BCA bids reluctant farewell to ‘Ambassador at Large’

Tom Stokes, the public face of the BCA in our organisation’s representations to government, other sectors of industry and opinion-formers in general, will be retiring from the board at the conclusion of this year’s annual conference in London.

Simultaneously, Tom will also be retiring from his ‘day job’ – that of managing director of Leeds-based Evans Easyspace, which has grown to become a nationally-recognised name since he started the company 11 years ago.

A graduate of the University of Paisley and a Fellow of the RICS, Tom was one of that young breed of chartered surveyors who, during the 1980’s and 1990’s eschewed the safety of the public sector to develop innovative and entrepreneurial careers in the property market. Starting his full time working life as an estates officer with Kyle & Carrick District Council in his native Ayrshire, he went on to serve in an executive capacity with a number of major property companies before launching Evans Easyspace in February 2000.

As a BCA board member for the past seven years and a past chairman, one of Tom’s achievements has been to raise the profile of ‘managed workspace’ within the umbrella of the BCA and therefore enhancing recognition of the organisation as a body whose remit goes beyond serviced offices.

The two most significant achievements by the board over the past seven years, he believes, is heightening perception of the BCA so that it is now deemed worthy of consultation by government and other sectors of industry; and in the greatly improved relationship between the BCA and business/workspace brokers.
But in Tom’s achievement in getting the Government to change its policy on Empty Property Rates which is considered to be his greatest achievement and which saved bca members many hundreds of thousands of pounds. For this he was recognised as being the first recipient of the David Poole Memorial award.

Tom passes on the baton of board membership and ambassadorial role after Conference in May. Aged 60, he now intends to spend more time relaxing with his family and pursue several hobbies, one of which is following Partick Thistle FC (“The Jags”), the alternative senior football club in Glasgow.

However Tom will continue to chart the progress of the BCA with interest, one hope being that those bona fide providers of serviced offices and managed workspace who are not yet members will see the benefit of coming under the wing of this representative organisation. “Unity is strength,” he added, “and in the present national economic climate the sector needs to speak with a united voice like never before.”

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