BVRLA prepares to appoint Nina Bell as first-ever female chairman

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The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association will appoint Nina Bell as its first-ever female chairman next year.

Bell, the managing director of Avis Budget UK, has been appointed as the BVRLA’s first female vice-chairman of the committee of management and will spend the next year working with current chairman Matt Dyer before she takes over the position.

She will hold the post of chairman for two years, before reverting back to vice-chairman.

Dyer, who is managing director of LeasePlan, one of the UK’s biggest leasing companies, said: “Nina has made a significant contribution to the rental sector in her role as managing director of Avis Budget UK and she has made a valued contribution on the BVRLA board since 2015.

“We are delighted to announce her as our first-ever female vice-chair.”

Bell, who replaces Simon Oliphant from Hitachi Capital as vice-chairman, added: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a more active role within the BVRLA and give back to the industry I have worked in for over 20 years. I am especially proud to be the first female vice-chair; we are seeing an increasing number of women across the industry, and I believe that my appointment underlines the association’s commitment to ensure representation of our very broad and diverse member base.”

In another change to the committee of management, Margaret Speirs from Arnold Clark takes up the role of chairman of the BVRLA rental committee, replacing Brian Swallow from Enterprise, who steps down after his two-year term.

The appointments are part of wider changes at the BVRLA, which recently published its three-year plan that outlines its intention to achieve stronger industry representation, be a louder voice of influence, collate deeper industry insight, have a wider service offering and bring greater value to members.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “We have invested heavily to give the association what is required to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse membership. Our members are operating in a dynamic sector and their core business activities are expanding to meet customers’ increasingly complex needs. We too are expanding and are looking at introducing new member categories, which will further increase the diversity of our membership.”

The BVRLA has also honoured one of its founding fathers, the late BVRLA honorary life president Freddie Aldous, who died last year.

The association is naming its conference room as the Freddie Aldous Room and it is also introducing the Freddie Aldous Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented each year at the association’s annual industry dinner.