian Thomas, managing director of Future Life Wealth Management, has taken on the role of President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce - only the second woman in the organisation's 158-year history.

Jillian's presidency began at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Chamber's Albion House headquarters, where she took over from David Thurkettle, a director at the Sheffield office of professional services firm PwC, who has been Chamber President for the last 12 months. Setting out her goals, Jillian said: -My aim for the coming year is to keep business in Sheffield. It's disappointing that we are seeing an increasing number of professional services leaking into Manchester and Leeds, when we have the skillset here to see businesses thrive. -The idea of the Northern Powerhouse is fantastic, but within that we need to create a Sheffield Powerhouse. Sheffield is an independent city and we need to do our own thing and strive for more. -We need to be encouraging people to buy more from local traders to bring money to our economy, which ultimately will secure future jobs for youngsters in the city. -Initiatives like the University Technical College are fantastic because they train young people up in a specific skill-set. We need to see more of this concept city wide to give school leavers the best possible chance. -I also want to bring a greater focus to the Chamber's Forums, maximising the opportunities they create and how we can make positive changes to those areas within the city. Originally from County Durham, Jillian (54) moved to Sheffield with her family when she was 13. She found school difficult because of her then undiagnosed dyslexia and was forced to take a year off school due to glandular fever. When she left school, she worked at Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance in Sheffield as an administration assistant, before becoming financial planner in Mansfield. Jillian's life changed when she found herself caught up in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami in Thailand where she was on holiday with her mother. Although it was the worst thing that ever happened to her, she credits this experience with making her reassess her life. It became a pivotal reason behind her setting up her business, and she launched Future Life Wealth Management in 2009. The company offers a bespoke financial planning service to generators of wealth, typically business owners, executives and professionals and also to receivers of wealth, such as inheritors, divorcees, widows and retirees. Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall was appointed senior vice president at the AGM, while John Hayward Chief Executive Pressure Technologies joined the Chamber board as junior vice president. For more information on Sheffield Chamber call 0114 201 8888 or visit www.scci.org.uk.

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