The British Footwear Association has promoted John Saunders to chief executive, effective from November 1, as RichardKottler announces his retirement after six years running the association.
Saunders joined the BFA in April 2013 as sales and marketing director, and in his new position as CEO he will continue to maintain responsibility for sales and marketing, supported by the recent appointment of Jenna Aarons to the new position of events manager.
Michael Kelly, Chairman of the BFA, said: “We are delighted that John has accepted the challenge of taking the BFA forward. He has proven skills and strengths that we have seen in action during his time with the organisation, and indeed has become very well known and appreciated by the members during his time with the BFA.
“The Board of the BFA wish Richard Kottler a happy retirement and thank him for the valuable work he has done on behalf of the organisation during the past six and half years, which I know is echoed by the BFA members and all of those he has come into contact with while representing us.”
Kottler added: “It has been a privilege to lead the BFA over the past six years and I am proud of what we have achieved during that time, despite the toughest of economic climates. The BFA team has tripled membership, vastly extended support for exporting members (some 70 percent of the total) and introduced a number of powerful training and mentoring programmes to raise skill levels in the industry.
“The BFA is in the safe leadership of John Saunders, and the brilliant team now in place will continue with the BFA’s commitment to serve the UK footwear industry and to step up service levels even more.”
Additionally, the BFA also appointed Kevin Traynor as finance director; he will continue to also serve as general manager of the association.