New interim vice-chair of West Sussex’s local enterprise partnership

West Sussex’s local enterprise partnership has announced a new interim vice chair with strong financial and commercial expertise.

Karen Dukes, new interim vice chair at Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership
Karen Dukes, new interim vice chair at Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership

Coast to Capital LEP, which also covers Brighton & Hove, Croydon and East Surrey, helps to drive economic growth and supporting job creation.

Having joined the organisation’s board in 2019, Karen Dukes’ finance skills and acclaimed commercial expertise have helped promote a strong business ethos and commercial culture.

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A formal recruitment process for a permanent vice chair will start in the new year.

Ms Dukes will head up various aspects of the organisation including leading the delivery of loan investments, developing Coast to Capital’s commercial strategy and having overall responsibility for the Growing Places Fund.

Over the course of her career Karen has focused on owner-managed businesses, public and private sector clients as well as PLCs both in the UK and global organisations.

She has experience in most sectors, but specialised in agri-business, health, education and finance, which are some of the key sectors in the Coast to Capital area.

She said: “Having spent my whole career helping businesses work through financial issues I’m delighted to have been appointed as interim vice chair at this critical time. I‘m proud to work with such a diverse group of leaders that are passionate about the economic recovery of our area and ambitious for its future. I look forward to supporting our chair, Julie Kapsalis with addressing the economic challenges arising as a result of Covid-19.”

Julie Kapsalis, chair at Coast to Capital, added: “Our board boasts influential representatives from the public, private and education sector that have both specialist knowledge and passion for the Coast to Capital area.

“The appointment of Karen as interim vice chair strengthens and supports the board even further. Karen brings significant experience and knowledge to this role and I greatly value the opportunity to work more closely with her.”

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