Three new faces were welcomed to the OATA Board at the trade association’s Annual General Meeting, which for the first time was held on Zoom.

Ballot papers were sent to all OATA members before the AGM and the final count was taken at the meeting held on Wednesday October 14. Laura Carlin of EcoMarines, Brian Schaff from TMC and Ian Paton from Pets at Home were voted onto the Board. The ballot also confirmed the return of Pete Carey as an OATA director in his new position with CASCO, having previously stepped down when he left Pets at Home.

Matt Stevensen of Seneye has taken over as Chair after Kevin Rose of Lynchford Aquatics stepped down after the usual two-year stint at the helm. Kevin remains as outgoing Vice Chair with Pete Carey taking on the role of incoming Vice Chair.

OATA Chief Executive Dominic Whitmee said: “It’s great to see some new faces on the board who will bring their expertise to helping the trade association over the coming years. We have big issues to tackle over the coming year, from the continuing impacts of Covid-19 and the UK’s departure from the EU to the increasing pressures to limit wildlife trade, so our directors will certainly be kept busy.

“I would like to thank Kevin Rose for his two-year stint as Chair and welcome Matt who has taken his place. Our Board is made up of a wide range of business people from companies which represent the whole industry and I appreciate the time they give to OATA to help us with our work.Paul West of TMC, Mark Evenden of Devotedly Discus and Ruth Low of Gordon Low have also stepped down after long periods on the board and I would especially like to thank them all for their time supporting OATA.”

OATA’s Board of Directors is made up of 18 people who represent the whole of the industry, from wholesalers and manufacturers to importers, pond and aquarium consultants and retailers. The complete OATA Board of Directors is now made up of:

  1. James Allison, Aquapic Solutions
  2. Kevin Barton, ALF (Aquatic Distributors) Ltd
  3. Pete Carey, CASCO
  4. Laura Carlin, EcoMarine
  5. Robert Edgecock, Independent Aquatic Imports Ltd
  6. Caroline Everett, Anglo Aquatic Plants Co Ltd
  7. Neil Hardy, Neil Hardy Aquatica Ltd
  8. Simon Langdale, Maidenhead Aquatics
  9. Philip Lawton, KidsgroveTropicals
  10. Ian Paton, Pets at Home
  11. David Pool, FishScience
  12. Kevin Rose, Lynchford Aquatics Ltd
  13. Brian Schaff, TMC
  14. Pete Smith, Aquasense (UK) Ltd
  15. Dr Donna Snellgrove, Mars Petcare
  16. Matt Stevenson, Seneye
  17. Simon Strode, Spectrum Brands Tetra
  18. Ben Windeatt, Pets Choice

OATA also welcomed Sean Evans of Wharf Aquatics as New Blood to the Board. If you want to know more about how you can join the OATA Board as New Blood please call us on 01373 301353.