New Cornwall Chamber CEO announced

Changing of the guard: Kim Conchie and John Brown

John Brown has been announced as the new CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. With over 15 years of business experience, he will be the new voice of Cornish businesses and has pledged to “support, fight for and deliver results to the full scope of the Cornish economy”.

Brown is set to take the reins of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce – an independent, not-for-profit, membership organisation that represents Cornish business interests on a local, regional, national and international level – from the beginning of July. He picks up the baton from Kim Conchie who is retiring following more than 12 years in the position.

With a background in brand building and communications, Brown has worked with brands such as Virgin, Cook, lululemon, Bird, Frugi, Go Pro, Natura and Vivobarefoot. He most recently founded and led Don’t Cry Wolf, a creative agency with brand activism at its heart, and is a renowned podcaster, B Corp ambassador and keynote speaker. He is also completing a Masters in sustainable futures at the University of Exeter, Penryn Campus and volunteers as a Parish Councillor on Mevagissey Parish Council.

Laura Whyte, chair of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce board, said: “John has incredible dynamism. Through his brand communications and activism experience, he will continue to put the chamber at the cutting-edge of the business sector. Having stood in the shoes of business owners, John can appreciate the challenges they face and the support they need.”

Brown added: “I want the world to know that Cornwall is the blueprint for the future economy and to invest, learn from and collaborate with every element of our rich business tapestry.

“Every major area is represented in the 1375 square miles of this gorgeous landscape. How we will feed ourselves. Power ourselves. Clothe ourselves. Exploring new materials and metals, new ways of getting around, even beyond the boundaries of our own atmosphere! Pushing the edges of excellence in hospitality, tourism and creativity. All the while nurturing both a fierce community spirit coupled with an ingrained sense of planetary stewardship.

“It’s my great privilege to support, fight for and deliver results to the full scope of the Cornish economy. From the exciting micro businesses through to the pioneering corporates.

“Whether it’s investment, policy change, awareness or engagement, my focus is on representing the Cornish business voice as we navigate a new economic era.”

Conchie will continue to have an active role in Cornwall’s business community as a member of the chamber board as well as via a wide range of business and education positions. This includes the chair of trustees at Cornwall Community Foundation, a member of Truro & Penwith College Employment & Business Board and a Deputy Lieutenant of Cornwall.

He said: “I have had an amazing 12 years at Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. In that time and with the support of a brilliant team, we have cultivated a brand image that the chamber and our members can be proud of and launched vital initiatives such as Planet C and 30 Under 30. I am proud to have been in the role at a time when business confidence was on an upward trajectory, but the time is right to be handing over the reins.

“I am delighted with John’s appointment and thrilled that the chamber will be steered by someone of such high calibre and with such passion for growth. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Cornwall’s business community.”

During his first month as CEO, Brown is keen to say hello to as many chamber members as possible. Meet John by joining the chamber’s Connected Lunch on Wednesday July 3 at Falmouth Golf Club and the Cornwall Business Fair on Wednesday July 17 at Truro School to find out more.