VW’s Schaefer new Bay chamber head

NEW LEADERS: The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber elected its new president, Thomas Schaefer (Volkswagen Group South Africa chairman and managing director), centre, last night at the first meeting of the new board. He is supported by two deputy presidents, Tshiwela Mhlantla (provincial managing executive of Absa), and Andrew Muir (chief executive of the Wilderness Foundation)

Volkswagen Group South Africa chairman and managing director Thomas Schaefer has been elected the new president of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.

He and the new board will oversee a change of direction for the chamber over the next two years.

He is supported by deputy presidents Tshiwela Mhlantla (Absa) and Andrew Muir (Wilderness Foundation).

Honorary treasurer Simone Mao-Cheia (Stainless Accessories) will stay on in her role of overseeing the finances of the chamber.

The new board members were elected last month and at their first meeting, held last night, the office bearers were elected.

Schaefer said he was excited to take up this new leadership position and was looking forward to driving the new strategic focus and strengthening and developing the chamber and serving the needs of the business community of Nelson Mandela Bay.

He also thanked outgoing president Ian Nicholls for his significant contribution to the chamber and for setting the course towards a new strategic direction.

“I am passionate about this metro and the part it plays in the bigger picture of the South African and African economy,” he said.

“It is very important that as businesses we work with all key stakeholders to ensure the success of this metro.”

Nicholls thanked the board for their support and also for the unselfish manner in which they had served the business community during his tenure.

“During my time in this role I have been very impressed at the calibre of directors on the board, who all share an unwavering commitment towards acting in the best interest of the business community as a whole,” he said.

“They are very focused on developing the right strategy for the chamber, which is focused on the long-term sustainability and growth of business in the metro.”

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