New BALI chairman Robert Field pledges to champion domestic landscapers

New BALI chairman Robert Field has pledged to personally champion domestic landscapers during his two-year tenure.

New BALI chair and vice chair: Robert Field (left) and Paul Downer
New BALI chair and vice chair: Robert Field (left) and Paul Downer

Taking up the role at the BALI annual general meeting at IoG Saltex this week, Field, who runs Robert Field Landscapes in Cornwall, said that the improving market presented a challenge in recruiting skilled staff and maintaining high standards.

He thanked immediate past chairman Chris Carr and vice chairman Paul Cowell for their "major contribution to the success of the association" in recent years. Carr remains on the board, while Cowell has stepped down, along with board member Terry Drew. They were replaced by garden designer Janine Pattison and Nigel Bowcock, of Acre Landscapes.

Speaking after his election, he 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."

More than 50 members attended the AGM to hear about BALI performance and future plans, including the launch of a new website and membership management system.

BALI chief operations officer Wayne Grills said the association was in a strong financial position and had developed increased collaborative working with industry bodies, greater promotion of members to their target markets and strong growth in membership numbers in the year 2013/14.

He also outlined changes to the staff structure and relocation to new offices on Stoneleigh Park.

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