BMF Members' Day Awards celebrate success

Published:  18 September, 2014

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) celebrated a broad spectrum of training and career development achievements at its annual Members Day Awards Dinner on 16 September, 2014.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) celebrated a broad spectrum of training and career development achievements at its annual Members Day Awards Dinner on 16 September, 2014. Held the night before the Members Day, where members listened to a series of speakers discussing the builders' merchant industry, the Awards Dinner included a number of new awards designed to highlight the achievement of young merchants across the industry.  

One of the new Awards, BMF Training Company of the Year, celebrated the BMF Member that has evidenced the greatest commitment to their employees’ development through use of BMF training services. This year's winner was Howarth Timber & Building Supplies. The company has over 20 employees studying for the BMF Diploma in Merchanting, supporting them through two in-company training groups. This is in addition to a range of in-company BMF training courses for employees at all levels.

Nick Howarth, managing director of Howarth Building Group, said: "It is an honour and proud moment for the company to receive this Award. Our staff are the most important asset the company possesses. Our mission statement includes our desire to be known for the ability and passion of our people, therefore we make considerable efforts to give training and self-development opportunities to all of our workforce."

This year's BMF Apprentice of the Year Award (NVQ Level 3 Award) was given to Simon Melling, from Builders Supply in Grange over Sands in Cumbria, was named BMF Apprentice of the Year. 

Luke McEvoy of Buttles in Enfield won the Apprentice of the Year Award for NVQ Level 2.

Mr Melling's customer service apprenticeship helped him to hone his natural ability to put people at their ease and to explore deeper aspects of customer service. He introduced ideas to improve store layout and procedures to make his branch a better place for customers to visit.

Mr McEvoy has completed an NVQ 2 Apprenticeship in Timber Merchanting since leaving college 12 months ago, as well as achieving his Fork Lift Licence and Saw Training. He now works full time in the yard and is expected to become the foreman's 'Number 2' in the future.

Each winner received a trophy and a personal cheque for £250, as well as £1,000 scholarship fund to continue their vocational training with the BMF.

This year's Young Merchant Achiever of the Year Award was given to Magda Dexter of Saint-Gobain. Having started the year as a successful internal sales executive at Gibbs & Dandy, Madga Dexter stood out against more experience HR professionals to take the newly created role of Organisational Development Manager for the Local Merchant Group – five different businesses in the Saint-Gobain Group. The judges felt that her ideas, passion and fresh approach have led to an extraordinary record of achievements in her first 10 months in the role.

Jo Callow of Knauf Insulation won the Young Supplier Achiever Award. She has made an immediate impact in a new role for the company, and a new industry for her. Building on her retail management background for a high street chemist, as central sales support at Knauf Insulation she is now the key interface between the company and its merchant customers, building relationships and growing sales.

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