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Hilary is an entrepreneur, commentator, and award-winning businesswoman who, by launching Pall-Ex, not only created a business network that now commands revenues of £100 million, but revolutionised the pallet distribution industry in the UK. Launched in 1996, Pall-Ex brings together dozens of independent regional hauliers within the Pall-Ex network. Its HQ and main hub – located near Coalville in Leicestershire – receives as many as 17,000 pallets of goods a day, filling up to 350 lorries which then transport the freight to regional depots throughout the country.
Hilary Devey has had regular appearances on UK TV, and in 2008 appeared on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire programme, visiting the Falinge estate in Rochdale and donating more than £100,000 to a local hospice and community centre.
She later appeared on The Business Inspector on Channel 5 in March 2010. It was a four-part series that saw her use her business acumen and expertise by helping transform struggling small businesses into successful profitable companies. She helped their owners improve their customer service, cash flow and marketing strategies.
As a keen campaigner for entrepreneurship in all of its forms, Devey has recently utilised her media presence to support a number of campaigns to develop entrepreneurship in the UK. As a consequence of her work as Channel 5’s Business Inspector, Devey has invested in a company which specialises in the creation of unique decorations for weddings and corporate events called Wow Table Art.
In 2009, Hilary made history as the first ever woman to be presented with the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport’s most prestigious accolade, the Sir Robert Lawrence Award.
In February 2011, Devey joined the panel on BBC Two’s programme Dragons’ Den following the departure of James Caan. On the program she popularised her expression, “you would make my foot itch”, to indicate dissatisfaction or disinterest in a venture.
Devey also campaigns tirelessly for various charities including The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, for whom she became a patron in 2007. Devey launched the Penny-A-Pallet scheme, which sees a charitable contribution made for every Pall-Ex pallet processed.
Devey is also a regular on the public speaking circuit. Because of her successes she is a much sough after speaker on topics relating to business and entrepreneurship.