James Ramsbotham with Joy Sullivan
Laura Facey

NECC Export Expert Awarded Honour

Joy Sullivan honoured with British Empire Medal

A North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) employee who has served the region’s businesses for over 40 years has been awarded the British Empire Medal in Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Export adviser Joy Sullivan, 57, has been recognised for her services to International Trade and for playing an important part in the North East’s proud export history.

Mrs Sullivan joined the region’s largest business membership association in 1974 and has worked with thousands of companies on over 500,000 export shipments to every country in the world.

Speaking of her award, Mrs Sullivan said: “I’m very proud and emotional as I never expected to receive such as honour.

“I feel privileged to have worked within international trade and export for over 40 years as this is something I have always found interesting.”

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of NECC said: “Joy’s experience in exporting and international trade is unsurpassed in the UK.

“She has been the regional agent for the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce since its formation in the 1970s and helps hundreds of our members to expand their markets each year.

“One of her most recent successes has been around the reduction of labour required by North East companies in obtaining certified documents, required for customs clearance into emerging markets.

“We’d estimate she has provided an efficiency saving of over 3,000 hours per year for North East exporters. Her knowledge and experience is invaluable and we couldn’t be more proud.”

Mrs Sullivan is still overwhelmed at being honoured for a role she has been fulfilling since leaving school.

“Export never stands still and regulations are constantly changing,” she said. “I enjoy helping companies in the North East to export and I still speak to people now who I spoke to when I first started the job 41 years ago.”

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