CBI appoints new Northern Ireland chair

The leading voice of business in Northern Ireland has appointed SHS Group CEO Elaine Birchall MBE as its new chair

By Claire Cartmill
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 10:16 am

CBI Northern Ireland has appointed SHS Group CEO Elaine Birchall MBE as its new chair from July 1 2022.

She succeeds Adrian Doran, Barclays head of Corporate Banking (NI), who will now assume the post of CBI Northern Ireland vice chair until the end of 2022.

Elaine is recognised as one of the most respected CEOs in NI and brings a wealth of experience to CBI NI. She joined SHS Group as CEO in 2015. SHS Group has been operating in NI for 40 years and has grown its turnover to £655 million, employing over 1,200 people throughout the UK and Ireland.

New CBI NI chair Elaine Birchall MBE and CBI NI director Angela McGowan

Before joining SHS Group, Elaine held management and leadership roles in Europe, the USA and South Pacific for Colgate Palmolive. She previously led PZ Cussons UK as managing director and managed operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya as area director for PZ Cussons Africa.

Elaine has served as CBI NI vice chair since January 2021 and formerly held a three-year term as a member of the CBI NI Council (January 2017 – December 2019). Elaine is also a board member of Business in the Community. In June 2021, Elaine was awarded an honorary MBE as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to economic development in NI.

CBI NI director, Angela McGowan, said: “A massive congratulations to Elaine on her appointment as CBI Northern Ireland chair.

“She brings an abundance of professional experience at such a critical time for NI business – who are looking to lift their gaze beyond the pandemic, move beyond the cost-of-living crisis, and ensure lasting economy recovery takes hold.

New CBI NI chair Elaine Birchall MBE

“Elaine’s experience in diverse international markets and strong member insight will be invaluable in the CBI’s mission to represent the views of businesses of all shapes and sizes to policymakers.

“I also want to take this moment to express our sincere gratitude to Adrian Doran for his leadership over the past two and a half years. As we navigate one of the most challenging periods in memory, his thoughtfulness, wisdom and verve have been essential. We’re delighted he has agreed to assume the role of CBI NI vice chair.”

Elaine Birchall, chair of CBI Northern Ireland, added: “There is such a wealth of talent and enterprise in NI and, by speaking with one voice, businesses can continue to optimise and influence outcomes for our society. I am committed to ensuring CBI continues to play an integral role in creating a thriving NI economy to benefit everyone.

“Throughout the pandemic, the CBI has led the way in terms of working with business and government to support companies. We will continue to act as an agent of change as we look at investment in innovation, skills and sustainability. These are the foundations on which we can build a competitive, dynamic, future-focused NI economy for the decade ahead.”

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