Maeve Hunt has been elected Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society at its 113th Annual General Meeting. The Ulster Society represents 4,700 local Chartered Accountants and is a district society of Chartered Accountants Ireland, the largest and oldest professional accountancy body in Ireland.
Ms Hunt, who takes over as Chair from Richard Gillan, is Associate Director with Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland. She becomes the fourth female Chair of the Ulster Society and follows in the footsteps of her father, James Hunt, who served as Chairman of the Society in 1990.
Addressing the Society’s AGM, held virtually for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ms Hunt said that the key priority would be to help the local economy to recover: “I know that in the year ahead, Chartered Accountants have a crucial role to play in terms of helping Northern Ireland to bounce back from the current health crisis.
“Around the world, people are still coming to terms with the impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our key aim will be to support our members and their pivotal role in business and the public sector during these unprecedented times.
“Bouncing back from this health crisis while dealing with the realities of Brexit will be the challenge of a generation. The skills and leadership of our profession are needed now more than ever. We will be there to give our support.”
Ms Hunt said that in the year ahead the Ulster Society would seek to support, inspire and evolve: “As well as supporting members and the economy, we need to inspire the next generation to join our profession and we need to use our voice to inspire our political leaders to make the most of our restored Executive and a new Programme for Government.
“As a professional body, we must evolve so that we find new ways to meet the needs of our members, so that we can help Chartered Accountants to meet the challenge of our times. We will be an effective voice for our members, and the wider business community in Northern Ireland. Together we have a key role to play in helping our economy to bounce back.”
During her first speech as Chair, Ms Hunt acknowledged her father as an inspiration, having served as Ulster Society Chairman 30 years ago: “I’m very proud to be following in my dad’s footsteps. I’ve grown up watching his dedication and commitment, and I will be doing my best to demonstrate those qualities during my own term as Chair.”
Ms Hunt trained as a Chartered Accountant with Hill Vellacott after completing a Law and Accounting degree at Queens’ University. She has a particular interest in the education of trainee Chartered Accountants and is a past pupil of Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast.