PPMA Group appoints David Barber as association chairman

The PPMA Group of Associations, the packaging and processing organisation behind key British sector exhibitions, has confirmed the appointment of David Barber, head of R&D for metal detection business Mettler Toledo Safeline, as its new chairman.

He was elected to the organisation’s board of directors in 2017, and succeeds Tim Paul, who had spent two after two successful years in the senior post.

Having gained experience in business transformation, the new chairman (pictured below), will aim to ensure PPMA’s ethos of supporting and engaging closely with its diverse membership of more than 500 companies.

Commenting on Barber’s appointment, Tim Paul, said: “David has significant experience of implementing successful projects and embraces the Group’s strategic objectives in how it reaches out to even more members.

“Through the onset of the coronavirus and the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe, the PPMA has had to change its modus operandi due to the postponement of live events, face-to-face networking opportunities, and training and seminars – to name a few. We have had to be flexible, adapt to change, and look at other mediums to support members during the imposed restrictions.

“Under David’s chairmanship, and with the continued support of the PPMA board of directors and PPMA staff, I believe that we’re in a strong position to run our flagship PPMA Show next year (2021), as well other bespoke industry events. It is a huge credit to the way the PPMA has been run over many years and testament to those it continues to serve.”

In response to his new appointment, Barber paid tribute to Paul for his hard work, achievements, and helping to circumnavigate the Group through a period of unprecedented change.

“These are challenging times, but it has reinforced the value of trade associations to receive advice and for members to utilise the PR opportunities available to promote their products and services.

“It’s fair to say that the processing and packaging industry has probably outperformed many other industry sectors due to being heavily involved with the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors.

“Economic challenges are often when the most opportunities arise because companies are forced to think outside of the box. Therefore, the PPMA needs to be an enabler to support members; whether through live or virtual events, business information, or lobbying-type activities in conjunction with associated third-party organisations.

“As a business, we have to continually adapt to change and be on the front foot. It’s important to look beyond our immediate sector to share information and efficiencies, and to leverage from a wide network of events and other industry resources.”

While Barber believes that the PPMA should always remain true to its roots in being able to stage world-class events, he recognises that the PPMA has come on a long way since the Association was founded in 1987 to what it can offer its membership today.

He believes that digital technology will have a greater role to play in how the Group engages with its members and the positive impact it can have on business efficiencies.

“The world is changing, business is changing, and we need to make sure that the PPMA Group of Associations is equipped and flexible in its approach to serve all those it supports,” added Barber.

“The Group has always been keen to embrace new ways of working; therefore, embracing new technologies and industry unification are key to the ongoing success of the PPMA and UK manufacturing at large.”

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