Naval Veteran Helping Firms in Choppy Economic Waters; Alistair Houghton Meets BOB WILLIAMS, Chief Executive of Chester, Ellesmere Port and North Wales Chamber of Commerce IN ASSOCIATION WITH Rensburg Sheppards the Profile

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), March 11, 2009 | Go to article overview

Naval Veteran Helping Firms in Choppy Economic Waters; Alistair Houghton Meets BOB WILLIAMS, Chief Executive of Chester, Ellesmere Port and North Wales Chamber of Commerce IN ASSOCIATION WITH Rensburg Sheppards the Profile


Byline: Alistair Houghton

THE worlds of naval warfare and Cheshire business may seem very different, but former Royal Navy commodore Bob Williams says there are more similarities than you might think.

Williams is today chief executive of the Chester, Ellesmere Port and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses from Anglesey to the Mancunian frontier.

But, before joining the front line of the local business world he enjoyed a 37-year career in the Royal Navy, serving in the Falklands War and commanding a ship during the first Gulf War.

Williams, who was also director-general of Liverpool's International Cotton Association, is now helping local businesses weather the recession and is aiming to double the chamber's membership.

He left the military in 1998 and says he swiftly learned that, jargon aside, planning skills are just as important in business as at sea.

"In business, the first thing I'd ask you to show me would be the business plan," he said. "What are your objectives? Do you have a timescale? How will you monitor progress? In military terms, do you need reinforcements?

"When I first started, I had to get rid of the military jargon that was part of my language and embrace business terminology, otherwise people would wonder what I was trying to say.

"But the principles are exactly the same."

Williams's arrival in Chester last year was a return to his Cheshire roots. He grew up in Knutsford before joining the Navy after his A-levels.

Williams's naval career has taken him around the globe many times. After serving aboard HMS Glasgow in the Falklands War and staying in the South Atlantic aboard HMS Birmingham, the first ship he commanded as captain was the guided missile destroyer HMS Edinburgh - itself a brand new ship straight from Cammell Laird, in Birkenhead.

"It was very exciting," he said.

"It's like a new car. You open the door and it smells differently."

Williams commanded a ship as part of the naval taskforce in the first Gulf War, when Saddam Hussein's Iraqi troops were expelled from Kuwait. He was one of the first to land in the emirate once the Iraqis had left.

"All the oilfields there were burning," he said.

"There were cigarettes just finished burning in the ashtrays.

The place was deserted."

Returning from the Gulf, Williams became naval private secretary to the Chief of Defence Staff, travelling the world promoting British interests.

His final military role was as UK director of operations at the joint armed forces headquarters in Northwood. Operations under his watch included the UK response to the volcanic eruption on Montserrat, co-ordinating the RAF and naval rescue missions to the stricken Caribbean island.

Williams's international experience made him invaluable to the International Cotton Association, where he spent seven years from 1998 travelling abroad on behalf of the industry.

"Uzbekistan was the first country I'd ever visited in my life without a coastline," he smiled.

Williams left the association in 2005 and returned to his home in Scotland to work with a business association in Dumfries and Galloway.

But, in 2008, he heard about the Chester vacancy and seized the opportunity to return to his roots.

Williams runs the Chamber's day-to-day operations on behalf of its board, currently chaired by John Newton-Jones.

The chamber, along with those in Liverpool and St Helens, is a member of the British Chambers of Commerce network and works closely with that organisation's London policy team. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Naval Veteran Helping Firms in Choppy Economic Waters; Alistair Houghton Meets BOB WILLIAMS, Chief Executive of Chester, Ellesmere Port and North Wales Chamber of Commerce IN ASSOCIATION WITH Rensburg Sheppards the Profile
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.