Haverhill businesswoman Sarah Howard has been unanimously elected as the new president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

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Sarah, who is a director at business software company Sarand and has previously worked in the City of London, takes over the reins from Peter Funnell following a four-year term in the role.

“It is an honour and a privilege to become the president of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce,” she said following her election at the chamber’s annual general meeting.

“As an organisation we have over 130 years of speaking up for business and I am looking forward to ensuring all of our members have a voice wherever and whenever it is needed.”

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, paid tribute to Dr Funnell’s contribution.

“During Peter’s four years as our president, Suffolk Chamber has developed and grown,” he said. “We have seen steady membership growth which now ranks us as the largest chamber in the East of England and in the top quartile nationally.

“We have strengthened our grass roots approach to running an accredited county chamber through the development of our town chambers network, which now includes Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce.”

Sarah Howard added: “Under Peter’s stewardship we have also become only the second chamber in the UK to successfully secure and launch a Business Improvement District, through our subsidiary company Lowestoft Vision.”

The annual meeting also saw the election three new chamber board members: Amy Starkey, managing director of Newmarket Racecourses, Patrice Love, marketing director of Timberwolf UK, and Stephen Britt, managing director of Anchor Storage.

Tony Addison, director of Free Rein, has stepped down from the board after serving his full term of office.

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