Meet the new leader of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Emma Rawlings new executive director of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Emma Rawlings is the new executive director of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Somerset Chamber of Commerce

The new leader of a Somerset business group is aiming to make the county 'the place to run a business' - as a familiar Weston face joins the board.

Emma Rawlings took up the post of executive director of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce on December 1, and is hoping to lead the organisation to success, while Dave Crew, of Weston College, joins the board.

Emma said: “I am delighted to have accepted the position.

"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 of the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Services charity, and will be a familiar face to many as a former director at the Ammerdown Centre, in Radstock. 

Emma Rawlings executive director Somerset Chamber of Commerce

Emma took up her new role on December 1 - Credit: Somerset Chamber of Commerce

“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.

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“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, chair 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," he said. "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.”

Two new directors have also been co-opted to the Chamber’s board – Dave, who is head of business growth and employer partnership at Weston College and Leona McDonald, commercial director of Marston Foods, Frome. 

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