The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce will continue to build regional capacity with the University’s appointment of a key stakeholder engagement executive. In August Jo Sheppard, CEO of the Toowoomba Chamber, will take up the newly created role of Director (Stakeholder Engagement) at USQ.

Ms Sheppard will join the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce Board as the USQ representative, continuing to work closely with Chamber members and the local business community. USQ Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie, said Ms Sheppard would bring a wealth of knowledge to the University having worked across a number of industries from agriculture, small business and local government to education, communications and the not-for-profit sector. “We are delighted that Jo will be joining a professional team of engagement specialists that will do much to leverage the role and value of the University in the broader community, economy and region.”

Ms Sheppard said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time as CEO with the Toowoomba Chamber but was equally looking forward to taking up the new role pleased that she would continue to have the opportunity to work closely with business and industry.

President of Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Joy Mingay, said Debbie-Anne Bender, previous CEO of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, would be stepping into the Toowoomba Chamber CEO role in August. “USQ is a long-standing and important Foundation Partner for the Toowoomba Chamber and we look forward to leveraging the many opportunities having a regional university here in our city provides for our business community.”

Debbie-Anne Bender will be relocating to Toowoomba in late July to take up the role of CEO with Toowoomba Chamber. “I feel honoured to be the new CEO of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce and will strive to continue the excellence that has come to be expected from its members and the Toowoomba business community as a whole,” she said.

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