01 July 2012
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Geraldine makes history at CBM

Britain's biggest industrial trade association has awarded its top job to a highly respected employee and is celebrating the first time in its long history that the organisation has been headed up by a woman.

Operations director Geraldine Bolton has taken charge of the West Bromwich-based Confederation of British Metalforming (CBM), which traces its origins back to the early 1900s. The appointment came after the CBM executive board agreed unanimously that she was far better qualified than any external candidate.

"I really couldn't be more pleased or more proud. You'll never find anyone more passionate about the CBM, or more committed to its success, so it really is my dream job," said Bolton. "I was quite content being the company secretary, when my boss suggested I should top up my qualifications by taking a degree in business management and I completed my studies with Essex University last year.

"I thought when I graduated that I might have a chance to play a different role, as the CBM was going through a strategic review of its operations, but I honestly didn't believe I'd end up being asked to take charge," she added.

A review was carried out by acting chief executive Dennis Kent, a long-time CBM board member who had time on his hands, after selling his Leicester-based Carlton Laser business to a buy-out team.

"One of the critical challenges was to look at which of the staff could take on new responsibilities, and we were all really impressed by Geraldine, in terms of experience, and nous and personality," he said.

Bolton has already put strategic proposals to the CBM board, concerning a raft of new external partnerships and alliances, and admits she can't wait to begin driving them forward.

"I've always had lots of ideas about how we could work better, for ourselves and for our members, and doing the research for my dissertation really crystallised my thinking," she admitted.

Author
Paul Gay

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