The wonder women of the IAI at Institute Awards

  • 17 May 2018

All of the winners at this year’s IAI Awards were female architectural ironmongers, the first time this has happened in the Institute’s history.

The best industry professionals and most promising newcomers in the international door hardware industry were recognised at an Institute of Architectural Ironmongers’ (IAI) awards ceremony on 28 April.

The IAI Fellowship Award is given to a person showing a longstanding and continued commitment to the IAI over at least a decade, who is still actively involved within the industry and Institute.

This year’s winner was Teresa McQuay, managing director at JEB Supplies, who was presented with the Fellowship Award for her dedication to staff training and development via the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers’ (GAI) education programme.

After completing the GAI Diploma and becoming a Registered Architectural Ironmonger (RegAI) in 2005, reaching the highest level of professionalism in the door hardware industry, Teresa continued to work closely with the GAI, encouraging people to gain the globally recognised qualification. All members of customer facing staff at Teresa’s company now hold the GAI Diploma.

The Royde & Tucker-sponsored Paul Lewis Award for Customer Service, given an individual, group or company who has made an outstanding commitment to customer services throughout the year, went the way of Sarah Lewis, specification manager at Lorient.

Her commitment to educating customers on the importance of fire door hardware saw her scoop this award; part of this involves visiting architects, specifiers and builders’ merchants nationwide, delivering CPD presentations.

The GAI Award for Services to the Institute, always awarded to a current IAI member making a recent and visible contribution at branch level, went to Amanda Haley, technical and marketing director at Ian Firth Hardware.

Amanda has been involved with both the Institute and the Guild since 2001; upon completing her GAI Diploma, she became a member of the north west IAI branch and has been delivering CPD presentations to its members for more than 10 years. Amanda is now chair of the branch.

The Promising Ironmonger of the Year award went to Samantha Thatcher, office and marketing manager at SDS London. Awarded to an ironmonger in the early stages of their career, they could be involved in scheduling, estimating, sales or a combination of them all, also recognising the charisma and personality they have to inspire others.

Samantha joined SDS London in 2011 with no knowledge of ironmongery but has since demonstrated her commitment to learning by recently completing the GAI Diploma and regularly attending IAI branch meetings.

Samantha is now the customer service office manager in charge of a team of six, whilst maintaining the social media and email marketing of the company.

Jo Milne-Rowe, the newly appointed chair of the IAI, commented: “Year upon year we see the remarkable levels of commitment shown by the Institute members. It is a joy to celebrate the outstanding individuals that we have in our industry and use them to give the next generation of ironmongers something to aspire to.”

The above image shows, from left to right, Teresa McQuay, Samantha Thatcher, Amanda Haley and Maria Powell (on behalf of Sarah Lewis).

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