Tomaree Business Chamber appoints Leah Anderson as its new president

STEPPING UP: Newly appointed Tomaree Business Chamber president Leah Anderson. Picture: Sam Norris
STEPPING UP: Newly appointed Tomaree Business Chamber president Leah Anderson. Picture: Sam Norris

Tomaree Business Chamber’s new president Leah Anderson will seek opportunities for the chamber to work closer with other agencies and community groups to develop economic opportunities.

Ms Anderson said she hoped to continue the good work of Ryan Palmer who had vacated the role since voted in as mayor of Port Stephens.

“I like what Ryan has done with the chamber,” she said.

“Membership has grown under him and the breakfast meetings have been fantastic with a lot of networking happening.”

Related reading:

Among her first tasks will be hear what chamber members want but the financial planner can already see strong opportunities.

“I can see real potential, for example, in working closely with [Port Stephens] council on the Business Leaders’ Luncheon,” Ms Anderson said.

“We should be looking at what role the chamber can play there.”

Ms Anderson was for two years president of Nelson Bay Town Management when in 2010 it was merged with the chamber. She took up that role as Westpac branch manager.

Two years later Ms Anderson founded Port Stephens Women in Business. Soon after she became president of Salamander Bay Rotary (2013-14).

Ms Anderson said there were some “huge opportunities” in the Rotary District Conference coming to Nelson Bay in March, with 400 delegates staying in hotels, eating out and taking tours.

“As a Rotarian I’m really excited about the district conference and the economic benefits,” she said.

“As a chamber we need to continue to look at these kind of opportunities and work with these groups to bring these events here.”

She added that conferences like this and events like Tastes at the Bay helped combat seasonal fluctuations in trade.

“I’m eager to get involved in these events,” Ms Anderson said.

Since parting with Westpac Ms Anderson has established Leah Anderson and Associates, as a finance specialist. Being a small business owner at Taylors Beach she said she understood the challenges.

”I want to facilitate more support for our members, encouraging them to connect and help each other out, especially if they’re struggling,” she said.

“They might be struggling with their rent and they might be able to team up with another member to share some office space. It’s just a matter of saying ‘I need some help’.”