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Fleet industry heroes recognised at BVRLA Annual Dinner

The BVRLA has announced the winners of its 2019 awards, which were presented last night at its annual gala dinner including the first-ever Freddie Aldous Lifetime Achievement Award.

The BVRLA annual dinner saw Brian Back (centre) presented with the inaugural Freddie Aldous Lifetime Achievement Award by Freddie’s partner, Judy Jones and BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney

Created in honour of the BVRLA’s Honorary Life President, who passed away in 2017, the inaugural Freddie Aldous Lifetime Achievement Award went to Brian Back who has held leadership positions in some of the industry’s most successful companies, chaired numerous BVRLA committees and spent more than 20 years on the BVRLA Board. He has also spent over a decade on the board of industry charity Ben.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “Freddie Aldous made an outstanding contribution to the industry and the BVRLA. We are remembering his legacy by dedicating an award in his name to those that have followed in his footsteps and provided great service to our association and the wider industry.

“I am delighted that the inaugural lifetime achievement award was presented to Brian Back last night, in honour of the support and leadership Brian has shown within the BVRLA over the years. It is fitting that Freddie was instrumental in helping to recruit Brian into an active role with the BVRLA. Brian has provided wise counsel to BVRLA chief executives at some of the post pivotal moments in the association’s 50-year history.”

Last night’s event also saw awards presented to the winners of the BVRLA Industry Achievement Awards. Stephen Best of Arnold Clark Car and Van Rental and Jennifer Wilson of Inchcape Fleet Solutions were the top performers in BVRLA accreditation programmes during 2018.

The final accolades on the night were the Industry Hero Awards, rewarding the unsung stars of the sector who had been nominated by their managers. The winners were Ashlee Lanchbery of Alphabet (GB) Ltd and Mark Gallagher of Grosvenor Contracts Leasing, who were recognised for working tirelessly in customer-facing roles and behind the scenes and for demonstrating a commitment to excellence.

The event, which was attended by more than 850 people from the vehicle rental and leasing sector, also saw BVRLA chair Matt Dyer refer to the unprecedented pace of change the sector is facing as he addressed the room, via video link from the USA.

“As an industry, we have taken new challenges such as air quality, congestion, road safety and urban mobility and used our expertise, insight and financial acumen to come up with solutions and services.”

He added: “During 2018, the BVRLA engaged with a more diverse membership than ever before and spoke to a record number of policymakers to raise the profile of the industry, engaging with officials in town halls, in Westminster and at Number 10.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.