Honorary Members

As Bedfordshire’s longest running not-for-profit women’s networking group, Bedfordshire BusinessWomen is delighted to be supported by our Honorary Members:

Gill Lake BEM – Gill Lake Accountants and Bedfordshire Business Women Treasurer

Gill LakeGill has been a part of Bedfordshire Business Women since 1988. She was President in 1997. Leaving in 2004 when work took her away form Bedford Gill returned in 2012 and took on the role of Treasurer in 2014.

Gill is a committed member of the Guiding Association and won the Bedfordshire Business Women Silver Heart Award in 2016. She was further recognised for her services to Guiding in 2018 being awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal).

Lady Erroll – Former High Sheriff of Bedfordshire

Lady Erroll, High Sheriff of BedfordshireThe Countess of Erroll (Isabelle) farms and runs the Woodbury Hall estate herself, successfully managing a portfolio of residential and commercial property, and an agricultural operation.  Her extensive knowledge of architecture, furniture, landscapes and the environment is apparent in her wide set of interests.  She is a member of the NFU, RFS and CLA, Trustee of Belmont in Kent, Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and has the Freedom of the City of London.

Isabelle and husband Merlin have two sons and two daughters.  Amelia, who has Down Syndrome, attended Grange School, Kempston. Isabelle was asked to become a Parent Governor then chair the Finance Committee..

As Chair of the Moggerhanger House Preservation Trust, she played a major role in raising £7.5 million for the restoration and recently worked with the Human Trafficking Foundation to move their exhibition from Parliament to a new permanent home there. Offenders serving their Community Payback by working outdoors in a green environment has assisted their rehabilitation and she would like to see this extended.

In her Shrieval year, Isabelle will focus on promoting family life and inspiring children to want an education as these contribute enormously to reducing crime and giving people a happier life.

Diane Butler – Collingwood Design Consultants

Diane Butler, Collingwood DesignI have been a member of BBW since it started over 26 years ago and am the longest serving member of the group. I was a committee member for six years and President for two, taking the group through the Millennium and the promise of the Millennium bug (which fortunately never happened) but ensuring that all members were fully prepared for the event!. There have been many changes and many presidents all of which make the group what it is today – Bedfordshire’s leading Networking group for Women.

I am passionate about BBW and was delighted to be made an Honorary Member in 2008. The contacts made over the years have enabled me to develop my business and business skills working for, and with members on numerous exciting design projects and commissions.

Kirsten Rimmer – Roythornes Limited

Kirsten RimmerA former President of BBW and member since 1990, Kirsten is a commercial property and agricultural lawyer with leading law firm Roythornes. Her expertise extends to property development and finance, green issues and related commercial agreements. Kirsten has acted for farmers, landowners and landed estates, dealing with agricultural tenancies, partnership agreements, estate management, and rural property and development. As a Fellow of the Agricultural Law Association, she is able to offer clients an overview of all agricultural and rural matters including property, tax, tenancy, and succession issues. Kirsten is a member of the Surveyors 1921 Club and is an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator. In 2012, Kirsten was awarded a Fellowship from the Agricultural Law Association, an organisation which is made up of lawyers and surveyors who specialise in advising farmers and landowners. Kirsten has lived and worked in Bedfordshire for over 35 years and has many local connections having taken a keen interest in local issues and particularly in education for children with special needs, serving for 20 years as Chair of Governors of St John’s Special School and College.

Helen Nellis – H M Lord-Lieutenant for Bedfordshire

Cheryl Smart – CEO, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce