Graham Stephenson, COO of Business Design Centre and Jeremy Rees, executive director of ExCeL London have been appointed to the Association of Event Venues (AEV) board.

Stephenson (pictured), a former chair and vice chair of the association, will be taking over the role of chair from Nigel Nathan, the outgoing chair of the AEV board and group managing director of Olympia London.

Rees will take over from Stephenson as vice chair.

Paying tribute to Nathan’s work as chair, Stephenson said: “Nigel has worked tirelessly for the association, building on its mission to provide leadership in the global event venue market. I’d like to thank Nigel for his sterling work over the last two years providing advice, leadership and direction to the association.”

Rees echoed Stephenson’s comments: “Nigel’s tenure as chair has spanned an interesting time for the industry. His expert guidance and commitment to the association have been instrumental in defining how we have met the challenges and managed the changes that have affected our members. I am looking forward to working with Graham on his return to the chair, and ensuring the association continues going from strength to strength.”

The board also welcomed new members, Andy Gibb, managing director of Ricoh Arena and Alison Griffin, sales and marketing director of The International Centre, Telford, and announced the re-election of board members Tim Banfield, commercial director at ACC Liverpool, Grahame Jones, chief operating officer at FIVE (Farnborough International) and Simon Kent, director at Harrogate International Centre.

Welcoming Stephenson and Rees to their new positions, Rachel Parker, AEV director said: “Both Graham and Jeremy have demonstrated their commitment to championing the needs and concerns of venues as vice chair and board member respectively, and I’m looking forward to working with them in their new roles.”