Manchester Digital announces new chair and vice chair

Manchester Digital, the independent trade association for Greater Manchester’s digital and technology sector, has appointed Alison Ross as its new chair.

Ross, customer experience and operations director at Auto Trader, has been appointed to lead the organisation’s growth, with her first task as chair being to ensure that the organisation’s new governance structure is widely adopted and working to benefit all members.

The previous chair Graham Benson, the former CIO of Rentalcars.com, had led the independent trade association for the past two years before stepping down in September.

Tom Cull, COO of iProspect, has been appointed as vice chair and will support Ross and the newly expanded board in delivering a raft of new projects and initiatives due to launch in 2018.

To support the new governance structure, four new board members have been elected: Hilary Stephenson, managing director at Sigma, Chris Marsh, founder at Agents Of, Monica Tailor, head of digital at McCann Manchester, and Shaun Fensom, freelancer and founding partner at Manchester Digital. The new board will hold their first meeting in January 2018.

Ross said: “Manchester Digital has had a very strong year, and I’m thrilled to have been chosen to steer its future growth. As an organisation we have a tremendous opportunity to instigate real change, tackling the issues which are currently facing the rapidly moving digital sector, and I’m incredibly excited to get started.

“The challenge facing us now is to adapt, change and grow to ensure that we continue to play an integral part in establishing Manchester as one of the top five digital hubs by 2020, as pledged by Andy Burnham in his July digital summit.”

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital, added: “Alison has made a huge contribution to Manchester Digital since joining the board two years ago and she has a great vision for the future of the organisation. It’s incredibly important that Manchester Digital evolves and keep pace with the industry, and the new governance structure makes this much easier to do."