Construction Equipment Association appoints new chief executive

Suneeta Johal

SUNEETA Johal has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), succeeding Rob Oliver who will retire from the position after completing 20 years’ service in early October.

The CEA revealed its candidate search attracted more than 50 applications from trade association professionals.

Ms Johal joins from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), where she held the position of director of commercial development. Suneeta was responsible for the commercial strategy of the organisation, including initiatives to drive membership growth and ensure value for money for existing members. In her role as head of research, education, and training, she was responsible for developing a research, education, and training strategy as part of the senior leadership team.

Paul Ross, chair of the CEA’s executive board, said, “The recent year has been challenging for the entire industry but as we head out of the pandemic and look towards the future I feel very excited about the numerous opportunities and changes that are taking place.

“The appointment of Suneeta as chief executive is a significant move and I feel that her experience and capabilities will be key assets in strengthening and developing the CEA for the future.  It is important that the association continues to truly reflect the wishes of all its members and one of her key actions will be to reflect this as part of the ongoing strategy.

“Whilst announcing that Suneeta is our new chief executive I must acknowledge all the efforts and dedication of Rob Oliver, our long-serving chief executive, who has led the CEA over the last two decades and has passionately supported and championed the industry and the needs of all our members. A huge thank you to Rob on behalf of all our members!”

Rob Oliver CEA CEO
Rob Oliver

Caterpillar UK’s Sam Mottram, the chair of the CEA’s management council, added, “Rob has led the association with vigour and diligence for 20 years. While we’ll all be sad to see Rob depart we are grateful that he has brought that same diligence in the search for his replacement and it is with great pleasure that today we announce Suneeta Johal as his successor as chief executive. We have been impressed by her energy to take the CEA into a new era with her strong background in association leadership and research and we’re all tremendously excited to support Suneeta as she begins her new appointment.”

Suneeta Johal commented, “I am delighted to be joining the CEA as the new chief executive. It has been a tough 18 months for many trade associations and as we move forward, I hope that my skills and experience can bring a fresh approach to develop the future strategy of the CEA. I am looking forward to building on the successes that Rob has achieved to take the CEA from strength to strength.”

Retiring chief executive, Rob Oliver, said, “The original plan was that I should step down a year or so ago, but Covid-19 struck and I agreed to stay a little longer. Now the time seems right to step aside and let Suneeta bring a fresh, and younger, approach to what is undoubtedly a great job to have. I am pleased that on my watch we were able to grow our membership and international activities and create the Plantworx construction exhibition. More recently, my idea of introducing an emissions compliance verification option to the CESAR scheme is proving to be a winner.”