GBSLEP strengthens board with new director appointments

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership make replacements for retiring board members.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has made four senior appointments to its board to further expand and diversify its skillset and experience.

Louise Brooke-Smith OBE, Ewa Truchanowicz, Christine Oates and Ian Tandy have all taken up new positions on GBLSEP’s board and will serve terms lasting for three years.

They will work alongside GBSLEP and its partner organisations to help provide businesses with support and access to finance, improve and optimise the physical and digital environment within the region and improve skillsets and facilities across several key sectors.

Pat Hanlon and Simon Marks will be stepping down from GBSLEP’s board following the end of their terms, having made a significant contribution to the LEP’s agenda.

Louise has over 35 years’ commercial experience working in the construction, land and property sector in both the public and private sectors. She currently holds a number of non-executive directorships and international advisory positions with organisations including FTSE businesses, UK Government departments and regeneration companies.

In 2014 she was elected as the first female Global President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. In that role Louise led a series of ground-breaking construction and property related initiatives, championing diversity in the UK and across Asia and Sub Saharan Africa.

Ewa is currently the Managing Director of Dignio UK, a company which connects patients and healthcare professionals through a digital platform to deliver health services.

She has also held roles as the region’s Life Sciences Sector Lead at the West Midlands Growth Company and also Business Development Manager at the Bio-Hub at the University of Birmingham.

Her strong knowledge and experience within the life sciences sector via private, public and academic sectors has seen Ewa contribute to the LEP’s life sciences agenda over the past couple of years, including sitting on the Industry Panel at the 2019 GBSLEP Annual Conference.

Christine is an experienced tax partner at Deloitte and previously worked for Ernst and Young. She is the leader of the Midlands Business Tax Practice and a Global Client Service Partner and Tax Account Leader on a number of significant UK accounts, mostly in the manufacturing and retail industries.

She also has experience working in the life sciences sector and supporting university spin out businesses and has a passion for innovation and research and development.

Ian is currently Managing Director for Global Trade & Receivables Finance at HSBC UK, a role in which he helps support UK businesses that are looking to expand on an international scale.

He has more than twenty years’ experience working in trade finance and has been with HSBC since 2008, and previously was Regional Sales Director of International Banking Services at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Chair of GBSLEP, Tim Pile, said: “Louise, Christine, Ewa and Ian are fantastic additions to GBSLEP’s board, and all bring great experience and diverse skillsets to an already strong set of directors. We’re looking forward to working alongside them as we look to accelerate economic recovery post Covid-19 and to come back even stronger.

“We are undoubtedly in challenging times and the pandemic has impacted much of our business community throughout the region. However, there are also opportunities to create sustainable and inclusive economic growth. It’s paramount that we have a breadth of expertise and experience on the GBSLEP board so that we can share the best advice to support businesses and industries of all sizes.

“We’d also like to thank Simon Marks and Pat Hanlon for their hard work and dedication during their terms and are excited to see the continued success and progress of the work they have done for businesses in the region.”

The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest. It is home to over two million people, an estimated 1,038,000 jobs, and an economy worth £46.8bn.

For more information about GBSLEP, visit