As the Chamber’s PR & Marketing Committee representative, I am more used to writing about my fellow members or our events and activities…so it’s been a bit unusual for me to have to profile myself!
However, I have never looked back since I moved to Felixstowe a couple of years ago, and here’s why…
Why did you join Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce?
I moved to Felixstowe from Ipswich in Summer 2021, and I wanted to get involved in my new community. I was asked whether the Chamber would be of interest, and I thought, “Why not…what’s the worst that could happen?”!
I have been really pleased and encouraged by how we have been able to grow the Committee and the role of the Chamber, not just across the business sector, but also within the local community as a whole.
Representing Chamber member Penn Commercial, it is also important that I promote the Company, not just in our hometown of Ipswich, but also in surrounding communities.
For instance, in Felixstowe, we have been successful in letting and selling a number of properties along the High Street, such as @Inc. Felixstowe to MENTA (where the Chamber holds its monthly Committee meetings), 55 Hamilton Road (the former M&S) to Poundstretcher, and Papa Johns. We are also now marketing part of China Shipping House on Walton Avenue as surplus high-quality office space.
With my other ‘hat’ on, I am also a Trustee at Felixstowe Museum…although not usually dressed like this! (This was the awesome ‘Frankie Goes to Felixstowe’ ’80s event last year – supported by the then-Mayor, Cllr Sharon Harkin).
What would you describe as the key strengths of the Chamber?
I think the fact that we have started pretty much anew has helped us to make more of an impact in our community, as we have had to build ourselves up and promote the Chamber to increase our membership.
Our outreach has grown significantly from when I joined, and businesses are seeing us as a valuable organisation to sign up to, and our events are always very well-attended.
I am also proud of the fact that we are not a ‘stuffy’ Chamber and we are always very authentic. Clearly, whilst it is important that we serve the business community of Felixstowe professionally and use our membership funds wisely, we do not believe in being overly corporate and taking ourselves too seriously. Our events are always quite fun!
Describe yourself in three words…
Inquisitive (‘nosy’!), passionate and creative.
Aside from the Chamber, what other interests do you have?
You will usually find me eating out in one of Felixstowe’s fine hostelries or enjoying a night out at The Palace with a good movie and some cheesy chips!
On occasional trips outside the town (apart from the daily commute into Ipswich for work), I like to visit our incredible Suffolk landmarks and take in our sensational scenery…and if I can discover new culinary offerings along the way, all the better!
What do you like most about Felixstowe?
The sea. I didn’t realise how much I missed it, but after 10 years plying the ocean waves with an international cruise line, there is something so satisfying and relaxing in sitting along the seafront (preferably with a large Pinot Grigio in hand!), watching the ships go by.
With its Blue Flag beach, friendly atmosphere and stunning views, I can’t think of anywhere better to be…when the sun’s shining, anyway!