Retired Halloran to guide business chamber

Just nine months after standing down as chief executive of the Illawarra Credit Union, popular Wollongong businessman Mike Halloran has come out of retirement to help the Illawarra Business Chamber.

Mr Halloran, of Helensburgh, is a former director of the peak business body and returns as interim CEO on Monday.

The decision by the board comes after Mike Leask announced his decision to resign as chief executive in mid-January after 12 months in the role.

The two men caught up yesterday on the eve of Mr Leask's last day today and Mr Halloran described him as a good man who had introduced some great initiatives.

President Sue Baker-Finch said having such an experienced business person with a long association with the chamber made Mr Halloran the ideal choice to stand in and oversee the day-to-day operations during the next few months.

"Many members will know Mike from his previous role as CEO of the Community Alliance Credit Union [Illawarra Credit Union]," Ms Baker-Finch said.

"This appointment will allow us to continue to represent members and deliver our high quality business advice and support network during this transition period."

Mr Halloran said that since he had left the credit union he had become a board member of IRT.

He has also been doing some work with Grand Pacific Health. Mr Halloran said it was good to be back involved with the chamber in a caretaker role and he was looking forward to engaging with members at many events.

"It is business as usual," he said.

"I think I have a good feel for the business and had a great meeting with the staff this morning. I am pretty much across the financial, business development and marketing.

"We are also busy on the policy and advocacy front, including consulting with stakeholders on projects for the proposed $100 million from the lease of Port Kembla, and contributing to important local bodies such as Wollongong City Council's Economic Development Advisory Board.

"On the national front, this week's announcement from the Prime Minister means we all now know when the election will be held and we will be working with our state and national partners to ensure the concerns of Australian business are firmly on the election policy agendas of all major parties."

Ms Baker-Finch said finding a suitable replacement who could lobby on the members' behalf was important because the chamber represented more than 700 businesses which employed thousands of people.

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