The Norfolk Chambers of Commerce is readying itself for a succession in leadership, as it announces the appointment of Nova Fairbank to the position of Chief Executive from August 2022.
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The Chambers’ current Chief Operating Officer, Nova, will succeed Chris Sargisson who completes his five-year term in July. 

Chris, who was appointed to the role in 2017, was integral to disrupting the business community scene by stripping the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce back to its core and revamping the membership organisation and laying the foundation for a Chambers of Commerce with a vision to connect, support, and give voice to every business in Norfolk.

Now is the time, says Chris, for colleague and his number two, Nova, to take the reins for the next important stage in the business’ ambitious modernisation journey.

“I can’t believe five years have passed since I first sat in the ‘Big Chair’ with a mission to build on the Chambers’ 126-year history and reputation,” said Chris.

“From the start, Nova and I have worked side by side. We connected immediately and have together crafted and shared a long-term vision for how we would like the Chambers to modernise and evolve.”

And it’s no mean feat, says Chris: “It’s a long journey, split into two 5-year terms, requiring a different set of skills for each leg. The first, to complete the big-ticket disruption and shift towards a customer-centric culture, complete with the creation of new, bespoke digital programmes, is now complete.”

“The next phase looks to build on this strong foundation, creating business-led, customer-centric innovation to achieve the long-term vision to connect with every business in Norfolk, and there is no doubt that Nova is absolutely the right person to lead the Chambers in this next important stage.” 

Nova is keen to continue the story she and Chris began back in 2017: “A succession of leadership does not mean a change of direction. I’m looking forward to carrying the torch for the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, continuing the current journey backed up by the new, sturdy foundation and building blocks Chris’ leadership has laid for its future development over the last five years.”

“We now have a highly skilled, incredible team with the digital infrastructure to support our future ambitions and growth. We will continue to deliver excellent customer service, relevancy, and innovation to ensure we are meeting the ongoing needs of our vibrant business community,” she continued.

The future is bright for the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, says Nova, and she has no plans to slow down or shift gear: “We look forward to delivering even more digital innovation, alongside demand-led events and even greater engagement with a wide range of businesses, ensuring that we can connect, support, and give voice to every business in Norfolk.”

In addition to the Board’s ongoing support, Nova will be supported by a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) role in her role as CEO. Chair of the Chamber board Lynsey Sweales added, “I am delighted for Nova regarding this next stage in her career.  Having worked alongside Nova since 2015, I’ve seen her develop into a great leader.  She’s absolutely the best person to take the Chambers forward and I know she has the full support of the board to continue the Chambers’ exciting journey.”

Pictured: L-R, Nova Fairbank, current Chief Operating Officer and future Chief Executive Officer, and Chris Sargisson, Current Chief Executive Officer for the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce
Photo credit: Norfolk Chambers of Commerce


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