Solicitor Amanda Porter has been named the new chairman of young professionals group Birmingham Future.
Ms Porter, of Birmingham law firm Mills & Reeve, took over from former incumbent Matt Taylor at the organisation’s annual general meeting at Eleven Brindleyplace last night.
In her inaugural speech he paid tribute to the work done by Mr Taylor, account director of Headline Communications.
She said progress had been made despite turbulent economic conditions, pointing to the establishment of the Future Foundation charitable fund, which has so far raised £7,000 for community projects, as a highlight.
The group has also adopted Moseley School as part of an initiative to push its skills agenda and work with graduates as more positive contributions to the city.
Ms Porter said she was keen to continue working to improve the possibilities for Birmingham graduates, and was also keen to focus on diversity in her tenure in the role.
She said: “I am keen to raise awareness of the importance of diversity within the business sector and many of our events, including training sessions and debates, will, therefore, focus on this issue.
We will continue to work closely with Birmingham Professional DiverCity as well as building links with other organisations such as the Institute of Asian Businesses.
“There’s no doubt that Birmingham’s business community has had a challenging year. Since we launched in 1993, Future members have seen nothing but growth in the economy, particularly in the professional sector.
“But during the past few months, it’s been something of a unique experience for many of us to sadly see colleagues lose their jobs and anxiety replace excitement”.
“Over the next 12 months, along with our colleagues at Birmingham Forward, we will do everything possible to support members to bring them back into the professional sector.”
Darren Walker, an associate at Cobbetts, will take over as deputy chairman of the organisation.