Members of the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) marked their chief executive’s 40th year in the trade at a glittering event.
Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive of the PDA, was presented with a bottle of champagne by Stuart Yates, the association’s National President, to celebrate the landmark anniversary.
The presentation was carried out at the PDA’s gala dinner, held as part of the association’s conference weekend, which this year took place in Bristol.
Neil started out in the industry in 1977 as an apprentice decorator, working for his family’s long-established business in Wakefield.
In four decades his career has seen him move from the tools to head up the UK’s largest trade body for professional painters and decorators.
Neil said: “I left comprehensive school on the Friday and was raring to go in white overalls on the following Monday morning.
“The job gives great satisfaction. It’s a great feeling to start and finish projects and be able to stand back and think ‘yes,’ I’ve achieved that amazing result.
“It’s also been really interesting to sample all of the new products which are out there on the market now. The last ten to fifteen years have been a time of real innovation in product development.
“One of the main things has been the changes in the VOCs of products.
“This has caused some concern to painters and decorators, regarding matters including coverage and the final finish.
“However, I feel that now the majority of these original issues have been addressed by the leading manufacturers.
“The huge growth in water borne products has also transformed areas including drying times and the speed of application. A move away from solvents has also improved health and safety.
“The wallcoverings market for decorators has also escalated over the last few years with a tremendous range to choose from. Feature walls with bold colourful designs is a prime example of ever changing fashions.”
For the future, Neil’s role at the PDA includes a strong focus on raising awareness of the opportunities in the trade for both its members and to raise the Associations public profile. Working more closely with colleges, training providers and manufacturers is also on his agenda.
Neil added: “We really have to try and promote our industry to the young people of today and let them know that they can achieve a stable, interesting and well-respected career as a professional painter and decorator.
“It has been an amazing career over the last 40 years.It’s all been very positive for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute.”