The Institute of Directors has appointed Victoria Brown as chair of its South Yorkshire branch.

Victoria is a qualified accountant with more than 20 years’ experience in global manufacturing organisations. Most recently, she was finance director at Barnsley-based home improvements business Distinction Group.

She sits on the audit and risk committee for Sheffield Hallam University and is part of the Sheffield business response group formed to manage the impact of Covid-19 on local businesses.

In 2018, Victoria achieved one of the highest grades in the country for the IoD’s prestigious Chartered Director qualification.

She succeeds Keith Jackson, chief executive of Brandon Medical and visiting professor at the University of Sheffield.

As chair, Victoria will be the voice of business for South Yorkshire directors, creating connections, enhancing professional development and building influence through the IoD’s national Policy Voice.

Victoria said: “I am honoured to take on this important role and build on Keith’s excellent work. This is a challenging time for many businesses but, by working together and sharing our experiences, we can emerge from the pandemic as more agile and resilient directors.

“I’m particularly keen to encourage more directors to follow the Chartered Director pathway, which was the best training I have experienced in my professional career. Being in business is about continuous learning.”

Natalie Sykes, IoD Head of English Branches, said: “Victoria has been closely involved with the IoD for many years and has a passion for ethical business and good corporate governance. As one of the best performing Chartered Directors, she is a role model for anyone looking to reach the top as a director.”

The IoD is the UK’s number one organisation for directors, providing connections, professional development and a lobbying voice. The Institute helped to secure vital support for directors during the Covid-19 pandemic, including financial assistance for wage bills and changes to insolvency rules.