We have an excellent team of Connect Reading Trustees and we wanted to give you a chance to get to know them too.
Up first, Tracey Rawling Church, who is our Chair. Tracey is a principal consultant at Acclaro Advisory and has spent more than 20 years supporting businesses to minimise their environmental impact and maximise their social value. She has a background in marketing and is a strong advocate for purpose-led brands and values-centred business. She has lived in Reading all her life and is passionate about making it a better place for everybody.
We asked Tracey a few questions to get to know her better and find out a bit more about why she became a part of Connect Reading.
Why did you decide to become part of Connect Reading?
My former employer was a founder member of Connect Reading and when a colleague retired I took over as the primary contact. I quickly became a strong advocate for Connect Reading’s mission and when I was invited to become a trustee I jumped at the chance. I have lived in Reading all my life and inherited from my father an understanding of the importance of “giving back” to the local community. As a practitioner of corporate social and environmental sustainability I believe strongly that every businesses should aim to have a positive impact and through giving my time and expertise to Connect Reading I hope to inspire and support more organisations to do this.
What is one thing you love about Reading?
I love how the town seems to accept and embrace everybody. It’s not just about cultural diversity, although it’s true that we are a vibrant and diverse community. It’s more about a generosity of spirit. It’s so heartening to see how positively people respond when there’s an opportunity to support or elevate others. Although we have our challenges, we also have an abundance of goodwill and people who will rally round in times of crisis. It makes me proud to call the town home.
Can you tell us about your working experience so far?
I started my career in PR and marketing and then, through working in a company that put sustainability at the heart of strategy, found a professional outlet for my personal interest in environmental protection and social justice. Two decades ago a sustainable brand was an oxymoron and CSR was something a company did to distract attention from questionable practices. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to develop my career in an emerging discipline, witnessing a growing appreciation of the importance of values-led business and profit with purpose. Now most businesses understand the need for creating environmental and social value alongside profit and many strive to create tangible positive impact. It’s an exciting time to work in this sector.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to spend time with family and friends, especially cooking for them. I practise yoga and, when I get the opportunity, I love to dance. I have an insatiable curiosity which I feed through reading, watching documentaries and, when I get the opportunity, travelling.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Matriarch. Explorer. Dancer.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself during the pandemic?
That I actually need very little.