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Pamela relishes new Chamber role

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has appointed a county-born and bred businesswoman as its new member engagement manager.

Farmer’s daughter Pamela Bonsall describes the role as ‘another chapter in my varied career’, and says she is enjoying the chance to meet local business people and learn about the challenges and opportunities they face.

“It’s fascinating,” says Pamela, who studied business and finance at the former Bridgnorth College before moving to London to work for the operations director of an American investment bank.

In a multi-faceted career, she has since worked for the IFA division of Abbey Life, qualified as a mortgage adviser, worked for QI Van Systems in Telford, and been customer support manager and training manager at Lexmark Printers in Ireland.

She then set up a business with her husband, importing hardwood flooring from Canada and the Far East for resellers and DIY retailers, working with companies such as Screwfix and Wolseley Group.

Since moving back to Shropshire just over 15 years ago, she has run a business  selling flooring and creating bespoke joinery and cabinetry, and converted farm buildings into a business centre for small firms.

She said: “My role at the Chamber is to make sure that members understand the benefits and services available and how to access them, listen and respond to their changing needs and aspirations, and be a friendly point of contact and support to the business people of Shropshire.

“I think it helps that I have a wide spread of commercial experience because I have a good understanding of the challenges our members face in their day-to-day work.

“The team here are wonderful, committed, hard-working and so friendly. I genuinely believe that the Chamber offers amazing value to its members, in particular the HR, legal, tax, and health and safety support, plus access to the other third party affiliated partner discounts.  

“But I know from experience that running your own business can be lonely and scary, and the peer support that our members have access to is so valuable for advice and support.

“Networking isn’t just about selling your stuff, although that’s an important function. It’s about making connections with the people you meet and the people that they know . . . and the people that they know!

“Business is still about people. People buy from people and emails sometimes just don’t cut it. Relationships are where it’s at.”