The lift-handling world will bid farewell to an industry stalwart this month when Kathy Chaplin retires after 21 years with the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA).
Kathy, BITA's technical administration co-ordinator, joined in February 1987, as a secretary. She has since created a unique role which requires both administrational expertise and in-depth technical knowledge – a combination which will be sorely missed by her colleagues, BITA members and partner organisations alike.
As a pivotal member of the BITA team, Kathy acts as a liaison between members, affiliated groups and technical organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and the BSi, monitoring the content of key documents and ensuring they are distributed to appropriate members.
Kathy, who will retire on December 31 2008, said: “I will miss the people the most. My colleagues here at BITA, the members themselves, and the many people I have got to know within the industry have all been wonderful to work with. The industry has changed tremendously since I joined, and standards have improved. BITA can certainly claim some credit for this, as well as the many professional and dedicated people working within the lift truck industry today.
“My role has evolved with time, and with my growing experience and expertise. I certainly didn't expect it to become so specialised when I applied in 1987. But working at BITA gave me an insight into standards and legislation, and eventually led to the role becoming what it is now. I'm not an engineer but I am an expert in the technical procedures needed to ensure standards are met. I have worked very closely with many BITA technical consultants, most recently John Tredray and now Bob Hine, which I have enjoyed enormously.”
James Clark, BITA's Secretary-General, said: “Kathy's been with BITA nearly 22 years, and she will be a very hard act to follow. Her loyalty and dedication to BITA are highly valued, and we wish her a very long, happy and well-deserved retirement.”
Kathy moved to Ascot, Berkshire, from Loughton, Essex, as a teenager, and worked in a local insurance company before marrying and raising two children. She then worked in a school for 11 years before joining BITA.
Retirement plans include touring the UK in her caravan, with her two Jack Russells, combined with her roles as president and captain of her local cribbage club, and grandmother of five.
For more information BITA and its board members, please visit www.BITA.org.uk