A BUSINESSWOMAN who has worked all over the globe is the new chair of North East England Chamber of Commerce’s area committee for Hartlepool.

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’ of her senior management experience in the 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.

As part of this work, together with partners, Gill is spearheading an EU funding roadshow for SMEs to ensure they know about investment support opportunities which run until 2021. The event takes place on October 3 at the Enterprise Centre on Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool. There is also a chamber breakfast area meeting for Hartlepool on October 4 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 North-East England community. We’re unique here but we need to be part of the broader region and use the Chamber to influence policy and keep abreast of the multitude of issues at present.”

Gill’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 County 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 geographical 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.

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 subsequently achieved her doctorate at Teesside University and is publishing a book on gender, leadership and creativity.

Her research is incorporated into her work and helps individuals and organisations to develop and breakdown stereotypes that can hold individuals back from meeting their full potential. She developed her theories working with an artistic company run by Lawrence Olivier’s son, Richard, called Mythodrama.

Gill’s Artistry in Leadership business has been running for three years and has client list of corporate and private individuals including a local fire service and a large county council.

Five minutes with... Gill Danby.

Your favourite place in the North-East?

Beamish Museum, I love it.

Your first job and what did you get paid?

Working for Hartlepool Council, £836 a year as a trainee accountant.

Your worst job?

Working for Cleveland County Council when the children’s services scandal broke, it was a very difficult time.

What would you cook for dinner for me?

My "world famous" gourmet fish pie.

What would your ideal superpower be?

To create more peaceful times in the world.

Four people you would like to invite for dinner?

Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Milligan, Winston Churchill and suffragette Millicent Fawcett.

Who do you follow on twitter?

I follow a few politicians to try and understand why they are getting votes.

Your favourite book?

Leadership Plain and Simple.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

Successfully completing my doctorate.

What is your favourite animal?

My dog, a pug called Frankie after the pug in the film Men in Black.

Is there anyone famous in your phone?

No, but I have danced with Wayne Sleep, met Whoopi Goldberg and Justin Trudeau.

Who was the last band you saw live?

Bon Jovi in Liverpool.

Your perfect night in?

Me and my husband, me cooking and him pouring the wine whilst we chat and listen to music.

In another life what would you be?

A lawyer as I’m passionate about social justice.

What irritates you?

People using their phones in the car.

Do you have a secret talent?

I can tap dance and play the ukulele – not at the same time!