BMF AGM 2015: onwards and upwards!
Roger Ellis stood down as BMF Chair for health reasons. Jim Freeman elected unanimously as BMF Chair
People came from the length and breadth of the UK to attend the BMF AGM. The event was held in Halifax on October 10th.
The announcement of Roger’s resignation was first on the agenda and, once voted in, Jim Freeman paid tribute to Roger saying he was “quiet but powerful”. The BMF’s Management Team (MT) voted to officially thank Roger from all at the AGM for his devoted service.
The headlines from this year’s BMF AGM are Roger Ellis standing down as BMF Chair for health reasons and Jim Freeman being elected unanimously as his replacement.
Jim Freeman commented:
“I hope that I can repay the trust placed in me by the 2015 AGM of the BMF; I shall endeavour to do so. I would like to thank my predecessor, Roger Ellis and fellow members of MT for great legacy that they've handed down. Roger left big shoes to fill and I will do my best to fill them.
“I feel that it’s absolutely essential to continue in Roger’s even-handed, inclusive, manner. In the past, egotistical ‘follow me’-style leadership did immense harm to the BMF... The only way to success in a volunteer organisation is to take people with you; nobody gets ‘told what to do’ and we need everybody to do what they can, as volunteers.”
About Jim Freeman
Jim has been an active BMF councillor as well as having a role at FEMA.
Jim’s recent work includes working with six Board members to completely re-build and re-organise FEMA as an organisation. The restructuring has been the biggest set of changes since FEMA’s creation in 1998 and has reduced an employee cost of around 50k euros a year to a fifth of that, outsourced.
Finance Director Howard Anderson said: “It was a shock to lose Roger at such short notice. He had done such a wonderful job over these last few years, providing the stability and leadership required for difficult decisions. The BMF owe him a great debt of gratitude for having the courage to take that stand and lead the organisation through to the better times we are now experiencing.
“I now expect Jim to take hold of the rudder and continue that general course, adding his own unique tack and insight as we go forward.”
Jim then read Roger’s review – which can be found in full at bmf.co.uk. It was an emotional one and applauded by all. Reports from the rest of MT and staff followed:
Anna Zee (also President of FEMA) covering European issues.
Government Relations Executive Graeme Hay delivered an incredible report on his work including information, questions, successes and his plans for the future of the motorcycle lobby. The BMF is now involved with and/or consulting on a large number of government initiatives and other road safety groups – for example the Highways Agency.
“We don't have to stand around ranting afterwards,” he said. “The BMF is being involved from the start.”
Member Services Director Pete Laidlaw discussed the success of the new BMF Online Clothing Store as well as plans for events in 2016.
Administration Director Tom Duncan also gave credit and thanks to Roger Ellis. In his review Tom covered how Skype has made the MT a more efficient and effective team, as well as discussing the Scotland Rally in 2016.
Finance Director Howard Anderson thanked Roger and all BMF volunteers for their continued support and hard work. Financially, the BMF is in a very similar place to last year, in the black, but have this year paid up its FEMA membership.
“In 2014 The BMF made a profit of £3.6K without show income.” This figure is as a result of no added income from BMF Shows, but actually reveals a solid underlying financial situation – not reliant on shows for income.
The BMF Insurance initiative in partnership with Bikesure has helped the bottom line – averaging 100 new people a month. Grant Varnham from Bikesure was also on hand to detail how the year has been.
Motorcycle Rider editor James Gill gave a presentation on the BMF media portfolio. Amongst other items he explained the success of Facebook and Facebook advertising as a way of running highly efficient low-cost campaigns to target certain demographics.