A Hartlepool businesswoman who has worked all over the globe is the new chair of North East England Chamber of Commerce’s area meetings for the town.
Gill Danby grew up on Hartlepool’s headland and is the owner and Director of a leadership and coaching company called Artistry in Leadership. This business is built on over 30 years’ experience of her senior management experience in North East and Canadian public sector organisations.
She was keen to take up the Chamber role as she is passionate about helping Hartlepool’s entrepreneurs succeed and create an even more dynamic business environment.
She said: “Every day I come across some amazing people in my hometown but there wasn’t that many opportunities for us to get together to share ideas and really punch above our weight. I’m delighted to be chairing the Chamber’s Hartlepool meetings so we ensure the town’s business views are fed into the Chambers policy campaigns.”
As part of this work, together with partners, Gill is currently organising an EU funding roadshow for SMEs to ensure they know about investment support opportunities which run until 2021. The event takes place on 3 October at the Enterprise Centre on Brougham Terrace. There is also a Chamber breakfast area meeting for Hartlepool on 4 October at the Grand Hotel.
She said: “I’m a ‘Poolie’ through and through. Wherever I’ve worked, my heart has never left Hartlepool. Through my Chamber role and my business I want people to feel inspired, supported and connected to the wider NE England community. We’re unique here but we need to be part of the broader region as well and use the Chamber to influence and keep abreast of the multitude of issues at present.”
Gill Danby’s career started as a trainee accountant for Hartlepool Borough Council and she worked there for 14 years before being appointed a senior manager for a range of North East Councils including Middlesbrough and Sunderland. She also had responsibility for a wide range of services at North Yorkshire Council before moving to Canada in 2007 to be with her partner, now husband, Russ.
Shortly after settling in Alberta, Canada she joined a Health Region as Chief Finance Officer and was then promoted to Vice President of the whole Alberta Health Services, which covered a population area greater than the whole UK.
Her Canadian career culminated in being appointed Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of the Banff School of Fine Arts, a prestigious University, based in the Rocky Mountains.
Three years of studying for her doctorate while working full time, coupled with her first grandson being born in the UK, meant the time was right for a return to Hartlepool to complete her studies. Gill Danby subsequently achieved her Doctorate at Teesside University and is publishing a book of the research learning from a practical perspective on gender, leadership and creativity.She has two sons Shaun and Kevin, two daughter-in-laws, Heather and Samantha, and now has four grandchildren, Liam, Jackson, Charlie and Isabelle.