British Marine strengthens board with three key appointments

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British Marine has appointed three new non-executive directors. Ashley Highfield, Paul Martin and Lyndsay McClay will join the trade association’s board from 20 July 2023. 

Appointed CEO of Oyster Yachts in February this year (2023), Ashley Highfield was Chair of its board for the last five years.  British Marine says that with his background in media and technology, Highfield brings extensive external experience to the role, including previous roles as CEO of Johnston Press, managing director and vice president consumer and online UK at Microsoft, and director of new media & technology at the BBC where he launched the iPlayer streaming service. 

His expertise includes non-executive director roles managing reputation, corporate and social responsibility, and lobbying for trade bodies as a board member for the News Media Association and British Film Institute. 

“I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to the British Marine board as a non-executive director,” says Highfield. “As CEO of thoroughbred British sailing yacht manufacturer Oyster Yachts, I hope to bring valuable insights, opportunities and the common challenges of the marine industry to the table, whilst contributing with my experience to help accelerate innovation in the sector.”

Paul Martin is well-known within the marine industry in the UK, having spent over 25 years at the helm of his family business, BHG Marine. Following the sale of BHG Marine, Martin joined First Peninsula as associate director.  Previously on the board of British Marine’s National Boat Shows, he is currently chair of the Marine Trades Association (MTA) and chair of BM National Conference working group.

Martin comments: “I’m pleased to be returning to the board to provide input on the work still to be done. I love the task of guiding and working through issues that arise. I’m not phased by making difficult decisions, and as a board member, I know when to give support but also to challenge when required.”

Commercial manager for Marine Industry News, Lyndsay McClay has eight years’ experience of delivering print and digital sales and marketing solutions to all areas of the marine sector. Well-known within British Marine membership as the chair of British Marine South, McClay is also involved with the Marine Trades Association.  With a focus on supporting and developing British Marine membership, McClay plays active roles on key sector groups including Women In Marine, Membership and Youth engagement, and the National Conference. 

“The marine industry is a wonderful industry” says McClay, “I’m hugely passionate about supporting its future development.  I see my role on British Marine Board as a way to support members and ensure we deliver the key services and benefits they require from their membership.”

Chair of the board, Matthew Beckwith comments:: “We are delighted to welcome Ashley, Lyndsay and Paul. They bring strategic thinking, marketing prowess, financial acumen, and exceptional leadership abilities to the board, and with their extensive experience in exhibition, communications and marketing domains, they offer a deep understanding of industry trends and best practices. Their wealth of knowledge and expertise will significantly enhance our current board’s capabilities, and help us drive innovation, achieve sustainable growth, and excel in meeting the evolving needs of our stakeholders.”

Highfield, Martin and McClay are appointed for three years with the option of a second three-year term. They join nine other non-executive directors on the board, bringing the total to its maximum allowance of 12, plus British Marine CEO, Lesley Robinson

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