Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Fresh head for NMDA

The NMDA has a new head of association. Patrick (Paddy) O’Connell replaces Steve Latham who, after 12 years at the NMDA, has decided to spend more time at his home in Devon and pursue his sailing interests.

During his tenure, Latham was involved in the association’s change of name and strategy – from the MRA to the now established NMDA – and has since been instrumental in driving membership numbers up, as well as the introduction of the well-publicised NMDA Dealer Attitude Survey and the three-year battle to provide the industry with a new government approved Trailblazer technician apprenticeship standard.

Key NMDA achievements over the last few years include growing positive relationships with associations such as the MCIA and NFDA, and the media such as British Dealer News, as well as increasing the association’s relevance to motorcycle dealers by being present and responsive, and attending shows such as Motorcycle Trade Expo annually.

New man O’Connell was born into the motor trade, under the tutorship of his father (another Paddy) he was involved in all aspects of running a used car dealership. After the birth of his first child (yet another Paddy) and in order to gain franchised dealer knowledge, he joined Group1 Automotive in 2013 as the group buyer for their Ford division. Covering cars and commercials, the role allowed him to get involved in a number of projects and also to complete a four-year master’s degree in Automotive Retail Management at Loughborough University.

Wanting to be part of facilitating change in the automotive industry, O’Connell has taken the role of NFDA Head of Operations and NMDA Head of Association.

“I have always admired and been intrigued by people’s passions. The level of engagement and sense of community in the motorbike world has long been something I have felt like I am missing out on. The role change will give me the opportunity to join and immerse myself in this exciting part of automotive, consolidating and building on the legacy of Steve Latham and the NMDA.

“I also plan to share the journey from newbie on a bike to … who knows!?”

O’Connell will be delighted to hear from any NMDA members on 07436 404102 or email him on [email protected].

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