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17 Nov 2023 < Back

Goodbye, you're in safe hands

After almost a quarter of a century at the Association, it is time for me to step out. I will miss some of it, but I have reached my limit and someone new needs to drive the project forward!

Despite the struggles, it has always been the members that have made the job worthwhile. It has been my great privilege to stand in representation of a community of professionals who have the confidence and foresight to fund an organisation that is tasked with challenging them.

It is members who have sanctioned and funded the adoption of new ways of working, helped to create national consumer protection schemes, enforced mandatory qualifications and best practice, and driven engagement with legislators. The PCA has simply represented your wishes. As a result, the PCA continues to be at the vanguard of education, professional standards and customer service.

When I joined the BWPDA, we were still in London. The business was sober, functional and respected, but not very exciting. When we moved to Derby, we changed our name and then after a slightly acrimonious separation from the BPCA, the PCA ended up in Huntingdon with a new boss. This move resulted in meeting the love of my life, a new home, two beautiful children, a dog and a great many new friends. 

As the PCA grew...

Despite being a talented administrator, my predecessor didn’t really learn to read the room very well, and so her tenure was relatively short. As my time as gaffer began, I took the view that we needed to keep things simple. With the support of the Board over many years, growth and expectation have seen things get a bit more complicated, but what is retained is the ideal that nothing happens unless it benefits members.

There are always things to fix, but as I clear my desk, I think Sue and I can take some pride in the fact that we are leaving the PCA in a better state than when we found it. It has money in the bank, it owns property, it has become the permanent voice in the sectors it represents, and it is relevant. The Association is a respected training and qualification provider and we have a lots of friends, supporters and collaborators that range from homeowners and legislators to academics and lenders.

Any organisation which makes waves, sets challenges and impacts the market will have detractors and I have certainly collected a few of those over the years. But regardless of a few noisy idiots and the limited effect they may have had, the PCA has never been so well regarded, connected or important. There are lots of people who have the PCA in their phones!

The future of the Association...

As the Association moves into the next phase of its development, we must trust that the new team remembers that the organisation they are privileged to serve is built on the hard work, experience, skill, and reputation of those who trust them to do the right thing. I know members will remind them of this if they don’t! 

I am a bloke who remains as fascinated by damp, rot and mould as I was when I started on the tools at 19. No surprise then that I will be unable to fall far from the tree! As a surveyor, consultant and teacher operating my own firm, I very much hope that I can retain links with the PCA and provide the sort of service to contractors, clients and the Association that I have seen valued by so many for so long. 

So this is goodbye. Good luck to you all and thank you for the opportunity, the friendship the support and the challenges.

Very kind regards




Brandon Wagstaffe

Steve, your leadership has been amazing and the prominence of the PCA has helped me & my business no end - thank you for your service & If I can help in your next project let me know - All the very best

Gervais Sawyer

I have been working in wood and wood protection for 60 years now. I tell people how I love working with the PCA. They can't believe it when I tell them that to be a member they submit to so many gruelling hours of examinations including the all revealing viva voce, that they agree to audits and quality inspections and yet pursue education and training just for the fun of feeling better informed and authoritative. Steve, this is all down to you and the AMAZING team that you have gathered around you. Remember that you will always be in the 'wood club' and that world is always available to assist. Just whistle at any time. I wish you all the best for your exciting new project.

George James Rees

Hi Steve, thank you for all the support, learning and guidance, which has been thorough, throughout my time as a PCA member. May we wish you "All the best" in your future ventures, of which I'm sure, will be a success. Take care and good luck Steve! Kind Regards George.

Brian Taylor

Many thanks Steve for all your support to us 'knotweedy people', I won't say 'Goodbye' as I expect to see you around one way or the other. Best wishes from me and all at The Knotweed Company!

Adrian Dawson

Good luck and all the best

Bryan Hindle

The number of people who can hold their heads higher, because of your efforts is countless Steve. Many don't even know that you were behind the clear increase in respect they get, as they ply their trade in damp, timber, waterproofing or weed control. The training on one hand, and your advocacy and encouragement on the other - simply outstanding. You deserve to prosper and I'm sure you will. Be happy my friend and enjoy your new life.

Keith Gardner

Goodbye Steve Best Wishes

Martin Hughes

Steve, when Mark, Dave and I chose you as CEO all those years ago, we had every confidence that you'd make it. But you have done more than that, and I take my hat off to you for that. You have been a natural in the role; technically excellent, a leader and a listener. I wish you every success in your new venture and know that the standards under which it will operate will be the finest.

Paul Carter

Good luck Steve with your new venture, it's been good to know you for all these years. Best wishes Paul & Rob Carter R C Property Care Ltd

Angela Gemson

Steve & Sue So sorry to see you both go, you have transformed the business and managed to bring credibility to 2 historically rather 'dodgy sectors'. Your successors have big boots to fill but seem to be ready for the challenge! All the best in the future.

Graham Bruce

Steve and Sue, best wishes for the future, kind regards.

Paul Hamilton

Steve as you know I have been associated with the P.C.A. since the early 1980’s when it was formally two associations, the B.W.P.A. and B.C.D.A. Since you took over the helm of the P.C.A. it has grown and prospered under your leadership with the help of a great team. Both Jeanette and I would like to thank you and Sue for all the help you have given to us, the P.C.A. and its members over the years. Best wishes to you both in the future.

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