Louise Punter, chief executive, Surrey Chambers of Commerce
At Surrey Chambers we help businesses promote themselves, keeping them up to speed on the latest information and opportunities and representing them to all levels of government. This means we have to keep our eyes and ears wide open and make sure we know what’s happening and who we need to talk to. Here’s my typical day doing just that!
6.30am Time for my early morning 40-minute walk around the village. When I arrive home tea is deposited to husband and daughter to mark the beginning of their days. Our other married daughter recently moved into a flat after three years living in her bedroom with her husband – we must make it easier for young people to live independently and start their journey in life.
9.00am Next stop Miller Brands in Woking, where I sit on their sales and marketing review committee as an independent chair to oversee that they are advertising responsibly. Very interesting and fascinating to see the care they take in going over and above the stipulated regulations. No time to chat as I trot up to the station to get a train into Waterloo and carry on my exercise regime by walking over Westminster Bridge, along with many tourists. I was attending a British Chambers of Commerce skills meeting through which we are able to reach the parts of government responsible for skills and employment. We regularly have ministers and civil servants visit us so that they can hear about what happens in the real world of business. Meeting finished, and no time for lunch as I need to be back in our Surrey office to meet with one of our members, Branduin, working with us to deliver one-to-one business advice, adding to our menu of services.
2.00pm After a quick input into a few issues that have arisen in the office, I’m in the car and on my way to Dorking Halls to judge the Surrey Young Enterprise finals. Not one to waste a moment, I stop off at Pizza Express first in Dorking to catch-up with Bob Pickles, head of corporate affairs at Canon UK in Reigate. We talk about some networking events we are running with the generous support of Canon.
4.15pm I meet with fellow judges to discuss the company reports submitted by nine eager school companies hoping to go forward to the South East finals of Young Enterprise. Following a discussion on the reports, interviews at their trade stands, and nine 4-minute presentations, I stand up at 8.30pm to announce the two winners. Not only has it been a long day, but the emotional effect of seeing seven teams disappointed spurs me home to relax.
9.30pm Time for an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and then alarm set for another exciting day!