Prominent businesswoman and regular Lynn News columnist Caroline Williams, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, said she was “thrilled and humbled” to have been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Caroline has been at the helm of the chamber for the past 17 years and has steered it on course to become a backbone of strength for its members and make its voice more influential.
Her Member of the British Empire award recognising her significant achievements comes at the end of “an amazing year” which saw her develop more professional skills, including becoming a qualified yoga teacher. She has decided to leave the chamber in April to take on new challenges.
She said: “I am so proud to be part of the Norfolk business community, and I feel that I have received this award on behalf of Norfolk business. There has been much to celebrate over the past 17 years I have been running the chamber, including the development of the tech sector, improvements in road, rail and broadband, although there is much more to be done, and a recognition of the important of supporting Norfolk’s young people into work.
“I feel my two key achievements, together with my fantastic team, has been getting the Norfolk Chamber in a strong sustainable position as a modern dynamic business now able to really to support its members become even more successful through delivery networking, training, international and commercial services.
“I feel we have also given the Norfolk business community back its influential voice to be able to create the local environment we all want. Westminster is much more open to supporting our needs than in the past but our voice needs to be even louder. Together we can ensure Norfolk a great place to be in business as well as a great place to live.”
As well as qualifying as a BWY Diploma Yoga teacher last year she is also close to completing a diploma in mentoring and coaching and received the EDP Outstanding Business Award.
She said: “It was through reflection during my yoga practise early in 2016 that I decided that it was time to take on a new challenge and leave the chamber. My future from the end of April is to use my business experience across the public, private and third sectors together with my recently acquired yoga and coaching skills to support Norfolk leaders to rejuvenate their resilience resources and assist them be the most effective leaders they can be.”