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Dealer Louise Phillips is the new BADA chairman.

Cohen steps down after seven years in the role and the changes were announced at BADA’s AGM yesterday (December 1).

Phillips is a second-generation antiques dealer: Elaine Phillips Antiques was established by Phillips’ mother Elaine in the 1960s and specialises in 17th and 18th century oak furniture and decorative items. She joined in 1985 after a career in PR and marketing in the fashion industry.

It is the first time that a woman has held the position of chairman since the association was founded in 1918.

Phillips, based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, has been a council member and northern regional representative at BADA since 2012 and more recently has been chairman of BADA’s member-led PR & marketing committee.

“It is more than 40 years since my mother was first elected to BADA membership in 1977 and 21 years since I was elected in my own right,” she said.

“The closure of shops, fairs and exhibitions has presented tremendous challenges for the trade this year, but with the development of the association’s online marketplace www.bada.org we are seeing an encouraging increase in online sales, helping us reach new clients and customers worldwide.

“2020 and Covid-19 has had a disastrous effect on the trade and speaking as a dealer whose sole income, like many dealers, is our business, it is essential that the BADA support our members and colleagues through the difficult months ahead.”

Phillips plans to travel around the country to meet and listen to members to understand “their thoughts and expectations”.