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Maintaining stability as we continue our growth

30 July, 2020
As you will be aware, Jon Duffy will be leaving AF at the end of August. In the three and a half years that Jon has been at the helm, he has transformed our business. His strategy, which is based on people, has helped AF focus on member needs and deliver services apposite to their circumstances. By concentrating on members, we have been able to work more collaboratively with our suppliers and have empowered and trained our staff to be the best they can possibly be in their roles. Many members have spoken to me about the positive impact Jon has had on the business so, on behalf of all those connected to AF I want to thank him for his contribution. We wish him well as he moves back to Nottingham to be closer to his family.

As we announced at the start of the year, we’re delighted to have secured David Horton-Fawkes as our next CEO. David is currently Chief Executive of Gascoyne Estates, which holds land and property assets in Dorset, London and Hertfordshire. David comes with a tremendous track record of leadership and modernisation and we’re very excited about the future of AF under his direction. He is currently helping recruit his successor at Gascoyne Estates, which is facing major challenges from COVID-19 and will join AF once this has been achieved, with a back-stop date of 5th January 2021.

With a small gap between Jon’s departure and David’s arrival, the Board want to ensure that AF continues to move forward and finish the year strong. Therefore, we have asked AF’s Procurement and Commercial Director, Helen Whittle, to provide executive leadership in the interim period. Helen will be supported by the strong Senior Management Team Jon has put in place and Mark Finch, our interim Finance Director, will oversee our trading subsidiaries AF Affinity, AF Biomass and AF Finance.

I think we can all agree that this is a year unlike any other. Just as we began to enjoy some drier weather after the relentless rain we experienced during autumn and winter, the world experienced an unprecedented shock. The devastating impact COVID-19 has had on businesses, communities and people across the world has been swift and relentless.

AF has navigated these obstacles with great skill and fantastic endeavour. Therefore, I want to thank everyone for their contribution to AF this year and for the staff’s unwavering commitment to members during this transitional period. As we say goodbye to Jon and welcome David, the Board are reassured that AF will continue to thrive in the interim period and maintain the highest levels of service for our members.

Nigel Savory
AF Chairman
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