Chris Gull a former chairman of Brighton Cares and a prominent local businessman has been nominated to take on the independent moderator role to help develop the business and community forums to work with Pride in Brighton and Hove.

The concept for the forums was put forward at last week’s public meeting and suggested as a constructive means of involving the local LGBT business and community sectors to help deliver a successful Pride in 2010.

Chris Gull’s name has been suggested by a number of people across the community as the ideal candidate to take on this important role. His credentials not only include a successful business career, but also a long involvement in the voluntary and community sectors.

He ran his own award winning dental practice in the city for nearly 30 years until he sold it to a corporate company in 2007. Since then he has assisted partner Gary Blair in setting up Hudson and Bridges, and works part time in the business, which now runs a coffee shop and concierge business in Kemp Town. He is currently helping Gary to convert a redundant pub into a bar/bistro opening in December.

Also since 2007 he has acted as a Consultant in Dental Practice Management. He also has a distributorship for a direct selling company dealing in Nutritionals and Skin Care Products. He has been an active business sponsor of a number of high profile community events, including Brighton Festival, Brighton Arts Fair, Brighton Open Houses, Beacon Garden Gadabout – Kemp Town Trail, Brighton Festival Fringe and Burning the Clocks.

In the charity and voluntary sectors Chris Gull was a member of the Brighton Cares Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2000 and its chair from 1993. From 2000 till 2007 he was a patron. The charity was set up to raise funds through entertainment to assist people living with, or affected by, Aids/HIV in Brighton and Hove, to live with dignity. He also served on Pride’s Grants committee between 2003 and 2005.

His experience in bringing together groups and chairing meetings of LGBT business and community groups also sets him out as the ideal candidate to take on the independent moderator role seen to be an essential component to drive forward the establishment of the forums.

He moderated the meeting trying to establish the Brighton Gay Business Forum in the late 1990s and has chaired community forums and feedback meetings for Spectrum, the LGBT community forum.

He also chaired a public meeting for the LGBT community at which Parliamentary candidates in the 2005 General Election faced questions from voters.

Commenting Chris Gull said: “I am honoured to have been asked to help take this constructive idea forward. It is essential that Pride, business and community groups work in harmony to deliver the best ever Pride Festival in 2010 and beyond and I hope I am able to play a small part in helping to bring this about.”

Robert Clothier, acting Chair of Pride said: “I am delighted that Chris has agreed to allow his name to be put forward. I am very hopeful that reaction to his nomination to take on this role will be universally positive. The next stage will be to convene meetings of business and community groups as soon as possible.

“There is an open invitation for any business or community group to participate in the forum meetings. Once we know how many wish to take part Pride will arrange a suitable venue and announce the dates. We want to do this as soon as possible.”

Businesses and community groups wishing to participate in the initial forum meetings should email Judith Manson: judith@brightonpride.org

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