Published On: Thu, Nov 30th, 2023

Karen Nelson honoured with prestigious Fellowship Award

Karen Nelson, business development manager at HOPPE (UK), has been awarded the Fellowship Award at the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) Community Awards.

Held in conjunction with the GAI Education Awards on Thursday 23 November 2023, the Community Awards celebrate the best and brightest within the door hardware industry, with categories for achiever, company innovation, customer focus, leadership and fellowship.

The Fellowship Award is given to an individual who has shown a longstanding and ongoing commitment to the Guild. Karen, who has worked at HOPPE (UK) for more than eight years, was recognised for her role as chair of the Midlands Community Hub and contribution to the GAI education committee.

Karen said: “I feel very proud to be recognised for the Fellowship Award. My involvement in both the Midlands Community Hub and the education committee has always been driven by my belief in the importance of the Guild’s education and CPD programme. I know this is a sentiment shared by many of my industry peers. The members of the Midlands Community Hub regularly come together to share their knowledge and experience to help progress the industry. There aren’t many sectors like ours and I’m honoured to be a part of it.”

After completing her original GAI Diploma in 2008, Karen has recently attained a second GAI Diploma in door systems. It is this specialist knowledge, her extensive industry experience and passion for encouraging the next generation of ironmongers that earned her the Fellowship Award.

The judges commented: “Karen is highly regarded and commands a great deal of respect not just from her fellow Hub members and company colleagues but by many throughout the industry.

“She has earned this through her service to the industry over and above her own career or professional gain. Karen is a thoroughly committed professional who typifies the very best and highest ethos of the GAI.”

For more than 10 years, Karen has also organised a Midlands Community Hub Christmas charity quiz, raising more than £7,000 for various charities.

Sam Thatcher, executive chair of the GAI Community, said: “Karen has made a significant and ongoing commitment to the Guild and the wider sector for many years and remains active in support of the organisation despite a very demanding role. The judges felt Karen has done so much to advance the Guild across multiple fronts from promoting the GAI, acquiring new members, helping train employees and the wider audience, and willingly volunteers and assists in the Guild’s CPD and our registered professionals in their understanding. Everyone will agree, this is most deserved.”

As well as being a GAI Diploma holder, Karen is also a Registered Architectural Ironmonger and Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) Diploma holder.