Northants Chamber's new president won't be daunted by new challenge

Distinctive Robyn dispels myth that county business group is an old boys' club

By Neil Burkett
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 1:00 pm
Northamptonshire Chamber board president Robyn Allen
Northamptonshire Chamber board president Robyn Allen

For years Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce has worked to dispel the outdated notion it is an old boys’ club - and with help from its new president the message may finally get through.

Over the past 104 years, the Chamber has grown into the county’s largest business support agency, representing about 1,000 organisations which employ more than a third of Northamptonshire’s workforce.

Now for the first time in its history it has appointed a female board president – award-winning personal insurance expert Robyn Allen, of Rothwell-based Robyn Allen Solutions.

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At 33, Robyn is also the Chamber’s youngest ever president and the TikTok fanatic immediately stands out from the crowd with her distinctive - and often brightly coloured – mohawk.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that her appointment this week is for just appearances’ sake - Robyn has already built up an enviable reputation in the county’s business community.

Following in her father’s footsteps, she launched her career at the Halifax when she was 17, taking on several roles before she became a financial consultant and discovered her passion for helping customers to protect their futures.

After being made redundant she took the brave decision to launch her own firm specialising in protection in 2016. She has gone on to build a strong customer base, expand her business and has won a string of top awards, including Protection Review’s Personality of the Year earlier this month.

Being so busy with her own career also hasn’t stopped her from being active in the community.

She is a trustee at HomeStart Kettering, a governor at Rothwell’s Montsaye Academy, mentors new start-up businesses and is a trained mentor to teenagers.

Since March 2020 she has also been producing weekly ‘shout out’ videos on LinkedIn highlighting people’s achievements every Friday to give her thousands of followers something to smile about during the pandemic.

On top of all this, Robyn has been an invaluable member of Northamptonshire Chamber’s board for the past two years, is involved in its Women With Vision platform and its Next Generation Chamber for aspirational young entrepreneurs.

Robyn said: “Coming from insurance services I’m used to being in a male-dominated industry. Before I joined the Chamber I assumed it would be an old boys’ club but it’s not like that at all. It supports everyone from new start-ups to large corporate organisations.

“When the Chamber board vacancy came up two years ago, I thought it would be cool to apply to join it. I genuinely love the Chamber and what it stands for and I feel it’s important that it has a diverse range of voices on the board to represent its wide spectrum of members.

“Now that I’ve become the Chamber’s youngest ever president and its first female president there is a bit of a weight on my shoulders but I think that’s normal for anyone who is starting a new job and I won’t let that daunt me.

“My focus is firmly on the needs of the Chamber’s membership and on ensuring that in our fast-changing world the Chamber continues to lead the way for businesses.

“I’m already looking forward to next year’s Northamptonshire Business Awards and to seeing how we can help Northamptonshire Chamber’s Women With Vision network and Next Generation Chamber to further develop and grow.

“I’m also excited about the Chamber’s first exhibition next year – I know their team is already working on great plans for it involving the Women With Vision network and it promises to be a fantastic event.”

Northamptonshire Chamber deputy chief executive Julie Maclennan added: “We’re delighted to welcome Robyn as the Chamber’s new president.

“She has always been incredibly supportive of the Chamber and has helped to promote the wide range of opportunities we provide to our members from helping them to raise their profile and save money to international trade, protection, training and lobbying services.

“We’re looking forward to working with Robyn on a number of exciting projects throughout 2022.”

For further information about Northamptonshire Chamber visit www.northants-chamber.co.uk or call 01604 490490.