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About Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce

Overview From Our President

Gavin McDonagh
Gavin McDonagh - President, Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I carry out the role of President of the Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce. It is an honour to be President of this historical, but forward looking Chamber, and I am immensely aware of the privilege of being trusted with that heritage and our future. Having been incorporated by Royal Charter in 1813, Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce is past it’s 200th year anniversary – and in June 2016, changed by Royal Charter again, adopt its new name which was another step forward as we build the business community across Inverclyde.

As a Director on the Board for the last 6 years or so, it has been my privilege to work with our Past Presidents and Board. Their experience, creativity and forward thinking has forged a new era, bringing our approach progressively into the current time, while recognising and respecting the value of our heritage. Their example is my benchmark and beacon as we forge the next few years and I thank each and every one of them for their excellence and wisdom within the role, laying the foundation for a solid and progressive Chamber.

These past few years have been intensely interesting and challenging with the political challenges often making business much more diffiuclt and uncertain. How the UK will emerge in the coming weeks and months in unknown even now, and each business in Inverclyde will need to understand what this means for them, make adjustments as necessary, and be ready for the opportunities and hurdles this will bring. As a Chamber, we will find ways of providing information, sharing insights, and providing platforms for discussion. Our intention is to walk alongside you all, as we face the uncertainty and the anticipation of the coming months.

Looking to the future, both as businesses and a Chamber, we must be flexible, responsive, relevant and sometimes radical in the current business context. These are not just words, and will be the baseline for me and for our Board as we set our new strategy for the next 5 years. We will not be a remote Chamber, but welcoming, listening, attentive and responsive in creative and appropriate ways.

I look forward to meeting more of you and working with you to build a supportive community – a community for Inverclyde growth and enhancement.

Gavin McDonagh

Staff and Board of Directors

Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce

Rachel Burns - Senior Executive Officer (SEO)

Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce

01475 806824


Rachel joined ICC as the Senior Executive Officer SEO in July 2019 and is the main point of contact day-to-day for customers, members and enquries.

Prior to ICC, Rachel spent two years as the administration manager for local regeneration body, Riverside Inverclyde and was responsible for the running of the RI office, admin support for the Town Centre Regeneration Forum's and worked closely with Chief Executive, Fiona Maguire.

Before joining Ri, Rachel worked in Glasgow in the private corporate investigation and brand protection sectors for 7 years. Rachel started her career in Greenock as a Modern Apprentice with IBM in Greenock.

Rachel is passionate about the Inverclyde business community and lives in Gourock with her partner.

Gavin McDonagh - ICC President

Managing Director - Holt Leisure

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Gavin is born and bred in Inverclyde and has worked with Holt Lesiure Parks Ltd since 1982.

Throughout his three decades at Holt, Gavin has worked as company Accountant, Secretary, Finance Director and now in his current role as Managing Director.

He has had the opportunity to be part of building up the various businesses, including three holiday parks, three marina's, Skibo Castle and cottages, Isle of Gigha cottages and hotel and Craobh Marina holiday cottages. Gavin has been instrumental in the success of making Kip Marina in Inverkip one of Scotland's premier places to moor.

Gavin joined the ICC Board of Directors in 2013, and succeeded Linda Scott as President in June 2018.

Robert MacDonald - ICC Senior Vice-President

Regional Partner - Succession Wealth

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Robert joined the ICC Board in 2016. Born and raised in the east end of Greenock, he now lives and works in Gourock. Apart from a brief period of three years working in the North London marketing branch of IBM UK Ltd in the mid 80s, he has spent all of his life in Inverclyde.

He is a Chartered Wealth Manager among his many qualifications, and among one of the most highly-qualified financial planners in the country.

Based at Kempock Place in Gourock, Robert is a Regional Partner of Succession Wealth, which works with over 20,000 individuals, families and corporations now with over £8bn of their hard-earned money.

Robert is the Senior Vice-President of ICC, and will take over the presidency from Gavin McDonagh in June 2020.

Andrew Bowman - ICC Junior Vice-President

Managing Director - ARB Growth

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Andrew joined the ICC Board in June 2018 and is a well-connected business leader, providing development and growth support to a range of companies across Scotland.

Having grown up in Gourock, Andrew launched his consultancy business, ARB Growth in April 2019. Prior to this, Andrew was Head of Business Investment and Operations at regeneration charity, Riverside Inverclyde (Ri) for three years, overseeing an 18% increase in occupancy within the Ri portfolio.

Previously, Andrew spent seven years at Zurich Insurance, where he sat on the leadership team as Strategic Assistant to the Managing Director of its Public Sector arm, Zurich Municipal in London.

As well as ICC JVP, Andrew is the Chair of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West region, co-founder of social enterprise Creative Inverclyde, a trustee of the Inverclyde Community Fund and the founder of Taste Inverclyde, a vehicle to support food and drink businesses in the area.

Puneet Gupta - ICC Director

Chief Operating Officer - PG Paper

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Puneet joined the ChamberBoard in 2017 and is the joint founder and Chief Operating Officer of PG Paper Company Ltd, an award-winning import-export company, trading in over 55 countries.

In the recent past the range of businesses has expanded, and now includes a technology company, dental practices, restaurants, a recruitment company as well as a portfolio of commercial and residential properties.

Puneet is also heavily involved with several national and international charities including trustee positions, directorships and board memberships.

Claire McParland - ICC Director

Deputy General Manager - Holiday Inn Express (Greenock)

01475 806824


Claire joined the ICC Board in 2017 and is a former Emerging Young Talent Award Winner at the Bee's Knees Awards.

A Greenock born local girl, Claire has spent almost all of her professional life at the Holiday Inn Express in Greenock, promoted through the ranks on merit to her current role as Deputy General Manager.

Operationally responsible Claire has since become the face of the hotel, learning and developing values and skills to take her to the top of the industry.

As well as a Director of ICC, Claire is heavily involved within the local community and is passionate about Inverclyde progressing and improving to become a place of preference and a destination of choice within Scotland.

Ian Moffat - ICC Director

Managing Director - ARC Fleet Services

01475 806824


Ian joined the Board of Directors in 2019 and is a time served Marine Engineer and has worked locally in Greenock Yards. Ian has a wealth of experience in both the Private and Public Sector, leading large multi-disciplined teams and delivering a wide range of frontline facing services, including start-up and turnaround.

He has great experience of working at Board level, and played a key role in growing a Regional Vehicle Rental and Fleet Management Company to a national FTSE 250 plc.

In 2011, he joined Inverclyde Council where he spent five years leading and transforming the Council's Roads, Waste Management ,Grounds Maintenance, Street Sweeping, Facilities Management, Building Maintenance, Registrars and Fleet Management services. During his tenure, he significantly reduced service operating costs and led the Council to become the best performing recycling Council in Scotland.

In 2016, he set up Arc Fleet Services and has overseen the company’s growth and expansion to become a key player in the Vehicle Rental, Accident Repair and Fleet Services Industry, while creating local employment opportunities and expansion into Glasgow.

Alistair Rodgers - ICC Director

Head of Engineering - West College Scotland

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Alistair joined the ICC Board in 2019, having took up the position of Head of Sector for Engineering at West College Scotland in October 2018, with a focus on revitalising the Engineering Curriculum particularly within the Inverclyde.

Having spent all of his life in Port Glasgow, Alistair served an Engineering Apprenticeship with local firm AMP of Great Britain Limited, before moving across the water to Polaroid.

After several years in industry, Alistair moved into the Further Education Sector in 2003, initially with Anniesland College and worked through various roles which include several years as a Head of Department at Glasgow Clyde College before joining West College Scotland.

During this time, he has overseen a number of projects within the Engineering Curriculum areas with a specific focus on employer engagement, something he hopes to increase within the Chamber.

Lizzy Todd - ICC Director

Managing Director - Tweetiepie Media

01475 806824


Lizzy joined the ICC Board in 2019, having been a former Bee's Knees Award winner.

More to follow.

Penelope Hof - ICC Director and Treasurer

Founder - PJH Bookkeeping

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Penelope joined the ICC Board in September 2019, having been a former Bee's Knees Award finalist on three occasions.

Penelope is a self-employed bookkeeper for various companies around Inverclyde as well as contributing to the control and running of Riverside Inverclyde’s finances.

Penelope has worked in Inverclyde all her working life having moved here after university, and is actively involved in local Girl Guiding.

History

Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce

Inverclyde Chamber, previously called Greenock Chamber, was originally incorporated in 1813 by Royal Charter on behalf of King George the Third, as The Chamber of Commerce and Manufactures of Greenock – to tend to the encouragement and promotion of trade and manufactures already extensively established and carried on there.

There has since been 129 presidents, including many prominent business people working in shipbuilding, engineering, sugar and other merchant activities, as well as council officials, legal officers and practitioners.

These activities reflect the principal businesses of the Inverclyde region in the 19th and 20th centuries, predominantly sugar refining and shipbuilding. More recently, the presidency and board have been made up of a more diverse group of business people. The first Greenock Chamber Board of Directors was an all male affair, consisting of bankers, merchants, legal officers and council officials.

The inaugural President was Alexander Dunlop, who worked as a merchant and a banker – he was founder and partner of William Napier & Co, known as the Renfrewshire Banking Company. He was also Justice of the Peace, Advocate and Magistrate of Greenock in 1805.

The first Board also included James Watt Jnr (above), son of the famous inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution. James Jnr went on to serve as the 10th President of the Chamber’s Board.

The Board Directors and membership today reflect the many changes that we, as a business community, have undergone over the years – our members cover a diverse range of industries both large and small.

Now, as we watch exciting new developments spring up along the riverside that are bringing transformational change for Inverclyde, its people and its businesses, Inverclyde Chamber works hard to ensure our collective business voice continues to be heard loud and clear.

ICC is currently researching a list of all President's and will share this at a later date alongside previous annual reports of ICC.