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‘Contractors at crossroads’

27 July 2011

Bob Shelley has been elected president of the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA) for 2011/12, and used his inaugural speech to lay out the challenges he sees for the industry in coming years.

Bob Shelley

In his speech to the HVCA AGM, Shelley called on contractors operating in the building engineering services sector to satisfy the demands of their customers and rise to challenges and opportunities ahead if they are to remain “in business and in profit”. Continuing this theme, he said: “Building engineering services contractors have reached a crossroad and the choices they face have never been so challenging, or so complex.”

“The driving forces of these challenges are of course the continuing recession, the ever more rigorous legislation with which contractors must comply and the increasing demand for renewable technologies,” he said.

Shelley went on to say that whatever the ‘climate change sceptics’ may want us to believe, the development of a low-carbon economy is with us for the long haul and represents the best commercial opportunity the building engineering services has ever known.

He said that: “The rewards are there for the taking – provided we have the skills, the competence, the initiative and the will to reach out and grasp them. And the good news for HVCA members is that they don’t have to do it on their own. The HVCA will provide the advice, guidance, support and leadership our members require. I see it as one of the principal objectives of my term of office to ensure that not only does the HVCA continue to fulfil these crucial roles, but that it adds even more value by helping members rise to the challenges ahead, helping them develop and grow their businesses”.

Shelley concluded his speech by saying that the goal was to ensure that the HVCA was more effective than ever in delivering “services that genuinely meet the needs of its members” and in “representing their interests across the construction sector as a whole, and along the ‘corridors of power’ of Westminster and Whitehall”.

Shelley originally served a four-year technical engineering apprenticeship with national contractor Lorne Stewart and after leaving them in 1983 held a variety of senior engineering, operational and managerial posts, including his appointment as managing director of Sharp and Howse in 1995. In 2011, he joined Argent FM as senior project manager, a position he continues to occupy. He is a chartered director, a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and an associate member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

He has been a member of the HVCA Council since 2007 and has held several key non-executive roles at the Association, becoming president elect in July 2010. He succeeded to the presidency of the Association at its annual general meeting on 21 July 2011.

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