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CSSA Annual Luncheon revisited
A record 300 guests attended the Cleaning & Support Services Association's Annual Luncheon two weeks ago and the consensus was that these annual gatherings had been very much missed over the years that the CSSA had been part of the Building Futures Group and the event had disappeared from the calendar.
In his opening speech, CSSA chair Doug Cooke said he was delighted to see so many faces... some old and some new, and that amongst these were some past CSSA chairmen and chief executives:
Michael Bizley (Almoner of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners and ex-Board director of the World Federation of Building Service Contractors and the European Federation of Cleaning Industries), Jack Broadley (now enjoying a second stint as Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners) and Andrew Large, (recently returned to the cleaning industry fold as director general of the Confederation of Paper Industries).
Doug then gave an interesting run-down of some of the progress made by the CSSA since extracting itself from the BFG and how its ethos has changed, saying:
"Throughout last year the CSSA was rebuilt and now has over 100 members - not just cleaning contractors, but suppliers and support service organisations too.
"The challenge we set ourselves was that we were not going to do all the things we used to do, but rather take the best of what we did and add new ideas and new initiatives with a new approach.
"We have held social networking events, with the most notable one being our 'Autumn Open Evening', which we plan to repeat this year - so watch out as places are limited and like today's social event, it will be on a first come, first served basis." (Ed: Doug told me that people were applying for Annual Luncheon tickets long after they'd all sold out).
"Over 100 attended last November.
"We launched, with the help from the events sponsors The British Cleaning Council, Industrial Cleaning Equipment and Metsa Tissue and supported by The Cleaning Show and C & M magazine and the CSSA Awards Scheme... A truly UK cleaning industry event which culminated in the Awards Ceremony & Luncheon at the London Cleaning Show.
"Many thanks to our sponsors and all our industry supporters - not only for your financial support but your total involvement in making the whole CSSA Awards a great success."
Doug went on to express his thanks to ICE - the sponsor, financial and organisationally, for the Annual Luncheon, lauding the efforts of Darren Marston, Mark Bresnihan and team there. He also gave special thanks to John Findlater for his fantastic organisational skills, and
Julie Kitchener from ICE and Cheryl Ponton from Alba Victoria for all their help.
Doug acknowledged that the refreshed management team and revitalised approached had been fundamental in the Association achieving all it had in such a short time since its re-emergence. He thanked the four chairmen Ashley Hoadley, Mike Rutherford, Sean Taylor and Darren Marston (Ed: of the different CSSA groups, set up to handle areas of importance to members, such as innovation & technology, marketing, health & safety, immigration, training & apprenticeships - The New Levy etc) and their team members, for their exceptional efforts, before introducing another chair who has recently joined the CSSA Executive - Vanessa Van Santen Smith (who organises The Cleaning Show).
"The appointment of Vanessa now brings to the board a total of three talented female representatives equivalent to 25% of the total board representation," said Doug. "Vanessa is also chair of the newly formed CSSA's 'women for women' executive.
"Last month at our 50th anniversary AGM, the membership elected a new directorate team which included two new members. I would like to thank the two outgoing directors Tony Felgate and Phil Thomson, for their past efforts, and welcome their replacements Jim Melvin and Vanessa. We now have a body of individuals with a diverse range of skills with over 250 years' experience of operating and managing in our industry.?
"Today's event is the highlight of the cleaning industry and I am delighted to be able to choose the charity - Cpotential - a wonderful organisation dedicated to helping and educating children with cerebral palsy. I am delighted that its chief executive Jo Honigmann is able to join us (www.cpotential.org.uk).
"Finally thank you all for joining us today. The industry is in good shape - certainly better than the current Government!
"Some 50 years ago the chairman of the CSSA - or CCMA (Contract Cleaning & Maintenance Association), said: 'Well over £400m is spent nationally on cleaning and maintenance of which £40m is spent with contract cleaning companies'.
"Today I am able to report that over £71 billion is spent on cleaning and associated services and £8.5 billion is spent with contract cleaning companies.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that the CSSA is back... And stronger than ever before!"
Doug then introduced the very talented Gyles Brandreth - writer, broadcaster, former MP and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, now Chancellor of the University of Chester and one of Britain's most sought-after awards ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers, who is also a veteran of QI and Have I Got News For You, a reporter on The One Show and a regular on Just A Minute - who brought a wonderful event to a fun close.
If you'd like to find out more about the benefits of CSSA membership:
29th June 2017