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BVRLA hosts successful Annual Dinner celebrating 50 years of representing the industry

BVRLA hosts successful Annual Dinner celebrating 50 years of representing the industry
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The BVRLA has kicked off its golden anniversary celebrations at a glittering gala dinner in London's West End.

More than 900 guests from the vehicle rental and leasing industry gathered at the association's Annual Dinner to see BVRLA pay tribute to key figures from its first 50 years. Speaking on the night, BVRLA Chairman Simon Oliphant paid tribute to some of the former officers of the association, many of whom were in attendance:

“It is people that make the real difference in business. I am the 26th Chairman of the BVRLA, and I have benefited from following in the footsteps of the many talented and dedicated officers who have served the association over the years and helped it to evolve.”

Oliphant also unveiled the association's re-freshed logo, as well as a short film about the association's anniversary.

Also speaking on the night was BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney, who presented the a number of BVRLA awards alongside Phil Webb from Honda UK. Gerry Keaney said: “Our awards recognise the very best individuals in the rental and leasing industry. Whether it’s the top performers from our accreditation and training courses, or the Industry Heroes who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, our winners are excellent ambassadors for our sector.”

The Certificate for Rental Operator Skills is a benchmark of quality and an endorsement of professionalism in daily vehicle rental, and the City & Guilds Achievement Award goes to the individual who attained the highest pass mark in the 2016 examinations. The 2017 recipient is Christopher Hume of Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, who achieved the remarkable score of 98%.

The BVRLA’s Fleet Consultant Development Programme was set up eight years ago, and it continues to give senior sales people a greater understanding of the needs of their customer – the typical fleet manager. The top performer in 2016 was Jonathan Ellis from Volkswagen Financial Services, who gained a pass with distinction.

Each year, the BVRLA asks its members to nominate colleagues who have shown exceptional levels of service and made measurable contributions to their organisations. A team of BVRLA judges then assess the merits of each entry to name the Industry Heroes.

The first Industry Hero award went to Ashley D’Alanno of Licensed Carriage Hire. In just two years, Ashley has had a massive impact on the business, launching a range of new services, including a bespoke replacement vehicle service for celebrities and VIPs. Ashley’s ability to meet and surpass the needs of some very demanding clients impressed the BVRLA judges. 

The next winner was Janine Lemon of LeasePlan UK. Janine has helped lead the development of a brand new digital customer services function, turning a theoretical design into a working reality. With a tenacious focus on improving the customer experience, she has managed to build a team that has embraced new ways of working. She has made such an impact that her employer has moved her into a new training role where she can share her management techniques and experience with others.

The final Industry Hero recipient was Jennifer Thomas of ALD Automotive. Jennifer has been the driving force behind a major rethink in the way ALD deals with vulnerable customers – customers whose personal circumstances mean their requirements need to be addressed on an individual basis. She has engaged with colleagues at every level of the business to review how they can move vulnerability from an issue of compliance to one of cultural change and customer service. The judges believe this work - running working groups, developing training modules and raising awareness via the corporate intranet – deserves praise from the BVRLA.

The 2017 BVRLA Annual Dinner was sponsored by Honda UK, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Lombard, MS Automotive (London) Ltd and VRS.