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Your Board, Your Team

The BPMA is powered by a team of committed board directors.

The BPMA is more than 50 years old, and like many membership organisations, its longevity and success is built on a team that combines a full-time secretariat and aboard that pulls together the great and the good of the industry.

The BPMA’s board is made up of a dozen industry players, who between them represent years of experience in promotional merchandise and its various associated services. The board is drawn from a broad range of the industry suppliers and distributors to ensure it represents its members faithfully. The board members give their time freely, and as such really are giving something back to the industry.

“BPMA Members may think that what the board gets up to is a bit of a mystery,” says BPMA chairman, Graeme Smith. “However, the fact is that they are a hardworking bunch of individuals who have the interests of the industry at heart. Given the industry that we work in, they are also very approachable and responsive to the concerns of members. That’s actually one of the
key requirements aboard director, so when you meet a director, it’s important that you provide them with feedback on how the BPMA is doing. It’s your association, and the directors are its eyes and ears.”

So, what do directors actually do, and how can you become one?

Roles and responsibility

The BPMA board has four broad areas. Firstly, it establishes the vision, mission and values of the organisation, to establish what it is for and what it needs to do. It reviews these on an ongoing basis.

It determines the BPMA’s strategy, looking at present and future opportunities, threats and risks to the industry. It considers strategic options that need to be pursued and ensures that the BPMA’s organisational structure and capabilities are up to the task of implementing these strategies.

Delegation is another important task of the board. Subcommittees and task forces undertake particular activities and manage, monitor and evaluate the implementation of policies, strategies and action plans.

Overall, the board must exercise accountability to members and be responsible to relevant stakeholders. This means finding out, and considering, the interests of BPMA members, and communicating effectively what it is doing on their behalf, as well as ensuring financial controls are in place.

Who’s on the board?

The board is comprised of the chairman, currently Graeme Smith, who holds the post for two years, supported by a president and vice chairman. There is no maximum number of directors who can serve on the board, and directors are appointed by election of the membership.

The board is re-elected every year at the BPMA annual general meeting (AGM). There is no set term of office so directors can stay on the board for as long as they arere-elected.

How committed are they?

Each board director is required to attend at least four board meetings over the course of the year to be eligible for re-election. Board meetings will be attended by the director general and occasionally members of the secretariat. Reports and updates will be presented by the sub-committees together with a financial report or statement and will be discussed along with
any issues of the day.

A quorum of five directors, including at least one of the chairman, vice-chairman or president, is required for a board meeting.

How do you become a board director?

There are two main ways. You can either express an interest to the director general or chairman or be recruited pro-actively. This means that you may be approached and asked to join the board, based on the skills that the BPMA requires at any given time. Members should have at least five years industry experience and will be interviewed to check their suitability and experience.

What if you’ve never been a director before?

An induction programme is in place to enable new directors to become familiar with their roles and responsibilities, and the way in which the BPMA operates. A would-be director can also attend a meeting before committing to their appointment.

The induction provides lots of useful information, resources and introductions. They are also assigned a mentor for their first year.

Why We Serve

Neal Beagles, Roantree

Q. Why did you join?
A. Because I realised that if I wanted anything to change in our industry I needed to step up and help create that change.

Q. How long have you been on the board?
A. Over 10 years.

Q. What is your remit?
A. I am responsible for the events programme and our interaction with other European bodies and associations.

Q. What have you found most interesting or challenging?
A. Learning to see and understand other perspectives on an issue.

Brian Hayward, Page Partnership

Q. Why did you join?
A. I thought I could make a difference and thought that catalogue groups should be represented on the board.

Q. How long have you been on the board?
A. Two or three years.

Q. What is your remit?
A. Officially, it’s membership

Q. What have you found most interesting or challenging?
A. Working with a great bunch of people. I don’t always agree with them but they all believe.

Clive Allcott, Screenworks

Q. Why did you join?

A. I joined the BPMA to assist in its goal of becoming the ‘Stamp to Trust’ as the leading promotional body in the £1 billion pound UK and Ireland promotional products industry. With similar beliefs in education and innovation, I am confident of making a solid contribution to achieving the BPMA goals and objectives going forward.

Q. How long have you been on the board?
A. Eight months.

Q. What is your remit?
A. Clothing sector.

Q. What have you found most interesting or challenging?
A. The creations of the Branded Clothing Group, a collective of industry clothing experts from manufacturers, wholesales and decorators, all with a similar goal to promote branded clothing.

Andrew Hill, Senator

Q. Why did you join?
A. I was asked to. Actually, I could have said no but, then again, I couldn’t. It was a volatile period where the direction of the industry was beginning to fragment. I saw the deep-rooted commitment of the board, and knew I had to contribute.

Q. How long have you been on the Board?
A. Well, after eight years I stood down, thinking it was the right thing to do – fresh blood and all that. Graeme and Angela convinced me otherwise, and after a year or two out, I rejoined last Autumn.

Q. What is your remit?
I am passionate about raising standards within our particular niche of the advertising industry. It is vital for the mid- to long-term future of our discipline, that promotional products and their service providers receive the recognition they deserve in terms of marketing investment across the board. In many ways that can be quite challenging. Consequently, I am involved with conduct, compliance and the Charter programme, as well as the BPMA Supplier Group which was formed at the end of last year.

Q. What have you found most interesting or challenging?
A. Seeing the BPMA go from strength to strength in the way it serves the industry. It has come a long way in the past 10-15 years and is now a recognisable symbol of best practice and aspirational achievement. Undoubtedly, our sector has benefitted enormously from its input.

Malcolm Garnett, Brandz

Q. Why did you join?
A. I have nearly 30 years in promotional merchandise. With this wealth of experience, I felt that I had something of a unique perspective and wanted to share that and make a difference.

Q. How long have you been on the Board?
A. I’m enjoying my second year on the Board

Q. What is your remit?

A. I am responsible for end user engagement. To this end I have assembled a great team as a task force to investigate ways of engaging with clients. The remit is to reinforce the necessity, benefit and wisdom of only buying product from a BPMA member. Vehicles such as PPW (Promotional Products Week) have been very successful in the past and we are looking att new and innovative activity in the coming months.

Q. What have you found most interesting or challenging?
A. So much! Giving back to this wonderful industry that has given me so much over that past three decades; being able to have some influence in shaping the way we move forward in ever-changing times and engaging with all levels of the industry. Simply put – making a difference!

You can find the full list of the BPMA board members on

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