RALLYING CALL FROM NEW AFI CHIEF
IAN RIPLEY HAS BEGUN HIS TENURE AS CEO OF THE RECENTLY FORMED AFI (ASSOCIATION OF FENCING INDUSTRIES) WITH A RALLYING CALL TO THE INDUSTRY AT LARGE.
“I have always felt that the fencing industry in the UK is a band of largely unsung heroes,” explained Ian. “Most of the major developments in perimeter fencing systems and installation techniques of the last 30 years have their origins in the UK and the scope of the services we provide is enormous; from a knee rail in the park or garden fence around your house to vehicle restraint systems on motorways and high security fencing for prisons and other highly sensitive installations. We cover it all!
“It’s my belief that the industry needs a strong voice in order to gain recognition at the highest levels for the contribution it makes to the UK economy and it’s my challenge to do that,” added Ian.
Ian, with over 4 decades of experience within the fencing industry, was formerly vice-chairman of the Fencing Contractors’ Association, which merged with the European Fencing Industry Association over 18 months ago, to form the AFI.
He qualified from Loughborough University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Technology in Industrial Engineering and Management although he admits that his main focus was on playing rugby union!
In 1976 Ian was offered a job in marketing by what was then known as Tinsley Wire Industries
“During the mid 90s I first came in to contact with the Fencing Contractors Association, shortly before Wendy Baker took the reigns and it was her that got me involved in the council and numerous other jobs which culminated in 2001 when I became the first vice -chairman from a supplier company.
“In 2010, having had enough of other people deciding my fate, I became a consultant and through clients I had at the time became involved once more with the FCA and thanks in no small part to Mrs Baker back on the FCA council where I remained until 2016 when I finally decided to “hang up my boots”.
“Fast forward to December 2017 and a telephone call that brought me back to the industry we all know and love as Chief Executive Officer of the AFI,” concluded Ian.