Ian Palmer, CEO of White and Company, one of the UK’s leading domestic and international moving companies, took over as BAR (British Association of Removers) president on Friday, 24 May at the annual BAR conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Ian said that it was a great honour and he felt privileged to be invited to be president. In the run up to becoming president Ian has served for two years as vice president and four years as the chairman of the Overseas Group of BAR, both of which gave him a good grounding for the role.
Asked what plans he had for BAR, Ian said that he wanted to work to bring the special interest groups closer together and help to build the knowledge base at the head office in Watford. He said that despite the availability of information on the Internet there was no substitute for being able to talk to real people with the right industry knowledge and experience. “BAR has some first-class administrators and Ian Studd, the director general, has direct contact with the industry,” he said.
Ian started his career working in a small branch and now runs one of the UK’s largest moving organisations. “I have an affinity with a small mover with two or three vehicles that chooses not to get bigger and also understand how a large company works,” he said. “I think I can help bring out the best in both.”
Sometimes BAR is perceived as being only for the larger companies, but Ian said that this is totally unfounded. He highlighted that in his appointment, BAR had chosen its president from a large company for the first time in many years. He suggested that the image might have come because there is now so much compliance that is largely attributed to larger companies. “But compliance affects the whole industry,” he said. “I would like to see the smaller and larger companies embrace each other. Larger companies need the smaller ones.”
Ian said that he would like BAR and its members to be more conscious of how well respected the organisation is overseas. “The British are great knockers of themselves, but many countries are very envious of our trade organisation here.”
For non-BAR members Ian had a particularly strong message. He said that there are some super companies, maybe operating two or three vehicles, who would benefit from being part of BAR and would bring a great deal to the Association. “For some reason they don’t want to make that jump,” he said. “I would urge them to do so.”
Photo: Ian Palmer receives the presidential chain from Immediate-Past President Tony Tickner.