About Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce
Overview From Our President
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.
Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce
Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce
George McKay became ICC's new Chief Executive in December 2020. With a wealth of local experience and connections, over the past decade, George has been a member and contributor to Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and Glasgow Chambers gaining valuable insight into the wider Scottish Chambers of Commerce network across Scotland.
George, who lives in Greenock, was most recently Senior Business Development Manager at Red Media in Glasgow previous to which he had founded and operated his own successful business, GCM Creative.
With over 30 years of experience, George has worked with a range of clients including Ultimo, Scottish Power, Sports Division and Discover Inverclyde, where George is a former director.
Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce
Diana joined ICC in March 2021 as our new International Executive supporting the Chamber's International Trade Partnership (ITP). Diana, who originates from Colombia’s capital Bogotá, made Scotland her home in 2008 and has since worked with several businesses across the public and private sector, including Glasgow Chamber and the umbrella organisation to the 27 local Chambers in Scotland, Scottish Chambers of Commerce.
Founder - PJH Bookkeeping
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.
Head of Engineering - West College Scotland
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.
Managing Director - ARC Fleet Services
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.
Managing Director - Tweetiepie Media
Lizzy joined the ICC Board in 2019, having based her businesses in Inverclyde from inception.
After completing a degree at the University of Edinburgh studying Business and Law, she went onto gain a graduate marketing position at the 5 star Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf near Oban which saw her gain great knowledge of all things digital marketing related whilst gaining a wide variety of experiences through the hospitality industry.
In August 2011, she started her own business, Tweetiepie Media, focusing on providing digital marketing services to small and medium sized businesses throughout Scotland, across a variety of industries. In 2013, Aves Business Centre came into existence which gave her an Inverclyde base to grow her business in terms of the number of clients, services offered as well as team members employed locally.
Tweetiepie Media now employs a handful of people locally and has clients that span across the globe and different industries including hospitality, construction, transportation, health and well-being and media.
A former Bee’s Knee’s winner, Lizzy is keen to help raise the profile of Inverclyde as a vibrant business community, whilst helping new and existing local businesses grow and develop.
Managing Director - Holt Leisure
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 before passing over to Mark Spragg in June 2021.
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.