News Article

Brian Ahern appointed new Chair of the Furniture Industry Research Association

Brian Ahern has been appointed as the new Chair of the Furniture Industry Research Association. This follows the departure of former Chair, Charles Vernon, whose four year tenure came to end in September.

Prior to his appointment as Chair, Ahern had been an active member of the Furniture Industry Research Association Council since June 2018. He is a well-renowned figure within the furniture sector, most notable through his work with the British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) and The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. As Chair of the Research Association, Ahern’s primary role is to lead the Council, who represent the membership and ensure research funds are spent in the most effective way.

Speaking on his appointment, Ahern said “It’s a great pleasure to be elected Chair by my peers on the Furniture Industry Research Association Council.

“After serving on the Council I understand the inner workings of the Research Association so am starting from a very solid position on which to build. 2020 has demonstrated how critical it is for organisations to be agile, and the Furniture Industry Research Association is no different. One of my first objectives is to explore how accessible we, and our knowledge, is to members, and identify gaps to ensure we’re their focal point for research and information.

“I look forward to open dialogue with members to ensure that we and our service provider (FIRA International) are delivering, and to also learn what direction they wish us to take in terms of knowledge, research and information to really support their business and their role”.

Mark Richardson, Deputy Chair of the Research Association said, “Brian was a popular and unanimous choice for our new Chair. He’s served alongside Council members and his passion, not just for the Research Association, but the wider furniture industry has always been evident. I speak for all Council members when I say that we look forward to working with him.

“Our outgoing Chair, Charles Vernon, did a tremendous job in steering the Research Association through some tricky times for the sector, notably supporting members through Brexit and most recently coronavirus. It was a pleasure to support Charles, and now the mantle has been passed, I look forward to supporting Brian as we go into 2021 and beyond.”

As of December 10 2020, the full Research Association Council comprises:

  • Brian Ahern (Chair)
  • Mark Richardson, Blum (Deputy Chair)
  • Mark Allison, FIRA International (Secretary)
  • Jessica Alexander, National Bed Federation
  • Anne Barber, In Heaven at Home
  • Alan Bennett, Euro Group Ltd
  • Paul Critchley, Home Retail Group
  • Andy Green
  • Jonathan Hindle, KI Inc
  • Murray Hudson, Gratnells Ltd
  • Rodney McMahon, Morgan Furniture
  • Nigel Punshon, Hille
  • Andrew Storey, Moore Furniture Group
  • Rob Veitch, Element Materials Technology

Invitations are open to those from across the furniture industry who may be interested in joining the Council and shaping the work of the Research Association, further details of roles and commitments are available via info@fira.co.uk.