ONE of Hampshire’s biggest business organisations has a new president.

The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has appointed leading business strategist David Joel as its new president.

David, who has senior level expertise in aerospace, defence and facilities management, said his goal is to ensure members continue to view the chamber as “relevant, valuable and the go-to place for advice and support”.

As part of his new role, David will have an ambassadorial remit with outside organisations as well as an internal function supporting the chamber board, holding fellow directors to account and providing corporate governance.

Sheffield-born David, who lives Clanfield, said: “This is an ideal opportunity for me to put something back into the business community.

“I’m bringing in a lot of business skills and I’m keen to see us helping more members, especially our SMEs, to up their game and achieve growth and prosperity.

“I also want the chamber to be more visible as a lobbying organisation at local and national levels as well as a leading source of guidance on Brexit.”

A qualified physicist, David spent 22 years in the aerospace and defence sector in the UK and the US, and ten in services and facilities management.

He led a bid team on the privatisation of the atomic weapons establishment at Aldermaston and managed a three-way partnership comprising Lockheed Martin, British Nuclear Fuels, and Serco.

Mr Joel also runs his own consultancy, Lanson, which provides board-level coaching on business strategy.

He also chaired the Portsmouth and East Hampshire Chamber before its 2010 merger with Southampton and North Hampshire to create the Hampshire Chamber.

David succeeds Andrew Finney who is stepping down after nearly four years.

Chamber chief executive, Maureen Frost, said: “David is already a familiar face to many of our members. As president, he will help us build on the countywide momentum we are generating.

“It’s all about having a strong senior management team in place to keep membership growing and we’re thrilled that David will be central to that activity.”