New president for GBCC

Deb Leary has become only the third female president of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in its 208-year history.

Deb Leary
Deb Leary

Her two-year term as successor to Steve Allen was confirmed at GBCC's annual meeting at the Radisson Blu in Birmingham.

Chief financial officer Helen Bates reported an income for 2020-2021 of £5.5 million, generating a surplus after tax of £80,000.

Deb is chief executive of Forensic Pathways an international consultancy and technology design company specialising in the development of innovative technologies and services in the threat intelligence and forensic arena.

She said: “Being Birmingham born and bred, I am incredibly honoured to have been elected as the new president, even more so as only the third woman in the 208-year history of the chamber to hold this position.

“I should like to extend my own personal thanks to Steve Allen who has helped steer the chamber through challenging times and I am committed to continuing one of his themes, that of innovation.

“As CEO of Forensic Pathways for the past 20 years, I know the importance of continued innovation and its impact on growth. Innovation brings increased opportunities for collaboration and positive social impact regionally, nationally and internationally.

“The past two years have been a test of our resilience and commitment. Brexit and the pandemic have shown how globally connected and reliant we are and whilst this brings challenges it also brings opportunity.

“The pandemic has highlighted the brilliance of collaboration and innovation and the acknowledgement that on many aspects we have to come together globally in order to address fundamental challenges. Evermore so when we look at the challenges associated with COP26.

“It is this sense of global trade, innovation and collaboration that is at the heart of my Presidency. It is about putting Greater Birmingham front and centre. It’s about not only reaching out but also showcasing what the region represents and with the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, the timing is perfect to focus on the best of what Greater Birmingham has to offer.

Previous female presidents of the GBCC were Bridget Blow (2008) and Christine Braddock (2010).

David Waller, the GBCC’s chairman, said he was sure Deb “would conduct her term of office with the same forensic approach she applies to her business”.

Mr Waller said 2020-2021 had been like no other in the chamber’s history and added: “Despite the considerable trials visited upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic, the chamber has come through as a business force for good and a consistent friend to its members and many others.

“I’m proud of this achievement and particularly pleased that despite all of the negative issues we ended the year with an £80,000 surplus after tax. This really is a testament to the whole chamber team, who have demonstrated a determination to keep our commitment to members and customers at the heart of everything we do."

Outgoing president Steve Allen said: “I know that my successor Deb Leary will be an amazing president and with the legendary businessman Nasir Awan as her vice-president, the chamber can look to a bright future."

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