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EDA welcomes 91st President, Chris Gibson

March 11, 2019

Chris Gibson (pictured left), Projects Director at Rexel UK Ltd became the EDA’s 91st President (March 2019 – March 2021), taking over the helm from BEMCO’s Simon Barkes (right).

Chris, who has a 30-year career in wholesaling and 12 of those with Rexel UK Ltd, gave this insight into the focus of his two-year Presidency,Chris Gibson gives his inaugural speech at EDA President at the EDA Annual Awards 2019

“It is a true honour to be asked to undertake this role and work with Margaret and the EDA team, as well as with members and affiliates, to develop the organisation during time of change within the industry impacted by major technological and political developments.

“During this period, the EDA will focus on developing a stronger working relationship with relevant industry bodies to develop a collaborative strategic approach to ensure all opportunities can be maximised. The EDA will support members to ensure that the electrical distributor remains a critical part of the supply chain through an omnichannel approach.

“We will ensure continued focus is given to the training and development of people at all levels of our industry to deliver the best customer experience through service, product knowledge and technological enhancements.

Strategic direction

Paying tribute to his predecessor Simon Barkes’ leadership, Chris said

“Simon has been a member of the EDA Board since 2001 and during this time has served two terms as President. Over the last two years he has led the Board and worked with Margaret to create a clear strategic direction for the organisation within the electrical industry.

“The EDA is positioned to continue to be a driving force and provide clearly defined support to its members and affiliates in a changing landscape.”

Increasing member and affiliate engagement

EDA CEO, Margaret Fitzsimons, who has led the EDA since 2014, added

“The EDA team and I look forward to working with Chris. Each new President brings fresh ideas and focus, and we’ll be developing tighter links with our Kindred Industry Associations. The key pillars of the EDA’s work will continue: ETIM, training and apprenticeships, networking events and forums, publications and support with the constant underlying goal of increasing member and affiliate engagement.”

At today’s Board meeting the EDA also welcomed Simon Booth, MD of ETC Electrical Supplies, to its management team. Simon succeeds Dave Huggin, MD of E.D.S. Electrical, as the IBA buying group’s representative. Simon is the latest new face to join the EDA Board since July 2018 when Charlie Lacey, MD at Stearn Electric Co Ltd, took over from David Schofield who retired from the sector.

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