OATA announces new Chief Executive

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The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association is welcoming Dominic Whitmee to the organisation as its new Chief Executive.

Current head Keith Davenport announced his retirement in March after 25 years at the helm.

Dominic joins OATA from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) where he was Senior International Biodiversity Policy Advisor. Dominic has worked in the civil service for more than 20 years, lately delivering CITES policy for the UK government.

He therefore brings more than two decades of work at national, European and international levels in highly relevant areas such as biodiversity and wildlife trade. He also has good experience in the mechanisms of government and how to influence policy not just in the UK but also in Brussels and at global negotiations.

"I’m very pleased to be handing over the reins to such an experienced person who will undoubtedly bring a different perspective to the challenges facing our industry," said Keith.

"The strength of OATA lies in its members and our strong board, which brings together all aspects of the industry. Therefore I know there is a huge amount of knowledge and experience Dominic can tap into. I’m sure everyone will continue to give him the help and support I’ve enjoyed over the past 25 years on the issues he will now take on."

OATA Chairman Mark Evenden said: "We’re very pleased to be welcoming Dominic to OATA and we’re sure we’ll keep him as busy as Keith has been over the past 25 years. The pet industry — and the ornamental fish industry in particular — faces challenging times over issues such as exotic pets and invasive species. So to have someone with Dominic’s knowledge and experience will be vital as OATA continues to represent all aspects of this industry."

Dominic said: "I have worked with Keith for nearly 10 years on a wide range of issues affecting the pet trade and ornamental fish industry and have always been impressed by OATA’s effectiveness in representing the industry’s interests. It is my ambition to build on that by giving the OATA membership an even stronger voice at all levels in Government and beyond. This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to working with members and the Board to ensure OATA continues to grow and be a strong and successful organisation." 

Dominic will take up the position on July 4.  

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