Chamber of commerce boss’s awards ‘delight’
An industry expert from Ashford has been recognised for her longterm commitment to business in Kent.
Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the annual outstanding contribution to business in Kent award at the KEiBA 2017 awards last month at the Kent Event Centre in Detling.
She joins the Hall of Fame list of previous winners including philanthropist Sir Roger De Haan, construction giant Pat Gallagher and last year’s winner, auctioneer Clive Emson.
Kent Invicta, based at Sevington in Ashford, provides support to 1,200 companies and 3,500 active clients in the county, and Mrs James has worked for the chamber for 26 years.
Speaking of the surprise award, Mrs James said: “It came out the blue. “I was absolutely delighted. “I was a bit dumbfounded to start with.
“It’s nice that people think you go above and beyond. It came as a great surprise.”
Mrs James liaises with government departments to get the best outcomes for business negotiations.
Talking about her work, she said: “We’re a voice for businesses on behalf of the Kent community.
“I’m very fortunate to work with a great team of people in such an entrepreneurial county.
“I’ve been really fortunate that I have a really supportive family. It’s not a nine-to-five job. It’s a lot of out of hours.”
Looking to the future, she said: “We’re going to have to adapt to support businesses leading up to and after Brexit.
“We are really very much about education.
“It’s being that voice for businesses – finding out what they need is and putting it forward to government.”
The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation that provides a range of business support services, such as networking, international trade and business support, representation.
‘It’s nice that peope think you go above and beyond. It came as a great surprise’
Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jo James