Steve Goodliff wins FEA’s LET Donald Bird Award

Light Equipment and Tableware Forum applauds Contacto’s MD for his hard work and dedication

The FEA Light Equipment and Tableware Forum has presented Steve Goodliff with its highest accolade, the Donald Bird Award. Goodliff, who is the managing director of Contacto, was chair of FEA’s LET Group for no less than 18 years, only stepping down recently, when he passed the role onto Paula Sherlock.    

Announcing the award at the LET Forum’s awards dinner at Whittlebury Hall in May, John Cunningham, chief executive of FEA, says: “All the companies in the light equipment and tableware sector have had the benefit of the dedication and hard work that Steve has selflessly put into the LET Group; as a member of the group and then vice chair, taking over the chair role from Donald Bird in 2005.

“This has been part and parcel of the development of the LET sector, from this Forum right up to initiatives at HRC 2024.  He’s also been a diligent, supportive and active FEA Council member since July 2005.”

Keith Warren, former CE of FEA and last year’s Donald Bird Award winner, adds, “Steve’s great status in the industry amongst suppliers, distributors and customers is due to his professionalism, honesty, integrity and his friendly, open and inclusive nature.”

Goodliff started in the LET industry at Samuel Groves in 1984, leaving to set up Contacto in1992 – from a bedroom in his house. Contacto moved into its first office in the Birmingham jewellery quarter in September 1995, then to a bigger office in 1998, and finally to its office and warehouse in Erdington in 2008. 

John Cunningham continues, “This industry, its supplier businesses, the FEA and the LET Group are all in a better position as a result of Steve’s hard work and engagement – thank you and well done, Steve!”

Goodliff accepted the award from Cunningham to a standing ovation from guests at the awards dinner, when he said: “I’m lost for words.  After 18 years it was time for a change – it feels like the end of an era.  I’m so pleased that Paula has agreed to take on the role.  She has so much experience of our sector and has lots of ideas for moving us on.  She’s already doing a great job.”

Steve will continue to play a role on the FEA’s LET Group, supporting Paula and the team with his experience and passion. 

The late Donald Bird was leader of the Catering Utensils Association and led the joining with CESA (now FEA) in the early 2000s. The prestigious Donald Bird Award recognises an individual who has gone the extra mile and had a significant impact on the light equipment and tableware industry. 

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