Chamber executive hands over the reins

Outgoing Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Richard Jackson hands over the reins to Bec Woods. Photo: supplied
Outgoing Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Richard Jackson hands over the reins to Bec Woods. Photo: supplied

The Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry farewelled its chief executive recently with Richard Jackson retiring after eight-and-a-half years in the role.

Mr Jackson retired from the organisation on Saturday, June 30, with Bec Woods named as his replacement.

Mr Jackson said while he had thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Chamber of Commerce, he felt it was time to move on.

“Purely and simply, I believe the time is right for Bec to take over,” he said.

“We had a succession plan in place and [the changeover] was supposed to happen sooner. There were some issues that meant I stayed on a bit longer, but now it’s time to step aside.”

Mr Jackson said his proudest achievement as chief executive was to facilitate the chamber’s purchase of its building.

“The chamber is one of only five in WA, most certainly the smallest of the five, to own its own building,” he said.

“It creates a legacy. The chamber is already 70 years old and that secures it for probably another 70 more.”

Mr Jackson said he would miss the ‘welcoming’ community most in retirement, but that he hoped to continue engaging with local businesses through chamber events.

Mr Jackson, who has spent more than 40 years working in both national and international business, said he felt not being a local business owner had been a benefit for him.

“[When applying for the job], I was interviewed by then president Andrew Bennell. I remember he asked me if I thought it was a disadvantage that I wasn’t a local business owner,” he said.

“I said no because it meant I couldn’t make decisions just to help myself and I would always be unbiased.”

Ms Woods takes over the job after spending the last seven years working at the chamber.

She said she was excited for the challenge.

“I am looking forward to the challenge as my leadership journey continues to grow,” she said.

“I have been with the Chamber for over seven years and will continue to work hard through the challenges that are presented and for our community.”

She said she was particularly excited about continuing to work on the chamber’s Digital Hub Initiative.

“I am excited though about the Collie Digital Hub initiative, which is a collaboration with the Collie River Valley Marketing Group and the Collie Visitor Centre, and will be a one stop shop to find out information on all events and business in Collie,” she said.

“It will be live soon and looking to the community to get behind it.”