The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), has added three new members to its board of directors. Ben Hirst, the managing director of UK rental company Horizon Platforms, and Julie Houston Smyth of new company Lolex join Riwal chief executive Pedro Torres, who was seconded to the IPAF board this summer and has now been made a permanent member. The additions take the number of board members to 10.
Ben Hirst founded Wakefield based Horizon Platforms at the start of 2008, having left Uplift shortly after it merged with AFI in late 2006. He has been an active member of the UK Country Council and its currently the vice chairman.
Julie Houston Smyth was a director of Northern Irish rental company Highway Plant until it was sold to Briggs owned Balloo Hire in July. She has now established Lolex, an independent service, maintenance and consultancy firm. She has been involved in IPAF’s UK and International Councils from more than nine years and was chairman of the IPAF Irish Council.
IPAF president Norty Turner said: “With almost 1,500 members IPAF is truly an international organisation. We warmly welcome Ben, Julie and Pedro to the board, as each brings valuable knowledge and experience that will greatly benefit the Federation as we plot our course for the next several years and beyond. All of them are powered access specialists, with their own unique expertise of the sector garnered over many years working in the industry. Each has been involved with IPAF, dedicating their time and expertise to the cause for many years now, and we will benefit even further from their acumen as they will be part of setting the direction and strategy of IPAF as board members.”
Hirst added: “I have been involved with IPAF for more than a decade now, it is an incredibly worthwhile organisation helping make our industry safer and ensuring people go home safely at the end of the day. When the chance came to step up and become a member of the IPAF board, it was a real honour. I look forward to working with my energetic and enthusiastic colleagues to further the Federation’s aims and ambitions, especially in providing insight into the challenges faced by SME providers of access services.”
Houston Smyth said: “It is a real honour to have been offered this opportunity. I am excited to be joining the board of the federation and look forward to making a difference in the future of the wider powered access industry. I hope that every IPAF member – particularly the smaller companies – will feel they are represented on this board.”
Torres added: “Stepping up to the board of IPAF was a privilege, our newly reconstituted board is as representative of the wider powered access industry worldwide as we could possibly hope – with an immense amount of knowledge, expertise and passion for safety in powered access.”