Dominic Wakefield Joins Houlden Board


Houlden Announce Members Ratification of New Board Appointment Dominic Wakefield

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Following their Autumn meeting, Houlden have announced the ratification by members of the new appointment to the Board of Dominic Wakefield as the new Membership Director.  Dominic joins the other long-standing board members of Helen Haddow, Houlden CEO, Joe Walsh of Laings, John Lunn of Lunn's Jewellers, James Rice of Hugh Rice, Lizzie McAuley of Baker Brothers Jewellers.

“I am delighted to be joining the board of Houlden and feel honoured to serve the group over the next three years. Houlden have been incredibly open and inclusive in the five years since Wakefields joined the group and I am looking forward to further engaging with our members and the industry to help further Houlden’s values”, says Dominic Wakefield.

At the same time, Houlden and members alike have paid a special tribute to the outgoing Membership Director, Keith Gill, who after 12 years in the role is stepping down from the Board, following four consecutive tenures. During this period, Keith has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping maintain the ongoing success of the organisation, using his in-depth knowledge of the industry and exceptional management skills to help steer the proactive buying group through both good and difficult times - such as during the pandemic. 

Helen Haddow, who whilst stepping down as CEO once a suitable successor has been appointed in 2024, will remain on the Board thereafter to maintain consistency and provide ongoing invaluable support to the Houlden team and members, states: 

"We all extend a warm welcome to Dominic Wakefield who brings a wealth of experience to his role on the Board.  Equally, we cannot thank Keith enough for his contribution in establishing Houlden as the unrivalled Membership industry organisation that it is today. As part of this, his wonderful enthusiasm and strong belief in the benefits of the Houlden Advantage and all that it represents, has helped ensure that it has remained fresh and innovative, one step ahead and, most importantly, always commercially relevant to both retailers and suppliers. 

Keith has also excelled in his role as Membership Director leaving behind an impressive track record of being instrumental in bringing six new members on board during his tenure." 

Keith Gill comments: "During my 12 years on the board I have been involved in what I consider to be some of the most challenging and significant times for the Group. From the retirement of Houlden's founder, Chair and CEO Stuart Laing to the havoc wretched with the onset of Covid. Individually either could have caused stress, uncertainty and possibly disaster for the group, but this was certainly not to be. With the appointment of our then new CEO, Helen Haddow, the most obvious candidate for the role, the board was led by Helen sharing her clear passion and vision. This ultimately culminated in the group now standing in its strongest position ever. Whilst I hope that I have been able to contribute to some of this success I believe that the benefit to Robert Gatward during my tenure has been immeasurable, a perfect two-way street. Thank you, Houlden.” 

With Helen concluding: "It is Keith who coined the phrase 'For the Greater Good' - a principle that he has lived by throughout his time with us, providing a steady hand and wise advice through all the challenges and changes we have faced both as an organisation and within the industry. It is greatly appreciated by everyone within the Houlden community, and he will be very much missed by the Board especially - although like myself, he will remain part of the Membership, providing experienced input and support whenever needed."


Rebecca van Rooijen


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