Iain McIlwee has been appointed as the new chief executive of FIS, the trade body which represents the fit-out sector.

Iain will be responsible for the development and implementation of the Association’s long and short-term strategies to the benefit of members and industry, maintaining high profile representation and lobbying with key stakeholders both outside and within the membership.

He began his career as an engineering analyst, before moving on to the world of trade bodies in 1996.  He has been chief executive officer of the British Woodworking Federation since 2011, where he implemented strategies that saw membership grow by 40% and retention levels soar to an all-time high.  During his tenure, BWF launched the award-winning Fire Door Safety Week, an awareness campaign focussed on the legacy of neglect in the maintenance of fire doors.  Iain is currently serving his second year as Vice Chairman of the Construction Products Association.

FIS President Andrew Smith said: `Iain really impressed our interview panel, and we were unanimous in our decision that he seemed an excellent fit to pick up the mantle from our previous chief executive David Frise, and drive FIS to new heights.  He is a clear and confident communicator, has a wealth of trade body experience, and a proven track record in building membership communities – exactly what we were looking for.  The FIS Board, staff team and I very much look forward to working with him over the coming years.’

Speaking about his new role Iain said: ‘It is an exciting time to be joining FIS.  The construction industry is changing and not before time.  The impact of Grenfell echoes through the sector and we need to take note, ensure that the hard lessons are learned and never repeated.  The collapse of Carillion is also leading us to look at the contractual nature of the construction process. We have the Industrial Strategy and the Sector Deal for Construction emerging and creating opportunities and a radically reformed CITB to support a focus on skills and competence.   As a sector we need to find better ways to collaborate to improve quality, safety and productivity, we need to balance on and off-site activity and truly embrace the digital revolution.   I am looking forward to working with the FIS Board and team to ensure that the membership is well placed to benefit from all of these opportunities and to see the fit-out sector leading this change agenda.’