John Newcomb to stand for BHETA president

BHETA vice president John Newcomb has announced that he is to stand for the role of president at this year’s AGM.

John Newcomb to stand for BHETA president

Newcomb, commercial director of Imperial International, is currently vice president of the trade association and its housewares sector chairman. The AGM, set for June 3, sees the statutory two-year term of current president Andrew Weiss come to an end.

Managing director of CAT Enterprises Charles Harrison, who last year instigated the campaign to upset BHETA’s plans to merge with the British Jewellery, Giftware and Finishing Federation, has also put his name forward for the presidential position.

BHETA says that three names came forward as potential nominees for the role, following extensive discussions with members.

One was John Newcomb; the other two were Typhoon Housewares chairman Peter Battersby and T&G Woodware managing director Patrick Gardner. However, neither Battersby nor Gardner felt they had sufficient time to commit to the role, although they are willing to serve on the housewares committee and board respectively.

BHETA says Newcomb is unanimously supported in standing for president by the current DIY and housewares sector committee members and by the BHETA board.

Newcomb told that he hoped the debate over the election of president would not be dogged by personal issues.

“I’m very keen to point out that this is not one individual against another individual,” he said. “This is not about me standing against Charles. It’s very important that it’s all of the board positions we look at, not just one particular position.

“It’s now about the best group of people to move the association forward.”

And he stressed that he had not put his own name forward for the role. “I would have been quite happy to stand aside and let Peter or Patrick take up the mantle because they’re both excellent individuals,” he said.

Other members who will be standing for the most senior positions in BHETA include Gordon South, managing director of Western House, who will stand as treasurer, and Nick Ryder, managing director of Le Creuset, who will stand as vice president and housewares sector chairman.

John Grayson, managing director of Hamilton Acorn, has said he will stand for a second consecutive term as vice president and DIY sector chairman under John Newcomb’s presidency.

Current CEO David French will step down at the AGM and is not expected to be replaced in the role.

Newcomb told that BHETA is “in the process of putting together a plan on what we see as the core elements of where we see BHETA going”. He said it should be available later this week.

BHETA will be meeting with all prospective candidates during the next few weeks and subsequently be making recommendations to members.

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