Simon Leech has announced he is stepping down from his role of the Rugby branch chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Leech took over the role as chairman in 2006.
In his final column for the Rugby Advertiser Mr Leech said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading this great branch of the chamber, meeting and getting to know a range of businesses and people, while making sure the voice of small, medium and large firms in the town and the borough are heard.
“Rugby, like the rest of the world, is a different place to the one we knew when I took over as chair in 2006.
“We’ve been through the worst recession that most of us can remember and now, fingers crossed, we appear to be coming out the other side.
“When I became chair, there were lots of developments in the offing for Rugby and a great deal of optimism. Many of those schemes are now moving forward and I believe Rugby has put itself in a stronger position than many other parts of the region because it has had a robust plan for growth and stuck to it.
“Of course, the difficult times meant that things may not have happened as fast as many of us would have liked but the same can be said of almost anywhere in the country and, as I said above, Rugby is in a good position now for the future.”
“During my time as chair, I’ve also had the pleasure (and I sincerely mean that!) of working with our MPs, our borough council and a range of other bodies and organisations who have an influence over the town.
“There have been differences, at times, but I think together we have ensured key issues such as the Western Relief Road and the future changes to the Catthorpe Interchange have remained firmly on the agenda in order to get the best possible outcome for Rugby.
“The relief road has certainly had a major positive effect and, once completed, the changes to Catthorpe will bring great benefits too – not just to Rugby but the whole region.
“I still hope to play a part on the Rugby branch committee because I am a big believer in the work the Chamber does in supporting its members – whether it’s to trade overseas or find new markets locally.
“I wish Jim Griffin, who will take over as chair, every success and I know he will be a great advocate for businesses in the borough and will do everything in his power to help firms in the pursuit of growth in this area.
“There will be challenges ahead – as well as opportunities – such as how does the town make the most of the Rugby World Cup coming to this country in two years.
“And the Chamber will have a big role to play in meeting those challenges head on.”