The Institute of Directors in the West Midlands has named Beverley Nielsen as the organisation's new vice-chairman.

The former Midlands Business Woman of the Year has begun the three-year honorary role before taking over from current chairman John James.

Mr James said: "Beverley's track record in business is an enviable one and she brings a deep knowledge of the issues facing directors and their companies and great experience of the West Midlands region. It is also great that a woman with such an in-depth understanding of manufacturing, technology and international issues is ready to take over as chairman when my three-year term is over.

"From our hub in Birmingham the IoD reaches out to directors in Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and Beverley will help us to deliver more completely our regional remit."

Mrs Nielsen said: "I am delighted to be taking on this role as I am so proud of the Midlands and all our achievements.

"I look forward to working with the IoD team to ensure that we keep business competitiveness at the top of the agenda."

She has worked with Aga Foodservice Group since 2001.

In 2003 she was appointed managing director of Fired Earth, responsible for 65 stores retailing tiles, paint bathrooms and kitchens.

In 2005 Mrs Nielsen took on a new role as special projects director for Aga Group, primarily responsible for Grange UK, a French furniture manufacturer and retailer based in Lyon in which Aga Group has a majority shareholding.

She was chief executive of the Heart of England Tourist Board and spent 12 years with the CBI. Mrs Nielsen was awarded Midlands Business Woman of the Year in 1998.