Tributes have been paid to a director with Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce who has died aged 58 after battling cancer.
Jonathan Webber, director of international trade, joined the chamber in 1999 and was awarded an MBE for services to international trade and development in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2011.
He was then made a deputy lieutenant in the West Midlands in 2014.
Mr Webber was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2014, an illness he described as "something of a nuisance and an inconvenience".
He died peacefully at home and was with his long-time partner Kathryn Ball.
Chamber chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "Jonathan has fought a brave battle against his illness for over two years.
"He will be remembered for his dedication to international trade after criss-crossing the globe to promote UK business.
"He had a life-long relationship with Asia and Africa and was a supporter of the Liberal Democrats, having stood as a candidate in local elections.
"His expertise and character will be sorely missed by the chamber and he showed amazing courage as he fought his illness, maintaining a positive, even cheerful, attitude as he went through years of painful treatment."
Born in Watford, Mr Webber spent most of his working life involved in exports and specialised in regional SMEs, export strategy, European programmes, international trading links between the West Midlands and South Asia, East Africa and North America.
He was also director of Enterprise Europe Network (West Midlands) and Europe Direct in Birmingham.
Mr Webber was previously an adviser to the Department of Trade and Industry on trade with Greece and the Balkans and before that spent 17 years working in Athens and Salonika as a literary agent and publisher.
He became chief executive of the British Greek Chamber of Commerce in Athens.
Latterly, he helped to deliver programmes funded by the European Commission in developing economies.
Outside work, he was heavily involved in politics and was second on the Liberal Democrat MEP list for the West Midlands in the 2014 European elections.
He also had a three-year term as regional chairman of the party until 2013.
Former party leader Nick Clegg said: "It's hard to remember a time when Jonathan wasn't a big figure of the Liberal Democrat family.
"I was always grateful for the support and advice that Jonathan gave me as leader and remember fondly the enthusiasm, energy and optimism with which he always spoke up for the party.
"He was so committed to recruiting new members - and optimistically saw every new acquaintance as a likely new recruit, even when the evidence clearly suggested they were not remotely interested in politics."
The chamber's former chief executive Jerry Blackett described Jonathan as a "real one-off and a maverick".
"He was extremely well-read and educated and his interests were eclectic, from cricket to philosophy," Mr Blackett said.
"He was a maverick - I realised that he was never going to respond to traditional management. He was not one for bureaucracy or for rules.
"He never missed his targets - we were the top performing UKTI team across the country year after year. It was his intelligence and ability that enabled that - he got the best out of his team."