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Biographies

Ian Rogers, SDF Chief Executive

Ian has been Chief Executive of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation since 1999.

He has overall responsibility for the Federation’s influence from Education and Training to Technical & Contracts, Wages & Conditions as well as lobbying.

He chairs the Skills Observatory for Scotland and sits on the UK Skills Observatory. He is Scotland’s representative on the Levy Grant Consultant Working Party, a board member of the Construction Licensing Executive and attends the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group for Construction and the Cross Party Group for Skills.

Ian started his working life with the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail, learning all aspects of the newspaper business before joining the accounting team to specialise in cost and management.

In 1988 he was invited to join Glasgow-based sister companies Alva Homes and Alan Roofing as a Director. At Alva Homes he was responsible for land acquisition, house design, sales and profitability. In five years he grew Alan Roofing to become one of the leading roofing and cladding companies in the UK. Clients included Toyota, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, ITN, IBM, Mercury Communications and Distillers Company Ltd.

In 1992 Ian became the Headquarters’ Secretary of the Scottish Building Employers’ Federation (SBEF) with responsibility for their nine Associations across Scotland.

Following several positions within SBEF, Ian left in 1999 to become Chief Executive of the Scottish Decorators’ Federation.

The same year, he assumed the position of Employers’ Secretary for the Scottish Painting Council.

Ian is also Chief Executive of the Scottish Construction Operatives Registering Executive (SCORE), which provides competency registration cards for the industry. SCORE is a wholly separate company with board members including UCATT, SBEF, and the SDF.

In addition Ian has been Employers’ Secretary at SPADAC since its conception in 2009.

Brendan Keenan, Chairman of SPADAC

Brendan has been Chairman of SPADAC (Scottish Painting and Decorating Apprenticeship Council) since July 2011. He sits on the SDF’s National Council and is a board member of SCORE (Scottish Construction Operatives’ Registration Executive).

Brendan began his career as a painter and decorator and spent a couple of years in Jersey working as a “Paperhanger to the Trade”.

In 1973 he and his wife Roz started Dumbreck Decorators based in Glasgow. The company quickly grew in reputation and size and in 1989 they acquired the business and premises of J & R F Suttie.

In the same year Brendan was elected President of the SDF and then served as President of the Glasgow Master Painters from 1991 to 1993.

In 2000, Edinburgh-based Rolland Group bought Dumbreck Decorators and Brendan was asked to continue working as an estimator for the company.

For the past 12 years Brendan has specialised in church restoration. He has won many contracts and achieved awards for the quality of workmanship, culminating in the redecoration of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

In 2011 Brendan was once again elected President of the SDF, where he was instrumental in commissioning a new design for the Lady President’s commemorative brooch by an undergraduate of Glasgow School of Art and for the expansion of the SDF into England as the British Decorators’ Federation (BDF).

Ralph Skene, Immediate Past President of the SDF

Ralph is the SDF’s Immediate Past President, having just completed his third term in office (March 2012- 2013) after serving for two consecutive years in 2005 to 2007. He sits on the SDF’s National Council and campaigns for improvements within the industry in relation to wages, health and safety and training.

With three generations of painters in his family, Ralph initially opted instead to train as an apprentice marine engineer with Wood & Davidson’s Ship Repairers before joining the Merchant Navy with the Port Line for four years. He spent time in Orkney in the Shetland Islands during his eight-year career as a telephone engineer developing a keen Viking interest as an adopted Shetlander.

In 1975 he started a property company and then a building company with painting, electrical and building divisions and a workforce of 50 – and even dabbled in nightclub ownership with a venue called Ruffles.
He reverted to his family roots in 1983 by establishing painting and decorating company McLaren & Co in his hometown of Aberdeen with three employees. Working throughout Scotland on domestic, commercial and industrial contracts, they now have premises in Glasgow and a staff of 136.

The firm was sold to McLean & Speirs of Glasgow in 2005 however McLaren & Co continues to trade in its own right.