Russell Jeans has been appointed chief operating officer of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC). His extensive brief will now be widened to include responsibility for the Chambers’ new International Hub, which has been launched to bring together all global operations.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “Russell’s wide experience and expertise within the Chamber will now be extended to take in international operations at this important time for global trade as we approach Brexit.

“Russell has led the membership team in a phenomenal period of growth as we have developed and enhanced our membership offer backed by refreshed branding and marketing operations.

“His role will now embrace our extensive international services, in which we lead the way in offering specialist world-wide trade advice to businesses of all sizes and types.

“The division also includes our outstanding translations and export documentation departments as well as providing access to overseas contacts.”

Mr Jeans will continue his brief for membership services and he added: “I’m delighted to take on this new area of responsibility. The Chamber’s growth recently has been phenomenal and it’s important that we co-ordinate our broad portfolio of services.

“I look forward to fulfilling that role with our talented international team through business visits, trade fairs and training events as well as imparting extensive knowledge of overseas markets.”

He also spearheaded the integration of Chambers in southern Staffordshire into Greater Birmingham Chambers and has been responsible for securing for the Chambers and its partners the highly successful Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Growth Hub.

The programme has already delivered business assistance and advice for over 600 SMEs in its first year.

Financial director Mike Hibbert will continue his role of overseeing contracts relating to the Chamber’s work with the Department of International Trade (DIT) through the West Midlands Chambers LLP, based at Chamber House.

The DIT are responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us.