Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce has appointed its youngest-ever chief executive – again.
Henrietta Brealey, who only took on the role of chief strategy officer last month, has been named as Paul Faulkner’s successor in the top job.
Aged 30, she is the chamber’s youngest chief executive since Mr Faulkner was appointed to the role in 2015, then aged 36, and also only its second female chief executive after Sue Battle who retired in 2006.
Mr Faulkner announced in January that he was stepping down from the post to join the Richardson family business in Oldbury as its chief of staff and operations.
Ms Brealey joined the Edgbaston-based chamber in 2012 as a policy assistant while still studying English literature at University of Birmingham and later completed a master’s in public management.
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She also worked as a policy adviser before joining the National Housing Federation in 2015, only to return that same year in the newly created role of director of policy and strategic relationships.
It made her one of the youngest directors in the chamber’s 208-year history.
Her work at the forefront of its campaigns around Brexit and the covid-19 pandemic has been praised by its stakeholders and partners alongside her work supporting its top-tier patron members.
In 2019, she was named on the 30 Under 30 list of inspiring young people in the city, compiled and published by our sister website BirminghamLive.
Ms Brealey said: “Paul has been a fantastic chief executive 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. It’s been 12 months like no other.
“In this critical moment, I look forward to continuing to work with our members and partners across the sectors to both stand up for local businesses’ interests through challenge and change and ensure that they are best positioned to tap into opportunities locally and globally.
“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.”
Mr Faulkner added: “Henrietta has been a delight to work with throughout my time at the chamber and it has been a pleasure seeing her professional growth and development over the past six years as she has led and transformed the chamber’s policy and strategic partnerships work to be the very best in the country.
“Henrietta possesses a genuine passion for, and commitment to, chamber members and the interests of the business community in Greater Birmingham.
“I wish her every success in what is a highly respected and historic position in the city and wider region.”