People: Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce; Cube Hotel

Nasir Awan

Nasir Awan has assumed the role of President at the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce.

In his two-year term, succeeding Deb Leary, he pledges to assist businesses in “creating new opportunities locally, nationally, and internationally.”

The confirmation of his presidency took place at the GBCC’s annual general meeting held at the Edgbaston Park Hotel.

Awan serves as the CEO of Awan Marketing, an importing and wholesale company based in the Hockley area of Birmingham.

Established in 1976, the business has evolved from a small retail outlet founded by Nasir’s late father.

Today, it stands as a distributor for household brands and maintains partnerships with suppliers from Vietnam, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Korea, India, Pakistan, and Europe.

With a history of engagement with the Chamber, Awan previously served as Vice President to Deb Leary and held the position of President at the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce from 2011 to 2014.

Nasir said: “It is a great honour and a privilege to become Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce president and it is a role that comes with huge responsibility. I take over as president at a time when we are facing a lot of challenges nationally, internationally, and locally. There are a lot of challenges ahead for businesses with the cost of energy and the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East pushing prices up.

“Established businesses will have to redefine and realign their costings and overcome a number of hurdles. But we are here to offer support as a Chamber and, as president, my door will always be open for businesses to come and talk to me. I want to ensure that businesses in Greater Birmingham survive and flourish, creating new opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.”

Meanwhile, Mike Owens, the managing director of Schumacher Packaging, was confirmed as the GBCC’s new Vice President.

Owen brings over 30 years of experience in the packaging industry, holding various positions in plant management, operations, finance, and senior European leadership.

He holds an MA (Hons) degree in Economics from Edinburgh University.

He said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been elected to the position of vice president at GBCC. I look forward to closely supporting Nasir Awan in his role as president and to promoting the great work of the Chamber and the fantastic benefits membership brings.”


Birmingham’s Cube Hotel has welcomed Natalie Woon as its new managing director.

In her role, Woon will oversee the daily operations of both the hotel and the renowned Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill situated on levels 23, 24, and 25.

Natalie Woon

Acquired by the Caskade Group for £12.5m in July 2022, the venue encompasses a 52-bedroom hotel, the Marco Pierre White restaurant, private dining spaces, and cocktail lounges.

Recognised for its panoramic city views, it has established itself as a leading destination for lodging and dining in Birmingham.

She said: “The Cube Hotel as well as the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse have great reputations across the hospitality and hotel sector. It’s a phenomenal venue and is a very well-balanced business when you combine the different elements such as the hotel, meeting and events facilities, the restaurant and wedding reception offering. The views are just breathtaking and make for the perfect backdrop for any occasion.

“It has a fabulous reputation for being one of the leading boutique-style hotels in Birmingham and influences people’s decisions on where they want to stay. It’s a fabulous place to enjoy a leisurely break or rest during a business trip while its proposition is incredibly strong and is one I’ll be looking to build on over the coming months. The same goes for the Marco Pierre White restaurant and I aim to build on the strength of the team, improve service excellence and implement a natural form of hospitality where we have a guest first focus.”