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30th March 2020
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BMA celebrates three major milestones
Not one, not two, but three milestones were celebrated by the Bathroom Manufacturers Association at the industry's recent Annual Bathroom & Kitchen Business Conference.
Yvonne Orgill, BMA chief executive and Paul Massey, Group CEO of AKW and DLP Group, and current president of the Association, shared their obvious delight at reaching the three anniversaries which coincided at the event.
First up, the first milestone, was a celebration of Yvonne's 30 years' employment with the Association.
Exactly 30 years ago, the much younger Yvonne joined the office staff at the CBCSM (Council of British Ceramic Sanitaryware Manufacturers), forerunner of today's BMA.
Back then the Council, headed up by George Robinson, comprised a group of manufacturers who met to discuss how the industry was performing. Those were the days when palletising toilets rather than packing them in straw and woodwool was the major issue. So too was the proposed introduction of that mysterious, continental device called a Flushing Valve!
By 2001 it was clear that the Association needed to be re-energised with a new constitution and new mission. The new Bathroom Manufacturers Association was formed - the second milestone.
At first, the new BMA had just 15 members. Some 15 years later, the BMA has an energetic membership of 100+ brands from all parts of the industry including manufacturers, the media and allied associations.
The growth and influence of the Association really started to take off when Yvonne was appointed its CEO, exactly 10 years ago, in 2006 - the third milestone.
Yvonne set about turning the BMA from what some people had described as a "cosy gentleman's club" into a modern, pro-active and thriving "Voice of the Bathroom Industry". Her vision was to quickly expand the membership and to turn the "club" into an influential Association which both lobbied and campaigned on issues affecting the industry.
With her at the helm, the Association has doubled its staff, moved to new eco-friendly offices (not once, but twice), created and developed The Bathroom Academy, created and developed the multi award-winning European Water Label and created campaigns such as the push for policing of the latest mandatory CE Marking requirements and the campaign 'Hot Water Burns Like Fire' which is aimed at stopping scalding by hot water (www.hotwaterburns.org)
With her dedicated staff, Yvonne has taken the BMA to demonstrate at major exhibitions at both home and abroad, and she has engaged with and lobbied the UK government and European Commission on issues such as CE Marking, Designing for Life, Water Efficiency and Sustainability, Regulations and Industry Standards.
Yvonne has also created and developed the annual industry business conference, she re-established the annual industry charity golf tournament, and instigated the raising of much needed funds for worthwhile causes such as The Children's Burns Trust and Water Aid.
To celebrate the three coincidental anniversaries, Yvonne, together with Paul Massey, sliced into a huge decorated cake which was later shared amongst 200 delegates at the Conference. Later, at the event's Gala Dinner, they welcomed all of the past presidents of the Association; they had all been part of the BMA's successful journey.
"I really love our industry" commented Yvonne. "I consider myself lucky that I thoroughly enjoy my role and everything I do, and I'd like to thank the industry for giving me such a wonderful career."
As a special thank you for her work and dedication to the Association Yvonne was presented with tickets to the Wales v England Rugby Match at the Six Nations next Spring. She has a particular love of the game - but you will need to guess which team she follows!
The award-winning Bathroom Manufacturers' Association has come a long way and is now regarded as both the backbone and the nerve centre of the bathroom industry. It is also its mouthpiece - The Voice of the Bathroom Industry.
14th October 2016