Rachel Fryers, David Haldane, Dean Pinner, and Neil Sabey have been elected to the Board of the Builders Merchant Federation.

Rachel Fryers, Managing Director of Merritt & Fryers, spent almost 20 years as a landscape architect before joining the family firm. Since then, she has overseen the expansion of the award-winning business.

Fryers is motivated by a desire to see the industry embrace environmentally sustainable practices. She is also a champion of workplace training and education. As a director of one of the smaller independent merchants, Fryers is well placed to support their development within the supply chain. She joins the BMF board following a two-year term as a Board Advisor.

David Haldane’s 30-year career at Haldane Fisher was preceded by a degree in Business & Technology and a further year of business study in the USA. He has extensive experience in every aspect of the industry, spending several years as both Production Manager and Commercial Director, followed by seven years as Managing Director of Haldane Fisher Northern Ireland, during which time he has served five years as BMF Regional Chair and will continue to do so. He was appointed Haldane Fisher Group CEO earlier this year.  

Dean Pinner, Managing Director at Keyline Civils Specialist, has enjoyed a 34-year career in the building materials sector, working in single independent, regional multiple independent and national builders’ merchants. He is passionate about customer-centric service, building relationships and growing skills in the sector by promoting its multiplicity of roles and their availability to all. He initiated Travis Perkins Youth board to provide a platform for 16-25 year olds to have a voice, and to build understanding of the opportunities and challenges the younger generation encounter as they progress their careers.

Neil Sabey, Group Managing Director of Harlow Timber Group, began his merchanting career with Travis Perkins in 1998 and quickly specialised in turning around underperforming branches by developing the strength and effectiveness of their teams. He joined Harlow Bros in 2018 with a remit to develop the branch network, and was made MD of Harlow Timber Group in 2021, having led the project to make the business an employee-owned trust. He is passionate about developing new talent and raising the profile of our industry.

BMF Chairman, Richard Hill said: “We are delighted to welcome four excellent representatives of the BMF’s broad merchant membership to the Board.  The range of experience they offer will be extremely valuable as we look to develop the skills of those employed in the sector and build greater public awareness of our industry, and its attractiveness for talented career starters and career switchers.”

The four new BMF Board Directors replace Frank Elkins, COO at Travis Perkins, who is stepping down after leaving Travis Perkins, and Shanker Patel, CEO at Lords Builders Merchants, Ian Haldane, Chairman of Haldane Group, and Tim Rowbottom, Managing Director at Collier & Catchpole, who are all retiring after completing two three-year terms of office. Rowbottom will, however, become a Board Advisor to continue his work in support of the Member value strategic theme. 

BMF CEO John Newcomb said: “I am very much looking forward to working with the new Board members, but I would also like to add both mine and Richard’s personal thanks to Frank, Shanker, Ian and Tim who are stepping down and whose advice and support we have greatly valued.”