Paula Cain, Halton Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise chief executive, is to leave the Chamber at the end of July after seven years at the helm, the Chamber announced today.

Her replacement has been confirmed as marketing and business specialist, Rachael Owen, who currently works as a business Growth Hub broker on behalf of Halton Borough Council and Halton Chamber of Commerce. She will take up her new position in August.

Paula Cain joined the Chamber in 2010 from Knowsley Chamber of Commerce where she held a similar position. Since then she has proved herself a highly effective, popular leader and Dr Peter Cook, chairman of Halton Chamber, believes many people in the local business community will be saddened by her departure.

He said: “During Paula’s seven years at Halton Chamber, she has worked unstintingly to develop its role and put it on a more secure financial footing. She has driven up its reputation within the Halton business community and with regional stakeholders, and has led the organisation through some very difficult challenges.

“The Chamber has benefitted greatly from her skills, experience, hard work, leadership and drive. The membership has grown significantly, we have more services and support available to local businesses, and at the start of this month, the 2017 Halton Business Awards were held at a glittering event in Halton Stadium, attended by a record 310 people, all celebrating the success of local business – a tremendous testament to what she has achieved.

“We know Paula has still to confirm her future plans but whatever direction she takes, we all wish her every success and happiness for the future.”

Rachael Owen brings considerable experience and expertise to her new role. She holds an MBA from Manchester Metropolitan University and a post graduate, marketing diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Her cv includes working as an advisor with Business Link, marketing manager with IDG Media, college lecturer and business growth manager with Grant Thornton.

Dr Cook added: We are delighted to welcome Rachael Owen as Paula’s successor. Rachael has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors, working in marketing, account  management and business growth. The Chamber’s Executive Group interviewed Rachael and were extremely impressed with her skills, knowledge, experience, ability, desire and enthusiasm to build on Paula’s work and take the Chamber forward. We are looking forward to working with her.”

(Picture shows l to r new Chief Executive Rachael Owen, Chamber Chairman Dr. Peter Cook and outgoing Chief Executive Paula Cain)