AA Trustees announce AA Director to move on
12th July 2012
At the end of June and after nearly 12 years with the Arboricultural Association (AA) Nick Eden, the Association’s Director, informed Trustees he had decided that it was time to move on as he now intends to work with his wife in her IT enterprise. Nick’s decision comes three months after leading the AA to realise one of its long-term goals: to own its head office property – a goal endorsed by the Charity Commission.
Nick joined the AA as a member in 1988 when working as a self-employed tree surgeon and then as Cheltenham’s Tree Officer. During this period he worked as a member-volunteer initially providing guidance on trees and excavations and then as a committee member and Chairman.
The early 2000s were turbulent times for the AA with changes in senior staff and new membership organisations appearing – all clamouring for attention and loyalty. Starting as the AA’s Technical Director in late 2000 Nick launched the AA’s local government accreditation scheme, campaigned Eurocrats to delay imposing crippling emissions regulations on chainsaws and introduced a scheme for reassessing the competence of AA Approved Contractors and Registered Consultants. It was, however, only 18 months after joining the AA’s staff that the then Chief Executive moved on and Nick found himself running both the technical and management aspects of the AA. This was formally recognised by the creation of a new post – Director of the AA – to which Nick was appointed in 2002.
The next six years saw steady growth in the AA’s services and the expanding team at head office in Hampshire necessitated an extension to the premises while the search for a permanent home continued. During this period the AA lead the industry through the forestry and arboriculture employment liability insurance crisis of 2003, developed nationally recognised tree inspection courses, took successful High Court action against illegitimate users of the AA’s logo and pioneered the cause and became the home of utility arboriculture in the UK.
In 2008 businesses worldwide were affected by the recession and the AA was no exception: revenues from training and conferencing were significantly reduced and so a restructure was required. The silver lining to this cloud was discovering the perfect head office property in Gloucestershire at a rock-bottom property-slump price: The Malthouse. The AA was able to make a cash purchase in 2009 and after an extensive refurbishment the building became the AA’s head office with staff moving in during April 2012.
During Nick’s term of office the AA has firmly established its portfolio of member services and events including quadrupling the size of a fledgling trade fair into what we now know as The ARB Show – an important nationally recognised industry event – and seeing AA membership increase by 35% to almost 2,500 with the most significant growth in the number of members and Approved Contractors taking place in the last 12–18 months. “Figures alone are not important”, says Nick, “I am more interested in quality than quantity. Get the quality right and the quantity will sort itself out”.
Nick says, “Over the past 12 years I have become greatly indebted to many people – too many to name – the people I work with, the people I have worked with, the members I serve, those AA stalwarts who came before me and of course my wife and children. The AA is what it is today because of the sum of all of these people. As for me – it’s time for a complete change. My wife has run a business for 21 years providing business management software solutions and I am going to assist with the management of that business. Quite a change! I will remain a member and supporter of the AA and look forward to following the next stages in its development”.
Trustees thank Nick for the significant contribution he has made to the AA and wish him well with his future endeavours.
The process of recruiting a new Director, to lead the future growth and development of the AA, has started and anyone interested in applying can contact the AA Chair of Trustees for an initial confidential discussion (email@example.com).
About this press release
Contact Martyn Thomas, Chair of the AA’s Trustees: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: 12/7/2012 7:52 PM