AmCham’s President is elected by AmCham’s Board of Directors. The Board selects one of its members to become AmCham’s highest representative for a period of two years. The two-year term is renewable and the Board can confirm the President in the office. Todd Bradshaw succeeds Igor Kottman, Citi Country Officer for Slovakia of Citibank Europe plc., who served as AmCham’s President for five years. Mr. Kottman’s decision to step down in January 2016 was motivated by the fact that he took up a new position in Prague.
Originally from Perth, Australia, Todd Bradshaw has 21 years of experience working as a corporate tax and business advisor, which includes 15 years working in Slovakia. During this time he has assisted many investors to establish their businesses in Slovakia. He has been an active member of the AmCham Board of Directors and the Policy & Advocacy Board Standing Committee over the last six years.
With over 20 years of existence in Slovakia and boasting 340 members from 27 different countries of national origin, AmCham Slovakia has established itself as a strong voice of the business community committed to its main mission of improving the local business environment. Over the past few years, it has launched several important initiatives which are still gaining momentum and have also earned recognition from the Slovak Government. Two of them deserve special mention. The Rule of Law Initiative focuses on strengthening the rule of law in Slovakia, with the aim of making the local business environment more transparent, predictable and competitive, and to positively impact Slovakia’s image abroad. The Business Service Center Forum (BSCF) aims to raise awareness of the BSC sector’s role in the Slovak economy and help it grow further in Slovakia. The entire AmCham community is looking forward to Mr. Bradshaw’s contribution in the role of AmCham’s President. We are looking forward to continuing in the successful initiatives, but also taking on new challenges and further expanding the reach of AmCham’s activities.
In a brief interview, Mr. Bradshaw outlined his vision for AmCham’s future.
What do you see as your personal vision for AmCham Slovakia?
My vision for AmCham is to leverage its unique position, as the strongest Chamber of Commerce in Slovakia, to influence positive change in the Slovak business environment and to make Slovakia an even better place to live. AmCham also has a valuable role relevant to Slovak owned businesses by encouraging and supporting good Corporate Governance.
There are several areas of critical need in the Slovak business environment. These include the need for a better functioning and reliable legal system, reforms in the education system and the need to tackle corruption. These areas create risk and uncertainty for businesses operating in Slovakia and generally undermine public confidence in the governing authorities.
I aim to keep pushing for improvements in the critical areas that most impact both Slovak and foreign businesses. At the same time it is vitally important to ensure Slovakia does not step backwards and give up the many valuable reforms that have taken place over the last 15 years.
I think it is vitally important that we listen to and engage with young future business leaders and ensure we are clearly articulating and communicating our activities and role in Slovakia via social media.
How do you plan to use your personal experience in influencing AmCham’s further development?
I have worked with investors for over 15 years in Slovakia and assisted many establish their business here. In this process I have worked closely with them to clear the various hurdles necessary to successfully invest in Slovakia and to deal with the numerous legislative changes. This experience has provided me broad insight into the needs of the business community in Slovakia.
AmCham has set a high standard of excellence for many years, which has shaped it into the strongest and most recognized advocate for business in Slovakia. As a business leader, I understand the need to stay relevant to your stakeholders while pursuing your various goals. Therefore, we should never underestimate the importance of listening to, engaging with and communicating to our stakeholders in the broader Slovak market. This will be key to our continued success.