ENSURING Somerset is the place to do business and start new companies are among the key objectives of new Somerset Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Emma Rawlings.
Emma, who took up her new role on December 1, said she was excited to be leading the team into the future and ensuring the Chamber remained the voice of business in the county.
She said: “I am delighted to have accepted the position of Executive Director with Somerset Chamber of Commerce. In my previous organisations I was on the other side of the fence as a Chamber member and greatly benefited from the networking opportunities and the support that was put our way via the Chamber.
“I now have the privilege of being on the other side and taking the Chamber forward as the voice of Somerset for all businesses.”
Emma joins the Chamber from her role as Chief Executive the charity Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Services. She will also be a familiar face to many Chamber members as a former director at the Ammerdown Centre, in Radstock.
“I bring a wealth of management and visionary leadership to the Chamber from a comprehensive background in retail management, further education, in business – my husband and I ran our own business for about 15 years – and more recently I’ve been heavily involved in the charity sector.
She added: “I want to really help Somerset to be the place to come, the place to settle and the place to start and run a business.”
Graeme Crosbie, Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, welcomed Emma to the Chamber team and said the organisation was in a strong position for the future.
“We know the supply chain issues around materials, services, labour, skills remain acute. The Chamber will continue to listen and amplify the concerns of Somerset businesses. We will make sure Somerset is well positioned to get more than its fair share of the opportunities that are to come, both economically and commercially.
“The Chamber already recognises the hot topics that are out there – like skills and the road to net-zero – they are here for the long-term and the Chamber will be front and centre as an organisation that will be able to help businesses navigate through this,” Graeme said.
Two new directors have also been co-opted to the Chamber’s Board of Directors – Dave Crew, Head of Business Growth and Employer Partnership at Weston College and Leona McDonald, Commercial Director of Marston Foods, Frome.