THE youngest chief executive in 208-year history of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has been appointed to replace the outgoing Paul Faulkner.
Henrietta Brealey, aged 30, steps up after recently being appointed chief strategy officer following five years as director of policy and strategic relations.
Her work at the forefront of the Chamber’s campaigns around Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic has been acclaimed by many stakeholders at regional and national levels and she has also provided in-depth support for Chamber patrons, the top tier of membership.
Ms Brealey said: “Paul has been a fantastic CEO of the Chamber and ambassador for the business community.
“He leaves big shoes to fill and I look forward to stepping up in April and continuing to drive the organisation, and the support and services we deliver for businesses, ever further forwards.
“I love this city region and working with the businesses that sit at the heart of what makes it such as great place to live, work and do business.
“It will be a real privilege to lead our talented colleagues here at Team Chamber. This is a proud institution with a long and influential history of being in business for local businesses. I am excited to take up this opportunity to navigate it through this next era.”
David Waller, chairman of the GBCC, said: “Business support needs to be at the cutting edge with views on developments in the structural, strategic and cultural world of today and Henrietta is ideally suited to pick up that broad role.
“She will be perfect for continuing the leadership Paul has developed over the past six years, during which the reach, impact and influence of the Chamber has grown remarkably.”
Ms Brealey first joined the Chamber as a policy assistant in 2012 while completing her studies at the University of Birmingham.
She went on to gain an MSc (Distinction) in Public Management 2012-2013 after a BA (hons) (1st Class) in English Literature 2009-2012.
She held the roles of policy adviser and policy and patron adviser before leaving in 2015 to join the National Housing Federation as external affairs manager for the West Midlands. She returned to the Chamber later that year in the newly-created role of director of policy and strategic relationships, making her one of the youngest directors in the Chamber’s history.
In 2019 she was named as one of Birmingham Live’s Brum 30 Under 30. Outside of work, she is a trustee of the University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students and a graduate and supporter of the UpRising Leadership Programme.