EDA welcomes new President

The Electrical Distributors’ Association (EDA) has confirmed Chris Gibson, Projects Director at Rexel UK, as its 91st President. Chris takes over the helm from Bemco’s Simon Barkes and will lead the association for the next two years.

Gibson, who has a 30-year career in wholesaling (with 12 of those with Rexel), gave this insight into the focus of his two-year presidency: “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.”

Paying tribute to his predecessor Simon Barkes’ leadership, Gibson 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.”

EDA CEO, Margaret Fitzsimons, 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.”

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

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