Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Chamber of Commerce's only ever female president

Chamber’s only female president gives insight into bygone years

The first ever female President of the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce believes it is important to be ‘firm but fair’ in business.

Grace Sturgis, 93, was made a Life Member of the organisation, which represents business in the town and East Northants, in 1987 in recognition of past services to the Chamber.

Supporting her late husband Bernard, the owner of Sturgis Engineering, she took care of the firm’s administration and managed the office.

Grace was originally a member of the Finedon Chamber of Commerce, until it ceased operating in 1977, following which she joined the Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking recently, she said:

“Things are different now, people complain about pay and money coming in. Years ago, if you didn’t pay you didn’t get any more goods and it was as simple as that.

“One gradual change I have noticed is women in business. In the old days there were never any women in industry.”

When asked about Brexit she said she was looking forward to the country “getting back to how it used to be.”

The Wellingborough Chamber of Commerce was founded over 75 years ago and was formed to represent the interests and aspirations of local businesses.

In 2019 the Chamber expanded to include East Northamptonshire and was subsequently renamed the Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce.

The Executive Team includes individuals drawn from a wide range of backgrounds including legal, accounting, commercial property specialists, planning consultancy, retail, manufacturing, marketing and financial services.

Membership is made up of a kaleidoscope of businesses from sole traders, through SMEs, to International Groups – all with the same purpose of sharing experience for the benefit and growth of all.

Innovation, excellence and performance were rewarded in the fourth annual Wellingborough & East Northants Business Awards held in November 2019. The 2020 Awards will shortly be launched.

For more information about the Chamber visit or contact the Chamber on 01933 652252.

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