A ceremony to mark the unveiling of a new Athlone Chamber of Commerce President took place within the surrounds of the Radisson Blu Hotel Athlone in recent times.
The Athlone Chamber Board, together with local public representatives, including Town Mayor, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke, Cllr Laurence Fallon, Cathaoirleach Roscommon County Council and Cllr John Dolan were present to mark the occasion.
As detailed in this newspaper last week, Alan Shaw will fulfil the prominent position and his formal appointment has been strongly welcomed by the board of Athlone Chamber of Commerce.
Announcing the appointment, the CEO of Athlone Chamber, Gerry McInerney welcomed Alan to the team,
“Alan comes with a wealth of experience that I know will be of great assistance in helping us to support businesses in these testing times. As a former Director of RBK, I know that Alan has a great understanding of the challenges that confront businesses,” Mr McInerney asserted.
The CEO thanked outgoing President, John McGrath, who served the role for the previous nine years.
“John has served the Chamber for over nine years as President, giving of his personal time to help Athlone businesses to grow and prosper. John has represented the Chamber at many major events locally and nationally and has also represented the business community with distinction,” Mr McInerney continued.
Speaking at the event, the outgoing President, John McGrath wished Alan the very best with his term as President and looked forward to supporting him in any way he can.
“I look forward to being an active board member and hope I can provide Alan with the support afforded to me by the various Board members within the Chamber during my tenancy as President. The strength of the board is a reflection of recent successes such as the revitalisation of the Athlone Business Awards and the designation of Athlone as a Regional Centre of Growth within Project Ireland 2040. Athlone Chamber was one of many key components in the efforts to get designation,” Mr McGrath noted.
The new President, Alan Shaw, thanked the Board for electing him and also thanked the outgoing President John McGrath. Alan’s speech focused on the importance of unity and a strong membership during difficult times.
“We know that there is strength in numbers and it is within the unity of our membership that our greatest potential lies. Now is a good time to pull together, build our membership and invest in our shared future. These are hard times for businesses in Athlone and the wider community, there is no way of dressing it up.
“We cannot change what has already happened, but we can affect and influence the future. For Athlone’s business community, that is what we are about, lobbying, supporting, influencing, networking and being a good partner that businesses can depend on in good times and in bad.”
“Athlone is a town renowned nationally and internationally as a great place to live, study, work and to do business. As you know, Athlone is a Key Regional Growth Centre under the National Planning Framework. There is plenty of work ahead to ensure that we covert the plan into reality, now that we have a new Government.
The pace of change has escalated to an unprecedented level, thanks to COVID-19. A business revolution is happening before our eyes. Keeping up is falling behind but keeping ahead is winning. We have the team at Athlone Chamber to help keep our Members ahead,” Mr Shaw emphasised.