Iain McIlwee will stand down as chief executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) after almost seven years, and Helen Hewitt has been appointed acting CEO with immediate effect.

Helen joined the BWF as membership director and Wood Window Alliance lead in November 2017 and has reportedly made a significant impact in many areas of the business especially in helping to improve processes and engagement with members and supporting the Build it Better with Wood values of the organisation.

Iain will continue to work alongside Helen at the BWF until the end of September, when he leaves to take up a new role as chief executive of Finishes and Interiors Sectors, the trade body that represents the fit-out sector.

BWF president Sean Parnaby said: “Over the last seven years Iain has contributed hugely to the BWF’s step change in profile and activity and helped to ensure we genuinely are one of the outstanding performing trade associations in the UK. He leaves with our gratitude and blessing and we look forward to working with him in his new role.

“We are delighted to have Helen on board, she has a strong track record in developing training and membership organisations in the materials supply chain and her commercial experience will help in directing the BWF through the next period as it naturally evolves.”

Helen Hewitt said: “With wood delivering on so many levels and the sector boasting craftspeople and engineers of the highest calibre, the proliferation of wood in the built environment presents exciting opportunities for the construction sector. I have been truly humbled by the passion and pride the industry has for the products it produces and the people it employs.”