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A Tribute to David Chambers

david chambersPeter Matthews CMG, Past President and Honorary Member of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, has issued the following statement paying tribute to David Chambers.

"David Chambers, DC as he was known to his many friends has sadly passed away very peacefully on May 26th after a prolonged battle with Parkinsons Disease at the age of 70.

He was a lead personality in the Chamber movement in the West Midlands. DC was well liked and respected by all during his time at Birmingham Chamber and then, of course, at the Black Country Chamber as Chief Executive.  

DC joined the Black Country Chamber at a time of some turbulence within the organisation. He had a job on his hands! But, as usual, he put his mind to the task of setting a steady course, the result of which still resounds around us today.

On taking up his position, he and I agreed that the way forward was for him to manage the chamber affairs and I would lead up front (as President for Black Country Chamber of Commerce) to raise and correct our profile. The two of us, supported by the board and staff, started to rebuild and strengthen the Chamber.

David was the most capable and affable person I have ever worked with, and we became good friends during the process. Something that we carried forward from his days as International Director in Birmingham where he led the way in raising the profile of the West Midlands manufacturing sector through the creation of the Midlands World Trade Forum, with some 820 members at its peak.

During the three or so years DC was at our chamber, our success grew as did our membership. Our finances were also put back in good order. This all due to DC's capable management and ability to work well with others. Though he sometimes kept a relatively low profile, the power of his ability shone through, impressing those around him to the point that we could see success in front of us.

As my Presidency eventually started to come to a close, DC came to me and told me that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and, that he would like to retire to spend time with his wife, Lesley. We, and many others I know kept in touch with him, something I know that he really appreciated.

David Chambers’ background in business goes back more than 40 years. The son of a coffee farmer in East Africa, he worked abroad for 30 years in civil engineering and management.

His globetrotting took in spells in the Middle East, Africa, South America, Japan, Italy and the US, working for, among others, Tarmac, on projects including naval bases, hotels and housing developments. He later spent eight years in management in Angola.

This very respected man will be greatly missed. The Black Country Chamber, as I have said, is what it is today, down to his ability to manage difficult situations and to rebuild.

Our sympathy goes out to Lesley and his family."

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