Former police officer takes over role at top

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Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new president at its annual general meeting last week.

Edel Harris was confirmed as president at the Chamber’s AGM today (Wed) as Alec Carstairs stands down having completed his two-year term.

Edel is chief executive of Cornerstone, one of Scotland’s largest social care organisations providing a wide range of health and social care services to people with disabilities and other support needs.

Speaking after her appointment, Edel said: “I feel very honoured to represent the business community of the North-east of Scotland in my new role as president.  

“As someone who has lived and worked in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for the last 26 years, I am passionate about the area.  

“I am committed to supporting the Chamber and its members to ensure the region remains a great place to live and work.”

Two existing board members were confirmed as vice-presidents of the board and they were joined by four new elected board members.

John Brebner, city director - Aberdeen at Clydesdale Bank, and Peter Sharp, a consultant at Pinsent Masons LLP, are now serving as vice presidents.

Joining the board after having been elected by the membership are: Stephen Nicol (chief financial officer at Wood Group PSN),Judith Thorpe (co-owner and director at Thorpe Molloy Recruitment Limited), Jill Webster (director at Rubberatkins and until recently councillor and provost of Aberdeenshire Council) and Jennifer Young (chairman and partner at Ledingham Chalmers LLP).

Edel Harris has spent the last 15 years in senior management and leadership positions working in the social enterprise sector.

A former Metropolitan Police officer, she holds a first class honours degree in Health and Social Care, and worked for NHS Grampian for many years.

She joined Cornerstone as chief executive in May 2008 having previously been deputy chief executive of Aberdeen Foyer.

Edel is a former chairman of the Life Changes Trust, director of The Fragile X Society and a board member of Aberdeen FC Community Trust.

She is also a former chair of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Investment Fund.

She lives in Stonehaven with her husband and she has two grown up sons. She enjoys swimming, spending time with her family and is an avid football fan.

The Chamber board is directly elected by members of the North-east business community who are members of the Chamber, providing corporate governance to the organisation and direction.