New chairman appointed at LOFA

UK industry organisation Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA) is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a new chairman and vice chairman at the helm.

Outgoing chairman Paul Bevington has decided to step down from LOFA council for personal reasons, but retains close links to the association as the representative for Kettler GB. He has served for many years on the council, for the past three years as chairman, and LOFA adds that it is hoped that with his huge experience he will return to the board at some time in the future.

Outback UK head Mark Osborne (pictured) has been appointed as LOFA chairman.

Having initially worked in sales for Pan Britannica Industries(PBI), Mark joined Fiskars UK Ltd as national accounts manager before promotion to general sales manager. He joined Outback in 2002, when it was a family concern headed by Eric Hopper, taking over as UK head when Eric retired.

He commented: “It’s a great honour to become chairman of LOFA in its 50th year, and particularly when our membership faces such challenges as Brexit and a falling pound – issues which I am confident will encourage more companies in the garden furniture and outdoor leisure industries to seek the benefits of the Association. I continue to be impressed by the dedication, passion and sheer resilience of the suppliers and customers in our industry, and look forward to welcoming existing and new members, and retailers, to our annual showpiece shop window, the SOLEX exhibition at the NEC from July 11 to 13.”

Appointed as vice chairman is Premier Decorations Limited director Pravin Patel. He has worked for the company for almost 30 years, where he also heads the Summer and Outdoor Division which was launched in 1994.

He has served on the LOFA Council since 2014, where he oversees the financial and legal affairs of the association.

He said: “At a challenging time generally for business, LOFA and SOLEX need to utilise all the considerable wealth of experience and continued efforts of members and council together to ensure that the members and association can continue to thrive successfully.”