Suzanne back with her feet under the table in Belfast

Suzanne Wylie has taken up her new role as chief executive of NI Chamber of Commerce. Picture Elaine Hill
Suzanne Wylie has taken up her new role as chief executive of NI Chamber of Commerce. Picture Elaine Hill

SUZANNE Wylie has formally taken up her new role at the helm of business membership organisation the NI Chamber of Commerce.

The former chief executive of Belfast City Council brings a wealth of local and international leadership experience to the high-profile position, where she succeeds Ann McGregor.

Ms Wylie had begun her career with the council in 1988 as an environmental health officer, before becoming director of health and environmental services and the council's first female chief executive in 2014.

In February last year she left Belfast to take on a new role as chief executive and head of the public service for the States of Jersey.

NI Chamber president Cathal Geoghegan said: “We're thrilled to welcome a leader of Suzanne’s calibre. Her arrival has been much anticipated and very warmly welcomed by our members across Northern Ireland.

“He appointment marks a new chapter in our 240-year history. She has an exciting strategic vision for NI Chamber and for the region’s economy and she will be an exceptional ambassador for member businesses, giving voice to their issues and promoting sustained economic growth in Northern Ireland.”

He added: “She takes up the mantle at a time when NI Chamber’s impact and reputation is stronger than ever. The Board and I look forward to supporting her and the executive team as they continue to step-up to support businesses; addressing their challenges and facilitating their growth aspirations.”

Ms Wylie, who was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to local government and business, said she was “honoured and excited” to be taking on the new post, adding: “Over the coming weeks I look forward to reconnecting with my networks across Northern Ireland and meeting as many member businesses as possible to hear about their ambitions and needs.

“I am also looking forward to leading the highly skilled and motivated team at NI Chamber and supporting its strong board of directors in building on the solid foundations that exist.

“Our membership continues to grow and I am committed to ensuring that we provide those businesses with the range of services they need to realise their ambitions and overcome challenges faced.”

She added: “The Chamber provides both local and globally connected networks and I am determined to deepen these relationships to achieve business growth and also provide a strong voice for business in policy development and in support of government decision making.

“The scale of potential which exists in Northern Ireland is one of the many reasons I am looking forward to this role. I am confident that NI Chamber is well-placed to enable our brilliant local businesses to grasp the opportunities ahead.

“And while there are many challenges to be worked through, I am buoyed by the high levels of business confidence I have already witnessed.”