Farewell message from Tina Tilley, Chamber CEO
It's time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and to also say a personal ‘goodbye’.
It has been 16 years since I took up this role and at that time it was for 6 hours a week!
It's been challenging but great fun. I know I will miss everyone and being part of the amazing business community but the time is right to enjoy more time with my family and my various hobbies are calling me.When Peter Bennett asked me to help develop the Chamber he felt I had "all the bounce necessary to be successful", thank you for your faith in me Peter.
There was no template to follow but as I had been in business myself I opted to try to provide what our members felt they needed so I asked for their suggestions. No surprise really that they mainly wanted a voice within the local business community, access to council and MPs, awareness of funding, communication and support from other local businesses.
With that as my aim I launched into building membership, partners and generally shouting loudly that business needs to be listened to. We went from 40 to 400 members and gradually built our reputation to be something that I and hopefully our members are proud to be part of.
I fondly remember all the fun events like wine tastings, barbecues, Christmas socials and more but also the difficult times when we struggled financially but always had encouragement and support from the President, Executive Committee and our members.
On a more serious side we were involved in difficult conversations on local issues including: parking, the A27 and planning for windfarms etc. There is never a dull day at the Chamber.
Over time the Chamber team grew along with the membership and we have some great successes to reflect on including the Better Business Show, Connect Magazine supporting the Business Awards, training programmes like Peer Mentoring, Wise up2s and the past Navigator program.
We now have an amazing Chamber staff team in Tracie Davey and Lauren Martin-Grieveson. The last 18 months have been challenging, my role was the most suited to be furloughed to streamline finances and the girls have done a great job continuing the work of the Chamber with virtual events and support.
Things are still volatile in these unusual times, and I have decided that it is a good time to hand over the reins to the safe hands of Tracie to continue the Chamber’s success story.
What better time to retire than when I have been privileged to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award this November.
Thank you for all your support over the years and I wish you all success for the future and hope 2022 is a better year for us all.
Tina TilleyCEO, Worthing & Adur Chamber