Q&A: Neville Reyner CBE of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

PUBLISHED: 16:07 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 20 February 2013

Neville Reyner

Neville Reyner

Neville Reyner CBE is chairman of the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, president of the British Chambers of Commerce and vice president of the EuroChambre. He talks to Louise McEvoy about the secret to success in business and ...

When you were growing up, what did you want to be and why?
I'm not sure what I really wanted to be, other than perhaps a train driver. As a boy I was fascinated with train engines and a keen train spotter, travelling all over the UK.

What do you think is the secret to success in business?
A business should have a vision, quantified and measurable objectives, and a plan that is embedded into the everyday working of that business.

What does your role as president of the British Chambers of Commerce involve?
It involves a governance role, but also very important is the role of ambassador for the voice of British business and the UK chamber movement internally in the UK with government ministers/departments and other bodies. Externally, the role is to promote our members' interests and trade in Europe and throughout the world, involving visiting countries and welcoming inward missions to the UK.

Describe a typical day for you.
Since becoming the president of the British Chambers of Commerce I have started to travel significantly throughout the country, mainly by train, starting at about 7am and getting back at 8pm.

Do you have any advice for people during the credit crunch?
People should be as prudent as they can be, but they should also look for opportunity from this global crisis. Small businesses should look towards organisations such as their local chamber of commerce and Business Link for support and advice.

What is the highlight of your career to date?
The highlight so far was making the transition from an executive role to a number of non executive roles. This is not as easy as it might first seem and can take time to develop.

What is your proudest moment to date?
My proudest moment so far is being appointed CBE in 2001 and receiving this honour at a Buckingham Palace investiture in 2002 with my family present.

What do you do to unwind in your spare time?
I like to play golf and enjoy evenings at home watching TV and reading.

What plans/goals do you have for the future?
I plan to continue to make value added contributions to the organisations I am involved with in the pursuit of continued organisational success. Although with a fairly full diary, my plan is to look for another chairmanship in the business sector.

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and how would you describe the town?
I have lived in Royston for seven years. Royston is very well located in terms of transportation infrastructure.

What are your hopes/plans for the New Year?
I hope that the UK doesn't have a prolonged period of economic down turn/recession. My plans for the New Year are to continue to give maximum effort to the responsibilities I have and to spend some time at our property in the German Alps, Bavaria.

What are your New Year resolutions?
I suppose one might be to manage my time as efficiently and effectively as I can.

Describe your favourite place in Hertfordshire.
I guess the Welwyn Garden City area would come fairly near the top.

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