British Woodworking Federation announces new CEO

British Woodworking Federation announces new CEO

Iain McIlwee is to stand down as Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) after almost seven years. 

Iain, pictured above, has worked closely with the board on a succession plan and the BWF has announced that Helen Hewitt has been appointed Acting CEO with immediate effect. 

Helen joined the BWF as Membership Director and Wood Window Alliance Lead in November 2017. She has already made a significant impact in many areas of the business, especially in helping to improve processes and engagement with members as well as supporting the Build it Better with Wood values of the organisation.

Iain will continue to work alongside Helen at the BWF until the end of September, when he leaves to take up a new role as Chief Executive of FIS, Finishes & Interiors Sectors Limited, the trade body which represents the fit-out sector. 

BWF President Sean Parnaby said: “Over the last seven years Iain has contributed hugely to the BWF’s step change in profile and activity and helped to ensure we genuinely are one of the outstanding performing trade associations in the UK. He leaves with our gratitude and blessing and we look forward to working with him in his new role. 

“We are delighted to have Helen on board, she has a strong track record in developing training and membership organisations in the materials supply chain and her commercial experience will help in directing the BWF through the next period as it naturally evolves. This is an exciting time for the BWF as we promote the UK’s exceptional woodworking skills and the many benefits of building with wood, and we are looking forward to the future.”

Helen Hewitt added: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to spearhead the BWF through this next phase. I am looking forward to working closely with our Members, the Council and Executive in developing the strategy which will build on the new Build it Better with Wood campaign; launched at our most successful members day yet. With wood delivering on so many levels and the sector boasting craftspeople and engineers of the highest calibre, the proliferation of wood in the built environment presents exciting opportunities for the construction sector. I have been truly humbled by the passion and pride the industry has for the products it produces and the people it employs.”

The BWF’s Build it Better with Wood campaign is designed to make wood the construction material of choice by celebrating its many benefits in the built environment and promoting the vast range of woodworking and joinery expertise available in the UK.

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