At the FIS Board Meeting on 27 April, industry challenges related to shortages, transformation, evolution of FIS as a community and leadership were discussed.  One key outcome was that Helen Tapper of Tapper Interiors and current serving President, was invited, and has agreed to extend her term of presidency for another year.  As part of the process, Lydia Sharples, Encon Group has been nominated and has agreed to take on the role of Vice President.

Former Vice President Richard Jones remains committed to supporting the Board and will stand for re-election at the 2021 Board elections, but has opted to step aside to focus his energy on being an ordinary board member and managing growth within his own business Paramount Office Interiors.

FIS is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to support members, improve safety, minimise risk, enhance productivity and drive innovation in the sector.  It is governed by an elected Board of Directors which sets policy and direction and provides oversight and scrutiny to the operation of the organisation.  The FIS President and Vice President assume the duties of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board as well as representing the organisation when called upon.  All Directors are nominated from the membership and serve as volunteers – they are supported by the FIS Executive Team.

Commenting on the announcement, Helen Tapper stated:

“COVID-19 has dominated our world in the past 18 months, but as the worst of the impact starts to recede, we need to ensure that we don’t let the lessons learned fade into the background and we continue to drive the transformation agenda.

“Just before the enormity of COVID gripped us, I focussed on the three steps to Rebuilding Construction, I will dedicate my remaining time as President to taking this work forward and ensuring that the finishes and interiors supply chain is exemplar and leading change when we look at fairness, quality, inclusivity and collaboration and that FIS Membership through our vetting process and ongoing work upholds these values and ensures members benefit from the value led change that is being talked about by Government and the Construction Leadership Council.  I would also like to take this opportunity again to thank the FIS Board for the support they have given to me as President and the dedication of the FIS team for the daily help they give to my business.  I am very proud of our community and it is a real honour to serve it”.

Lydia Sharples has served on the FIS Board since November 2019.  She has over 20 years’ experience working within the building industry including brand leaders of drywall and insulation manufacturing and UK market leading distribution, much of which has been in marketing and communications.  Having worked with various trade bodies over the years, Lydia fully understands the importance they can play in future development.  Lydia commented:

“It is a real honour to step up to support Helen as Vice President of FIS and to get this vote of confidence from the Board.  The last year has been exceptional and I have been very proud, not just to support FIS efforts through the Board, but to be a part of a community that has been so steadfastly committed to its values. The FIS team have given all their energy to help members adapt and confront some of the most exacting times we will (hopefully) ever encounter.  Helen has been an inspirational and supportive leader over this period and for me it is great news, at the request of myself and our fellow Board members, that she has agreed to stand for election as President for another year. Enabling her to have the time and the opportunity to deliver the clear vision of change she has and we as a Board share – exciting times ahead for our community.” 

All members are invited to consider nominating themselves to join the Board. By joining, you have the chance to use your knowledge and experience in the finishes and interiors sector to influence the direction of the Association and support our mission to improve safety and quality, minimise risk, enhance productivity and drive innovation in the sector, ultimately ensuring that membership and guidance are reflected in all relevant specifications.

Reaching out to the wider membership Helen Tapper called on individuals from member companies to get involved:

“The Board is key to ensuring FIS delivers for our community and ensuring our activity is aligned to your needs.  I am particularly keen to use my last 12 months as President to encourage new applicants for the board from all sections of the membership, however big or small their companies.   We need the next generation to be coming through and I can promise you that the Board is an open, progressive and inclusive group – fresh views, challenging the status quo and your unique insight will be welcome and valued.  We know many are reticent to come forward as they are caught up in the ‘day to day’ particularly in the smaller businesses.  Like any commitment, joining the FIS Board it is not without challenge, but it is rewarding, allows your voice to be heard and, with modern methods of communication, it has never been easier to engage and support the leadership of our association.” 

If you are interested in considering standing in the 2021 elections, contact for more information.

Find more about the FIS Board and Strategy here.