Carleen Kelemen has been appointed as the new chair of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Devon and Cornwall.
Until recently Ms Kelemen was director of The Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Before that she led the region’s European Objective One Partnership Office from 2001-09. She enjoyed a successful 25-year private sector career with influential employers including BT and PriceWaterhouseCoopers and headed an East Midlands manufacturing group.
She said: “I am delighted to have been appointed chair of my IoD branch. These are challenging but still very exciting times.
“The Paralympics have shown us that there is more to be gained by looking at our collective abilities, not our disabilities.
“The IoD has a diverse and vibrant community of members representing all types of businesses from micro to international corporations, quoted companies to social enterprises along side leaders from the public and third sectors.
“It is this collective pool of knowledge and ability which can make a valuable contribution to our economic growth to help businesses, the region and the UK succeed.
“During my term as chair we will be looking to expand our membership and outreach to include all who aspire to be directors and those who wish to share their experience with others.”
Ms Kelemen, who has been IoD Devon and Cornwall vice-chair for three years, praised outgoing IoD Devon and Cornwall chairman Richard Ayre, director of Clickety Books and Talkcoach.
She said: “Richard has successfully led the branch for five years and has been a worthy ambassador for the organisation and the area’s business community.”
Gerry Jones, chairman of the IoD South West, said: “I welcome Carleen to her new role; she will bring a forward-thinking, dynamic approach.
“I thank Richard Ayre for his busy and productive time at the helm in Devon and Cornwall.”
Carleen is a patron of social projects promoting the ambitions of people from all walks of society and supporting women into business and senior management.
A former magistrate, she now lives near South Brent, Devon, and is married to Jim Thomson, managing director of South West Colour Laboratories.
Carleen was born and raised in Sydney, Australia and is now a British citizen. She graduated in Economics at Sydney University and has an honorary doctorate in business from Plymouth University.