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18 December 2018

President foreword: Time to say goodbye

President foreword | PPC93 December 2018

Looking back at the first foreword I wrote, back in PPC88, I’m pleased to see that much of what we discussed then remains both relevant to BPCA and the wider industry now, 18 months later.

There’s also plenty that we’ve subsequently gone ahead and done.

  • Strategy – finalised, launched and shared, and now, well into the delivery phase
  • Structure – revisiting the internal structure of BPCA, now well underway, as part of the strategy work
  • Shouting about what we do – supported with the launch of BPCA Registered, as a professional development framework, while we have over 80 nominations for next year’s BPMAs
  • Engagement – my ‘word for my term in office’, which has become a key strategic thrust in our three-year strategy.

I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved together over the last year or so. When I became President there were two main accountabilities of the role:

  1. Ensure the Association has an appropriate strategy and is delivering against it
  2. Line manage the CEO, and if necessary, recruit a new one.

I have spoken before about how, within the first six months of my time as President, we were working through both of these points and I’m very pleased with how we did.

Having joined BPCA as CEO in February 2018, Ian Andrew is proving to be a perfect fit for what the Association, and industry, needs in these challenging times of further regulatory and operational constraints, and scrutiny upon both the actual and perceived value of ‘professional’ pest management. I’ve certainly valued his knowledge of the internal, national and international workings of association management, along with his considered and inclusive manner. Having spoken with a number of members and industry stakeholders, I know many of you share this view.

We continue to work through the strategy we launched at the start of the year. As I reflect upon what we put in place, I continue to believe it to be an ambitious, bold and highly relevant strategy for our members. Crucially, we’ve put the strategy at the heart of all we do, from the restructuring of Executive Board meetings around the strategy points, and board members providing oversight to each of the strategic thrusts, through to fixed agenda items on the committee agendas, to both sharing progress and capturing relevant market insight. There’s a long way to go but so far, so good.

Reflecting upon my time as President, while from the M&D community, I wonder whether the skills and experiences that I brought to the table meant that I was probably the ‘right President’ for this period in the Association’s journey – to oversee these two key activities. However, while we’re still finalising the details of a succession plan at the time of writing, I have every confidence that there is the ‘right President’ ready and waiting to lead the delivery of the strategy that we’ve put in place, and made such a good start on.

Speaking of which, I’m sure you’ll all offer your new President the same support I’ve been lucky enough to receive. With this in mind I would like to thank those who have supported me during my time at the helm – Executive Board members, and particularly the Officers, (Vice Presidents, Honorary Treasurer and Immediate Past President), who give so much to the Association, along with all of those who have served on a committee, working group or any other aspect of the governance structure.

I’d also like to thank the two CEOs I’ve worked with, Simon Forrester and Ian Andrew, for their guidance, leadership and counsel, but particularly to the members of the BPCA Staff team, whose commitment, professionalism and capacity to deliver upon our ambitious strategy, continues to amaze me – let’s not forget how lucky we are to have them.

As my time with BPCA comes to an end, I encourage you all to be proud of this industry you’re part of. After 18 years in the sector, my opinion of our industry, shared in PPC back in September 2017, still works for me…

“An industry not without its challenges but boasting good, hardworking and passionate people and, in general, a real desire to professionalise and celebrate what we do well.”
Yes, that’s right, I really did just quote myself!

But that’s what I’m going to miss most from my time in the sector – the people. We may not always agree on every last detail but, over the years, I’ve met so many within the industry who I respect greatly, as people and for what they do. And we’re lucky enough to have many of them actively engaged with BPCA.

I must confess that I’m yet to fully understand the makeup of trade associations within the new industry I’m moving to. However, the industry I leave behind has an association that will continue to deliver for its members and the wider industry, and BPCA will remain the beating heart of best practice within public health pest management for many, many years to come.

I wish you all the very best for the future.

TOM HOLMES
BPCA President
Head of Durable Product Development, Pelsis Group
president@bpca.org.uk

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Source: PPC93

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