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BALI members elect new National Chairman

Robert Field, a long-standing contracting member of the British Association of Landscape Industries, has been elected as the Association’s National Chairman, taking over from Q Lawns’ Chris Carr who remains on the Board as Immediate Past Chairman. Board member Paul Downer of Oak View Landscapes takes up the post of Vice Chairman/Chair Elect.

Members at the National AGM, held at Saltex on 3rd September, also elected two new Board members – BALI Registered Designer Janine Pattison and Nigel Bowcock, owner and managing director of BALI Registered Contractor Acre Landscapes. They replace Paul Cowell, who has stepped down after serving on the BALI Board through a period of change and development at the Association, and Terry Drew.

Over 50 members attended the AGM to hear from their elected officers about BALI’s performance over the past year and its plans for the future, including the imminent launch of a bespoke website and membership management system. In a presentation delivered after the official business of the meeting, BALI’s Chief Operations Officer Wayne Grills highlighted the achievements of the Association during the year 2013/14, which included a strong financial position, increased collaborative working with industry bodies, greater promotion of members to their target markets and strong growth in membership numbers. Changes to the staff structure at Landscape House to better serve the membership, and a successful relocation to new premises on Stoneleigh Park, were also cited as important milestones in BALI’s plan for continued growth.

On assuming his role as National Chairman, Robert Field thanked Chris Carr and Paul Cowell for their major contribution to the success of the Association in recent years. He also stated that he would personally champion BALI’s domestic landscapers, ensuring that their businesses were supported and actively promoted by BALI.

Speaking after his election, Robert said: “I have been a BALI member for 28 years and a Board member for over five and I am very proud to have been elected National Chairman. I look forward to continuing to work with the BALI Board on behalf of our membership during the two years of my tenure and will do my utmost to ensure BALI continues to be the natural choice for landscape professionals. As the economy strengthens our members’ order books are filling up; the main challenge now is to ensure that the high standards that BALI has been instrumental in raising over the past 40 plus years are maintained and that we have sufficient trained and skilled staff to meet the demand.”

Robert recently moved to Cornwall and has changed the focus of his landscaping business, Robert Field Landscapes, to allow him more time to fulfil his new role as BALI National Chairman.  With this added time, and having fulfilled the roles of Regional Chairman and Treasurer within the BALI North Thames region over a number of years previously, he also hopes to help the South West region to recruit more members and encourage greater participation within the region and nationally.

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