The British Allied Trades Federation (BATF) has today announced the initial changes to its staffing structure, as the body takes its first steps in response to better serve its five federated Trade Associations, one of which being The Giftware Association.
As part of the changes, Sarah Ward formerly Chief Executive of The Giftware Association is now Managing Director of the BATF and will lead the federations restructure process.
On her appointment Sarah said "I am delighted to be taking on this role. As an experienced business leader in the allied trades, I understand the importance of bringing people together and building strong foundations for the future. A key aspect of the role is to utilise the full range of skill within The Federation through collaboration and a ’stronger together’ mindset for our members’ benefit."
“Like many businesses at the moment we’re having to make decisions about where resource is best placed, but what may be different to many is this restructure has been a long time waiting to deliver significant business enhancements. We’re determined to best serve the needs of the memberships of all the Federated Trade Associations, by working with the appropriate National Committees to provide valued benefits and services that can make a genuine difference to business right across the trade.”
Sarah started her career with Next retail, becoming the youngest ever store manager with secondments for training staff and opening new stores. Progressing to Area Manager within the Arcadia group, Sarah then moved to a National Manager role with Coast, developing critical relationships with John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams. After a brief spell as Head of Retail with Boxfresh, Sarah moved to and ran high end gift packaging company, Penny Kennedy. At the helm Sarah won five Henries Awards for best gift packaging collection and greeting product of the year, accrued aggressive commercial growth and developed key accounts with major retail businesses.
Sarah then joined the Giftware Association (GA) as Chief Executive in October 2015, where she has driven a complete rebrand of the association, delivering the body as the figurehead and voice of the giftware industry. A key part of Sarah’s role with the GA is maintaining relationships with the likes of Government’s Genesis Group, DIT, British Chambers of Commerce and Save the High Street, as well as with multiple trade shows.
As part of the restructure the Federation will bring a number of personnel into the central team currently based within associations, including membership, education and marketing to join international and events which are already based centrally.
Speaking about the restructure Gert Schyberg, The Giftware Association Chair said “This is a fantastic opportunity for The GA to better serve its members with specialist resource from the central overarching federation. With the unprecedented COVID situation ongoing, we have to continue supporting The GA membership to be fit for the future. The overarching strategy will enable the association to grow at the same time as supporting the home and gift industry."
“It’s important to assure members that it’s very much business as usual, and the National Committee along with the Federation Board are determined to support members through the challenges that COVID has presented the trade with.”
The trade associations within the British Allied Trades Federation have supported the industries they represent since 1887, with the formation of the Birmingham Jewellers’ and Silversmiths’ Association. Today the BATF includes The Giftware Association, the National Association of Jewellers, the British Travelgoods and Accessories Association, Jewellery Distributors Association and the Surface Engineering Association.
Overall, the federation supports 3500 members amounting to more than 50,000 employees with an estimated £25 billion at retail.