James Mason has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
He stepped down as CEO of Welcome To Yorkshire in October last year and will take over from Sandy Needham, who retires at the end of April.
Mason’s varied career includes setting up a manufacturing business 20 years ago; leadership roles at Bradford City and Rochdale FC, plus running a global sports agency.
The qualified journalist worked for many years as a news and sports reporter with the BBC.
“I am delighted to be joining the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce to champion, connect, represent and support such a diverse range of fantastic businesses and work with the brilliant Chamber team. Ever since I set up my own company in my early twenties, I’ve always been passionate about business and the region I’m proud to call home,” he said.
“Over the past two years I’ve seen first hand the challenges and opportunities that Covid-19 has presented to business and it is important to collaborate with stakeholders and be creative to make this part of the world the most attractive place in the UK to do business.
“I’d like to thank the board for putting their faith in me and to Sandy (Needham) who has done a fantastic job over many years. She will be a tough act to follow but it will be a privilege to carry on her excellent work.”
Mason joined Welcome To Yorkshire in 2019, replacing Sir Gary Verity.
“James’ passion for and knowledge of our region, combined with his experience as a business owner and leader, will ensure the all-important stability and growth needed not only for our post-pandemic business community but also for members of our organisation, which has been supporting and representing businesses for 170 years,” added Amanda Beresford, Chair of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber.