Chamber of Commerce hosts annual gala dinner  

Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce held its biannual gala dinner at The Nunnery last week. It was attended by 250 guests from across the Island’s business community and was a chance to reflect on Chamber’s successes over the past 12 months in addition to looking ahead at future strategy.

Date: Wednesday 29 September 2021

Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce held its biannual gala dinner at The Nunnery last week. 

It was attended by 250 guests from across the Island’s business community and was a chance to reflect on Chamber’s successes over the past 12 months in addition to looking ahead at future strategy. 

Guest speakers included new Chamber President Kristan McDonald, and Isle of Man-based entrepreneur Stephanie Kelsey who has gained international acclaim for her Beach Powder product which was featured on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den show. Stephanie said she was delighted to speak at the gala dinner, and that it was a privilege to ‘support such a great organisation that does so much for local businesses. She added: “The role Chamber plays in advocating for and championing business has never been more important as recently, during the pandemic.” During her speech, she gave a fascinating insight into her inspiring journey to become a successful entrepreneur which has included expanding the market for Beach Powder into the UK, Europe and the USA.

New Chamber President Kristan McDonald speaking at the organisation’s gala dinner.   

Kristan McDonald was appointed Chamber President at the organisation’s AGM last week following his predecessor Caren Pegg stepping down after completing her two-year term in office. Kristan – who is Chief Technology Officer at Pushologies Ltd – joined Chamber in 2017 and became Chair of its FUEL (Future Emerging Leaders) sub-committee. Last year FUEL evolved to become Chamber’s Think Tank group which provides a path for business people to join and make a positive, long-term contribution to the organisation. He became Chamber’s Vice-President in 2019. Several other changes were announced at Chamber’s AGM. Claire Watterson, formerly Chair of the Think Tank group, is now Chamber’s Vice-President. Barry Lawson has moved up from Vice-Chair to Chair of Think Tank. Kathryn Sharman is now Think Tank’s Vice-Chair.  

In his speech, Kristan paid tribute to his predecessor Caren Pegg for her contribution as President.  He said: “Caren, and the whole Chamber team, have done an amazing job during the most challenging times we are likely to face in our lifetime. She leaves Chamber in a very strong position and I look forward to continuing the excellent work that has been done during her presidency.” 

Former Chamber President Caren Pegg speaking at the gala dinner. 

Chamber CEO Rebecca George expressed thanked guests, sponsors Simcocks, Chase Wealth, Capital International Group, MAC Group, KPMG, Cherry Godfrey and Smart HR, plus creative partners Wonder Wall and ELS that both helped to stage the gala dinner.   

The evening raised just over £2,700 for Love Tech, the charity and initiative run by a group of local female business leaders and technologists who volunteer their time to support and mentor young people.  

At the gala dinner are (from left to right) Chamber’s CEO Rebecca George, Office Manager Julie Stephens, and Business Support Lead Jessica Kitchin.

A selection of images from the gala dinner.