NEW PRESIDENT: Chamber president Sally Garrahy.
NEW PRESIDENT: Chamber president Sally Garrahy. Renee Pilcher

Chamber of Commerce to welcome new leadership

INCOMING Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Sally Garrahy and the man she is replacing, Ben Ellingsen, have enthusiasm in common.

"It's very exciting," said Mrs Garrahy, a businesswoman and commercial property agent.

And Mr Ellingsen had similar feelings about his new voluntary position, a high pressure short term job as campaign manager for LNP Wide Bay candidate in the coming federal election, Llew O'Brien.

Mrs Garrahy's first presidential job will be this morning's Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Gympie RSL, where guest speaker will be online Stay at Home Mum website owner, Jodi Allen.

Her second public engagement this Small Business Week will be at Saturday night's women in Business Awards at the Pavilion.

She will present the awards on behalf of the chamber and awards sponsor, Law Essentials, the firm she owns with her husband, Michael Garrahy.

Mrs Garrahy, previously a chamber vice president, says the chamber offers all the benefits of networking, including those surprising ideas and synergies, what she calls the "Ah-ha! moments."

And she says there will plenty of those for everyone as the year moves on.

"Just getting people together allows people to meet each other and find fresh perspectives and useful skills."

She says her work in commercial real estate has given her a perspective on the needs of businesses moving here or looking to expand or downsize.

Helping them deal with state and local governments, "eliminating roadblocks," has been useful experience.

Family life provided an insight into the personal needs of people moving businesses to the region.

Mr Ellingsen says that "after six or seven years, it's time to try something else".

"I've enjoyed being president and I've learned a lot as well," he said.

Similar events around the state will mark Small Business Week, in honour of the state's 406,000 small businesses, Minister Leeanne Enoch said yesterday

Gympie Times


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