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Gloucestershire Business News

New non-executive directors appointed to Business West board

Three fresh faces have joined the board of Business West to help lead the business representative organisation throughout 2021 and beyond.

Following a challenging year for the business community, Ade Adebayo, Martin Shelford and Poku Osei will bring a wealth of talent and experience to a board made up senior business figures from across the region.

The successful candidates were selected with the help of BeOnBoard, who managed the recruitment process and enabled Business West to access a wide talent pool representing the full range of our region's business communities.

The successful candidates joining the Business West board are:

Ade Adebayo, an audit senior manager at Nationwide who also serves as an independent member of the Audit Committee of Bristol City Council. He enjoys coaching, mentoring and inspiring individuals to become the best version of themselves, and is a mentor with a local Bristol charity that supports ex-offenders in reintegrating effectively into society.

Martin Shelford, co-owner of Rocko, a consultancy working with tech SMEs, and comes with a host of experience within retail, supply chain and tech. He is passionate about diversity and inclusion, the South West and working with companies to adapt and thrive in the challenging world in which we operate.

Poku Osei, an entrepreneur with a host of skills and experience across many sectors in Bristol and the South West at board and consultancy level. He is the founder and CEO of Babbasa, which supports underrepresented young people in the UK, and has many personal awards for the work he has done for communities, diversity and inclusion.

Business West managing director Phil Smith said: "The world is changing dramatically, and our board is very conscious that to remain credible and effective, Business West needs to know what's going on in all parts of our business community: their concerns and hopes. We need to be able to support and respond. We manage to reach out, through many great projects, deep into our communities, but sometimes struggle to truly interpret and/or act on the messages we are getting. Too often we end up prioritising what we already know and care about.

"Historically, Business West has drawn its selection of Non-Executive Directors from our extensive, but usual, range of contacts. This time around we were determined both to avoid this echo chamber by prospecting in new pools, and also to take care to properly describe the talents we were looking to recruit.

"Recruiting in your own image is a very difficult instinct to break. However, whilst all seven shortlisted were outstanding, three, we felt, really suited our board's current needs. We ended up making offers to three candidates, as we thought each brought something extra that our current board doesn't possess. I'm pleased to say all have accepted and will join our board meeting in January."

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