The Official Publication of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce


Editor’s View

By John Lamb

Youngsters ensure our city has a bright future

Sutton Coldfield

Chamber of Commerce

Greater Birmingham

Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce

As we know, Birmingham is Europe’s youngest city and those millennials et al have certainly made their mark this month. And we enjoyed an amazing climax from a

group of young people who set the Chamber dinner at the ICC alight. We invited Aston Performing Arts Academy

Greater Birmingham

Transatlantic Chamber of Commerce

(APAA) back for the third year and they just get better and better. This year’s performance of dance and music

Front cover: Jean Templeton, winner of the President’s Award, with Saqib Bhatti See page 10

Editor John Lamb 0121 607 1781, 0797 1144064

Deputy Editor Dan Harrison 0121 607 1887, 0797 1144052

Reporter Jessica Brookes 0750 8317356

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was around homelessness and the horrendous knife crime which is plaguing Birmingham and other parts of the UK. Much of the theme of the night was about

business as a force for good and the audience of 1,300 people responded in a very positive way. In fact, they gave APAA a standing ovation in

the biggest reception of the evening. Their superb singers and the perfectly choreographed performance made anyone who has tried to get a band of five together envious. And they demonstrated an absolute grip of the problem in a powerful way. APAA, who are now based in the city centre,

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and have already made their mark in Birmingham with performances at the opening of Grand Central Station, the tenth anniversary of the Bull Ring and the Midlands Media Awards. They work with around 100 people aged between six and 24 every week, encouraging them to build their self- esteem, confidence and skills in the arts.

The self-funding APAA deserves all of the

support it can get. It’s a great cause and one that will certainly uncover some outstanding talent in our city that otherwise might have gone undiscovered. Another event where youth shone was in the BirminghamLive’s 30 under 30 list for top young professionals in the city. Anna Assinder, manager of Future Faces, and

Henrietta Brealey, director of policy and strategic relationships at the GBCC, were deservedly on the list. Ms Assinder manages the Chamber’s young

professionals arm, Future Faces, which helps young professionals develop, network with other young professionals and recognise outstanding future leaders. Future Faces Chamber, now in its seventh

year, has doubled in size during the past year. Future Faces president, Mark Hipwell, was also

named on this year’s 30 under 30 list. Ms Brealey oversees the Chamber’s top tier of membership, patronage, and a number of campaigning, research and stakeholder engagement activities. She and her team of four policy and patron

advisers compile economic business reports, conduct campaigns into business adaptability, leadership and people management and produce a range of tools and aids for businesses. She is the leading coordinator for the Chamber on Brexit, and launched the Chamber’s Brexit Health Check and Toolkit. It’s good to know that Birmingham is in good hands with young people like this.

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