President Jill launches Chamber Hall of Fame at sell-out dinner

30th September 2016

Outgoing President of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Jillian Thomas has ensured she is leaving a lasting legacy in the City following her year in office, by establishing the inaugural Sheffield Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame, which was officially unveiled last night at the sell-out Presidents diner at the Sheffield Cathedral, will be located at the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce's offices and will honour steel city unsung heroes across the community and business sectors. The first three inductees to the Hall of Fame are The Women of Steel, Heaven 17's Martyn Ware and Richard Caborn, project lead for the Olympic Legacy Park. Jillian said: -I have thoroughly enjoyed my year as President of the Chamber of Commerce and I really wanted to establish the Chamber's Hall of Fame to ensure that people across a range of sectors can be honoured for the contribution they have made to the business community in the City. -I am so proud to announce that the first three people to be inaugurated into the Hall of Fame are The Women of Steel, Martyn Ware and Richard Caborn. It is a pleasure to recognise everything that these three people have achieved and the positive impact they have made to the City and I couldn't think of anyone better to induct into the hall of fame first. At Jillian's request the Presidents diner celebrated the economic impact the arts, heritage and culture have had on Sheffield. Martyn Ware, founder of The Human League and Heaven 17 was the lead speaker for the evening and the 400 guests were treated to a live concert from one of Sheffield's finest groups, Heaven 17. Addressing the audience at the event Jill Thomas said: -As a business organisation the Chamber focuses mainly on those that manufacture goods or provide services, but tonight as President I wanted to acknowledge the astonishing fiscal importance Sheffield as a 'Music and an Arts City' adds to the regional economy. She went on to highlight the contribution of the city's theatres, museums and galleries, while describing homegrown bands including Heaven 17, Def Leppard, Pulp and Arctic Monkeys 'as synonymous with Sheffield as our industries of steel, cutlery and coalmining'. During her 'interesting and busy' year in office, which included the EU Referendum vote in June, Jill said she had relished her lobbying role for high-profile issues affecting the city business region including the city centre positioning of HS2, the retail quarter and the re-instatement of BIS. Of her Chamber legacies, she said she was proud to have overseen the introduction of a new 'very well-received' service-based membership offer, as well as the bolstering of the Chamber's forums in order to directly impact on regional issues. -All of us present tonight need to accept responsibility for the task ahead, Jill told guests. -We are all ambassadors for Sheffield. She added: -Talking positively about our area will be the cornerstone to our success - it costs us nothing, but is invaluable in effective self-promotion, and will allow local businesses to grow jobs at scale and sell a real, skilled vision.

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