Nora Senior, former president of British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) has been recognised with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017.
Ms Senior held the voluntary post of President of the British Chambers of Commerce between 2013 and July 2016 and the office of Chair of Scottish Chambers between January 2013 and April 2017.
She is the first woman to have held the honorary position in SCC in its history and the only person to have held the two national Presidents’ offices simultaneously since the Chamber movement was formed over 300 years ago.
As a passionate advocate for encouraging UK businesses, SMEs in particular, to enter into export trade, during her term in office as Chair of SCC, Nora was instrumental in establishing closer partnership working between Scottish Chambers of Commerce, public service agencies and Scottish Government to create a new model of export service delivery, aimed at improving Scotland’s export trade performance. She is one of the founding members of Scottish Government’s new Board of Trade.
During her time at the BCC, Ms Senior launched a British Chambers International Trade Advisory Council, comprising over 20 Chairmen and CEOs of major UK companies who operate in global markets, including Diageo; Land Rover; Wrightbus and IAG. They act as ambassadors to champion the work of overseas Chambers and encourage companies to enter into exporting and new overseas markets.
A former Businesswomen of the Year, she has been recognised for her professional achievements in the UK and globally for communications and government relations programmes she has carried out for companies internationally with global communications consultancy Weber Shandwick, in markets such as China, India and South America. Her corporate client experience extends across a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, transport, energy, property, finance, healthcare, technology and FMCG.
Ms Senior, who is currently executive chair UK Regions and Ireland at Weber Shandwick, said: “I am immensely proud and humbled. It is a huge honour to receive such recognition; a tremendous tribute to the Chamber Network who work tirelessly to promote business interests and great recognition for the important role communications has in driving business growth and success. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to and influence policy in key areas such as international trade, education and women in business.
“Weber Shandwick is an organisation which takes both its civic responsibilities very seriously and the development of its people. I am very grateful for their endorsement and support in carrying out the Chambers’ role.”
Liz Cameron OBE, director & CEO of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Nora is one of the most influential and respected figures in the business community and a most deserving recipient of this prestigious honour. We are delighted that this has been recognised. She has worked tirelessly to promote and represent the Scottish Chambers Network and Scotland as a great place to do business, whilst establishing a strong legacy of enabling business growth. Practically, she has led an expansion of our international trade support by establishing partnerships with our Global Chamber Network, helped create and promote more opportunities for our young people, and has fostered stronger collaboration between business and Government. Nora has been a trailblazer for the business community.
“I have no doubt that she will continue to act as a source of inspiration to business people from all walks of life as she continues her business journey.”