Archived News Article

Research Association Council Updates

This news article has been archived for reference only. It should not be relied upon for up-to-date information

The most recent Council Meeting of the Furniture Industry Research Association was held on 7 December 2022. At the meeting Brian Ahern, current chair of the Research Association, was elected to continue to lead the Council for a further three years with his tenure now extended to 31 December 2025.

Brian assumed the Chair’s post in January 2021 and during that time the Research Association has seen a growth in membership numbers, despite the impact of Covid and the current tough market conditions faced by many members. This growth and leadership stability were key drivers for Brian’s re-appointment and gives the Research Association a great platform to continue its work over the coming years.

The Council also welcomed a new colleague at the meeting, with the appointment of Robin Scott, Head of Quality External Supplier Partners at DFS being confirmed as a Council member. Robin has extensive experience in the furniture sector from both a retail and manufacturing perspective putting him in a strong position to represent the voice of many members through his firm understanding of the opportunities and challenges the Furniture Industry Research Association can address.

Prior to his Council appointment Robin was an active member, with DFS being one of the first companies to join the FIRA Compliance Scheme for the Fire Performance of Upholstered Furniture, attending and inputting to technical forums and consultations, right through to the more social aspects such as attending receptions.

As of 7 December 2022 the Furniture Industry Research Association council comprises:

  • Brian Ahern (Chair)
  • Mark Richardson, Blum (Vice Chair)
  • Sam Brown, FIRA International (Company Secretary)
  • Jessica Alexander, National Bed Federation
  • Anne Barber, In Heaven at Home
  • Paul Critchley, Home Retail Group Plc
  • Andy Green, Integrity Furniture Solutions
  • Jonathan Hindle, KI Inc
  • Joanna Knight, The Knight Partnership
  • Nigel Punshon, Hille
  • Robin Scott, DFS
  • Andrew Story, Moores Furniture Group
  • Lee Wade, FIRA International

All members are eligible to consider joining the Council. The main commitment is four Council Meetings a year where new projects are discussed, current project progress is evaluated and budgets are reviewed. Market conditions and forthcoming predictions are also evaluated to ensure projects will be reflective of what members need. More details about Council roles are available via