SERIAL networker Stan Taylor, who retired from Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce at the end of February, is now pressing the case of Huntingdonshire Regional College with the county s businesses. Mr Taylor who, with chief executive John Bridge, was the p

SERIAL networker Stan Taylor, who retired from Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce at the end of February, is now pressing the case of Huntingdonshire Regional College with the county's businesses.

Mr Taylor who, with chief executive John Bridge, was the public face of the chamber, is now co-ordinating the soon-to-move college's efforts to persuade companies of the benefits of training employees.

"It's a very interesting rôle in a great department," he told The Hunts Post. "And it's something we badly need in the area.

"It's particularly important in recession that people should up-skill - we definitely need this training."

Before joining the chamber four and a half years ago, genial Stan Taylor had been with a successful interior design company and in business development for a business-to-business magazine.

"He joined the chamber just as John Bridge was taking a vigorous approach to revitalise the Cambridgeshire chambers and combat the national trend in declining membership within a very restricted budget," said consultant Chris Thomas, a leading light in the Huntingdonshire Business Network.

"While John was dealing with the strategic issues, Stan came in to provide a complementary strong interface on the ground with old, new and prospective members for his area.

"One of John's inspired innovations was the generation of the 'local chambers' - Peterborough, Huntingdon and Cambridge - where local business people would volunteer their services (free) to support the chamber and its activities locally.

"When I became the first chairman of the new Cambridge Chamber (and later when others took on the role), Stan was a key contact point on the Cambridge committee and rapidly became an increasingly familiar and welcome face at events," Mr Thomas added.

"With a smile and a twinkle in his eye, Stan was soon the first warm welcoming point of networking meetings, who ensured that new faces were integrated into a more open style of networking, as opposed to the closed cliques that one might have formerly associated with the chambers.

"Stan's competence and networking skills meant that he assumed increasing responsibility, becoming the prime mover in setting up the Ely and Fenland Chambers. He began representing the chamber on external bodies when John's couldn't attend, such as the Huntingdon Town Partnership, HDC Local Procurement, the Economic Development Forum and Business Against Crime. Stan was also proud of his assistance in setting up the St Ives Town Initiative networking."

Mr Taylor, who is pictured with college principal Anne Constantine, said new role within the college mirrors his old job in many ways but its focus is now on skills development.

INFORMATION: Stan Taylor can be contacted at Huntingdonshire Regional College's department of services to business on 01480 379150 or on his mobile, 07590 445350.