Birmingham business titans recognised by University for contribution to Midlands

Two influential figures from the Midlands business community are to be awarded honorary doctorates from Birmingham City University in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the region.

Posted 28 August 2022

Paul Cadman, along with Paul Faulkner, is one of the recipients.

Paul Cadman and Paul Faulkner, who have supported, developed and led businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to globally recognised brands, will receive one of the highest distinctions a university is able to confer, at a Symphony Hall Birmingham ceremony on Tuesday 30 August.

Known as ‘the quiet changemaker’ for his work behind the scenes across Birmingham and the West Midlands, Paul Cadman was awarded a Visiting Professorship by Birmingham City University’s Business School in 2019, in honour of his commitment to community and society in his home city of Birmingham.

During the Covid pandemic, Paul Cadman oversaw the commissioning and delivery of a major new mural in the city of Birmingham – created by BCU visual communications alumnus and acclaimed graffiti artist Joshua Billingham aka Gent 48 - celebrating key workers and raising thousands of pounds for the Art4Charity initiative.

The expert in entrepreneurship – who has taken businesses from conception to £100m turnover - is also Vice President of Acorns Children’s Hospice, one of Birmingham City University’s two chosen charities, and holds ambassadorial roles with EmployabilityUK, Walsall Against Single Plastic (WASUP) and Steps to Work charities.

Paul Cadman said: "To have left school struggling with education because of my then undiagnosed dyslexia and reach the point of receiving an honorary doctorate from the university for Birmingham after a journey throughout business and entrepreneurialism, really is a pinnacle of achievement for me.

“It is important, now in today’s challenging climate more than ever, that higher education and business increase their support for the charity sector in our city region, and I look forward to exploring more ways Birmingham City University can support my work in this area.”

Paul Faulkner, Chief of Staff and Operations at RCL Partners and former CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and Aston Villa Football Club, is an acclaimed business leader and chair of Sport Birmingham and Associate Non-Executive Director of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Paul Faulkner was the youngest ever Chief Executive appointed to the role of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce when he joined in summer of 2015. In this role, he oversaw major challenges including campaigning on behalf of businesses during the Covid pandemic and helping the business community to transition before and after the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The Richardson family business was founded by Roy Richardson and his late brother Don more than 70 years ago in Oldbury. The family office now operates an international real estate and growth capital investment business which has been led for the past 20 years by brothers Martyn, Lee and Carl Richardson.

Paul Faulkner said: “I am delighted and incredibly proud to have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University.

“I worked closely with the University on a number of business and civic related initiatives during my time as Chief Executive of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and always found representatives from the University to be brilliant partners, passionate about the power of education, and incredibly enthusiastic about giving their all to promote the broader interests of the city and wider region.

Over its 2022 graduation ceremonies, Birmingham City University has awarded honorary doctorates to property developer Anthony McCourt, construction expert Ann Bentley, contemporary artist Hurvin Anderson, public health director Dr Justin Varney, and fashion and retail leader Julian Dunkerton.