POOLE Chamber of Trade and Commerce has a new president.

Roger Williams has known the highs and lows of business life – working for others, heading companies and establishing a successful business which fell victim to the recession.

Mr Williams is principal of Poole-based IT support company Tech 4 Ltd.

He has been in the area for 20 years and until 2002, he ran Poole’s Mercedes dealership.

From 2002 to 2008, he ran an online car leasing business which secured partnerships with some of the biggest names in the field. The demise of the business prompted him to go into IT, working for local companies Silversands and Deverill.

He set himself a five-year plan to get into a CEO position.

“I went into sales and managed it in three years with a small company,” he said.

“That re-established me into leading a business rather than being a general employee.

“I’m very good at ideas and I like to have ideas and get other people to action them.

“I also like to be shot down in flames sometimes.”

The chamber currently has around 100 members and Mr Williams hopes to build on that.

“I’d like to help the chamber get to 200 members,” he said.

Networking is one strength and he hopes to show how businesses can get value from their memberships by building “cred-ible and sustainable relation-ships” through well-managed networking opportunities.

“I want to get across that feeling that it’s a purely beneficial thing, it’s not a chore, it’s not just an expense,” he said.

The chamber is offering a new networking opportunity, called Chamber Exchange, on Monday, May 19, from 6 to 8pm, at Twin Sails Wharf. The event, open to non-members, will happen on the third Monday of each month, and those interested can register at eventbrite.co.uk

The chamber plans more networking events at a range of times of day.