Jonathan Austin will speak at this year's All Industry Conference.

Best speakers for All Industry Conference

Published:  01 March, 2013

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has secured two leading names in the world of business and merchanting to add to the speaker line-up at this year's All Industry Conference held in Vilamoura, the Algarve, Portugal.

Jonathan Austin is founder and chief executive of Best Companies and is the man behind the ‘Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for’ lists. For the past 12 years he has focused his efforts on promoting workplace engagement as a means of unleashing the true potential of organisations. He has worked with major organisations including Microsoft, Mercedes Benz and Iceland and has served on the National Employment Panel advising government on welfare to work policies, and is a member of the Employee Engagement taskforce. His depth of specialist knowledge and his practical experience as a CEO give him a unique perspective on leadership and management, at a time when its importance is most critical to business survival and success.

Simon Blaxill is a well-respected figure in the industry with a wealth of experience in merchanting. He is managing director of Kent Blaxill, a family-run independent builders’ merchants with eight sites across East Anglia.

Before joining Kent Blaxill, Mr Blaxill worked in market research which included assessing the growing DIY market before moving on to the selling of goods to the fast growing multiples under the Sellotape brand. He has been at Kent Blaxill for 25 years, as managing director since 1989.

John Newcomb, managing director of BMF, said: “The theme of our conference this year is ‘Fit for the Future’ and what better speaker could we have than Jonathan Austin who devotes all his time to promoting excellence within the companies he works with. And we are delighted that Simon Blaxill will also join us. Simon represents one of the leading independent merchants in the UK and completes the line-up of industry speakers who represent the four pillars of the BMF: national, large regional, small- to medium-sized independent merchants and suppliers.

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