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Thoughts of a CEO: The Voice of the Industry

Thoughts of a CEO: The Voice of the Industry


March has absolutely flown by, and I can’t quite believe that it is time for me to write to you all. This month has had some important stakeholder meetings that I wanted to share with you, largely because I believe it to be one of the most important facets of my role as CEO of The Giftware Association.


Part of my role is to champion the giftware industry to politicians, policymakers, media, and relevant stakeholders to ensure that our membership is heard across the UK and EU. Our members are at the heart of everything we do, which is why my being part of the policymaking conversations is so important. A key aspect of the work I do throughout the year is to work alongside policymakers and the Bank of England, to optimise the potential growth of our sector. The GA’s aim is to participate fully in all activity that is designed to achieve economic and structural reform so that businesses can survive and thrive.


I have spoken a lot, and you will see this phrase on our website, about the fact the GA exists to ensure that giftware businesses survive and thrive. But what does that really mean?


There is a reason that last year I visited 50+ industry shows and industry events: I have to be totally under the skin of the industry and understand what is happening from all angles, so that our association can steer effectively, navigate the challenges and identify the opportunities. In so doing, knowledge is power, and there are a myriad of ways in which this knowledge can then be shared to effectively ensure our industry grows and our members benefit: through our team providing mentoring, via our education programme and events, by connecting our supplier and service provider members, and by communicating where we are and what we need to those in positions of influence and power to make active change.


Over the past few months, I have had conversations with members who had no idea of the true scale of this crucial part of our association activities. A key reason for me choosing to talk so openly now – for it is a vital part of our member benefits and should be driven by our members.


Through building relationships and forming partnerships with our stakeholders, we work in collaboration to ensure that our members’ voices are heard. So, I invite you to reach out. So many of our members are actively engaged with us, but there are many who choose a more silent, distant approach. I urge you all to come together as a united association, for together our voices are stronger.


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