New Chief Executive appointed at GAI

  • 27 Nov 2020

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) has appointed Simon Forrester as its new Chief Executive; his career started in the NHS, moving into senior management roles in professional institutions and trade associations more than 25 years ago.

Simon (pictured) has held leadership roles in the healthcare, business tourism, jewellery and construction sectors, including five years as chief executive of the Association of Interior Specialists (now FIS) and over seven years as chief executive of the British Pest Control Association.

His most recent role has been as chief executive of the National Association of Jewellers, the UK’s leading jewellery trade association that also incorporates the Institute of Registered Valuers.

He is also a director of the Institute of Association Leadership, the professional network for chief executives within the UK’s membership sector.

Simon was named Trade Association Chief Executive of the Year in 2016. He has an award-winning track record of delivering increased membership benefits, including improvements to training, governance, codes of conduct and best practice in business management.

He also has an MBA from Birmingham City University, specialising in association development and innovation in not-for-profits.

Julian Newman, president of the GAI, said: “The GAI has spent this year focusing its work on boosting membership benefits, shaping technical and regulatory policy, increasing skills and competence in the sector, and promoting the vital value that GAI and IAI members deliver to the construction supply chain.

“With Simon at the helm, we know that this work will accelerate and move to a higher level, helping to support members through another year of significant change.

“Simon brings not only experience, enthusiasm and drive to this role but also the proven ability to drive positive transformation in membership organisations.

“He is the perfect person to lead us into 2021 and the recovery of our industry post-Brexit and Covid-19, and I am looking forward to introducing him to all members over the coming weeks.”

Simon Forrester commented: “I am honoured and excited to be appointed CEO of the GAI and to work with the very experienced Executive Committee, dedicated staff and committed industry members of the organisation.

“I look forward to working closely with all members to create and deliver integrated services that meet their needs. My key priorities are to learn more about our membership, engage them with compelling benefits, work with the whole door hardware industry to advance the cause of our sector, and develop our team to address the challenges we face in the years ahead.”

One of Simon’s earliest duties will also be the preparation of the GAI’s revitalised brand and relaunched events in 2021. He takes over the GAI’s most senior executive role from Angie Corkhill, who had led the GAI for the last three years.

Visit the GAI website

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