25 July 2024, 10:33
By Furniture News Sept 09, 2016

The Furniture Makers’ Company welcomes four new freemen

The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity and a City of London livery company, has welcomed four new freemen.

Master Ben Burbidge admitted the new freemen to the Company at an admissions ceremony on Monday 5th September at Furniture Makers’ Hall, London.

The freeman admitted were:

- Shakeel Baig, corporate director for adjustable bed manufacturer Bodyease. He has worked at the family run business for over 16 years. Bodyease has been in business for 25 years, trading out of Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

- Robert Cooksey, a senior lecturer at Wolverhampton University in the School of Art. His professional background encompasses 35 years producing bespoke commissions as a designer craftsman. He has previously held advisory roles for the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Manufacturing Advisory Service and Knowledge Exchange Enterprise Network.

- Karen Fairhurst, head of human resources and executive assistant at contract fabric business Panaz. Karen was the first person to Chair The Furniture Makers’ Company’s North West fundraising region.

- William Knight, show director for exhibitions 100% Design and Clerkenwell Design Week, organised by events and media company Media10. In 1999 William started working for the Design Council and later became the deputy director of the London Design Festival. In 2012 he moved to Media10 taking charge of the development and management of 100% Design and Clerkenwell Design Week.

A chocolate tasting event, hosted by luxury chocolatier Hotel Chocolat, was held following the freeman ceremony, where guests were taught how to distinguish the difference in flavours of chocolate.

Ben Burbidge, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “On behalf of everyone at The Furniture Makers’ Company, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our four new freemen, all who work in different areas of our great industry.

“The Furniture Makers’ Company is always keen to admit new members, men and women, as freemen of the Company. All members, individual or corporate, are invited to participate in the many events in the City livery calendar, which are great for networking, entertaining, as well as having fun.”

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