Gillian Marshall has been announced as the new chief executive of The Entrepreneurs’ Forum as Nicola Short is set to step down.
Nicola Short led the organisation from a not-for-profit, publicly funded body to a self-sustaining membership organisation boasting more than 300 entrepreneurs and 14 corporate partners.
The marketing expert has chosen to step down to spend more time with her young family, but will remain ambassador for the Forum.
Gillian Marshall will now lead the organisation having joined the Forum in May 2013 as a business development manager for the north of the region.
Pior to that she worked as as commercial partnership manager with UK Trade & Industry, and before that as a business advisor and business development manager with Business Link North East and later Business & Enterprise Group
Gillian said: “I’m stepping into the chief executive officer role at a really exciting time. The Forum is on a very strong footing, growing every month, hosting sell-out events and playing an ever bigger role in supporting entrepreneurs, helping to make vital connections and widening our networks outside the North East for the benefit of the region.”
Established 12 years ago by North East business leaders Sir Peter Vardy, Lorna Moran OBE and other senior figures, the Forum’s aim has been to bring entrepreneurs together to share invaluable experience, knowledge and contacts via connections, mentoring and events.
Gillian added: “Prior to joining the Forum I had always admired it for its critical role in bringing entrepreneurs together and providing the platform for all the amazing experience and knowledge that exists within our business community to be shared.
“We have some outstanding established entrepreneurs in the North East and it makes complete sense to draw on their expertise to support the emerging talent and success stories of the future.”
Forum chairman Nigel Mills said: “The role of Entrepreneurs’ Forum chief executive officer is both challenging and demanding and with her experience and record of success in business support and putting people in touch, Gillian could not be better qualified.
“There is a huge job to do in the North East and we remain as ambitious and as focused as ever on helping put entrepreneurs at the forefront of opportunities for growth.
“We are a strong, sustainable organisation for which Nicola must take an enormous amount of credit, and for which we thank her immensely. She remains passionate about the Forum’s work and will continue to be an ambassador for us and our members.”
Prior to her current role, Gillian also spent 22 years with Barclays, including being regional development manager for the corporate sector.