Thursday, May 30th, 2024

New CEO Appointment to Sevenoaks District Chamber of Commerce

We are delighted to announce that Dawn Blee has joined the Sevenoaks District Chamber of Commerce and will be taking over from Julie Phillips as CEO. This appointment marks the next chapter for the Chamber, as Dawn will navigate the Chamber and support local businesses, with a focus on recovery and regeneration following the Covid Pandemic.

Dawn is an experienced business owner. She was co-founder of South East Tour Guides which makes her experience particularly relevant to our local Chamber as someone who has set up and grown her own business for the past twelve years. Concurrent with this, Dawn has until recently been a Board Director representing the 1800 strong membership of a London-based national organisation where her focus was on growing and enhancing the value of that membership, both internally and to the outside world.

Dawn Blee

Previously, Dawn worked in the hospitality industry as Training Director for an international hotel company, opening new hotels in Britain and Europe. She was responsible for the development and accreditation of their innovative Investors in People Awards, along with many other learning and quality initiatives.

Dawn says “Working for a corporate organisation developed my strategic thinking skills and reinforced my opinion of the importance of maintaining a holistic approach to all matters. These skills are invaluable to any business whatever the size, and especially so to a membership organisation”.

Most recently, with her business temporarily closing due to the pandemic travel restrictions, Dawn has been working with Sevenoaks District Council supporting businesses with the EU funded Reopening High Streets Safely and Welcome Back initiatives.

With Dawns strong membership management experience coupled with her entrepreneurial spirit and local government experience we are confident that Dawn will be a tremendous asset to the Chamber. Former CEO Julie Phillips who has navigated the Chamber through the Pandemic will be supporting Dawn in her early days and will ensure a smooth and comprehensive handover is achieved.

Dawn’s appointment is welcomed by Chair, Katrina Walker, who said that Dawn has the perfect mix of entrepreneurial and corporate experience. This, coupled with her board level responsibilities and experience of membership organisations made her the perfect candidate to take the Chamber to its next chapter. Dawn will be supported by a strong Board of Directors; Chair, Katrina Walker, client relationship manager at Thackray Williams Solicitors; Andrew Raby, senior partner at solicitors’ firm Thackray Williams; Sharon Field, head of corporate and social responsibility at FM Conway; Sandhya Iyer, Managing Director at The HR Dept and Paul Baker, Director of Wealden Properties. Dawn will also be recruiting two further Board Members in the following months. The team will continue to be supported by Kathryn McKerlie who continues to lead the day-to-day Operations of the Chamber.

Katrina: said “We are delighted to welcome Dawn to the Chamber and feel she is the perfect complement to our team”.

The Sevenoaks District Chamber of Commerce currently offer networking opportunities, partnerships, and advice to local businesses to help the local economy thrive. If you would like to get involved or would like a conversation with Dawn about being part of the Sevenoaks Chamber Community, please get in touch.


Issued by Kathryn McKerlie

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