I took over as the Chair of the Chamber in October 2015. I have been a member of the group for many years and joined the committee in 2013.
Originally I joined the committee to just take a more active role but didn’t really know what that would be. In the first year I just attended the meetings as many people do and watched from afar, learning more about the functions of the chamber and the roles and responsibilities.
I then became membership officer in 2014, increasing the membership from a very low base to over 65 members. This was partly due to the great working relationships of the committee members and due to the fact the chamber had, in the words of a prominent person who shall remain nameless, ‘grown some balls!’ as it was starting to tackle more high profile issues.
In late August 2015, the Chair at the time then, due to personal reason, stepped down.
An EGM was called and I was elected and the rest is, as they say, history!
Looking back to the day when I first joined the Chamber and later the committee I never actually thought that one day I would be the Chair!
I am very much a people person and also, I think, a natural organiser. This comes from my background as a Health, Safety and Environmental Consultant and Trainer. I started my business, Acacia Business Services Ltd, in 2005 so I last year celebrated 10 years in business. The business was set up during testing time times with the country in recession so I am very proud of what I have achieved so far.
I feel that my role as the Chair is enhanced due to the requirements of my professional role; I am required to work with the many different areas of legislation and to a regulatory framework work; I apply this due diligence to my Chamber role. I always try to promote the chamber as I want to make a difference and with the team around me I think we will go far!
So, if you are reading this and thinking why should I join the chamber these are my thoughts:
- The wealth of knowledge you can gain from existing businesses from many different areas of commerce
- The networking opportunities; both at meetings and events that are run during the year
- Having a say; we lobby on all manner of issues, both large and small scale
- We support each other and shop with people who we have met and can forge a relationship with
- We work as a team and we work with other groups to facilitate projects
Our ultimate goal is to see Witham grow and thrive for all who work, live and play in our town!
All the best,