Continuity the key for LEEA

22 October 2008

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It had been over two years since my previous visit to Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) headquarters, so it was good to spend a day in Huntingdon earlier this week.


It represented a chance to meet new chief executive designate Geoff Holden. After 30 years service with the LEEA, current chief executive Derrick Bailes is stepping down from the post in December, but will continue to work for the association on a part-time basis in a number of other roles. He hinted on Monday that this will probably be in a technical consultancy role and probably for about three days a week.

Derrick Bailes
Derrick Bailes

Holden suggested continuity will be key moving forward and with Bailes still central to operations, members should not expect drastic changes. And they'll be thankful for that, I'm sure.

Holden has worked in the overhead lifting industry since 1976 and joins the LEEA from Spanset UK Limited, where he was sales manager for height safety products. With an honours degree in metallurgy, his professional experience spans a range of senior research, sales, and business management roles, in companies that include Certex, Liftex and Bridon Ropes.

Geoff Holden
Geoff Holden

Holden says: "I am looking forward to the challenge of continuing to grow the association nationally and internationally and building upon the excellent work done by Derrick."

Bailes responds: "Geoff will bring a wealth of relevant technical and commercial expertise to the role. Over recent years our membership has grown significantly, along with the range of services and support that we can provide. The LEEA is fast becoming a truly global organisation and I have no doubt that Geoff's arrival will only serve to build on these positive trends."

Holden will get his first opportunity to meet many members at its annual event, LiftEx, which will be held at the Quadrangle, Kassam Stadium, Oxford, on Friday 21 November. Now in its fourth year, the exhibition is specifically targeted at the lifting gear industry.

The exhibition precedes its AGM, which will no doubt outline the formalities of the chief executive changeover to members.

Naturally, Hoist will exhibit and have a presence throughout the event. Expect all the latest news and views to be posted here shortly afterwards.

Established in 1944, the LEEA currently represents 273 members, covering over 500 locations worldwide. Based at a training centre and head office in Huntingdon, the LEEA offers members a wide range of services. These include practical, 'hands-on' training, and a long-established distance learning course designed to prepare students for the association's industry-recognised diploma qualification.

The LEEA also produces a range of authoritative publications, including the Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Lifting Equipment, and is closely involved in the preparation of legislation and British, European and International Standards.

To earn full membership of the LEEA, companies must first pass a rigorous technical audit, and are then subject to further periodic audits.

Visit the brand new LEEA website, link below.

Richard Howes, Editor

[email protected]

Geoff Holden Geoff Holden