Representing all corners of the United Kingdom, here is our distinguished judging panel for the Builders' Merchants Awards 2020.
Robin has 30 years’ experience in the industry, from Trading Director for invoice-clearing house United Merchants PLC to suppliers such as Hunter Plastics Ltd. Consequently, he acquired an insight into the merchant market that led him to eventually form The IPG. Robin founded The IPG in 2013 with the aim to support small independent plumbing, heating and bathroom specialists with growth and development. In 7 years, he has developed The IPG into the biggest and fastest-growing membership group in the sector, employing 17 staff, working with 100+ suppliers and has over 200-member outlets with a combined turnover in excess of £400m. Robin’s never-ending passion is for independent businesses, helping them to grow and develop. He lives on the south-coast with his wife and two daughters.
Ken is the Managing Director of London based Fayers Plumbing and Building Ltd and their Just Add Water showroom brand. He also supports the FORTIS Buying group as the Catergory Director for Showering. Ken has over 20+ years of experience in the industry and has held Senior Directors positions with the Marleton Cross Ltd (MX Group), Culligan International and Robert Lee Distribution.
Brian Berry is Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders. Prior to his current position Brian was Director of External Affairs at the FMB with responsibility for UK and EU policy, public affairs and media relations. Before the FMB, he worked at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), where he was Head of UK Public Policy. Brian regularly provides commentary on construction issues for TV, Radio, national and trade press.
Allan Durning is an independent consultant on the Building Materials space and founder of the Timber Buying Group; previously he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent UK Building Material Supplier, National Buying Group. Previously Mr. Durning was the Director of Sales and Marketing of British Gypsum Isover, a UK based firm owned by Saint Gobain, providing Glasswool Insulation. Prior, he was the Director of Builder Center Bulk, the major contractor and house builder division of Wolseley. He has over 30 years of experience in distribution and manufacturing of building materials. He has extensive experience in operations, marketing and sales. Mr Durning is a Chartered Marketer of the Institute of Marketing, Fellow of both CIM and CMI. He was President of the Institute of Builders Merchants and is a Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants (WCBM).
Kishor, a qualified chartered accountant, has held senior executive leadership roles in global multinational organisations and has lived and worked in a variety of different countries and cultures. He has successfully led teams and delivered business results across multiple disciplines including Business Development & Commercial, Finance & Systems, Business Improvement, IT, Safety, Divestments and Programme Management Offices. Currently a finance and strategy director at IBC Buying Group.
Chris Hayward has been Managing Director of NMBS for over 17 years, in which time it has grown to be the largest buying society for Independent Building, Plumbing, Hardware & Timber Merchants in the UK, with an annual turnover of over £1.7bn, with over 1100 members and 3400 branches. In addition, he was elected President of EURO-MAT, the leading European cooperation of independent builders merchants in 2015.
John has led the BMF, the trade association for the building materials supply chain, since 2012. During his tenure he has overseen the introduction of initiatives that have broadened its relevance and appeal and the BMF has grown in member numbers and influence to become the voice of the merchant industry. John is the current President of UFEMAT, the European trade body for the merchant industry, and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants. He received the Trade Association Forum’s prestigious Leadership Award in 2019.
Yvonne Orgill has over 30 years’ experience in the UK bathroom Industry and is well recognised as a leader and influencer. She has held the position of Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) since 2006, having joined the Association as an information assistant in 1986.
Mike Rigby has played a major role in launching the Awards judging process 19 years ago and has made MRA Marketing a strategic PR, creative marketing & insights agency, specialising for 25+ years in construction, building materials and home improvements. No.1 in the Construction Marketing Award agency league for helping its customers grow, MRA devises winning strategies and builds brands, so customers grow much faster than their competitors.
David trained as a mechanical engineer with London Brick, and then moved into general management under Hanson. In his early career he worked in Iran and Swaziland, project managing the construction of new brick plants. David spent a short period with ARC in both concrete pipes and aggregates, before becoming MD of Desimpel in Belgium. He then moved back to the UK as MD of Hanson Brick, and then Hanson Building Products. Builders merchants formed a large proportion of his customer base and consequently he has a good knowledge of the sector. David retired from full time employment in 2009, but retains an involvement with the sector as Chairman of NBG.
Dame Fiona Woolf is the Master of the Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants. She has been a member of its Court for over a decade. An energy and infrastructure lawyer by background, she has been working on the low carbon transition in the electricity industry since the mid-90s. As Master, she has been an advocate for education and training as well as the role that the industry is able to play in caring for the environment and increasing resource efficiency. Building on the work of her predecessors as Master, as well as our experience as Lord Mayor of London in 2013/14, she has been raising the profile of the industry and of the Company.