June 23, 2023: Maura McDermott, one of the International Lead Association’s longest-serving employees, office and events manager, was awarded the International Lead Medal yesterday morning at the Pb2023 conference in Athens.
The medal, the industry’s highest honour, marks her retirement after 35 years of service and in particular honours her unstinting work behind the scenes. She has been one of the key figures in making the events activities of the ILA — starting in 1990 with 2ELBC in Brussels, right up to 18ELBC in Lyon — an integral part of the lead battery industry calendar.
“It’ll be a shame to see her go,” one delegate at Pb2023 said to Batteries International. “She’s always been a well liked and popular figure in the conferences — she’s been scrupulously fair with everyone even with some of the more difficult exhibitors who can be very pushy.
“She’s very much a landmark at our events and a welcome face too!”
Maura joined the Zinc and Lead Development Association in November 1988, as executive assistant to the chief executive, David Ward. She started work at the association’s offices in Berkeley Square, London.
Following a series of reorganizations, the Zinc Development Association moved to Birmingham, and Maura stayed at the International Lead Association, and worked as EA to David Wilson who was then managing director of ILA until his retirement in 2012.
It was during this period that she helped induct a new ILA recruit, Andy Bush, who joined the association on completing his doctorate and eventually becoming managing director.
Commenting on her career and the International Lead Award, she said: “It’s a real honour to be recognized by the industry to which I’ve devoted almost my entire career. It’s such a social and friendly industry, I will take with me many happy memories and just as many friends.
“I’ve enjoyed many aspects of the job, but I’ll particularly miss the events and the colleagues and delegates who helped make them such a success.
“Keep the lead light burning!”
Andy Bush, ILA Managing Director, said: “In three and a half decades Maura has made a huge contribution to the work of the lead association helping to make two of the major conferences supporting our industry — Pb and ELBC — the leading events they are today. She has been a much loved and respected point-of-contact for so many members and partners, as well as our employees. She’ll be greatly missed.
“On behalf of the whole industry I would like to thank her for her unstinting loyalty and service over so many years and wish her a long and well-earned retirement.”