James Hipkins, MD of Emerys Builders Merchants, is the new chairman of the Builders Merchants’ Federations’ (BMF) West Midlands Region. James takes over from Neil Lawrence, chief operating officer of Jewson and managing director of Local Merchant Group.
James, who grew up in the West Midlands, began his merchanting career as a trainee manager with Jewson in North Wales where, at 24, he became their youngest branch manager at the time. He joined the Joseph Parr Group as MD Designate of Emerys Builders Merchants in 1999 when Emerys was a small merchant in Stoke on Trent. Now, it is not only the largest merchant in the area, it also operates a thriving second depot in Telford.
Outside of work he is a passionate restorer of classic cars and bikes and his skills will no doubt come in handy as part of the Emerys team in this year’s Pavestone Rally, which raises money for charity.
Commenting on his appointment, James said: “I consider it an honour to be asked and a privilege to take on the role of chair of the BMF West Midlands Region. I hope my experience within a national merchant and my current role within an independent merchant puts me in a good position to understand the collective needs and challenges faced by all members of the BMF.”