Honorary degree awarded to Kent business leader

DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE: University of Kent’s Chancellor Gavin Esler presents Jo James with her honorary degree

A RETIRING regional business leader has capped her 15 years at the head of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce with an honorary doctorate.

The University of Kent named Jo James a Doctor of Science in a graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral, recognising her contributions to the local and regional economy, as well as her dedication to equipping young people for the world of work.

The new Dr James is to step down in December after 33 years at the Chamber of Commerce, including 15
as Chief Executive.

She has also previously chaired the judging panel of the Times Business Awards, identifying and acknowledging corporate and individual contributions to the local economy.

Speaking after the ceremony, Dr James said: “It was an honour to receive the award and great to see so many young people setting out on their careers.

“Some of the students will have come to Kent to continue their education, others will already have lived here, but I would urge them all to look at what Kent has to offer as a fantastic county with lots of opportunities.

“We have a fantastically diverse business community and with their knowledge and drive, they can help it become even greater.

“While it might have been me on stage, a big thank you must go to every member of the team at Kent Invicta and our patrons and partners, without whom we wouldn’t be able to support individual businesses and Kent’s economy.”

She received her honorary degree from the Chancellor, former Newsnight presenter and author, Gavin Esler, along with 14 other individuals, including the four members of the Russian punk collective Pussy Riot, former England cricket captain and commentator David Gower, musician and educator Chi-chi Nwanoku and the comedian Josie Long.

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