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Jerry Blackett to step down as Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce boss

Jerry Blackett to step down as Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce boss

🕔03.Dec 2014

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Jerry Blackett is to leave the job after nine years in charge.

A pivotal and much respected figure in the city’s business community, Mr Blackett’s decision came as a surprise to friends and colleagues.

He plans to depart at the end of June next year to take a “gap year” before deciding on future roles.

Mr Blackett, 58, joined the Chamber in 2003 as policy director and led its representational activities before succeeding Sue Battle as chief executive in June, 2006.

During his period as Chamber chief executive Mr Blackett worked tirelessly to promote Birmingham nationally and internationally, helped to rally business support for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and latterly used his influence to support development of a Birmingham and Black Country combined authority.

He said: “I have had a fabulous time and will miss the role enormously.”

David Waller, chairman of the GBCC, said: “We wish Jerry all the best in whatever he chooses to do next. He will leave Greater Birmingham Chambers in excellent shape.

“Under Jerry’s leadership, the Chamber has weathered some of the most disruptive years in our recent history as government funding for most local business support evaporated and, like every other business, the difficult years that followed the 2008 recession.

“Today, the Chamber is in great shape with strong financial foundations and because of the strength of our membership we are first-choice choice for local partners wishing to engage meaningfully with the private sector.

“We are home to not just five chambers of commerce spread across the Greater Birmingham geography but are proud to also host the Institute of Asian Businesses, the British American Business Council and our club for up-and-coming individuals, Future Faces.

“Under Jerry’s leadership, the Chamber group has enjoyed the support of some of the region’s most iconic businesses and when combined with the 2,700 other members spread across the group, the Chambers have positioned themselves as the premier voice of local business.”

Alex Bishop, chair of BPS Birmingham and Deputy Head of Shoosmiths Birmingham Office, said: “The announcement that Jerry is stepping down from the Chamber really is the end of an era. He has been the leading spokesman and campaigner for Birmingham’s business community for many, many years.

“On behalf of our members, I want to congratulate him for his work in advocating business issues, taking a lead role in working with the council and other public bodies and for the wide range of charitable activities in which he and the Chamber are involved. In particular, I want to thank him for the approach he has taken to working with fellow business representative bodies, such as BPS Birmingham, to ensure all sectors and interests are represented.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Jerry in the coming months, not least to ensure the promises being made on devolution are followed through beyond the election.”

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